Summer Berry Salad
Published Jun 30, 2022, Updated Jul 05, 2023
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This summer berry salad is loaded with spinach, fresh berries, candied walnuts and feta cheese all tossed in a light white balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It’s the perfect side dish for the 4th of July.
Summertime calls for light, easy-to-fix meals and this summer berry salad checks all the boxes. When you combine the fresh berries with crunchy nuts and creamy goat cheese, you get the perfect warm weather salad! You’ll want to make it all season long.
Why You’ll Love This Salad
- It’s packed with seasonal berries and combines a variety of flavors and textures.
- This salad is filling enough to be served on its own or with protein for dinner, but it also makes for a great side salad.
- It’s super easy to assemble. All you have to do is make the candied walnuts, prep the dressing and then layer on the ingredients!
- baby greens – baby greens are the perfect base for this salad as the leaves are smaller, more tender and have a milder taste. I love the OrganicGirl Supergreens for the base, but you can definitely use a single variety of baby green like spinach, kale or arugula.
- blueberries and strawberries – the berries are the star of the show here. I love the burst of flavor and sweetness fresh berries add to salad! Plus, they’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.
- feta cheese – purchase feta cheese crumbles or a block of feta cheese that you crumble yourself. If you’re not a fan of feta cheese, swap in blue cheese or goat cheese. Feel free to skip or use vegan cheese if you need this salad to be dairy-free!
- candied walnuts – I love the sweet and crunchy addition of candied walnuts to this salad. If you don’t want to make candied nuts you can easily just use raw or toasted walnuts.
- dressing – an easy-to-make white balsamic vinaigrette that combines olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey or maple syrup and fresh garlic. It has a light and sweet flavor, making it a perfect complement to this fresh summer salad.
How to Make
Once you get a little prep out of the way, by making the dressing and the candied walnuts, this salad comes together in a matter of minutes!
Make candied walnuts: Toast walnuts for 10 minutes. While walnuts cool, combine coconut sugar and water in a saucepan. Once sugar dissolves, add cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Mix in the walnuts and then spread on a lined baking sheet. They will cool and harden quickly.
Make dressing: While the candied walnuts are cooling, make the white balsamic vinaigrette by whisking together all ingredients in a glass bowl or jar until combined. Another option is to add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake to combine.
Prepare salad: Add greens to a large bowl and top with berries, cheese and candied walnuts. Add dressing and toss just before serving or leave dressing on the side and allow everyone to dress their own salad.
Customize Your Salad
One of the reasons I love this salad is how customizable it is! Here are some suggestions for variations and substitutions:
- Switch up the greens – if you don’t have baby greens on hand, feel free to use your favorite lettuce or leafy green instead. Arugula or spinach would be my second choice.
- Dairy-free and vegan – simply skip the feta cheese (or use a vegan option) and use maple syrup in the dressing.
- Different dressing – craving a different dressing? This red wine vinaigrette, creamy balsamic vinaigrette or balsamic dressing would be delicious on this salad! You can also check out all of my salad dressing recipes.
- Add grains – I love adding grains to salads for some extra volume and nutrients. Toss in cooked quinoa, rice or farro to make this a heartier salad.
- Add protein – It would be delicious as a meal-sized salad topped with shredded chicken, grilled lemon pepper shrimp, blackened salmon, crispy baked tofu, tempeh, apple cider vinegar chicken or air fryer chicken breast.
- Switch up the fruit or add more fruit – I think this would be delicious with blackberries or raspberries added!
- Add red onion – want a little added zip?! Add sliced or diced red onion to the salad.
- Avocado – I love adding avocado to my salads for the added creaminess and healthy fat.
- Swap the nuts – not a fan of walnuts? You can swap them with other nuts like almonds or pecans. Candied pecans would be a great substitute.
How to Serve
This is a great recipe to bring to a cookout or potluck or to serve as a meal. Here are some recipes that would be delicious with it:
- Tempeh veggie burgers or black bean sweet potato burgers – fire up that grill and throw a veggie burger on to pair with this salad.
- Spinach and feta turkey burgers – my go-to turkey burger recipe!
- BBQ jackfruit sandwiches – my vegan take on a pulled pork sandwich. This would be so tasty paired with this salad.
More Berry Recipes
- Strawberry Overnight Oats
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- Berry Baked Oatmeal Bars
- Easy Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
- Strawberry Protein Muffins
More Salad Recipes to Try
- Spinach Blueberry Salad
- Strawberry Kale Salad
- Sweet Kale Salad
- Classic Broccoli Salad
- Easy Spinach Salad
- Roasted Tomato Salad
- Zoodle Salad
- Bella Hadid Salad
Be sure to check out all of my full collection of salad recipes on EBF!
Summer Berry Salad
- Make the candied walnuts and the white balsamic dressing.
- Add greens to a large bowl and top with berries, cheese and candied walnuts.
- Add dressing and toss just before serving or leave dressing on the side and allow everyone to dress their own salad.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.