This Strawberry Spinach Salad is salad in springtime form. Perfectly balanced by both sweet and salty flavors, with crunchy pecans, juicy strawberries, tangy goat cheese, and a crazy-easy balsamic dressing. You're getting a gourmet salad at home, for very minimal effort!
There is zero cooking required and the assembly is super quick. This salad is perfect as a side dish to grilled chicken because you can literally throw it together while the meat cooks! It also works great for any type of Spring or Summer entertaining, as well as making a colorful addition to the Easter table. (Pst! Our Seven Layer Salad is also stunning!)
Have I mentioned that this homemade balsamic dressing is easily 10 times better than storebought? Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe is not only super flavorful and delicious, but it's also a great, healthy option for the days when you are looking for something a little lighter. Another great choice on those days would be our classic House Salad.
STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD INGREDIENTS
- Spinach | For this recipe, we'll be using baby spinach. Baby spinach is just young spinach harvested earlier than standard-sized spinach. The leaves are smaller, and the flavor is a touch sweeter.
- Strawberries | You, of course, cannot have Strawberry Spinach Salad without strawberries. The sweeter the strawberry, the better! When picking out your berries, look for bright red coloring with minimal white coloring around the stem.
- Goat Cheese | Goat cheese is our top pick for this salad, as it is an absolutely perfect pairing with strawberries! It's creamy and tangy and positively dreamy. However, if you're looking for another cheese to sub in, Feta cheese or even blue cheese would work great.
- Pecans | The pecans of choice are a little bit extra because we're using over-the-top yummy glazed pecans (also known as candied pecans). You can easily find glazed pecans near the other nuts at the grocery store. Glazed pecans are covered with an extra crunchy sweet exterior, making such a fun addition. Feel free to use regular pecans or even walnuts if preferred.
- Red Onion | Here comes some more of that savory! The red onion will add a little spice and complex notes of flavor to your Strawberry Spinach Salad. If you're not an onion fan, feel free to leave it out altogether.
- Basil | Basil is another one of those ingredients providing subtle spice and complexity to your salad, yet it's not as overpowering as onion. It also has a lovely natural sweetness to it. This ingredient makes quite a difference, and we truly can't recommend it enough!
- Dressing | Store-bought dressings can be a great time saver, but if you have a spare five minutes, this homemade balsamic dressing will totally rock your salad's world; plus, it comes together quickly and easily with just a few ingredients! If you want an extra creamy salad dressing that will pair wonderfully with this salad, check out our homemade poppy seed dressing!
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD
Even though we'll be using baby spinach for this recipe, we still recommend giving fresh spinach a rough chop before combining it with other ingredients, especially if you're serving this Strawberry Spinach Salad to a crowd. No one wants to struggle to get food in their mouth... especially not in front of others.
Roughly chop your baby spinach and add it to a large bowl. Next, we'll address the other star of the show -- strawberries.
To prep the strawberries, use a paring knife to remove the stem end where the leaves are attached. Then, slice the strawberries lengthwise into ¼" slices. This way, you'll get more strawberries in every delicious bite.
Add the strawberries to the salad, along with thinly sliced red onion (if using).
Next, chop up your pecans and toss those in as well.
In comes the fresh basil, and since a bit of basil goes quite a long way, you'll want to go ahead and give those larger leaves a rough chop before adding them to the salad. Sprinkle in the goat cheese and at this point, you could either refrigerate the salad for up to 24 hours or dress, toss, and serve it right away.
For an extra flavorful touch, be sure to sprinkle your Strawberry Spinach Salad with a pinch of salt and pepper before serving.
Take care not to dress the salad until just before serving, as the spinach leaves will begin to wilt within a matter of hours of being dressed.
BALSAMIC + STRAWBERRIES = MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
The tart and tangy flavor of balsamic vinegar combined with the sweet, fresh flavors of strawberries is a timeless and exciting flavor combination. It's a flavor combination that feels gourmet yet is so simple to execute!
HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC DRESSING
For the balsamic dressing, simply combine the honey, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking as you pour, until it is completely incorporated. And that's it! Doesn't get much easier than that!
6 MORE SALAD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Fajita Salad
- Watermelon Arugula Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Pear Salad
- Kale and Broccoli Salad
This Strawberry Spinach Salad is a triple threat. Easy, healthy, and totally delicious! Plus, you really can't go wrong with these flavors.
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Generous ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cups washed and dried baby spinach leaves
- 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries (about ⅔ pound)
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup roughly chopped candied pecans
- ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese (about 3 ounces)
- ¼ cup torn or chopped basil leaves
Add the honey, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, Kosher salt, and pepper to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking all the while. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
Add all of the salad ingredients to the bowl, drizzle with dressing, and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!