Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Published Apr 16, 2021, Updated May 10, 2022
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This easy strawberry salad is insanely delicious with fresh strawberries avocado, goat cheese, pecans and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. This post is sponsored by Kroger.
Have you noticed that I’m 100% back on the salad train? I tend to go through phases when it comes to salads, but spring and summer always have me craving more fresh produce and… salads!
This strawberry salad is a staple recipe in my opinion. Need a salad to bring to a potluck? This will be a crowd pleaser. Need a salad-for-dinner recipe that satisfies your sweet tooth and is packed with nutrients? This is your recipe.
Ingredients in Strawberry Salad
- baby spinach – the perfect mild green to use as the base of this salad. Of course you can switch it up and do another baby green like arugula or kale.
- strawberries – The star of the show here. I love the burst of flavor and sweetness fresh strawberries bring to this recipe!
- avocado – adds healthy fats and a delicious creaminess to the salad.
- goat cheese – a savory yet tangy flavor to compliment the others. Feel free to purchase goat cheese crumbles or a log of goat cheese that you crumble yourself. Either option works. If you’re not a goat cheese fan you can always swap in feta or your favorite cheese.
- pecans – add more healthy fats and a necessary crunch factor to the salad. You can keep this raw or toast them for extra flavor.
- creamy balsamic vinaigrette – this amazing dressing ties the salad together. It’s made with Greek yogurt for a creamy take on the classic.
Change it Up!
One of the reasons I love this salad is how customizable it is! Here are some suggestions for variations and substitutions:
- To make this dairy-free and vegan, simply skip the goat cheese (or use a vegan option) and use this balsamic dressing, which is dairy-free.
- Different dressing – craving a different dressing? This creamy poppyseed dressing or raspberry vinaigrette is also delicious on 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.
- Add protein – want to enjoy this as a meal-sized salad? Add a protein of your choice! I’ve served it up with grilled chicken, but it would be delicious with crispy tofu or roasted chickpeas.
- Add red onion – want a little added zip?! Add sliced or diced red onion to the salad.
- Switch up the fruit or add more fruit – I think this would be delicious with apples or blueberries as well!
- Use candied nuts – the ultimate treat. Try my rosemary candied pecans.
- Swap the nuts for seeds – if you have a nut allergy or if you just prefer seeds you can swap the pecans for sunflower seeds or pepitas.
Kroger = Freshness
Obviously when you walk into the grocery store the first thing you see is produce, but do you ever think about the journey produce has to take to get to the store?
Let’s take strawberries for example since they’re the star of this recipe! I purchased them at my local Kroger (through online pickup) and when I opened the container at home to enjoy them, the berries were perfectly ripe, sweet and juicy.
This is because Kroger is committed to freshness! The strawberry package is filled right in the farmer’s field and shipped on the same day. They are transported in a special truck (to make sure the berries don’t bruise!) and are driven by a team of drivers that aren’t making any unnecessary stops. Pretty cool, huh?
Next time you’re in Kroger or do grocery delivery, take a second to appreciate all of the fresh foods that are available. We’re grateful for every step of the process that makes fresh food available to us!
Prepping Strawberry Salad Ahead of Time
This salad is super simple to throw together, but you can also prep it in advance! Here’s what I recommend:
- Add spinach to a large container with an airtight lid.
- Slice strawberries and add to spinach.
- Crumble goat cheese and add to spinach.
- Toast nuts and/or chop and add to spinach mixture.
- Mix creamy balsamic dressing and store in a separate container.
- When you’re ready to serve, slice avocado, add to the salad and mix in the dressing.
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.
What to Serve with Strawberry Salad
Like I said, this is a great recipe to bring to a 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.
- Make a meal-sized salad by adding shredded chicken, grilled lemon pepper shrimp or blackened Salmon on top of the salad.
Leftover Strawberries? Try These Recipes
- Strawberry Overnight Oats
- Easy Strawberry Chia Jam
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- Berry Baked Oatmeal Bars
- Easy Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Strawberry Protein Muffins
More Salad Recipes to Try
- Sweet Kale Salad
- Classic Broccoli Salad
- Baby Beet and Clementine Salad
- Easy Spinach Salad
- Roasted Tomato Salad
- Beet Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing
Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 5 oz container baby spinach
- 1/2 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- fresh ground pepper + sea salt
- creamy balsamic vinaigrette
- Toast pecans: This step is optional, but if you want to toast the pecans simply spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a 350° F oven for about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Make dressing: Make creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing if you haven’t already.
- Prep salad: Add spinach to a salad bowl and top with strawberries, avocado, goat cheese and pecans.
- Add salt and pepper: Sprinkle on salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve: Drizzle dressing over salad and toss or portion the salad and pass around the dressing to serve.
- Red onion: Feel free to add 1/4 cup sliced red onion to this salad for extra flavor.
- Dressing: Swap the creamy balsamic dressing for this creamy poppyseed dressing.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Will be making this and dressing soon can i leave goat cheese as am a vegan i never had salad before perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
Yes, you can totally leave out the goat cheese. Let me know how it turns out, Ramya!
This looks really yummy! I never thought to put avocados and strawberries together!
It’s so yummy!! You’ll have to try it. 🙂
Love this! Used mixed greens, walnuts, and basalmic glaze I had on hand, sans goat cheese. Delicious!!!! Thank you!
So glad you loved this recipe, Amanda! Thanks for the review 🙂
Made tonight. Delicious! Hubs said top of list for best salad I’ve made yet. And I make a lot of salads, so that’s saying something. Def a keeper. Thank you!
Woo! That makes me so happy to hear, Penny! Thanks for making this salad and coming back to leave a review. It means the world to me!
This salad is amazing! It feels so fancy, yet is so easy to make.
So glad you loved this salad, Kaitlin. Thanks for making it and for the review!
This salad is so good! We had it last night for dinner and it was super easy to make! The only thing we did different was add some chicken. Will be making this some more.
Woo!! I’m so glad this salad was a hit, Jennifer! Thanks so much for the review. I really appreciate it!
Best salad ever! Thank you for your recipes they have been a life saver! My husband even said this is too beautiful to eat. And then he took a bite and said this is probably one of the finest Salads I’ve ever had! 🤤
Yay!! This makes me so happy to hear, Tiffany! Thanks so much for the review 🙂
I love a big chunky salad, so this was fantastic. If anyone is trying to decide, it is worth the six minutes to roast the pecans. It makes a huge difference in the flavor. I did it one time and not another. I won’t skip it again.
So glad you enjoyed this salad, Dena! Thanks for making it and for the review. I so appreciate it!
This is my favorite go to sale right now! I love it!! Thank you.
I’ve been using a balsamic glaze and that’s great too.
Woo! So glad you’ve been enjoying this salad, Amanda! Thanks for the review 🙂