Summer Berry Salad

4.04

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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.

A bowl with summer berry salad. A fork rests on bowl.

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!
Ingredients measured out to make Summer Berry Salad with Maple Walnuts: strawberries, blueberries, baby greens, dijon dressing, cheese and candied walnuts.

Ingredients Needed

  • 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.
Ingredients for summer berry salad in a mixing bowl.

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.

Close up of summer berry salad in a bowl with a fork.

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.
Pouring dressing from a mason jar onto a bowl of summer berry salad.

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:

A bowl of summer berry salad with smaller bowls containing various toppings surrounding it.

More Berry Recipes

More Salad Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all of my full collection of salad recipes on EBF!

4.04 from 58 votes

Summer Berry Salad

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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Make the candied walnuts and the white balsamic dressing.
  • Add greens to a large bowl and top with berries, cheese and candied walnuts.
    Ingredients for summer berry salad in a mixing bowl.
  • Add dressing and toss just before serving or leave dressing on the side and allow everyone to dress their own salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8th of recipe | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: berry salad, patriotic salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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