Your new go-to summer recipe, this summer strawberry salad is bright, flavorful, and full of nutrients thanks to the use of fresh fruits and veggies! Customize it to fit your needs for a crowd-pleasing recipe you can whip up in no time. Serve it as an appetizer, side dish, or entree!
Sensational Summer Flavors
Is there anything better than loading up on fresh summer produce? Whether you’re shopping at your local farmer’s market or perusing the aisles of the grocery store, all of the fruits and veggies are so colorful and enticing that they’re just begging to be eaten! And with recipes like our massaged kale salad with blueberries, broccoli salad, three herb tomato zucchini salad, and more, we aren’t complaining! However, we have to admit, that while we love it all, we’re partial to sweet summer strawberries.
So, we decided to combine all of our favorites into one light and refreshing recipe perfect for all your needs! This strawberry salad is quick to make, loaded with flavor, and almost too pretty to eat. Serve it at picnics, barbecues, and more for a healthy appetizer or entree that will have your guests raving for days!
Nutrient-Rich Strawberry Salad Ingredients
Did you know that buying in-season produce boost the nutritional benefits? That’s because it’s picked at the peak of freshness and eaten right away! As a result, it’s cheaper, better for you, and tastier, too.
However, we took the nutritional value one step further and carefully combined ingredients to boost their benefits even more!
For the Salad
- Spinach is a great plant-based source of iron, it’s also rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folic acid.
- Strawberries are high in fiber to keep you full and pack vitamin C, folate, and more. Plus, they provide an element of sweetness no one can resist!
- Zucchini is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese.
- Avocado is full of healthy fats vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, manganese, and more, and adds a creamy texture that pairs perfectly with the crunchy veggies.
- Feta is a low fat, low calorie cheese that adds extra creaminess and tang to any salad but is also a good source of B vitamins, calcium, and phosphorous.
- Pecans have a rich buttery flavor that goes well in pretty much everything, but they’re also rich in nutrients like fiber, copper, thiamine, and zinc.
- (Optional) Red Onion isn’t necessary for this strawberry salad recipe but adds a nice zing as well as B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium.
Nutrition Note: Used for more than just their pretty appearance, strawberries are included in this recipe, because their vitamin C helps our bodies absorb the iron from the spinach!
For the Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Of course, you can use any salad dressing you find at the store such, but we don’t always love the ingredients they contain. So, we decided to make our own. Don’t worry though, it’s made with simple, staple ingredients and super quick to make! Plus, it tastes great on pretty much everything.
- Olive Oil (or Avocado Oil) forms the base of this spinach strawberry salad dressing and provides a great source of omega-9 fatty acids.
- Balsamic Vinegar adds the tanginess that vinaigrette is known for and can also help lower blood cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, improve digestion, and more.
- Raw Honey balances out the other tangy flavors with a sweet taste and provides loads of antioxidants.
- Dijon Mustard adds tons of depth with its sweet and spicy flavor. However, the mustard plant itself is a great source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
- Garlic is incredibly tasty and rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
- (Secret Sweet Ingredient- Optional) Cherry Juice adds an extra layer of sweetness that elevates the natural flavor of the strawberries in the salad and helps fight inflammation and boosts immunity!
How to Make the Best Summer Salad Recipe & Dressing
Quick, delicious, and so good for you, too, this spinach strawberry salad will be your new go-to summer salad recipe! We like to make a big batch of dressing and let it chill ahead of time.
Prepare the Dressing
- Whisk the ingredients.
- Chill in the fridge.
- Store for up to 5 days.
Pro-Tip: Always shake your dressing before serving!
Toast the Pecans
- Heat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Spread the pecans on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
Prep Step + Tip
Slice the veggies. If you are adding the sliced raw red onions raw, soak them in a bowl of cold water or ice water for 10 minutes. This mellows out the bite of the raw onions and helps remove the harsh aftertaste.
Toss the Salad
- Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing on top.
- Toss gently until everything is well combined.
Make It Nut-Free. Swap out the pecans for roasted sunflower seeds or pepitas.
Swap Out the Dairy. Omit the feta from the salad, or replace it with additional nuts or seeds, avocado, or a dairy-free cheese.
Add Protein. Chicken, turkey, fish, tempeh, and more all taste great!
Toss In Other Veggies. Bulk up your strawberry salad and add extra crunch with fresh veggies like cucumber, peppers, and more.
Use Different Greens. Replace the spinach or pair it with other greens like romaine, lettuce, and arugula.
Add Healthy Fats. For extra flavor, include fat sources like eggs, bacon, fresh mozzarella, or olives.
Sweeten the Taste. For extra fruity flavor, feel free to include more berries, cherries, peaches, and more.
Honor the Herbs. Including herbs like fresh basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley is a great way to elevate the flavor of any recipe.
We love to make this strawberry salad ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week! Store it without the dressing in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Become a Meal Prep Pro: For grab-n-go lunches, portion your salad into mason jars!
More Noteworthy Summer Salads
- Vegan and allergy-friendly, green goddess pasta salad is simple to make and perfect for picnics, barbecues, and more!
- A crunchy wedge salad and creamy potato salad all packed into one, dill pesto potato wedge salad is zippy, delicious, and always easy to make.
- This curried chicken salad with spicy mango chutney is light and refreshing for a healthy summer meal!