Strawberry spinach salad is a perfect light, refreshing meal! It's packed with spinach, juicy strawberries, crumbled feta, and chopped hazelnuts; all topped with a simple balsamic poppyseed dressing.
Why You'll Love This Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe
Beautiful- Green baby spinach, vivid red strawberries, white feta cheese, and brown hazelnuts tossed with a homemade poppyseed dressing make a bright, colorful, and tasty salad.
Customizable- Don't like feta cheese? Swap it out for goat cheese, or leave it out altogether. Prefer almonds over hazelnuts? Go ahead and use those instead! This strawberry spinach salad is easily customized to fit your preferences.
Light- This beautiful combination of flavors works equally well as a lunch, a bring-to-a-potluck dish, and even dinner. It's light enough to eat without being heavy on your stomach.
What Is A Strawberry Spinach Salad?
Spinach salad is a vibrant and delicious dish with fresh spinach, sweet juicy strawberries, crumbled feta cheese, hazelnuts, and a homemade balsamic poppyseed salad dressing. This salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner as it is not too heavy but filled with flavor. The sweetness from the strawberries perfectly balances out the savory flavors of the feta cheese and the balsamic dressing. Not only is it healthy, but also beautiful to look at!
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Small Bowl
- Large Bowl
- Salad Mixing Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Olive oil helps balance the vinegar for an even dressing consistency.
- Balsamic Vinegar- Gives the poppyseed dressing a sweet and tangy flavor.
- Poppy Seeds- Adds a crunchy texture.
- Mustard- Provides another level of tanginess.
- Honey- Adds a bit of sweetness and rounds out the salad dressing.
- Salt and Black Pepper- Enhances the flavors of the balsamic dressing.
- Purple Onion- Also known as red onion, adds a sharp and slightly sweet flavor.
- Strawberries- Brings sweetness to the salad and adds a pop of color.
- Baby Spinach-The base of the salad with a light, fresh taste.
- Feta Cheese- Provides a creamy texture.
- Hazelnuts- Adds crunch and nutty flavor.
How To Make Strawberry Spinach Salad
Start by making the dressing. Combine all of the olive oil, vinegar, and the remaining salad dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisk until well combined, then set the balsamic dressing aside to let it marinate while you prepare the spinach salad.
Chop purple onions and add them to a bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for about 30 minutes. The onion's flavor is preserved when soaked, but its harsh aftertaste is removed, making for a much more pleasant onion flavor.
Mix the spinach, drained onions, sliced strawberries, cheese, and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Once the salad is put together, pour the poppyseed dressing and toss well. Serve and enjoy
Note: As with most salad recipes, you will want to dress the salad as shortly before serving as you can. If you don't eat it all right away, dress only the salad you plan to eat immediately.
POPULAR SUBSTITUTIONS & ADDITIONS
- Cheese- If you're not a fan of feta cheese, feel free to swap it out for goat cheese or blue cheese.
- Nuts- Chopped pecans, candied pecans, or sliced almonds would be a great substitution. Sunflower seeds are an excellent option if you have a nut allergy.
- Balsamic Vinegar- Instead, you can use red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
- Honey- If you are out of honey or vegan, don't give up on preparing this delicious salad! Maple syrup is a great substitute.
- Fruit- Swap out the fresh spinach salad ingredients and use mandarin oranges, fresh blueberries, or apples instead of strawberries.
Can I Freeze This Spinach Strawberry Salad?
No, it would be best if you did not freeze strawberry spinach salad. Salad never keeps well when frozen. Spinach becomes mushy after thawing, and the salad's flavor is lost.
Strawberry Spinach Salad FAQS
What is the best way to store strawberry spinach salad?
The best way to store spinach salad with strawberries is undressed in an airtight container in the fridge. Airtight containers keep the salad fresh and prevent the strawberries from getting mushy. Refrigerate dressing in a jar or separate airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Spinach salad with strawberries will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator undressed. Once you have added the salad dressing, it's best to eat immediately.
Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones?
No, it's best to use fresh strawberries for this salad. Frozen strawberries can become mushy when thawed and don't taste as sweet as their fresh counterparts.
What is balsamic vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar is a type of Italian cooking ingredient made from grape must. It has a slightly sweet, sharp flavor and can be used in many dishes, including salad dressings, sauces, marinades, glazes, and desserts.
Is this strawberry spinach salad vegan-friendly?
As written, this strawberry spinach salad recipe is not vegan. However, you can easily make this a vegan-friendly dish by substituting the feta cheese for a vegan-friendly alternative like tofu or nutritional yeast. You could also switch out the honey in the dressing for agave syrup or maple syrup.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra-virgin
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 purple onion
- 1 ½ cup strawberries halved
- 6 oz baby spinach
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ½ cup hazelnuts blanched and chopped
To make the dressing:
- Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, poppy seeds, mustard, honey, salt, and black pepper in a bowl.
To make the salad:
- (Optional) Place the sliced purple onion in a small bowl and cover with water. Let it stand for 30 minutes. The water will remove the harsh onion flavor.
- Cut strawberries in half
- Blanch and chop hazelnuts.
- Place spinach in a bowl. Add drained purple onion, strawberries, Feta cheese, and chopped hazelnuts.
- Pour over the dressing and toss the salad. Serve fresh.