This lovely spinach salad is topped with dried cranberries, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, avocado and a creamy balsamic dressing. Perfect as a side or topped with protein for a meal.
This easy spinach salad is a great salad recipe to have in your back pocket. It’s perfect for gatherings and honestly pairs with just about any main dish!
My grandma’s staple salad recipe is something very similar to this one. I switched up her recipe and used toasted walnuts in place of her candied pecans (to reduce the sugar content!) and used dried cranberries instead of fresh strawberries, because dried cranberries are always in season and one of my favorite salad toppers.
If you’re new to using different greens in your salads (aside from iceberg and leaf lettuce) baby spinach is a great place to start.
It’s pretty mild in flavor with a slightly sweet taste.
Spinach is a powerhouse of a green and is loaded with a ton of health benefits. It’s low in carbs, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and is packed with vitamin C, K, folic acid, iron and calcium! It’s been linked to eye health, cancer prevention and blood pressure regulation.
Here’s what you need for this easy spinach salad:
That salad is a breeze to whip up. Here are the four simple steps!
Toast walnuts – Start by adding the walnuts to a small skillet over medium heat to toast. Let cook, tossing frequently for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and starting to brown. Keep an eye on these so they don’t burn! Remove from pan and let cool.
Make dressing – Make the creamy balsamic dressing by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl until fully combined and creamy. You can also blend everything together in a blender or with an immersion blender.
Prep salad – Prepare salad by adding spinach to a large bowl, top with cucumbers, goat cheese, onions, cranberries, toasted walnuts and sliced avocado.
Serve – Drizzle dressing over salad, toss and serve. Once tossed in the dressing the salad doesn’t look as pretty so another option is to plate the salad and serve with dressing so everyone can add their own dressing.
This spinach salad is the perfect side salad to pair with just about any main dish! I love it for casual weeknight dinners, but it’s also fancy enough for holidays and special celebrations. Here are some pairing ideas:
Yes! You can prep the different components of this salad ahead of time and then assemble right before serving.
You can toast the walnuts, make the dressing and chop the cucumbers and onions in advance. Just store the perishable items in the fridge with the dressing in a separate container.
When it’s time to serve, simply toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing and enjoy!
If you make this spinach salad be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting us know how it turned out for you. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and our readers!