Need a new salad recipe that's perfect for summer? This strawberry spinach salad is full of berries, candied pecans, salty goat cheese, and more! Add on a homemade light and flavorful dressing to make it even better.
This strawberry spinach goat cheese salad is one of my favorite salads of all time. It looks and tastes so fancy, but it's actually so easy to make.
When you pair it with my chardonnay vinaigrette dressing, you'll have a salad that's beautiful, delicious, and healthy. You can't beat that combo!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- The focus is on fresh, wholesome yet use simple ingredients.
- It's an easy recipe that's ready in minutes and perfect to serve for groups of all sizes.
- A great way to feature summer fresh berries for a healthy salad that's also delicious.
Both the salad and the dressing use simple ingredients that you can easily find at your grocery store. Check out the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.
- Baby Spinach: For this salad, the tender leaves of baby spinach work better than regular spinach.
- Strawberries: Choose fresh berries that look fresh and juicy with a vibrant red color.
- Dried Cranberries: The tartness in the cranberries makes a nice contrast to the sweetness of the berries.
- Candied pecans: You can opt for store bought or make your own candied pecans.
- Red Onion: The best onion to use for salads with great flavor and crunch.
- Goat Cheese: This salty cheese and it's unique flavor really works great with the sweetness of this salad.
- Chardonnay Vinaigrette: You can make it homemade or buy it in the store. I am rather partial to the homemade version.
- Goat Cheese: If you're not a fan of goat cheese, blue cheese, feta cheese, or bocconcini (mozzarella balls) work great.
- Purple Onion: You can also use white onion. However, I recommend soaking the slices in cool water for about 20 minutes to bring out the sweeter flavors of the onion.
- Candied Pecans: Make our homemade candied pecans recipe, with or without the cayenne pepper, or our air fryer candied walnuts. Either of these recipes also work with just about any nut. You can also skip the candied nuts and use toasted pecans, almonds, walnuts, or other favorite nut.
- Dried Cranberries: Dried currants, raisins, blueberries, cherries, or chopped figs or apricots will also work well.
- Baby Spinach: Other tender greens work great such as baby arugula, kale, and Swiss chard. If "baby" versions are unavailable, use regular fresh spinach, kale, arugula, or Swiss chard. Be sure to trim out the hard spine and chop it very well.
- Strawberries: If you don't have strawberries other fresh fruits such as peaches, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, or nectarines taste great. You can even use a combination!
- Add more fruits: Mandarin oranges, sliced apple, or pear taste beautifully in this salad.
- Want more crunch? Add some croutons.
- Add cooked and crumbled bacon: Bacon makes everything taste better, so why not add it to this salad?
- Hard boiled eggs: A tasty addition and some added protein.
- Make it into a main salad: Add a healthy protein such as grilled chicken or some chickpeas.
How to Make Spinach and Strawberry Salad
This is an extremely easy recipe to make. It comes together in just a few minutes, and even the vinaigrette isn't fussy. The highlights are below, and the full recipe is in the card at the end of the post.
- Layer the salad ingredients in a bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad.
- Toss the salad together to coat the leaves and serve up the salad in bowls. You can save some of the toppings to add to the top.
If you think this salad looks delicious, you're going to love this mixed green salad with fruit and nuts.
Refrigerator: Store the spinach and other perishable salad ingredients in individual containers for up to 4 days. Store the vinaigrette in its own container for up to 5 days.
Make Ahead: You can prep the ingredients ahead of time, but don't construct the salad until ready to serve.
What to Serve with Strawberry Salad
- This strawberry spinach salad recipe goes great with chicken. You can serve it on top as a meal or as a side dish for the meal. This grilled chicken, a rotisserie chicken, and poached and shredded chicken breast all work great to shred or slice on top. For a side dish it would go great with any of our chicken recipes.
- Turn it into bowl by serving it over whole grains like quinoa, pasta, or farro.
- Bread of all kinds. Try our corn muffins, fluffy bread rolls, or any of our favorite bread recipes and they'll all be a hit.
- Short on time? While we think the chardonnay vinaigrette is the best, you can buy a salad dressing instead of making it homemade.
- Soak your onions for a milder flavor. If the bite of red onion is too much, soak them cool water first to remove the harsh or severe aftertaste.
- Prepare the salad as close to serving as possible for the freshest results.
- Store leftover dressing inside an airtight container in your fridge and shake well before serving.
Yes, it usually is one of the healthier options. Using olive oil adds more healthy fats and far fewer calories than creamy dressing like 1000 Island.
It's widely available these days. You can't even find it at Walmart!
More Salad Recipes
Easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese
- ¾ pound baby spinach
- 1 pound strawberries, sliced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup candied pecans
- ½ red onion, sliced or diced
- ¾ cup goat cheese or bleu cheese
- 1 recipe chardonnay vinaigrette
- Place spinach in serving bowl or individual bowls and add the goat, feta or bleu cheese.
- Next add candied pecans, sliced strawberries, dried cranberries and red onions.
- Adjust amounts to accommodate taste. I always add more "stuff" in my salad than my husband. You can include as much or as little as you like! It is so hard for me to only add a few candied pecans!
- Add the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
This post was originally published in February 2016. It has been updated with new images and content.