This spinach strawberry salad will rock your world! Combine fresh spinach, sweet berries, avocado, and candied nuts into the best salad ever.
Salads are especially delicious in the warmer months, but it’s also a fun way to add extra flavor to any meal.
This divine recipe starts with baby spinach, fresh berries, and thinly sliced red onion. Buttery avocado and tangy blue cheese crumbles add so much incredible flavor.
Finish it all off with a Dijon mustard dressing – I dare you not to go back for seconds!
The candied pecans are especially tasty. I usually make a double batch and save half for later. They’re great for snacking or sprinkling over homemade ice cream.
Spinach Strawberry Salad – Tips and Tricks
- Hull berries easily. Use this handy tool to save some time (and your fingers)!
You can also push a large straw through the bottom of each berry to remove the stem and leaves in one go.
- Add some protein! Grill and slice up some chicken breasts to turn this spinach strawberry salad into a full meal!
- Not a fan of blue cheese? Mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese are all fantastic substitutions.
- Reduce the sugar. Swap the candied nuts with plain pecans or walnuts.
You can also eliminate the sugar from the dressing.
- Try a different oil. I love the mild flavor of extra light tasting olive oil, but extra virgin tastes just as great. Avocado or sunflower oil are great options as well.
FAQ - Common Recipe Questions
How do you mellow out red onions?
The vinegar in the dressing will help draw out their natural sweetness. You could also soak the slices in ice water for 20 to 30 minutes first. Be sure to pat them dry before adding them to the bowl.
Can I make spinach salad with strawberries ahead of time?
While it’s best served fresh, you could certainly prep the ingredients in advance! Then, throw it all together before taking it to the table.
Candy the nuts, then cool and store at room temp in an airtight container. The berries and sliced onions can be refrigerated in separate containers, along with the jar of dressing.
I do recommend slicing the avocado at the last minute so it doesn’t brown. If the dressing has solidified, just give it a good shake!
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Other Easy Salad Recipes
Spinach Strawberry Salad
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, See Notes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach, rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 avocado, pitted, flesh cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2.5 ounces blue cheese crumbles, (half of a 5-ounce package), See Notes
- Place a silpat mat or a sheet of parchment paper on the counter top to dry the pecans.
- In a small skillet over medium heat melt butter. Add pecans, sugar and salt. Stir until pecans are well coated. Stir with heat-safe silicone spatula until the sugar caramelizes, about 3-5 minutes.
- Spread onto silpat or parchment paper. Separate pecans. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, as pecans cool, add dressing ingredients to a large mason jar. Seal with lid and shake until well combined. Set dressing aside.
- In a large serving bowl, combine baby spinach, onions, strawberries and blueberries. Pour half of the dressing over salad, and toss to combine. Top with avocado, cheese and candied nuts.Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving for best flavor, or serve immediately.
- Serve with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!
- Mozzarella, feta or goat cheese are also amazing on this salad.
- You can eliminate some calories and sugar by subbing plain pecans for the candied ones, and by omitting the sugar from the dressing.
- The dressing may solidify in the refrigerator. It is best to allow dressing to sit on the counter for a bit, then shake well before using.
- Add sliced grilled chicken or another cooked protein of your choice for a fabulous summer meal.
Prep the salad ingredients and dressing. Refrigerate in covered containers for up to 2 days. Add dressing to the salad about 15 minutes before serving. This will help keep the spinach from wilting.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published May 2016, updated and republished February 2022
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