A delicious and healthy Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese is made with toasted pecans, blueberries, red onions and finished with flavorful homemade balsamic dressing. It is super quick and easy to make, perfect for lunch, lazy summer dinner or a potluck party.
This summer salad is a true crowd pleaser. If you are a fan of strawberries and want to eat them all day long, this is a recipe for you. While strawberries are typically served for breakfast or dessert, they also pair wonderfully with baby spinach, balsamic vinaigrette and, of course, cheese.
I make this salad whenever I have fresh spinach and strawberries in my fridge and it’s become a regular staple at our house. Sometimes I serve it as a side and other times, I add some grilled chicken breast and make it into a balanced dinner bowl that’s light, healthy and satisfying.
Strawberry Spinach Salad is also a nutritional powerhouse. It provides a substantial amount of dark leafy greens (spinach) which you can never get enough. Strawberries, blueberries and red onions are low in sugar and rich in antioxidants that are believed to prevent some diseases and slow down aging (yes, please!). Top that with protein and healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, and you got yourself a true superfood salad.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Baby Spinach: the base of this salad. I like to have a huge bag or container of pre-washed baby spinach in my fridge at all times.
Strawberries: they are best when in season and locally sourced, if possible.
Blueberries: to add more nutritional value and extra flavor to the salad.
Pecans: use pecan halves or chopped pecans. I like to use the halves, toast them, cool slightly and then chop but it’s up to you.
Feta Cheese: to add creaminess and the salty, briny flavor that goes so well with berries.
Red Onion: to counterbalance the sweetness of strawberries and blueberries. See my tip on soaking onions in cold water. It takes the sharp flavor away.
Olive Oil: use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil for best results.
Balsamic Vinegar: there are many kinds of balsamic vinegar on the market. My favorite is the original Aceto Balsamico di Modena. You can find it in most grocery stores.
Honey: to add a touch of sweetness to the dressing.
Dijon mustard (optional): to make the dressing flavors pop.
Salt & Pepper: to season the dressing.
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD
Step 1: Soak the red onions. This step is optional but if you’re not a fan of sharp onion flavor (and onion breath after dinner), I highly recommend this trick as it mellows down the onion-y taste. Just slice your onion thin and place in a glass or bowl of cold water. Let it soak while you prepare the salad, then drain on a sieve and add. Even 5 minutes of soaking will make a big difference.
Step 2: Toast the pecans. Place the nuts in a dry skillet and toast until lightly browned, shaking the pan often, about 5 minutes or so. Make sure not to burn the pecans.
Step 3: Make the dressing. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also place all ingredients in a small mason jar and give it a vigorous shake.
Step 4: Assemble the salad. In a large bowl place baby spinach, strawberries, blueberries, drained red onions, toasted nuts and feta cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and toss until coated. I would recommend starting with 2/3 of the dressing and adding more as needed, depending on how much dressing you like on your salad.
Presentation tip: if you want your salad to look picture-perfect, don’t add all the berries, feta cheese and pecans right away. Save some aside, dress the salad to coat well and sprinkle them on top.
MEAL PREP & STORAGE TIPS
This strawberry spinach salad is perfect for meal prep or making ahead. Assemble the salad according to the recipe below and make the balsamic vinaigrette. Don’t dress the salad until you are ready to eat though.
For meal prep, you can either divide the salad into airtight containers and pour the dressing into smaller containers to take to work or school, or you can make cute mason jar salads.
To do so, pour some of the dressing to the bottom of the mason jar, pack in spinach and top with the remaining ingredients. When ready to eat, empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl, toss and enjoy.
SUBSTITITIONS & VARIATIONS
- To add some protein to the salad, I recommend grilled or baked chopped chicken or turkey breast.
- You can skip the blueberries and add more strawberries, if you’d like. Blackberries will also taste good in this salad.
- If you’re not a fan of feta, this salad is also amazing with crumbled goat cheese. The cheese choice is yours!
- Instead of pecans, feel free to use walnuts or sliced almonds.
- I usually only use baby spinach for this salad but you can also try baby arugula or arugula-spinach mix.
- As with many salads, the proportions can be adjusted to your preferences. Add more or fewer greens, reduce or increase the amount of cheese, berries, nuts, dressing so it’s a perfect salad for you.
If you try this Spinach Strawberry Salad, be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
MORE EASY SALADS & BOWLS:
- Greek Chickpea Salad
- Cauliflower Shawarma Bowls with Tahini Dressing
- Pomegranate, Beet and Orange Winter Salad
- Kale, Chickpeas and Barley Salad Bowl with Seared Salmon
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A delicious and healthy Strawberry Spinach Salad is made with toasted pecans, feta cheese, blueberries, red onions and finished with flavorful homemade balsamic dressing. It is super quick and easy to make, perfect for lunch, lazy summer dinner or a potluck party.
10 oz baby spinach
5 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 oz blueberries (about ½ cup)
2 oz pecans, halved or chopped
1.5 oz sliced red onion (about ¼ medium onion)
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled or diced small
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
- Pour some cold water into a small bowl or a cup and soak the red onion slices while you’re preparing the salad. That step will help get rid of the harsh oniony taste (you can skip this step if you don’t mind raw onion flavor).
- Toast the pecans in a dry skillet on medium low heat for a couple minutes, shaking often. They should brown on the edges but make sure not to toast them too long or they will get bitter.
- Prepare the dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or add to a mason jar, close the lid and shake vigorously. Set aside.
- Assemble the salad. In a large bowl add baby spinach, strawberries, blueberries, toasted pecans, feta cheese and red onions (drained on a sieve). Give the dressing another whisk (or shake) and add 2/3 of the dressing and toss to coat. Depending on how much dressing you like on your salad, add more, if needed.
- Serve and enjoy.
I usually only use baby spinach for this salad but you can also try baby arugula or arugula-spinach mix.
if you want your salad to look picture-perfect, don’t add all the berries, feta cheese and pecans right away. Save some aside, dress the salad to coat well and sprinkle them on top.
If you are not a fan of mustard in dressings, you can skip it.
Use crumbled goat cheese instead of feta, if you prefer.
The honey in the dressing should be the runny kind. You can also swap it for maple syrup, if you prefer.
Use pecan halves or chopped pecans. I like to use the halves, toast them, cool slightly and then chop.
- Category: salads
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: spinach strawberry salad, how to make spinach strawberry salad, spinach berry salad, spinach salad, strawberries, spinach strawberry salad with feta