One look at a spinach salad with strawberries and you won’t need much convincing to dive in. After all, hearty fresh spinach and succulent sweet strawberries seem like a match made in culinary heaven.
Plus, when done right, a strawberry spinach salad can be a nutritional powerhouse. Read on for a tasty, healthy strawberry spinach salad recipe that you can pull together in minutes with the right prep, sans added sugars or unnecessary ingredients.
What Goes Into A Strawberry Spinach Salad?
As the name suggests, the flavors and textures of spinach and strawberries are what make this salad sing. But other common salad ingredients are often included in variations of this refreshing summer salad — think crisp sliced onions, creamy avocados, and crunchy roasted nuts. As with most fresh salads, you can use this strawberry salad recipe as a guide — let your personal preferences lead the way when tossing together your own (if you’re stumped for ideas, read until the end for salad substitution tips).
If you’re curious about what the popular inclusions bring to the table nutritionally, read on.
Fresh Baby Spinach
Spinach is ultra-nutritious, as it contains fiber and a cocktail of beneficial, healthy essential vitamins and minerals. This popular leafy green contains loads of vitamin C to help support your immune system, calcium for stronger bones, and iron for good blood flow throughout your body. Spinach is also rich in vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin K1.1
Strawberries are a vitamin C powerhouse. This essential vitamin does much more than help bolster your immune system. It may also help support good vision and help you maintain youthful-looking skin. Strawberries also contain beneficial antioxidants that help support heart health.2
Another nutritionally-dense food, avocados are known for being rich in good fats that may help support cardiovascular health. They also contain plenty of vitamin E and fiber.3
Make The Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad
Here’s a delicious take on strawberry spinach salad served with a homemade poppyseed dressing. This version rounds out this summer salad with avocado and coconut bacon, but feel free to omit or substitute your own go-to ingredients for added textures and flavors.
Strawberry Spinach Salad Ingredients
- 6 ounces fresh spinach
- 1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 or 2 ripe avocado, sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds (or substitute with toasted pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds)
- ⅓ cup coconut bacon
- To dress the salad: creamy poppy seed dressing
Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Portion the spinach into individual serving bowls (this recipe serves three).
- Layer the strawberries, avocado slices, onions, almonds, and coconut bacon over the greens.
- Drizzle with poppy seed dressing, season with a little salt and pepper, and serve immediately.4
Creamy Poppyseed Dressing Recipe
Poppyseed is a popular strawberry spinach salad dressing that pairs well with any salad regardless of season. This vegan version is a good recipe to have in your back pocket. This recipe combines a creamy yogurt base with the tanginess of vinegar, sure to bring out the bright flavors of strawberries and complement the salty crunch of the toasted nuts.
In a mason jar, combine:
- ½ cup unsweetened yogurt or mayonnaise
- 2-3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. pure sugar-free maple syrup
- 2 -3 tsp. poppy seeds
- Generous pinch of salt
Whisk the yogurt or mayo, choice of vinegar, sugar-free maple syrup, and seeds together until well-combined. Add a pinch of salt, and whisk a little more. Secure with a tight-fitting lid, and store in the refrigerator until ready for use.5
Choosing Your Salad Ingredients
When it comes to ingredients, you can opt for organic spinach or fresh baby spinach leaves, which often come trimmed and pre-washed in bags for convenience. If you’re buying fresh spinach, make sure to wash and thoroughly dry the leaves so they don’t retain moisture and go limp (no one likes a soggy salad). As for strawberries, the more ripe the better for flavor.6
Make Your Salad Bowl Even Better: Strawberry Spinach Salad Variations And Substitutions
There are many ways to keep a spinach salad interesting. Here are some you can try:
- Consider adding cheese for a creamy twist. You might also enjoy feta or goat cheese crumbled over your strawberry spinach salad.7
- Experiment with different dressings. If you’re not into creamy ones, try an olive oil base with balsamic vinegar.8
- If you’re allergic to tree nuts, salty sunflower seeds add a similar crunch.9
- Switch things up with different salad greens. You can try butter lettuce or even arugula for an appealing flavor.
Can You Make This Salad Ahead?
If you’re making this salad ahead, be sure to store untossed salad and the dressing in the refrigerator separately. Both should keep for about four days. Simply shake or stir the dressing before serving.10
Whether you’re making it a main meal or a healthy lunch to take with you to work, strawberry spinach salad is a fantastic, well-rounded dish you’ll love to enjoy time and time again. Keep this recipe in rotation, and you’ll never be short of a deliciously healthy dish.
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