Berry Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Raspberries, and Balsamic Dressing is a healthy and simple recipe made in under 30 minutes! This vibrant Summer salad pairs well with any weeknight dinner. It makes a beautiful presentation - perfect for many holiday occasions and family gatherings!
Simple berry spinach salad
- Basic ingredients. This recipe features only 8 basic ingredients such as spinach, blueberries, raspberries, mandarin oranges, pecans, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar, and honey (or brown sugar). Nothing complicated. If you love simplicity, you will also love this strawberry spinach salad with feta and pecans or a delicious arugula salad with apples, pears, and cranberries.
- 30-minute recipe. What can be better than creating a beautiful salad with healthy ingredients in just under 30 minutes? It's simple enough to serve as an everyday salad with your weeknight dinner, to make it ahead for lunch and snack, or to prepare for a special occasion.
Why make it?
- Healthy salad. Healthy whole food ingredients, such as fresh blueberries and raspberries are tossed with spinach, feta cheese, and pecans, then drizzled with the homemade balsamic glaze.
- Beautiful presentation. This berry spinach salad is bursting with colors and flavors! It doesn't take any effort to make it look presentable on a plate.
- Side dish. The salad pairs well with grilled meats, baked chicken, pasta, and pizza dinners. It will make a beautiful addition to any family dinner and can be served with all types of meals, such as grilled meats, BBQ ribs, chicken, and other Summer dishes. Pair the berry spinach salad with other spring and summer recipes, such as pesto shrimp pasta or pesto chicken and veggies.
This salad features healthy, whole food ingredients that are as nutritious as they are delicious:
- Spinach is a leafy green vegetable high in fiber and is a great source of many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium.
- Blueberries are low in calories and very tasty! Blueberries are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Manganese.
- Raspberries are packed with nutrition, such as Vitamin C, Manganese, B Vitamin, Potassium, and fiber.
- Pecans. Toasted pecans will add crunch and texture to this healthy berry spinach salad. They are rich in healthy fats, and protein, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Feta cheese has a crumbly and creamy texture that works well in any salad!
How to make a berry spinach salad
- Combine spinach, blueberries, raspberries, and crumbled feta cheese in a large bowl.
- Divide the salad among the individual serving bowls.
- Top each serving bowl with mandarin oranges and whole and chopped pecans.
- Drizzle with the balsamic salad dressing.
Balsamic salad dressing
The salad dressing here is a simple balsamic glaze made with only 2 ingredients: Balsamic vinegar and honey (or brown sugar). Here is how to make it:
- Combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar + ¼ cup of honey or brown sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Continue to cook down the balsamic vinegar together with a small amount of honey or brown sugar, occasionally stirring, in a saucepan until the mixture reduces by about half. That should take about 10 minutes.
- The final consistency should be syrupy and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Other balsamic vinegar-based salad dressing options
- Store-bought balsamic glaze. You can buy the pre-made balsamic glaze in many grocery stores. The balsamic glaze can usually be found in the olive oils section or in specialized sections of foreign foods. It has a thick and syrupy consistency and can be used to drizzle over the salads.
- Store-bought balsamic vinaigrette. There are many options sold in the stores.
- Make your own basic balsamic vinaigrette. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Be sure to use high-quality extra virgin olive oil and high-quality balsamic vinegar. Just whisk those ingredients together until emulsified and drizzle over the berry spinach salad.
- Use a high-quality aged balsamic vinegar made in Italy. High-quality aged balsamic vinegar is not as acidic as a regular one and has a thick and syrupy consistency, making it perfect for a salad dressing. It is often sold in specialized stores or sections of foreign foods at some grocery stores. High-quality Italian-made aged balsamic vinegar is usually expensive but it does not need cooking down. Just use it out of the bottle, as is. And, you don't need to use it in large amounts. I use the balsamic vinegar labeled as Aceto Balsamico I.G.P. or labeled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale D.O.P.
Variations and substitutions
- Greens. You can use any other greens instead of spinach, such as arugula, kale, lettuce, or romaine lettuce.
- Berries. Choose, mix and match your favorite fresh berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries!
- Nuts or seeds. Lightly toasted nuts taste so much better than raw. Toast the pecans for 10 minutes at 350 F in the preheated oven, watching carefully to make sure the nuts don't burn. You can also use cashews or walnuts. You can add toasted sunflower seeds if you don't want to use nuts.
- Cheese. The two best kinds of cheese to use in the berry spinach salad are feta and goat cheese. You can also add blue cheese or Cotija cheese.
- Add protein. Add cooked chicken or cooked shrimp to the salad to make it a complete meal! You can add rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or grilled or sauteed shrimp.
How to make it ahead
The berry spinach salad with blueberries and raspberries can be made ahead and served later. Here is how to do it:
- Make ahead the balsamic glaze, cool it off, and pour it into a clean glass jar. Refrigerate for up to a week. Or, use other balsamic salad dressing options I listed above.
- Make-ahead tip - combine all the salad ingredients (except the pecans and the balsamic glaze) in a large bowl (or a large airtight container) and keep it covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- When ready to serve, add nuts (to make sure they are crunchy) to individual servings. Drizzle with balsamic glaze immediately before serving.
How to store it
- Store leftover spinach salad with blueberries and raspberries in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but no longer. Storing the salad will wilt the leaves, however, the salad will still be quite tasty.
- Tip: If you plan on refrigerating the salad for a day or two, don't add nuts and balsamic glaze. Add them right before serving. This will preserve the crunch of pecans and will prevent the spinach leaves from wilting.
Other spinach salads with berries
- 30-Minute Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Mango, Avocado, Blueberries, and Cashew Nuts
- Bacon and Strawberry Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds
- Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Strawberries, Cashews, and Honey-Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette
30-Minute Berry Spinach Salad with Blueberries and Raspberries
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup honey or brown sugar
Spinach Strawberry Salad
- 10 oz baby spinach fresh
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- ½ cup mandarin oranges
- ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1 cup pecans toasted, some of them chopped
Salad Dressing - Balsamic Glaze
- In a small saucepan, heat balsamic vinegar and honey over medium heat.
- Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and reduces by about half (about 10 or so minutes).
- Remove from heat and pour the balsamic glaze into a heat-proof bowl to cool off. The glaze will get thicker as it cools off.
- Consistency should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon but should not be overly thick.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients, except the pecans. Toss to combine.
- Divide the salad into individual serving bowls.
- Top each serving bowl with whole and chopped toasted pecans.
- Drizzle the top of the salad in each bowl with balsamic glaze.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.