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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is a perfect light and refreshing meal for spring and summer. The salad combines the sweetness of fresh strawberries with the earthiness of spinach, the crunchiness of walnuts and cucumber, and the tanginess of red onions.

The refreshing and zesty lemon vinaigrette perfectly complements the salad’s natural sweetness, making it a delicious and well-balanced meal.

A white rectangular serving plate with a strawberry spinach salad with lemon vinaigrette.

What’s great about this salad is that it’s delicious and packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron and calcium. At the same time, strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants.

The addition of walnuts and goat cheese provides healthy fats and protein, making this salad a well-balanced meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized.

Whether you’re looking for a healthy lunch, a lighter dinner, or a refreshing side dish, this Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette will surely impress.

Ingredient Notes

A labeled image of ingredients needed to make a strawberry spinach salad with lemon vinaigrette.

Salad Ingredients

  • Baby Spinach: Feel free to use regular spinach instead, but baby spinach is more tender and flavorful.
  • Strawberries: Choose ripe and juicy strawberries for the best flavor. Strawberry season is different depending on where you live, but the grocery stores source them quite well, so you should be able just about all year long.
  • English Cucumber: This variety of cucumber is less watery and has a sweeter taste than other types.
  • Walnuts: You can substitute with other nuts like pecans or almonds if you prefer.
  • Red Onion: Red onion adds a tangy flavor and crunchy texture to the salad.
  • Basil and Mint Leaves: These herbs add a fresh and aromatic flavor to the salad.
  • Goat Cheese: If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, feta cheese or blue cheese would be great alternatives.

Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil: Both oils are heart-healthy and add a rich flavor to the vinaigrette. The avocado oil will have less of a strong flavor than the olive oil does.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Honey: You can adjust the amount of honey to your desired level of sweetness.
  • Lemon Zest: This adds a bright and citrusy flavor to the vinaigrette.
  • Salt and Pepper: These basic seasonings help balance the vinaigrette flavors.
  • Garlic Powder: Adds a subtle hint of garlic flavor.
  • Dijon Mustard: This helps to emulsify the vinaigrette and gives it a slightly tangy flavor.

Variations and Substitutions

Here are some variations and substitutions you can make to the Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese:

  • Fresh Leafy Greens: You can use different types of fresh leafy greens, such as arugula, kale, or mixed greens, instead of baby spinach.
  • Nuts or Seeds: Use your favorite nuts or seeds instead of walnuts. For example, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, or pepitas.
  • Cheese: If you prefer something other than goat cheese, tangy feta cheese or blue cheese would be great alternatives.
  • Vinaigrette: You can also switch up the vinaigrette. Instead of the lemon vinaigrette, you can try a blueberry vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, or a honey mustard vinaigrette. Likewise, you could add some poppy seeds for a lemon poppy seed salad dressing.
  • Add protein: For a more filling salad, you can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
  • Add grains: To make the salad more substantial, add some cooked quinoa, brown rice, or couscous.
  • Use different herbs: You can use other herbs like parsley, cilantro, or dill instead of basil and mint. You can also add more greens in place of fresh herbs.

Remember, feel free to get creative with your substitutions and make the salad your own!

How To Make Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Prepare the Strawberry Spinach Salad

First, let’s prepare our salad. Grab a large serving bowl and add in the fresh spinach leaves. Then, top the spinach with some juicy sliced strawberries, refreshing cucumbers, crunchy walnuts, tangy red onion, fragrant basil leaves, mint leaves, and crumbled goat cheese.

A collage of images showing how to make cut strawberries and veggies and then add salad to a large bowl.

Step 2 | Mix the Lemon Vinaigrette

Next, let’s make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard until everything is thoroughly combined. Give it a taste, and feel free to adjust the sweetness or saltiness to your liking.

A collage of images showing how to make lemon vinaigrette and dressing the salad.

Step 3 | Dress the Salad and Serve

Lastly, it’s time to add the finishing touch! Drizzle the delicious vinaigrette over your salad right before serving. Mix everything together, and enjoy your scrumptious and healthy salad!

A bowl of strawberry salad with goat cheese in a white bowl on a wooden tray.

Tips

  • Use fresh ingredients: Use fresh and ripe strawberries, herbs, and vegetables to give your salad the best flavors and textures.
  • Toast the nuts: Toasting the walnuts in a dry skillet for a few minutes enhances their flavor and crunchiness.
  • Don’t overdress the salad: Start by adding a small amount of lemon vinaigrette to the salad and toss it well. Add more vinaigrette as needed, but be careful not to overdress the salad, as it can make it soggy.
  • Serve chilled: Chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. If you are low on time, be sure your ingredients are chilled before prepping.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I replace the goat cheese with another cheese?

You can easily switch up the cheese in this salad to suit your taste preferences. Feta, freshly grated parmesan, blue cheese, or mozzarella cheese would be excellent substitutes for goat cheese. Additionally, if you prefer a vegan salad, you can simply omit the cheese altogether.

Is it possible to remove the onion from the salad?

Absolutely! However, if you decide to keep the onion but want to reduce its sharp tanginess, a useful tip is to soak the sliced onion in water for 15-20 minutes. This simple step can help to mellow out the flavor of the onion, making it more mild and palatable.

Storage and Make Ahead Instructions

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is best served fresh, but you can prepare some components in advance to save time. Here are some tips for storage and make-ahead:

  1. Make the vinaigrette ahead: You can prepare the lemon vinaigrette in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  2. Prepare the ingredients ahead: You can wash and dry the spinach and herbs, slice the strawberries and onions, and chop the walnuts ahead of time. Store each ingredient separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
  3. Assemble the salad just before serving: Combine the ingredients and drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad just before serving. This will help to keep the salad fresh and prevent it from getting soggy.

Storage: If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day. However, keep in mind that the salad may become soggy if it sits in the dressing for too long.

If you don’t plan to use all the salad, I recommend dressing each serving individually so that you can store the leftovers for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.

A fork with a bite of salad and strawberry, cheese, and walnut.

What to Serve with Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is a versatile dish that can be served on its own or as a side dish alongside other dishes. Here are a few ideas for what to serve with the salad:

  • Grilled chicken or shrimp: Adding grilled chicken or shrimp to the salad can make it a more substantial meal.
  • Fresh bread: Serve the salad with a slice of fresh bread or a dinner roll for a more complete meal.
  • Quiche, frittata, or breakfast casserole: Serve the salad as a side dish alongside a quiche or frittata for a delicious and balanced brunch or lunch.
  • Soup: Serve the salad as a starter alongside a bowl of soup, such as tomato soup or gazpacho, for a light and refreshing meal.
  • Grilled vegetables: Serve the salad alongside grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, asparagus, or bell peppers, for a delicious and healthy summer meal.
  • Pasta Salad or other Green Salads: Salads are perfect for picnics, showers, Mother’s Day meals, or during the Holidays. Serve the salad alongside a spaghetti pasta salad, Chopped Greek Salad, Burrata Caprese Salad, or my Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts and Feta.
  • Fresh Fruit: This also pairs well with fresh fruit or fruit salads.

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A bowl of strawberry spinach salad with lemon vinaigrette in a white bowl set on a wooden tray.
Recipe
5 from 8 votes

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is a refreshing and healthy salad that combines sweet strawberries, earthy spinach, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette for a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
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Ingredients 

Strawberry Salad Ingredients

  • 5 ounces baby spinach, (5 cups)
  • 8 ounces sliced strawberries, (1 cup)
  • 1 cup English cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice, (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Prepare Strawberry Spinach Salad: Place the fresh spinach leaves in a large serving bowl. Top the spinach with sliced strawberries, sliced cucumbers, chopped walnuts, chopped red onion, fresh basil leaves, fresh mint leaves, and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Top the spinach with sliced strawberries, sliced cucumbers, chopped walnuts, chopped red onion, fresh basil leaves, fresh mint leaves, and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard until fully combined. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the sweetness or saltiness to your liking.
  • Drizzle the Lemon Vinaigrette over the salad just before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 327kcal (16%) Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) Protein: 6g (12%) Fat: 29g (45%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g Monounsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 9mg (3%) Sodium: 287mg (12%) Potassium: 320mg (9%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 9g (10%) Vitamin A: 2570IU (51%) Vitamin C: 40mg (48%) Calcium: 80mg (8%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait fresh berry season. Strawberries and spinach are such a great combination. This is summer perfect.

  2. 5 stars
    OOH that dressing was divine! I’ve never eaten strawberry spinach salad before but I will definitely be making this again!

  3. 5 stars
    This was the perfect side dish for chicken last night. Lots of flavor, and so good for you, too! It’s also much easier to get the kids to eat a salad with strawberries in it…

  4. 5 stars
    Light and healthy with the perfect balance of flavors and the right amount of crunch!

  5. 5 stars
    We have enjoyed using your blog as an example. We are a local nonprofit organization in Plant City. It’s so neat to view blogs from our community. Thanks for sharing your recipes!