This simple, yet delicious, strawberry spinach salad is the perfect summertime side dish made with fresh baby spinach, sliced almonds, fresh ripe strawberries, sharp white cheddar cheese, and a homemade poppyseed dressing.
I LOVE fresh spinach tossed in a sweet and savory dressing. This flavor combination is so amazing and the almonds give the salad a wonderful crunch. Fresh, local strawberries are ripe for picking right now and this salad is a great, healthy way to enjoy the harvest. This tasty spinach salad is perfect for lunch, as a side salad, or top it with grilled chicken for a light summertime meal.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This salad is a delicious way to get more leafy greens in your diet. Who doesn't need to get more greens?!
- The homemade poppyseed dressing is made without refined sugar, using agave nectar instead, and just as delicious as the original version. Seriously. I could drink this dressing it's so good. Any leftover dressing is great on other mixed green salads, as well.
- It is quick and easy to throw together for a light spring or summer meal.
- It's perfect for parties and summer entertaining because it's simple and always a hit!
Strawberry Spinach Salad Ingredients
- Fresh strawberries- The best time to get fresh ripe strawberries in the south is April to June, but luckily we have access to fresh strawberries all year long.
- Sliced almonds- The almonds add a great crunch for contrast in texture. You can also use another nut variety for this recipe.
- Fresh baby spinach- These dark leafy greens are a nutrient powerhouse and a good plant-based source of iron.
- Sharp white cheddar cheese- Full-bodied sharp cheddar cheese adds great flavor to this salad for an epic sweet/savory combo.
Homemade Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients
- Poppy seeds
- Agave nectar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- White vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Sweet onion
- Dry mustard
How To Make This Salad
Step 1-Toss all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
Step 2-Place all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Step 3- Drizzle dressing over salad, toss well and serve. You can also choose to serve the dressing on the side. Portioning out the dressing will reduce the calories, but for best flavor toss all the spinach leaves until lightly coated with the dressing.
- Add grilled chicken or grilled salmon for a well-rounded, protein-packed meal
- Swap out the sharp white cheddar cheese for Havarti, goat cheese, swiss, or feta cheese
- Swap the almonds for toasted walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, or pistachios
- Swap the strawberries for another berry variety like raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries
- Add cooked farro for a hearty grain addition
Store leftover salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you are making this salad for meal prep, leave the dressing off until right before serving. The dressing will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator, just shake well before serving.
*Update: This post was originally published in May 2012, and has been updated with new images and to improve the reader experience. This delicious recipe remains the same. 🙂
More Delicious Strawberry Recipes
I have made Freezer Jam, Fresh Strawberries with a Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction, Strawberry Tres Leche Trifle, and this scrumptious strawberry spinach salad with the 3 buckets that I just picked. I am feeling a little sad that they are almost gone, so I think I'll make a trip back to the farm and get some more. So many delicious strawberry options...here are a few more favorites.
No-Sugar-Added Fresh Strawberry Pie- a must-try summer favorite
Homemade Strawberry Jam -A favorite jam recipe made without refined sugar
Greek Yogurt Strawberry Muffins-a summer breakfast staple
Protein-Packed Strawberry Frozen Fruit Ice Cream- a great healthier summer dessert
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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1 quart fresh strawberries sliced
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ½ lb fresh baby spinach rinsed, dried and hard stems removed
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese cubed
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- ½ cup agave nectar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp minced sweet onion
- ¼ tsp dry mustard
- Place spinach, cheese, almonds and strawberries in a large bowl.
- Place all remaining ingredients into a blender or Vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Drizzle all over salad, toss to coat and serve.