Spinach strawberry salad is easy to love with spinach, strawberries, crunchy pecans and creamy feta tossed in a homemade poppy seed dressing. It’s a great choice for a spring or summer side to bring to cookouts, potlucks, picnics, or dinner parties.
This spinach strawberry salad is easy to love, even for non-salad eaters, with fresh baby spinach and ripe strawberries tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing with a poppy seed crunch. Top it with nuts and cheese before serving it for holidays like Easter, Mother’s Day, or just as a light lunch. Just like this Italian pasta salad, it’s a great way to celebrate a warm and beautiful sunny day with fresh ingredients, vibrant colors, flavors and textures on a platter.
There are many options to mix and match ingredients to customize it to your tastes such as mixing up spinach with other salad blends or a spring mix. Add more fruit like blueberries or mandarin oranges. Switch pecans with toasted almonds or walnuts and substitute feta with goat cheese, blue cheese, or gorgonzola cheese.
Try bulking up the salad by adding some protein like grilled or breaded sliced chicken strips to appeal to the meat eaters. You can also use store-bought poppy seed dressing to keep it simple or make your own with the homemade balsamic dressing in this recipe. Stay faithful to the recipe or experiment by mixing and matching your ingredients until you find the perfect combination to make this salad your own.
Ingredients in Spinach Strawberry Salad
SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD RECIPE TIPS
- Spinach – I used baby spinach but you can mix and match your greens with a 50/50 mix of spinach and spring mix, or a full spring mix, or adding in some arugula.
- Strawberries– Hull or remove the stems and slice the strawberries into thick slices.
- Pecans – Pecans add a wonderful crunch and earthiness to the salad. You can also substitute this with toasted sliced almonds or chopped walnuts.
- Red onions – This adds freshness and a little bite. Make sure to slice them thin so they aren’t too overpowering in the salad.
- Balsamic vinegar – You can substitute this with red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Poppy seed – What is a poppy seed dressing without poppy seeds?! This adds a little crunch to the salad as well. I use the McCormick brand name for poppy seeds.
- Honey – Honey adds a hint of sweetness to the dressing to balance out the acidity of the balsamic vinegar. You can also substitute honey with maple syrup or sugar.
- Dijon mustard – This adds some bite to the dressing. You can also use 1 teaspoon of ground mustard instead. Use less mustard or add more to tweak it to your taste.
- Leftovers – Like most salads, strawberry spinach salad is best served fresh but it can keep in the fridge for a few days if you haven’t mixed in the dressing. The best way to stretch it out if you’re planning on having leftovers is to store the salad ingredients and dressing separately. Add the dressing just before serving for a fresh-tasting salad.
- Mix up the greens – Switch up spinach with other salad blends or baby spring mixes.
- Add more fruit – Try adding some fresh blueberries or mandarin oranges for a pop of color and more flavor.
- Switch nuts – If you’re not a fan of pecans, try some toasted sliced almonds or chopped walnuts instead.
- Add some protein – Add some cooked sliced or diced chicken.
- Switch up cheese – Experiment with other crumbled cheeses like goat cheese, blue cheese, or gorgonzola cheese.
- Make it creamy – Make a creamy poppy seed dressing by adding a few tablespoons of mayonnaise or using mayonnaise, milk, or Greek yogurt as a base instead of olive oil.
What to Serve with Spinach Strawberry Salad
While salads can be filling on their own, they are best served as a side dish to compliment the star of the show like grilled or roasted proteins, kebabs, or as a starter for elegant creamy and comforting main meals like garlic butter salmon, salmon pasta, lemon chicken piccata, or this Tuscan shrimp.
And that’s about it. Let me know how you liked the salad, what substitutions you made, or what you paired it with in the comments below.
This post was originally published on May 16, 2013 and updated on July 9, 2023.