Who would have ever guessed that strawberries and spinach would be a dynamite combo to liven up a standard leafy salad?! Sweet, juicy strawberries and blueberries, creamy avocado, crunchy candied pecans, and a zesty vinaigrette come together to make this Strawberry Spinach Salad a family favorite!
This salad ticks off all the boxes for a nutritious, tasty spring or summer salad, packing fresh flavors, crunch from the onion and pecans, and creaminess from the avocado and feta cheese.
It’s a fantastic addition to any barbeque dishes, casseroles, or fish dishes such as pan-seared salmon. You could even add shredded chicken or chicken cubes to this Strawberry Spinach Salad for a light protein-packed lunch!
Table of contents
What is Strawberry Spinach Salad?
This Strawberry Spinach Salad is a refreshing summer salad with star ingredients including juicy strawberries and leafy baby spinach. It’s a delicious mixture of fruits, greens, crunchy nuts, and creamy crumbled feta – perfect for those hot days!
Variations and Substitutions
- Use goat cheese or blue cheese instead of feta.
- Use your favorite vinaigrette for this salad – sweet varieties work the best. Otherwise, consider combining ingredients such as olive oil with maple syrup and a drop or two of lemon juice for your own homemade dressing.
- Use store-bought candied pecans or make your own candied pecans from scratch for this salad. Feel free to include different nuts too, if you like, such as almonds or walnuts.
- Add other fruit to this salad such as apple, pear, or mandarin oranges. You could also add extra berries such as raspberries and blackberries.
- Add grilled chicken to this strawberry salad, quinoa, farro, or other grains, as a main meal instead of just a side dish.
Yes, you can! Separate the dry components of the salad from the wet and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator overnight or a day prior to serving. The dressing can be stored in a jar but make sure that you shake it well before adding to the salad.
I don’t suggest making this salad too far in advance (as in, longer than a day) since your fresh ingredients will start to lose their structure and textures from wilting, especially with the salad dressing added.
Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days at the most.
Depending on how much dressing was added to the salad, your salad may or may not hold up well for too long in storage so it’s best to use it up as soon as possible.
Make some sandwiches with any stored salad the next day as a way to use up leftovers.
Yes, definitely! I’ve actually combined strawberries with blueberries for this salad although you can opt to use only strawberries or only blueberries. Any other berry will also work really well in this salad.
Apples and pears would be another delicious option in place of the strawberries and blueberries or as a fruity addition to the strawberries and blueberries used.
Tips For Making Strawberry Spinach Salad
- The great thing about this salad is that the ingredients and quantities are completely customizable. Feel free to experiment with your personal preferences!
- For homemade candied pecans, simply combine 1 cup of pecans, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a skillet. Then heat and stir the ingredients until the sugar is completely dissolved in the butter. Spread the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 until the pecans are crisp. Making extra candied pecans is great as a future snack too!
- The type of vinaigrette used for the recipe is flexible. A sweet vinegar dressing is extremely complimentary! Other great options include poppyseed dressing or a store-bought mango champagne vinaigrette.
- Substitute blue cheese or goat cheese for the feta. They are both rich and creamy cheeses which would work very well as a replacement.
- Serve your strawberry spinach salad ingredients in a large bowl, preferably in glass, to showcase all of those beautiful fresh strawberries and bright salad ingredients.
More Delicious Salads For Your Table
Strawberry Spinach Salad
- 5 oz. fresh baby spinach rinsed and patted dry
- 1 cup candied pecans
- 1 quart strawberries rinsed, dried, and halved or quartered, stems removed
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh blueberries rinsed
- 2 avocados diced
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ½ cup vinaigrette more or less to taste
- In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach candied pecans, strawberries, onion, and blueberries. Add avocado and cheese.
- Pour salad dressing over ingredients and toss gently to combine. Adjust dressing to taste.
- Serve immediately.
- The separate components of the salad can be prepared a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in separate airtight containers or bags until ready to serve.
- The ingredients and amounts are completely customizable.
- To make your own candied pecans, combine 1 cup of pecans, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a skillet. Heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved in the butter. Spread onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 until pecans are crisp.
- Sweet vinaigrettes are delicious with this recipe, as is a poppyseed dressing. We used a store-bought mango champagne vinaigrette and it was perfect.
- Great substitutions for the feta cheese include blue cheese or goat cheese.