This spinach blueberry salad is loaded with veggies, fresh blueberries, chickpeas, raisins and roasted sunflower seeds all topped with a creamy blueberry tahini dressing.
I know a lot of folks think salads are boring, but in case you were wondering I’m not one of those people. I eat at least one salad every day. Sometimes I’ll get wild have two a day… they just never get old to me.
Plus, salads are so easy to toss together and you can literally make a million different combos. For today’s salad I wanted a nutrient-dense, plant-based salad that combined fresh blueberries and baby spinach. It had to be big (my salad motto = go big or go home), flavorful, colorful, filling and delicious (obviously).
Why You’ll Love This Salad
This salad is packed with seasonal produce and combines a variety of flavors and textures.
It’s filling enough to be served for dinner, but also perfect for lunchtime.
Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents thanks to the blueberries in the salad and dressing!
baby spinach – the base of this salad! The spinach pairs well with the rest of the ingredients but you can swapped for any leafy green you have on hand if needed.
cucumbers – for some added crunch.
chickpeas – the chickpeas add a good amount of plant-based protein to the salad.
red cabbage – adds more crunch and a nice pop of color to this salad.
blueberries – I love adding fresh blueberries to my salad for so many reasons. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Plus, they add the perfect burst of flavor and sweetness!
red onion – for a little zest!
avocado – avocado adds a nice creaminess and healthy fats.
raisins – for a little added sweetness. I used golden raisins, but any variety of raisins works well.
sunflower seeds – raw or roasted and salted sunflower seeds works. They add a nice crunch factor to the salad and some more healthy fats and plant-based protein.
dressing – I recommend using my super creamy and flavorful blueberry tahini dressing that combines blueberries, lemon, olive oil, tahini, and sea salt. It’s SO good!
How to Make Spinach Blueberry Salad
Once your dressing is made and veggies are chopped this salad comes together in a matter of minutes!
Make dressing: Place all ingredients for the dressing into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. The dressing should be thick, but if the texture is too thick for you add a little water (starting with 1-2 teaspoons).
Prepare salads: Prepare two salads by starting with a bed of baby spinach and adding the toppings in the order listed. Drizzle dressing over both salads and enjoy!
Blueberry Tahini Dressing
I like to top this salad with a delicious creamy blueberry tahini dressing. It’s a mixture of tahini, fresh blueberries, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup and salt. The nuttiness of the tahini pairs perfectly with the natural sweetness of the fresh blueberries. And I love the pop of pink color that the dressing adds to this salad.
This salad is completely customizable! Here are some suggestions for variations and substitutions:
Switch up the greens – if you’re not a fan of baby spinach, feel free to use your favorite lettuce or leafy green instead. Arugula or baby kale would be my second choice for this salad.
Add some cheese – I think feta cheese, blue cheese or goat cheese would be a great addition. Use dairy-free cheese to keep the salad vegan!
Use different veggies – have different veggies on hand? Toss them in!
Switch up the fruit – don’t have blueberries on hand? Swap them for blackberries or strawberries! I wouldn’t recommend using raspberries as they are more delicate and won’t hold up as well in this salad.
Add grains – I love adding grains to my salad for some extra volume and nutrients. Toss in cooked quinoa, rice or farro to make this a heartier salad.
Swap the seeds for nuts – if you prefer nuts over seeds swap the sunflower seeds for almonds, walnuts or pecans.
Prepping This Salad Ahead of Time
This salad is super simple to throw together in the moment, but you can also prep it in advance! Here’s what I recommend:
Add baby spinach to a large container with an airtight lid.
Slice cucumbers, chop red onions and add to the container with spinach.
Add chickpeas, red cabbage, blueberries, raisins, and sunflower seeds.
Store blueberry tahini dressing in a separate container.
When you’re ready to serve, cut up avocado, drizzle dressing over top and mix to combine.
You want to make sure you mix in the dressing as close to serving as possible. If you don’t plan to eat the full salad, only add dressing to the portion you plan to eat and store the rest in the fridge.
Place all ingredients for the dressing into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. The dressing should be a bit thick, but if the texture is too thick to drizzle, add a little water (starting with 1-2 Tablespoons).
Prepare two salads by starting with a bed of baby spinach and adding the toppings in the order listed. Drizzle dressing over both salads and enjoy!