Ensalada Costa Alegre


Some people are in heaven with cooler weather and the excuse to wear sweaters. Not me! I’m a summer girl and don’t want to let go of warm weather and flip-flops.

This dish is inspired by a salad I ordered at a local Mexican restaurant and once it was set in front of me I knew I had to recreate it and share it with you. The dish is called ensalada costa alegre, which translates to cheerful coastal salad. I couldn’t have named it better myself.


Roasted corn and spicy grilled shrimp combined with loads of tropical fruits and veggies are drizzled with a tangy, citrusy, and peppery salad dressing.

This is a great dish to make when you are looking for a light dinner, and the plus side there is no indoors cooking involved.


Grill these ingredients and top this salad with tortilla strips and serve with agua de sandia before summer is officially over. This salad is an explosion of exotic flavors and textures.


Ensalada Costa Alegre


  • 1 pound extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 ears of corn, husked and rinsed
  • Mixed greens, recommend romaine
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • Red onion, slices
  • Radish slices
  • Corn tortillas sliced into ¼-inch-thick strips, lightly fried

Tangy Lime Dressing:

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Drizzle shrimp with olive oil and lime juice, sprinkle them with lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  3. Thread the shrimp onto skewers.
  4. Grill the shrimp over moderate heat, until just cooked through, cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. The meat will turn opaque and white as it cooks. Remove from the heat so it doesn’t over cook and get tough or rubbery.
  5. Add the corn to the grill and cook, turning every 3 minutes, until tender and slightly charred for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Stand cobs upright and cut down the sides of cob with sharp paring knife, releasing kernels without cutting into cob.
  7. Place mixed greens, grilled shrimp, roasted corn kernels, mango, avocado, onion, and radish slices on a salad platter.
  8. Sprinkle with fried tortilla strips and drizzle with dressing.

Tangy Lime Dressing:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
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