by Olena

Strawberry Spinach Salad

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Olena Osipov
5 from 20 votes

The only Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe you will ever need! We include tons of substitutions, salad takes only 20 minutes to make, and is healthy, beautiful and everyone will rave about this salad!

Other favorite bright salad recipes around here are this simple spinach salad recipe, arugula salad and Mexican kale salad.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

The best and easy (I googled) strawberry spinach salad recipe on the whole entire planet Earth! And healthy. It is also really stunning, colourful and tasty salad for any gathering. A definite remake!

Strawberries are traditionally enjoyed in sweet recipes like strawberry cheesecake and strawberry yogurt. And let me assure you that this spinach and strawberry salad is like dessert. The salad is light and has a sweet and sensual taste to it. The dressing is amazing – not heavy, not oily, and not overpowering. It’s fabulous!

And may I suggest this amazing berry salad dressing for next time?!

Strawberry and Spinach Salad closed up

Ingredients for Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • Spinach: I like to buy pre-washed baby spinach because it is so affordable and convenient. Garden spinach that is coarsely chopped works as well. 11 oz box of baby spinach that goes into this salad contains 69 grams of fiber, 89 grams of protein and some crazy amount of vitamins A and K?!
  • Strawberries: Fresh, plump and sweet, loaded with vitamin C strawberries. Hull and chop in halves or even quarters. I do not recommend to use frozen berries as salad will become extremely soggy.
  • Red onion: This nature’s antibiotic adds a zest and keeps strawberry spinach salad recipe from being too sweet. No need to pre-soak it IMHO.
  • Pecans: Quickly toasted on a skillet pecan halves add an extra dimension with crunch and roasted flavour.
  • Cheese: Soft goat cheese “melts” in the dressing making it more creamy. Where as feta cheese crumbles are more salty and hold on their own better.
spinach in a bowl and sliced strawberries

Tip: I always buy organic spinach and strawberries. That’s why we eat strawberries only when in season. These 2 produce items are heavily sprayed with pesticides that are impossible to wash off. Please check Dirty Dozen for other produce that is important to buy organic. Strawberries rank #1 and spinach is listed as #2 for most contaminated foods!!!

What’s in Balsamic Dressing?

I know homemade salad dressing can be intimidating. Never know what to add and the ratio. But this strawberry spinach salad dressing is embarrassingly easy to make with only 4 ingredients.

  • Olive oil: Quality raw extra virgin olive oil would be the best oil with its deep velvety smooth texture and fruit taste. For example, light olive oil is best for sauteing, has mild taste and less health benefits.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Sweet deep balsamic vinegar makes the dressing. You can substitute it with red wine or apple cider vinegar.
  • Maple syrup: Adds sweetness and honey or agave syrup can be substituted.
  • Soy sauce: I used Bragg’s liquid aminos or regular soy sauce works. It completes the last requirement for a good strawberry spinach salad dressing in a ratio of oil+acid+sweet+salt. You will appreciate its umami flavour in a salad a lot!
Strawberry Spinach Salad ingredients and dressing

How to Make Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • Toast pecans: Preheat skillet well, add nuts and toast until fragrant. Nuts burn fast once they hit hot surface, stir often, don’t walk away and remove from heat immediately.
  • Make dressing: Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and soy sauce with a fork in a bowl. Or shake in a jar with a tight fitting lid.
  • Combine everything: In a large bowl add spinach, chopped strawberries and onion, toasted pecans, crumble cheese on top and drizzle with the dressing. And it’s best to do so before serving.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Other greens: For a peppery twist, add part arugula. We love it in this sweet and zesty arugula beet salad. It will go so well with berries too! There is also a nice blend of arugula and baby kale sold in most stores that would be divine.
  • Other berries and fruit: Bad weather and can’t find strawberries? Use fresh blueberries, raspberries or blackberries instead. Also some readers love to add pineapple tidbits and mandarin oranges. Want to make it in fall? Apples and pears are a great option instead of strawberries. Just check out this quinoa apple salad.
  • Creamy dressing: Don’t love balsamic dressing? Try my healthy poppy seed dressing instead or choose another of our favorite dressings.
  • Other cheeses: Soft mozzarella cheese, either cubed or baby mozzarella balls (hello, tomato mozzarella salad), and crumbled blue cheese would be delish! I recommend to buy a block of cheese and crumble yourself as pre-crumbled cheese in a tub is coated in anti-caking agents. Fresh is best!
  • Out of pecans? Roast almonds, chopped walnuts, pistachios or even cashews.

How to Make Ahead and Store

Spinach and strawberry salad is a great make ahead salad: It is a perfect candidate for Easter or Mother’s Day brunch when strawberries are in season. Refrigerate covered salad in a bowl and dressing in a jar separately for up to 2 days. I always buy pre-washed organic baby spinach, so I can easily add it to a salad bowl right before mixing. If you like nuts super crunchy, store them separately in a dry place. Nuts absorb the moisture really in the bowl and fridge fast.

Make ahead and store dressing: Whether you choose to make balsamic or poppy seed dressing, both can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. Just warm up balsamic vinaigrette on a counter for 15 minutes or in a glass with hot water, and give it a shake afterwards. It will be smooth and flowing again.

More Green Salad Recipes

And may I suggest this healthy strawberry smoothie? I know it’s not a salad but it’s SO GOOD!

strawberry spinach salad in black bowl
Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad {with 4 Ingredient Dressing}

The only Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe you will ever need! We include tons of substitutions, salad takes only 20 minutes to make, and is healthy, beautiful and everyone will rave about this salad!
5 from 20 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (side dish)
Calories: 263kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Strawberry Spinach Salad:

  • 1 lb strawberries hulled and sliced in halves (quarters)
  • 3 oz goat or feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 11 oz box baby spinach pre-washed

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce I used Bragg's liquid aminos

Instructions

  • Preheat ceramic non-stick medium skillet on medium heat and add pecans. Toast for about 3 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from heat immediately to prevent nuts from burning.
    Strawberry Spinach Salad
  • In a small bowl, combine olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and whisk with a fork. Set aside.
    Strawberry Spinach Salad
  • In a large bowl, add spinach and top with strawberries, cheese, red onion and toasted pecans. Drizzle dressing on top and stir gently until well combined.
    Strawberry Spinach Salad

Video

Notes

  • Make ahead salad: Refrigerate covered salad in a bowl and dressing in a jar separately for up to 2 days. I always buy pre-washed organic baby spinach, so I can easily add it to a salad bowl right before mixing. If you like nuts super crunchy, store them separately in a dry place. Nuts absorb the moisture really in the bowl and fridge fast.
  • Make ahead and store dressing: Whether you choose to make balsamic or poppy seed dressing, both can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. Just warm up balsamic vinaigrette on a counter for 15 minutes or in a glass with hot water, and give it a shake afterwards. It will be smooth and flowing again.
  • Other greens: For a peppery twist, add part arugula. There is also a nice blend of arugula and baby kale sold in most stores that would be divine.
  • Other berries and fruit: Bad weather and can’t find strawberries? Use fresh blueberries, raspberries or blackberries instead. Also some readers love to add pineapple tidbits and mandarin oranges. Want to make it in fall? Apples and pears are a great option instead of strawberries.
  • Creamy dressing: Don’t love balsamic dressing? Try my healthy poppy seed dressing instead.
  • Other cheeses: Soft mozzarella cheese, either cubed or baby mozzarella balls, and crumbled blue cheese would be delish! I recommend to buy a block of cheese and crumble yourself as pre-crumbled cheese in a tub is coated in anti-caking agents. Fresh is best!
  • Out of pecans? Roast almonds, chopped walnuts, pistachios or even cashews.

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3717IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 2mg
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olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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