This Strawberry Spinach Salad is so good, you’ll forget you’re eating healthy! Spinach leaves are tossed with strawberry, feta cheese, nuts, and avocado with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top. This easy, bright salad is the best way to enjoy fresh berries all summer long.
Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad
Sweet and juicy strawberries paired with salty feta cheese, toasted pecans, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette…
… Nothing screams summer more than this Strawberry Spinach Salad!
When I initially saw this salad served at a potluck, I’ll be honest – it seemed really strange. Who would put fresh fruit in a salad full of greens and cheese?!
But after that first bite, it was like my tastebuds were awakened from their slumber… the flavors were incredible together!
Plus you get all of the nutrition from your vegetables while also getting a good bit of vitamin C from the fresh berries.
It’s SO easy to prep ahead of time and always a hit at summer picnics, July 4th BBQs, or even a dinner party. Trust me, you’ll get tired of giving out the recipe.
This is one of my favorite salads, and it’s always on the menu during the warmer months.
The fresh ingredients you need to make this spinach strawberry salad recipe include:
- Spinach. If you can, opt for fresh baby spinach leaves. You can remove the stems from these leafy greens, but it’s an extra step and it’s not necessary. Larger spinach leaves will be harder to eat, so you’ll want to cut them into strips.
- Strawberries. Firm, beautiful, ripe strawberries are essential. If they’re past their prime or previously frozen, your salad will be mushy.
- Cheese. Feta cheese is the best option. The saltiness is the perfect balance to the sweet strawberries. If you sub out the tangy feta, you can try goat cheese instead. Avoid flavorful varieties, like blue cheese, however.
- Onion. A sliced red onion is called for. While you can sub in a yellow, sweet, or white onion, the flavor won’t quite be the same.
- Pecans. Toasted pecans add the best texture, they are chewy and slightly smoky.
- Pumpkin seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds give this salad the pop you didn’t know it needed.
- Avocado. An avocado cut into cubes in this salad is creamy and so delicious. Be sure to get a firm avocado.
- Balsamic dressing. It’s super easy to make your own vinaigrette by mixing up balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and the sweetener of your choice (like maple syrup or honey). You can also buy a bottle at your grocery store to save time.
How to Make Strawberry Spinach Salad
The basic steps for making this easy strawberry spinach salad are simple to follow:
Prep the Produce
Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, slice the red onion and the strawberries, and then cube the avocado.
If you haven’t yet toasted the pecans and the pumpkin seeds, be sure to do that before you start making this salad.
Make the Dressing
If you are making your own balsamic dressing, it’s time to mix it up.
You can do this in a Mason jar (or another bottle with a tight-fitting lid) or blender. Add the oil, vinegar sweetener, and a pinch of salt to the jar.
Either shake or blend until it’s well combined. Remember, you’ll have to re-mix it up if you let it sit for too long.
Make the Salad
In a large salad bowl, add the spinach, strawberries, cheese, red onion slices, pecans, and pumpkin seeds. If you’re not serving it right away, you can cover it tightly and leave it in the fridge.
If you’re ready to enjoy it, toss in the diced avocado, then pour the sweet dressing over the top. You can add as much or little as you’d like.
Toss gently until everything is coated.
Meal Prep and Storage
- How to prep ahead of time: You can whip up the dressing a couple of days in advance. Save time by prepping the veggies and combining everything except the avocado and dressing up to 24 hours before. Store them in separately.
- How to store: You can store the salad once dressed, it will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 24 hours before the spinach gets mushy.
- How to freeze: Freezing this salad is not recommended.
What goes well with a strawberry spinach salad?
You can pair strawberry spinach salad with your favorite protein, or anything you’d enjoy at a BBQ. Grilled meats are the perfect complement to this dish, or enjoy it by itself as a refreshing treat. Either way, the sweet berries make this salad irresistible!
The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian and gluten-free as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:
- Sugar-free: Use a natural sweetener for the dressing.
- Dairy-free: Opt for a dairy-free cheese.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Baby is best. This size spinach leaf is perfect for a salad.
- Prep away. You can easily make most of this salad the day before and throw it together just before serving.
- Be picky. Be sure the avocados and strawberries are firm and free of bruises for the best texture.
- DIY. Make a big bottle of your own homemade salad dressing. You can use it for this salad—and more!
- Eat it up. This salad is best enjoyed fresh; it will wilt and get mushy in the fridge after it is dressed.
- Make it a meal. Add some sliced chicken breasts to turn this easy spinach salad into the ideal lunch.
What to Serve with Strawberry Spinach Salad
This strawberry spinach salad is a perfect side to your favorite protein. It also works beautifully alongside all your favorite BBQ mainstays.
Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs are so easy to make and delicious with this salad.
Or, choose a burger, like a Salmon Burger, Sweet Potato Veggie Burger, or Air Fryer Hamburger.
More Summer Salad Recipes
In the hot months, nothing beats a refreshing summer salad. Try any of these next.
Watermelon Feta Salad is sweet and hits the spot.
If you love cucumber, try this Cucumber Avocado Crab Salad or Cucumber Dill Salad.
Of course, pasta salads are so simple to throw together. You can’t go wrong with BLT Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad, or Italian Dressing Pasta Salad.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
This Strawberry Spinach Salad is so good, you'll forget you're eating healthy! Spinach leaves are tossed with strawberry, feta cheese, nuts, and avocado with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top.
- 8-10 oz. baby spinach or mixed greens
- 8 oz. strawberries cut into slices
- 6 oz. feta cheese crumbled
- ½ red onion small, thinly sliced
- ½ cup pecans coarsely chopped, toasted
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds roasted and salted, optional
- 1 small avocado cut into cubes
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ cup oil avocado or olive
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar really good
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- Pinch salt
Add the spinach, strawberries, cheese, onion, toasted pecans, and pumpkin seeds to a large bowl. Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until ready to serve.
Combine the oil, vinegar, sweetener, and a pinch of salt in a mason jar or blender. Shake or blend until well combined. Store at room temperature until ready to use.
Just before serving, add the diced avocado and pour the dressing over the salad until it’s coated to your preference. Toss until everything is well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.
Meal Prep and Storage
- How to prep ahead of time: You can whip up the dressing a couple of days in advance. Save time by prepping the veggies and combining everything except the avocado and dressing up to 24 hours before, store them in separate containers.
- How to store: Leftover salad can last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days. However, the spinach will wilt and the strawberries might get mushy.
- How to freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this salad.
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