Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
This Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing is the salad of the season! Made with a blend of baby spinach leaves, fresh strawberries, red onion, apple slices, almonds, bacon, feta cheese, avocado, all topped off with tender baked chicken and tossed in a poppyseed dressing, it’s the perfect fresh and colorful lunch or light dinner. This delicious strawberry spinach salad makes a tasty and healthy meal you’ll want to eat all season long!
Spinach Strawberry Salad
I love fresh fruit and tons of flavors in my salads and this strawberry salad is my new favorite! It’s always a crowd pleaser and is a great light lunch or dinner. Or leave the chicken out and it makes for the perfect spring and summer side to any meal!
Give this strawberry spinach salad a try and it’s sure to become a regular in your meal rotation all spring and summer long. The combination of fresh, vibrant, flavorful ingredients just can’t be beat!
Ingredients for Strawberry Spinach Salad:
- Spinach. I like to use baby spinach or mixed spring greens. These options are easy to find already prepped and ready to use. They are also light and have a mild flavor.
- Strawberries. The star of the show! Fresh, ripe, sweet, and juicy strawberries are readily available in the spring and summer.
- Apple. The addition of thinly sliced apple in this salad combines so well with all of the other flavors, but can also be left out of the salad.
- Avocado. Creamy avocado is a tasty mix-in to balance out the sweet flavors. I would suggest gently tossing the avocado in just before serving.
- Red onion. As with any of the ingredients in this salad, you can totally leave the red onion out. However, the bite of the onion is a nice balance to the sweetness in the salad.
- Feta cheese. Feel free to use any favorite cheese or for a vegan salad, leave it out. Other great options are crumbled gorgonzola, goat, or blue cheese.
- Bacon. Because everything’s better with bacon! But if you’re going for a meatless salad, simply leave it out.
- Almonds. Use any favorite nut. Toasted slivered almonds work great, but I also love to mix things up and use candied pecans. Yum!
- Chicken. Adding chicken is completely optional. When I make this salad, I usually add my baked chicken or leftover grilled chicken. Salmon would be be a great option too!
- Poppy Seed Dressing. You can use your favorite store-bought dressing, but I highly recommend giving this homemade poppy seed dressing a try. I always have a jar in my fridge ready to go.
How do you make strawberry salad?
This spinach strawberry salad recipe has a few different components, but overall it’s still an easy dish to throw together. Make the poppy seed dressing first, so the flavors have a chance to meld and it’s ready when the salad is completely assembled. Next, work on any additional ingredients that you need to cook, like the bacon and/or chicken. Then it’s time to put everything together and finish off the strawberry salad!
Assembling the Strawberry Spinach Salad:
- After washing and preparing all of the fresh ingredients, toss them in a large bowl. I recommend adding in the cheese and avocado just before serving.
- If you’re adding in bacon and/or chicken, let it cool some before tossing it in with the other ingredients.
- Just before serving, add desired amount of dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated. Alternatively, dressing can be served on the side.
- For presentation, reserve a bit of each ingredient to place on top of the salad before serving.
Spinach Strawberry Salad Variations
There are so many different ways to change up the ingredients in this salad for different flavors and/or to use ingredients that you have available.
- Fruit. Try raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or cherries instead of strawberries. And try sliced pear instead of apple.
- Greens. Use any baby greens, chopped romaine or spring mix instead of spinach.
- Nuts. This salad is great with any variety of nuts. We love pecans, walnuts or pistachios. Candied pecans or almonds are delicious too!
- Cheese. While I love this salad with feta, it also works well with gorgonzola cheese, goat cheese or blue cheese.
- Dressing. For a less sweet dressing, you can use a balsamic dressing or any other favorite dressing or vinaigrette.
A Few Quick Tips:
- Only add dressing and cheese to the salad if it will be consumed immediately. This strawberry salad doesn’t sit well with the dressing – the spinach leaves will eventually wilt in the dressing.
- When serving this salad for a party, event or holiday meal; I recommend making the chicken and dressing a day or so in advance. This makes the final assembly super easy!
- Keep ingredients chilled until just before assembly. The colder the fruit, dressing, and lettuce, the fresher the salad tastes!
- I like to buy a block of feta cheese and crumble it myself, I think it tastes much better than pre-crumbled feta cheese which often contains anti-caking agents and other preservatives.
- I buy toasted sliced almonds for this recipe. You can toast your own almonds by placing them on foil in the toaster oven for 2-3 minutes on the toast setting, or by toasting them in a dry pan on the stove. Watch carefully so that your nuts don’t burn.
Strawberry Salad Storage
I don’t recommend storing leftovers. With all of the fresh, juicy ingredients, this salad doesn’t sit or store well after it’s made. Once assembled, the salad needs to be eaten within about an hour; otherwise the greens will begin to wilt, the avocado will brown, and the almonds will soften.
To Prep In Advance:
If you want to make this salad ahead of time, prep the dressing, chicken, bacon and slice the berries and apple. Keep ingredients separate and in air tight containers. Place spinach in a bowl with onions and cheese and cover. When ready to serve, slice avocado and add all the ingredients together.
More Healthy Salad Recipes:
If you try this spinach strawberry salad recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing is the salad of the season! Made with a blend of baby spinach leaves, fresh strawberries, red onion, apple slices, almonds, bacon, feta cheese, avocado, all topped off with tender baked chicken and tossed in a homemade poppyseed dressing, it's the perfect fresh and colorful lunch or light dinner.
- 16 oz baby spinach or spring mix
- 1 pint strawberries washed, hulled and sliced
- 1/2 to 1 apple, very thinly sliced
- 1-2 avocados, ripe but still slightly firm, cut into chunks or sliced
- half a small red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 oz Gorgonzola, Feta, Goat, or Bleu Cheese crumbled
- 5-6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cups roasted almonds, sliced or chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup Homemade Poppyseed Dressing*
- Baked chicken (optional)
Place the greens in a large bowl. Toss with strawberries, apple, avocado, onion, cheese, bacon and almonds. If adding cooked chicken, slice or dice the chicken and toss in with the other ingredients.
When ready to serve, toss with about 1/2 cup of the poppyseed dressing, or serve on the side.
*If you have a favorite bottled poppyseed dressing, feel free to use that.
**As with pretty much any salad recipe, ingredients and the amounts of ingredients are a guide. Feel free to use as much or as little as you like and feel free to leave out any of the suggested ingredients.
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.