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Welcome in spring with this Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette for a refreshing salad that celebrates the sweetness of the season.
Friends, spring is just a few short weeks away!
With spring comes flowers, sunshine, baseball, and…STRAWBERRIES! In a couple of months, it will be time to don our sun hats, grab some baskets, head out to the fields, and pick some strawberries.
With big aspirations to pick enough strawberries allowing us to make strawberry jam to last me through the winter, we take the short drive to Sauvie Island’s berry farms. Every year my big aspirations are immediately adjusted as most of the strawberries end up in the mouth’s of my kids before ever hitting the bottom of the baskets. But the messy hands and sugar highs all part of the tradition.
But we always have enough for this salad.
This Spinach Strawberry Salad is inspired by a salad at my first restaurant job. That salad was fairly similar. It was, however, made with feta cheese and dressed in a sweet poppy seed dressing that I am still working on recreating.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
For this spinach salad, I swapped out the feta for an avocado to give the salad a neutral creaminess. I also added toasted pecans for some hearty protein and I used my classic Balsamic Vinaigrette to dress this salad which gives you the zesty zing that you would otherwise get from the feta.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Spinach – Both kale and arugula make nice substitutions.
- Onions – This can be omitted if you don’t like raw onions.
- Pecans – Feel free to swap these out for another nut such as hazelnuts, pine nuts, or walnuts. Or omit them altogether.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette – This is a combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. To save on time, feel free to use store bought vinaigrette.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Spinach Strawberry Salad
Step One – Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette
Making your own Balsamic Vinaigrette is fairly straight-forward as well. For best results, combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a small blender and blend until smooth.
Pro Tip: If you want to keep things even simpler, look for vegan Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressings at the store.
Step Two – Roast the Pecans
Roast the pecans at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, until lightly brown. It’s important to keep a close eye when roasting nuts. They will burn quickly.
Step Three – Chop and Assemble
Chop the avocado, onions, and strawberries. Toss them with the spinach and pecans and top it all with balsamic vinaigrette.
Serving and Storing
Serving – This salad makes a great side to my Pomegranate Balsamic Portobello Steaks or Lemon Pepper Cauliflower Steaks. Or serve it as part of your Summer BBQ dishes for a light and refreshing springtime salad.
Storing – This salad is best eaten within an hour of assembling as the avocados and strawberries will start to quickly brown. Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to be eaten the next day.
More Vegan Salad Recipes
- Fig Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Detox Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing
- Curry Apple Spinach Salad
- Strawberry Mint Quinoa Salad
Spinach Strawberry Salad
Spinach Strawberry Salad
- 2 large handfuls fresh spinach
- 4 large strawberries, sliced thin
- 1/2 small avocado, pitted and sliced
- 1/4 cup pecans,
- 1/4 cup red onions, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small blender, combine the ingredients for the Balsamic Vinaigrette and set aside.
- Roast the pecans at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, until lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Divide spinach between two plates and top with the remaining salad ingredients. Serve immediately with Balsamic Vinaigrette