Healthy is anything but dull when there’s a giant Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing waiting for lunch. It’s colorful, naturally sweet, and as wonderful as it gets.

Strawberry spinach salad in a black bowl.

How to make Strawberry Spinach Salad:

First you have to make the dressing. Decisions, decisions!

Poppyseed dressing is slightly sweet, red wine vinegar based, and wonderful. A little bit of mustard powder adds just enough contrast to the sugar in the dressing. But Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette is sugar-free and a fabulous option, too. No matter which one you pick, it’s going to be a great salad.

To assemble the salad, combine the spinach and greens with sliced strawberries and toasted pecans. Drizzle the dressing over everything and gently toss until evenly distributed.

Healthy is anything but dull when there’s a giant Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing waiting for lunch. It’s colorful, naturally sweet, and as wonderful as it gets.

How to make easy homemade Poppyseed Dressing:

It’s a flick of the whisk or a shake of the jar away.

Mix together the vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, dried mustard, poppyseeds, sugar, and salt. Keep the dressing out at room temperature to let the flavors mingle while preparing the salad. (You can make it up to 4 days in advance.)

Healthy is anything but dull when there’s a giant Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing waiting for lunch. It’s colorful, naturally sweet, and as wonderful as it gets.

How to make Easiest Balsamic Vinaigrette:

Strawberries and balsamic are so good together, you’ll love this poppyseed dressing alternative. (But you can definitely add poppyseeds to the dressing for the best of both worlds.) You can make it up to 4 days in advance.

Whisk together:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • salt, to taste

Natural ways to sweeten poppyseed dressing:

Even if you’re watching your sugar intake, you can still enjoy poppyseed dressing by experimenting with a natural sweetener, such as:

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Pineapple juice
  • Monk fruit

Healthy is anything but dull when there’s a giant Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing waiting for lunch. It’s colorful, naturally sweet, and as wonderful as it gets.

Can you make Strawberry Spinach Salad ahead of time?

The beauty of this salad is that you can gather all your ingredients together, throw them in a bowl, carry it to your location—office, party, luncheon—and dress it on the spot. Poppyseed dressing benefits from being at room temperature for a few minutes, anyways.

The dressing can be made a few days in advance, so if you’re busy doing other things, you have the salad 99% made if the dressing is done.

Strawberry spinach salad in a black bowl.

Amazing additions or substitutions to Strawberry Spinach Salad:

Great salads like this one are endlessly adaptable. Try one or two and write about it in the comments.

  • Grilled chicken slices or leftover rotisserie chicken
  • Crumbled feta cheese or creamy goat cheese
  • Candied almonds, walnuts, or pecans
  • Toasted walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds
  • Bite-sized pineapple chunks
  • Canned mandarin orange segments
  • Fresh raspberries or blueberries
  • Raspberry vinaigrette
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Thin slices of red onion or pickled shallots
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Your favorite bottled red wine vinaigrette (the secret is safe with us)
  • Dried cranberries or cherries
Strawberry spinach salad in a black bowl.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Healthy is anything but dull when there’s a giant Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing waiting for lunch. It’s colorful, naturally sweet, and as wonderful as it gets.
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 299

Ingredients 

For the poppy seed dressing:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Salt to taste

For the salad:

  • 3 tablespoons butter (optional but recommended, see notes)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 16 ounces baby spinach (see notes)
  • 16 ounces strawberries quartered or sliced

Instructions 

To make the poppy seed dressing:

  • In a small bowl with a whisk, or in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, dried mustard, poppy seeds, and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon). Stir or shake to combine. Allow the flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the salad.

To assemble the salad:

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, add pecans and sauté until toasted and fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove promptly to avoid scorching and drain on paper towels. Cool 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add spinach, strawberries, and pecans. Add salad dressing and toss until evenly coated.

Recipe Video

Notes

You can do half baby spinach and half field greens mix if you prefer.
To make the Easiest Balsamic Vinaigrette, whisk together:
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • Salt to taste
Toasting the pecans in butter is optional but so delicious. I definitely recommend it unless you are vegan or avoiding butter for some reason. It makes a huge difference!
To toast the pecans in a dry skillet, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pecans and toast until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 3gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 84mgPotassium: 454mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 5462IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. 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!5 stars

    1. 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!

  2. 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!!5 stars

    1. 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. :)

  3. I love strawberry spinach salad!!  I haven’t tried it with mixed greens, so this has me intrigued! 5 stars

  4. 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!5 stars

    1. 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! :)

  5. 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