This Strawberry Spinach Salad is made with fresh baby spinach, creamy avocado, sweet strawberries, toasted pecans, fresh herbs and a creamy poppy seed dressing. It’s the perfect healthy lunch or light dinner and a delicious side dish for summer parties, picnics, potlucks and barbecues. Simple to customize for vegan, paleo, gluten-free, Whole30, keto and dairy-free options.
Updated May 2021
Easy Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe
Spinach salads are one of my absolute favorite things to make for lunch. They are healthy, delicious and the perfect base for using up whatever you have leftover in your fridge. The best part is, they are simple to customize and can be ready on your dinner table in under 30 minutes.
This Strawberry Spinach Salad is fresh, flavorful and loaded with everything I love. It’s got some sweet summery berries, organic baby greens and some creamy avocado. Plus, it also happens to be gluten free, vegan, low carb, keto and can be paleo friendly and Whole30 compliant if you leave out the cheese.
Ingredients you need:
- Spinach: we like to use organic baby spinach.
- Fresh herbs: some chopped fresh basil or mint add freshness and flavor
- Strawberries: fresh seasonal strawberries work best. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups and cut them into slices.
- Avocado: adds creaminess and healthy fats.
- Nuts: use your favorite nuts and seeds. We like to use chopped walnuts, toasted pecans (you can also use candied pecans if you like)
- Slivered almonds
Other optional add-ins:
- Thinly sliced onions, goat cheese or crumbled vegan feta – leave out for Whole30 / dairy-free / paleo
- Protein of choice: Shredded cooked chicken for a Spinach Salad with Chicken
For the Whole30 Creamy Poppy seed Dressing
- Coconut milk
- Avocado oil (or olive oil)
- Apple cider vinegar (you can also use balsamic vinegar if you prefer)
- Lemon juice: freshly squeezed lemon works best.
- Dijon mustard
- Poppy seeds
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Optional sweetener of choice: you can use maple syrup or granulated sugar substitute of your choice. Leave out for Whole30 and addd some fresh orange juice instead.
How to make Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Make the dressing: Add all of the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl or jar. Whisk or shake until combined. The dressing is made with creamy coconut milk, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, ground mustard, poppy-seeds and salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine and assemble salad: In a large bowl, add the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado, chopped pecans, slivered almonds and protein, if using.
- Toss with dressing: Pour the homemade dressing over the greens and toss to combine. Top with fresh herbs and vegan cheese (leave out for Whole30 and Paleo) and serve immediately.
VARIATIONS FOR STRAWBERRY SALAD:
- Add more greens: You can add more or less spinach depending on what you like or toss in some crunchy romaine lettuce for an extra layer of flavor.
- Use a different dressing: Don’t like poppy seed dressing? You can make the best ever strawberry spinach salad by using your favorite dressing: balsamic dressing, raspberry dressing or strawberry vinaigrette are all delicious
- Avocado: Not a fan of avocado? No problem, I am a BIG avocado lover but feel free to leave it out.
- Toss in more fruit: Got lots of berries on hand? Go ahead and toss some blueberries, raspberries or blackberries in here as well.
- Serve with some protein: For a complete meal, add grilled or shredded rotisserie chicken or another protein of your choice like turkey, salmon or shrimp
- Dairy-free: To keep this salad dairy free and/or nut-free, leave out the cheese, almonds and chopped pecans.
Best dressing to use:
The great thing about this spinach salad is how versatile it is. Depending on what you feel like, a strawberry spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette or a delicious strawberry spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette would be delicious options.
Or switch things up and use any other dressing you like or have on hand.
Can I Make This Salad Ahead?
This salad is a great make-ahead recipe if you store it properly. To make it in advance, wash and dry the spinach and strawberries beforehand and store them covered in the fridge. The avocado doesn’t store all that well after it’s cubed, so I would recommend cutting and slicing just before serving
Then, make your dressing and place it in the fridge in a separate container. Put your salad together and enjoy within 5 days, for best results.
This classic salad is delicious on it’s on but it goes well with everything! Particularly, we like to serve it with the following dishes.
- Pair with Grilled Protein: These Vegan Stuffed Peppers are another spectacular dish that happens to go great with this salad. They’re also low-carb, gluten-free, Whole30 and Keto-friendly!
- Serve with Wings: If you want a spicy dish to balance out the cool and creamy flavors of this salad, try serving it with these addicting Buffalo Cauliflower Wings.
- Pair with Veggie Burgers: Burgers and salad just make sense togther. Serve this vegan salad with your favorite veggie burger!
How to Store Leftover Spinach Salad
Leftover strawberry spinach salad should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
If you know you want to save some of your salad, set aside the amount of salad and dressing you want to store and refrigerate them separately. This way, it’ll stay good for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing this salad.
Frequently asked questions:
Is strawberry spinach salad healthy?
This spinach salad is loaded with healthy veggies and packed with vitamins, protein, fiber and healthy fats. The healthy spinach salad dressing is deliciously light, refreshing and gluten free, paleo, Whole30 compliant and low in carbs.
The macros for one serving of this spinach salad recipe is:
- 319 calories (267 calories without chicken)
- 7g NET carbs
- 13g Protein (6g Protein without chicken)
- 26g Fat (23g Fat without chicken)
More spinach salad recipes:
More Healthy Salad Ideas
Need more healthy salad recipes in your life? We’ve got you covered!
- This Creamy Broccoli Salad is jam-packed with flavor and nutrients.
- Made sweet and savory with the addition of peaches and blueberries, you’ll fall in love with this Arugula Salad Recipe.
- Our Easy Avocado Tuna Salad is such a fun side dish or light lunch!
- Low Carb Chicken Cobb Salad
- Avocado Egg Salad
This Strawberry Spinach Salad is made with fresh greens, creamy avocado, sweet strawberries, toasted pecans, cooked chicken and fresh herbs. It's the perfect healthy low carb & paleo lunch or light dinner.
- 1/4 cup full fat unsweetened chilled canned coconut milk (the top creamy part) OR coconut cream (can also sub with dairy-free plain yogurt)
- 1/4 cup avocado or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar OR balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried mustard or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- salt and black pepper to taste
- add sweetener of your choice to taste , leave out for Whole30 and swap the lemon juice with orange juice instead.
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil or mint finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 avocado , diced
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 1 cup shredded cooked protein of choice , shredded chicken, turky or crumbled tofu
- thinly sliced onions , for serving
- 1/2 tablespoon crumbled vegan feta or vegan cheese of choice , for serving
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl or a jar and mix to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, add spinach, basil, strawberries, almonds and pecans. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately with more chopped pecans and crumbled vegan feta, if desired.