Dairy Farmers of Canada

Warm Tropical Salad with Queso Fresco

Our dietitians' favourite

This is the Warm Tropical Salad with Queso Fresco recipe.

  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cooking: 20 min - 40 min
Yields 4 - 6 Servings
warm tropical salad with queso fresco
Be inspired by this warm shrimp dinner salad, beautifully coloured with sautéed pineapple and peppers, ripe avocado and fresh cheese. So easy to make as shown in the video. Warning: this dish may cause a flash of summer in your plate!


  • 10 oz (300 g) jumbo shrimp shelled (leave tail on) or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Cajun spices
  • 1 red bell pepper quartered
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple peeled and sliced
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
  • 2 tbsp (10 mL) lime zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups (1 L) romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 2 avocados peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Canadian Queso Fresco crumbled
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) fresh coriander (cilantro)
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Barbecue Method

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Season shrimp or chicken with Cajun spices and cook on grill, about 5 minutes for shrimp or 15 minutes for chicken. If using chicken, slice and set aside.

Grill bell pepper and pineapple, then cut into pieces.

Mix lime juice, lime zest and olive oil together. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange lettuce, avocados, grilled pepper, pineapple, shrimp or chicken and Queso Fresco on a serving platter.

Garnish with cilantro and serve the dressing on the side.

Stovetop method:

In a skillet, heat a bit of oil over high heat and sauté shrimp for about 5 minutes.


In a skillet, heat a bit of oil over medium heat and cook the chicken breasts 7–8 minutes on each side.

In another skillet, melt a bit of butter and brown the bell pepper and pineapple.


How to make your own Cajun spice mix:

INGREDIENTS1 tbsp (15 ml) paprika2 tsp (10 ml) dried thyme2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano½ tbsp (7 ml) garlic powder1 tsp (5 ml) onion powder1 tsp (5 ml) dry mustard1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin¼–½ tsp (1–2 ml) cayenne pepper Salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATIONMix all the ingredients together and store in a spice jar.

Cheese alternatives: Canadian Cheddar, Gouda, Mozzarella.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 306 Calories
Protein: 15 g
Carbohydrate: 20 g
Fat: 20 g
Fibre: 6.8 g
Sodium: 524 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 21 % / 233 mg
Folate: 61 %
Selenium: 43 %
Vitamin B12: 53 %
Vitamin C: 121 %