This Strawberry Spinach Salad is the perfect fresh and tasty light lunch or side dish. It’s made with fresh baby spinach topped with fresh strawberries, red onion, feta, candied pecans, and a maple balsamic vinaigrette.
Easy Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
If you’re looking for a simple side dish that basically epitomizes summer, then you’re in the right place.
This strawberry spinach salad is so tasty, packed with the freshest summer ingredients, and comes together in just 15 minutes. It has the perfect flavor and texture balance and can easily be customized to your liking.
Enjoy this summer salad as a light lunch, snack, or versatile side dish!
How to Make Fresh Strawberry Salad
This strawberry spinach salad recipe comes together in a total of 15 minutes! So simple, quick, fresh, and tasty!
See the recipe card below for the ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Add a pile of spinach to a large serving bowl, then top that with sliced strawberries and onions.
- Sprinkle the feta cheese over the top followed by candied pecans and a drizzle of dressing.
- Toss to combine, then serve immediately with additional dressing if desired.
Tips and Notes
- Slice the red onion thinly. Red onion has a very strong flavor. If the slices are too thick, that flavor will overtake the others in the salad. Thinner slices will yield a more well-balanced flavor.
- Serve immediately. Once the salad is assembled and dressed, it is best served right away or the texture of the fresh ingredients will start to be compromised.
- The 15 minute prep time does not include the time it makes to make the candied pecans or the salad dressing. That time estimate assumes both are already prepared. Don’t worry. Both are super simple!
- Prep in advance! I recommend prepping the dressing and the pecans ahead of time, then storing them so you have them on hand whenever you’re ready to prep the salad.
- Use another dressing. Try swapping the maple balsamic vinaigrette out for regular balsamic vinaigrette, poppy seed dressing, or apple cider vinegar dressing.
- Try another cheese. The feta is a classic, but this salad would also be super tasty with goat cheese, blue cheese, parmesan, or gorgonzola.
- Add a grain. Try it topped with cooked and cooled quinoa or farro for a more filling and even more nutritious salad.
- Add a protein. Feel free to make your salad into more of a meal by topping it with cooked and chopped chicken. Another great flavor addition is cooked and crumbled bacon.
- Add other toppings. Feel free to bulk your salad up with other toppings such as sliced mushrooms, avocado, croutons, blueberries, chopped pear, mandarin orange, or even diced apples.
- Skip the nuts. Maybe you have a nut allergy. Or maybe you just don’t have them on hand. Try this salad with sunflower seeds instead!
Make-Ahead and Storage
Once the salad is fully assembled, it is best served right away or the texture will start to be affected. However, there are a couple of ways you can get ahead with prep!
- Pecans: Make the candied pecans in advance and store them at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, in the fridge for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
- Dressing: Whip the dressing up and store it at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Assemble: Toss all the ingredients aside from the dressing and strawberries all together and store them in the fridge for a day or two. When you’re ready to serve, simply add the dressing and dig in. We recommend slicing the strawberries just prior to serving.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 10 ounce(s) package fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 6 ounce(s) feta cheese crumbles
- 2 cups candied pecans, may substitute with toasted pecan halves
- ½ cup maple balsamic vinaigrette, homemade or store bought; or use regular balsamic dressing
- Place the spinach in the bottom of a large serving bowl then layer in the sliced strawberries.10 ounce(s) package fresh baby spinach1 lb. fresh strawberries
- Add the onions and sprinkle on the feta cheese.½ cup thinly sliced red onion6 ounce(s) feta cheese crumbles
- Top with candied pecans and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Save some of the dressing to serve with the salad.2 cups candied pecans½ cup maple balsamic vinaigrette
- Toss the ingredients to combine, and serve immediately.
- Scroll up and see the post for tips, FAQs, and storage information.