Who doesn't love a salad packed with so many ingredients, creating many levels of flavor and texture?! This best ever Strawberry Spinach Salad with Pecans, makes for the perfect large side salad for any gathering.
This post is sponsored by Pure Flavor®. All opinions are my own.
Thank you to Pure Flavor® for sponsoring this recipe post! I absolutely love how fresh their produce is, especially their Organic Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers during this season. They make such a perfect crisp, colorful and flavorful addition to this salad that I love!
Why you'll love this recipe!
This is truly the best Strawberry Spinach Salad out there because it is not boring at all! Some salads lack complexity, but this is my favorite version of a throw-everything-in-your-pantry into the salad type of salad.
I love this recipe so much and I think you will too because:
- It is packed with tons of fresh strawberries
- There's a spinach & lettuce combo
- The dressing only has 7 ingredients (3 of which are simple spices) - Doesn't Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing sound like the perfect combo!
- There are 4 kinds of nuts and seeds in this salad, including pecans!
- It comes together in under 15 minutes!
Ingredients for the salad
The ingredients for this salad are super straightforward, most of them being simple pantry ingredients and classic veggies one might buy during the week. If you happen to be short one ingredient, simply swap it for something else!
The ingredients you will need to make the salad consist of:
- Greens - In this recipe I used baby spinach and mixed greens! The combo has the perfect texture and flavor.
- Strawberries - Strawberries are definitely the star of this salad. I slice mine into what I call "strawberry rainbows", but you can quarter then or slice them however you prefer.
- Mini Peppers - I chose to use the Pure Flavor Organic Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers because of their sweet taste and colorful assortment. They also add the perfect crunch to this salad!
- Red Onion - I like to thinly slice a red onion, but feel free to use scallions instead.
- Nuts & Seeds - I love the combination of pecans, sunflower seeds, pistachios and pumpkin seeds. This is what makes this salad "The Best" and different than the other recipes you may find!
- Avocado - In my opinion, almost every salad needs avocado! It's creamy, a mild flavor and brings everything together.
Ingredients for the balsamic dressing
This balsamic dressing couldn't be any easier! It's tangy, slightly sweet and has just a bit of garlic & dijon mustard to round it out. Let's run through the ingredients:
- Olive oil - This is the base to most of my dressings and I think it's definitely perfect here. I like to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Balsamic Vinegar - Balsamic has such a wonderful flavor that really compliments the strawberries in the salad.
- Maple Syrup - I always love to add a touch of sweetness to my salads. Salads with maple syrup are always delicious!
- Dijon Mustard - Dijon mustard adds a bit of a tangy kick to this salad.
- Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder - You always need salt and pepper and then I've added garlic powder to add a bit more delicious flavor.
This salad is super flexible and forgiving if you forget an ingredient. Here are some easy ingredient swaps that work perfectly well in this recipe:
- Use lettuce instead of spinach. I know this is a Spinach Salad, but if you only have romaine or mixed greens on hand and you don't want to go to the store, that's ok!
- Turn this into a Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken. Add chicken to the salad to add protein and make this salad more filling!
- If you're not a fan of balsamic vinegar, swap it for red wine vinegar. It will have a different flavor profile but it'll be super delicious too!
- Use a different combination of nuts and seeds if you prefer. Feel free to leave out any of the nuts or seeds that aren't your taste or swap for another option such as walnuts, pine nuts, and more.
- Make this a Strawberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese. Simply crumble your favorite goat cheese on top of the salad, mix in, and serve.
- Make this a Spinach Strawberry Avocado Salad by cutting back on some of the other veggies and doubling the amount of avocado. It's another variation of this delicious salad!
Making this recipe couldn't be any simpler than 4 basic steps! How to make spinach salad with strawberries:
Step 1: Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl, without the avocado.
Step 2: Add the nuts and seeds to the salad. Reserve on the side though if you plan to serve the salad later.
Step 3: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar or container, seal with the lid and shake it up!
Step 4: Pour the dressing over the salad, mix together and top with sliced avocado.
Personally I think Balsamic vinaigrette is the best option since it truly goes well with the sweet strawberries and spinach.
Absolutely, but with the proper storage. You can store the individually cut and prepped vegetables in containers or ziplock bags 1-2 days in advance u0026 also prepare the dressing storing it in a mason jar or container. I'd cut the strawberries the day of serving. Assemble the salad in a large bowl right before your meal!
For sure! Feel free to leave out the pecans and pistachios and up the amount of pumpkin seeds u0026 sunflower seeds in the recipe.
Making this strawberry salad is super simple, but there are a few tips to make sure it comes out perfect every time!
- Shake the dressing rather than mixing it. Shaking the dressing in a sealed mason jar or container will ensure it emulsifies properly. If you simply mix or whisk it, it won't thicken and become creamy like it should.
- Be creative with your salad. Feel free to swap out or add any salad veggies you like. The more you practice cooking with creativity, the easier it will become.
- Assemble the salad right before serving. This will keep the greens from becoming soggy and wilting.
Related recipes you may love
Here are four delicious salad recipes that I thought you'd like. You can pair them with this summer strawberry salad or make them another day to continue on with your healthy salad week!
Have you tried this recipe? Consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. Or, consider following me on Facebook or Instagram! Thanks for visiting.
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Pecans
For the Salad
- 10 oz baby spinach
- 2 ounces mixed greens
- ½ lb strawberries about 8-10 strawberries, tops removed & sliced
- 6-8 Organic Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers I used Pure Flavor brand
- ½ small red onion sliced
- ½ - ¾ cup pecans roughly chopped
- 2 - 4 tablespoons pistachios roughly chopped
- 2 - 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 - 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 2 avocados cubed
For the Dressing
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Layer all salad ingredients into a bowl except for the avocado. Set aside.
- In a medium container or mason jar, combine all the dressing ingredients. Cover the container/jar and shake until emulsified and slightly thickened.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Add avocado and mix in if desired or leave on top as garnish. Enjoy!
- Assemble the salad when you plan to eat it. You can chop the vegetables and make the dressing in advance, but don't put everything together up until serving, otherwise it can wilt and get soggy.
- For the nuts and seeds, I wrote two different quantity options for each since I prefer more nuts, but if you want less you can use the smaller quantity.
- For a tree-nut free version, swap the pistachios & pecans for more sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds.
- Be sure to shake the salad dressing in a jar or container. Don't just mix it! It won't become thick and emulsified from just mixing it.
- Feel free to add any seasonal fruit to this salad! Fresh peaches or nectarines would be a great addition.