Strawberry Spinach Salad

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A fresh and easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with crunchy pecans and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Makes a great lunch and is perfect for parties! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

A fresh and easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with crunchy pecans and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Makes a great lunch and is perfect for parties! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

A fresh and easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with crunchy pecans and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Makes a great lunch and is perfect for parties! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

I will never forget the day Dawn brought Strawberry Spinach Salad to our office potluck.

Being an avid cook myself, I have always appreciated when people actually MAKE food for a potluck rather than picking up a package of stale cookies from the grocery store (or worse: A loaf of store-bought sandwich bread. True story).

Strawberry Spinach Salad marked the first time in my life when I really understood the magic of having fruit and greens together in the same bowl. Up until that point, salads were segregated. It was either a vegetable salad or it was a fruit salad.

These days, I love a variety of flavors and textures: Crisp spinach, ripe strawberries, crunchy pecans, and sweet poppyseed dressing. It’s fresh and delicious, and it’s perfect for lunch: For you, or for a crowd.

A fresh and easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with crunchy pecans and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Makes a great lunch and is perfect for parties! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

Baby Greens

While this salad is traditionally made with spinach, I prefer a blend of baby spinach and mixed field greens. It adds more color, flavor, and nutritional variety. And, as far as I can tell, it’s generally around the same price for a bag of straight baby spinach or a 50/50 blend.

Pecans and More

Dawn made her salad with pecans, and that’s the way I’ve been making it ever since. But almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or a combination of those would also work really well!

If you’re starting with raw pecans (or walnuts or almonds), you can add more flavor by toasting them. Toss them in a heated dry skillet for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often. For a rich, non-vegan option, consider toasting the nuts in butter. YUM! If you bought roasted pecans at the store, you can obviously skip this step.

A fresh and easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with crunchy pecans and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Makes a great lunch and is perfect for parties! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

Dressed Up (or Down)

When it comes to salad dressing, I’m all about the Poppy Seed dressing. It’s sweet with an acidic bite and really ties all the flavors of this salad together.

However, if you want a sugar-free option (preferring the sweetness of the strawberries to actual sugar in your dressing), you can make my 3-ingredient Easiest Ever Balsamic Vinaigrette. Olive oil, balsamic, and dijon mustard. That’s all you need. And it’s AMAZING on this salad. Just check the recipe notes for the instructions.

A fresh and easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with crunchy pecans and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Makes a great lunch and is perfect for parties! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 5 min

Total Time: 20 min

A fresh and easy Strawberry Spinach Salad with crunchy pecans and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Makes a great lunch and is perfect for parties! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing or Easiest Balsamic Vinaigrette (see notes)
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought roasted pecans (see notes)
  • 12 ounces baby spinach and mixed field greens mix
  • 16 ounces strawberries, quartered or sliced

Directions:

  1. Prepare Homemade Poppy Seed dressing or the Easiest Balsamic vinaigrette.
  2. Combine spinach mix, strawberries, and pecans in a large bowl. Add salad dressing and toss until evenly coated.
Notes:
  1. To make the Easiest Balsamic Vinaigrette, combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette, and 4 teaspoons dijon mustard. Season with salt to taste, if desired.
  2. To toast the pecans in a dry skillet, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pecans and toast until fragrant, about 1o to 15 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching.
  3. To toast the pecans in butter, add 2 Tablespoons butter to a small skillet over medium-high heat until the foaming subsides. Reduce heat to medium-low, add pecans, and toast until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching.

Related Recipes:

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

Sparkling Fresh Fruit Salad

Make your fresh fruit salad sparkle with the addition of bubbly moscato or fruit juice! A simple way to make your summer salad a little more special.

12 comments

  1. Oh, this looks incredible, Meggan!! I really wish you would link both of these to my Foodie Friday, I know my readers would love them!!

    I just started Foodie Friday a couple weeks ago, but I’ve heard from several of my readers that they are loving it. Hopefully with the support of other bloggers I can keep it going.

    Have a great weekend!

    Melissa

  2. I must try this dressing! And I love strawberries, spinach and pecans, such a nice combination.

  3. This really caught my eye – I love pecans generally and the strawberries make it look so pretty. I’m wondering if a version of the dressing with a little maple syrup in it would be good, too!

    • Hi Helen! I am sure the dressing would be fantastic with maple syrup. One of my friends makes it with honey instead of the sugar and she just loves it. I do love this salad. Salted pecans, sweet strawberries, YUM! Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it! :)

  4. Pingback: 10 Scrumptious strawberry recipes - Culinary Ginger

  5. Perfect timing! I needed a fresh idea. Making this in a couple hours for lunch. Thanks.

  6. What a beautiful salad, Meggan! This one ought to make a salad lover out of anyone! 

  7. I love strawberry spinach salad!!  I haven’t tried it with mixed greens, so this has me intrigued! 

  8. This is a gorgeous salad! I totally know what you mean about fruit + greens! I love the combination now, but it definitely had me confused for years. And that poppy seed dressing sounds great. Thanks for sharing this Meggan!!

    • It’s so good with balsamic too if you don’t want all the sugar in the poppyseed dressing! :) I love your new blog, by the way. It looks so beautiful! I’m so glad we got to meet at NagiCon. :)

  9. I got spinach and strawberries out of my garden last night and had everything in the pantry for  the poppy seed dressing so I had this for lunch today.  It was delicious!  I didn’t have pecans so I used sunflower seeds instead.  Thank you!

    • Hi Jana! I actually make this salad all the time with sunflower seeds. Usually pecans AND sunflower seeds, but yeah. So good. Walnuts work too! And with everything out of your garden, it was probably the best salad ever. Have a great weekend!

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