Strawberry Spinach Salad is a healthy, vibrant, and easy-to-make recipe that comes together in 15 minutes! Featuring Feta cheese, Pecans, and a simple Balsamic dressing, this salad is a perfect side dish for any weeknight dinner. It is also a crowd-pleaser for many holiday occasions, picnics, potlucks, and other friends and family gatherings!
The best and the easiest spinach strawberry salad
- Simple ingredients and easy recipe instructions. The recipe features only 7 basic ingredients (including spinach, strawberries, feta, and pecans) and takes just 15 minutes to make! It's simple enough to serve with your weeknight dinner or to make it for lunch and snack. My other easy-to-make salad favorites are Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pecans and Cranberry Spinach Salad with Cashews, Goat Cheese, Lemon-Honey Poppy Seed Dressing.
- Perfect everyday salad. Drizzled with a simple Balsamic glaze, this basic salad will add fresh greens, berries, and nuts to any dinner. It pairs well with any type of meat, baked chicken, pasta, and pizza dinners.
- Summer salad. This recipe uses seasonal ingredients, such as strawberries and blueberries, that we often associate with beautiful and sunny weather. It's simple enough to make and you can serve this with grilled meats, BBQ ribs, chicken, and other Summer dishes.
- Holiday side dish. Spinach Strawberry Salad is vibrant and colorful, making it a perfect salad to serve for a special holiday occasion, especially during warmer months, such as Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July, or Labor Day. It is also festive enough to make for parties, birthday celebrations, or anniversary dinners.
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.
- Strawberries are incredibly rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, such as Vitamin C, Manganese, Folate, and Potassium. They are a good source of fiber. Not only are they delicious and rich in nutrients, but these berries are also beautiful and add color and brightness to any salad!
- Blueberries are highly nutritious, low in calories, and very tasty! They will provide color, a festive look, and a perfectly balanced sweetness to the salad.
- Pecans. Toasted pecans add a nutty flavor and crunch to the strawberry spinach salad. They are also packed with healthy fats, and protein, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Feta cheese is a Greek brined white cheese made from sheep's milk (or from a mixture of goat and sheep's milk). It has a crumbly, creamy, and sometimes grainy texture - which works perfectly with spinach and strawberries in a salad!
Balsamic glaze salad dressing
- The salad dressing is made with only 2 simple ingredients: Balsamic vinegar and honey (or brown sugar).
- Make the balsamic glaze by cooking down the balsamic vinegar together with a small amount of honey or brown sugar in a saucepan until the mixture reduces by about half.
- In this recipe, combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar + ¼ cup of honey or brown sugar and cook it down.
- Consistency should be syrupy and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon but should not be overly thick.
Other salad dressing options
What I love about the salad dressing for spinach strawberry salad, is that it can be super flexible. You can skip making the balsamic glaze as there are many other options you can use. Here are just a few:
- Use high-quality aged balsamic vinegar made in Italy. High-quality aged balsamic vinegar is not as acidic as 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.
- Use store-bought balsamic glaze. You can buy the pre-made balsamic glaze in many grocery stores, either in the olive oils section or in specialized sections of foreign foods.
- Use your favorite balsamic vinaigrette-based salad dressing. There are many options sold in the stores.
- Combine balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 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 salad.
How to make spinach strawberry salad
The beauty of this salad is its simplicity. Only 6 ingredients and 15 minutes of your time - and the salad is ready in no time! Here are the basic steps (scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe):
- Combine spinach, sliced strawberries, blueberries, and crumbled feta cheese in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- Divide the salad among the individual serving bowls.
- Top each serving bowl with whole and chopped pecans.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze. You can make your own glaze from scratch using balsamic vinegar and honey. Or, use other options that I listed.
Variations and substitutions
- Greens. To spice things up, use arugula instead of spinach, or use half arugula, half spinach. You can also use kale, lettuce, or romaine lettuce.
- Berries. This salad works well with all kinds of fresh berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Choose your favorite berry!
- Nuts. Pecans add a nice crunch and subtle nutty flavor to the salad. 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. Many types of cheese will work in this salad. My favorites include feta, parmesan, goat cheese, blue cheese, and 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 strawberry spinach salad 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 strawberry salad 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.
Other Salads with Spinach and Strawberries
Below are some other simple salads that you can serve with your weeknight dinner or make for a special occasion. All of them are super easy to make yet look sophisticated enough to share with your friends and family at parties, picnics, and potlucks.
- 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
15-Minute Strawberry Spinach Salad
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.