My strawberry spinach salad is just perfect for spring! With bountiful fresh berries, pistachios, and a sweet-tart maple balsamic vinaigrette, this versatile salad complements a variety of lighter seasonal menus. While many similar spinach salad recipes contain goat cheese or feta cheese, this one is completely dairy free and vegan. Don’t let that stop you from adding cheese, if you wish! Either way it’s filled with flavor, loaded with antioxidants, and it couldn’t be easier to make.
I developed this strawberry salad recipe as an easy springtime side dish option. We are big berry eaters in my home; my daughter enjoys a variety of berries in her lunch almost every single day. When strawberry season comes around we get so excited to see colorful, luscious berries brightening the produce shelves. Not only are strawberries delicious… they are also very, very good for you! So we try to incorporate them into our diet as much as possible, especially when they are in season.
What Are the Health Benefits of Strawberries and Spinach?
Strawberries and spinach are a natural pairing; they seem made for each other. Strawberries are naturally sweet with a wonderful texture. And spinach is one of our favorite salad greens, due to its healthy qualities and mild flavor. It only seems natural to combine them into a delicious and nutritious strawberry spinach salad!
Strawberries contain abundant antioxidants like Vitamin C, which help to reduce the risk of a number of diseases. In fact, studies show that regular consumption of berries can help cut inflammation and even reduce cancer risk. These remarkable berries also contain magnesium, potassium, calcium, folate, and vitamin K. They pack a nutritional punch. Who says health food has to taste boring?
Spinach, another potent superfood, can also reduce your risk of cancer — colon cancer, to be exact. This tasty green is rich in iron, calcium, manganese, and vitamin K. Spinach can reduce hypertension and blood sugar, and it’s also anti-inflammatory. Plus here’s an added bonus… spinach is rich in thylakoids, which can reduce your appetite by lowering hunger hormone levels. For those of us watching our waistlines, that’s not a bad thing!
Spinach strawberry salads are quite popular. However, I noticed that most recipes out there on the internet contain cheese. We enjoy cheese in moderation, but not everybody can tolerate dairy – and those on a vegan diet avoid cheese as well. Therefore, I set out to create a dairy-free version of this classic salad. And because we love berries (and color!), I added some seasonal blackberries and raspberries to the mix for good measure.
What Do You Serve with Strawberry Spinach Salad?
This versatile salad can be served with a variety of lighter springtime dishes. It goes well on a brunch menu, a light lunch menu, or as part of a healthy spring recipes buffet. Try pairing it with my Lemon Basil Grilled Chicken Breasts or my Salmon with Strawberries, Balsamic and Basil to integrate a healthy protein. Or, for a light and flavorful vegan meal, serve it alongside my Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon or my Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Gratin. The sweet-tart dressing of this salad complements a variety of entrees and side dishes… you really can’t go wrong!
Strawberry Spinach Salad
- 10 ounces baby spinach
- 2 cups strawberries rinsed and sliced
- 1 pint blackberries rinsed
- 1 pint raspberries rinsed
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled and toasted (you may substitute lightly toasted pecans, walnuts, or almonds)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon whole grain dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Gently toss the salad ingredients together. Serve topped with the maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing. If the dressing has separated, simply whisk again to combine.
tried this recipe?
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