Jul 7, 2020 (Last updated Aug 25, 2022) by Hannah Sunderani
Hiya friends! Today I am sharing a sweet, delicious, and refreshing summer salad. This quick and easy strawberry spinach salad features toasted almonds, sliced cucumbers and an easy balsamic vinaigrette dressing! It’s an amazing fresh and delicious healthy summer salad recipe, or side salad. For best results, dress the spinach salad minutes before serving.
This is such a great summer recipe, that everyone will love – vegan or not. Best of all, it’s a 20-minute recipe for an easy and healthy side salad at your summer bbq’s and gatherings.
Now that I’ve finished the manuscript of The Two Spoons Cookbook, I’ve been having a lot of fun this summer playing with different seasonal greens for making salad (thanks to my organic farm-share box I’ve subscribed to). And I’ll say, salads are getting much more interesting and creative.
Ya’ll know that I love to share healthy and wholesome vegan recipes on my blog, often vegan and gluten-free like this one. Now, I find a common misconception when you’re vegan is that all you eat are boring salads. Well I say, ‘challenge accepted’ to the skeptics!
Certainly, this 20-minute Strawberry Spinach Salad with its Strawberry Spinach Salad Dressing is a light, refreshing and delicious combo that’s far from boring. Also, be sure to check out my favourite vegan salad recipes if you’re a flavourful salad lover too!
I’ve made this salad multiple times now, including over the weekend while we were at the cottage with family. It was a huge hit with our mixed crew of eaters.
All-in-all, it’s a very simple, flavourful, and non-intimidating salad with simple ingredients. So you can rest assured it will please a crowd of vegan skeptics and easy enough for beginner cooks.
Now, let me tell you exactly how to make this recipe. So you can enjoy it pronto!
The ingredients for this salad are simple and straightforward. You will need:
As you can see it’s ultra fresh, wholesome, with simple ingredients. Which is why I have given it my Newbie Cook stamp of approval.
I love how the salad has almonds for a toasted nutty flavour and delicious crunch! It’s a wonderful strawberry spinach almond salad that nut-lovers will adore.
Best of all – You should be able to find everything you need at your local grocery story to make this salad. And if you’re lucky, indulge in those fresh local strawberries to top. They are bursting with juicy flavour at this time.
Strawberries and balsamic are a gorgeous combination, which is why I have made a balsamic infused dressing for this strawberry spinach salad.
The dressing combines balsamic vinegar with mustard and maple syrup to elevate it from a basil oil and balsamic mixture. The outcome is a tangy and sweet dressing that really enhances the natural sweet and tart flavours of the strawberries.
In my opinion, nothing beats balsamic dressing when it comes to a strawberry inspired salad. Another great balsamic combo? Healthy Balsamic Mushrooms (Trust, it’s so gourmet). Or, my Easy 3 Bean Salad features balsamic dressing and it’s delish!
In this recipe, I’ve cut whole strawberries into this slices – I love the visual of this – being able to see the strawberry in it’s full form, but being thin enough that you can pile on the remaining ingredients onto your fork to get a bite of everything!
The way in which you cut your strawberries for salad, however, is entirely up to you! You can choose to shop into small chunks, or half or quarter the strawberries depending on their size.
My rule of thumb is to make sure, no matter which way you cut, that they are small enough to be able to stuff your fork with the other salad ingredients so that each bite is balanced.
The no. 1 important tip for ensuring this salad is fresh as can be is to toss with the strawberry spinach salad dressing just before serving.
When it comes to greens, spinach is more on the tender side, and so it’s best to dress just before serving to ensure it stays fresh and not wilted. Another option is to serve the strawberry spinach salad dressing on the side, and have people add as much or little of the dressing as they like.
But personally, I like to be control of the final output, dressing the salad myself, to ensure the leaves are well coated and everything is combined, but not overdressed.
Bon Appetit has a helpful article for 6 common salad mistakes that’s indeed helpful for making this salad recipe. And, if you’re wondering which greens do hold up to dressing in advance (kale lovers you know what I’m talking about) than this article from Kitchn is a goodie!
Another helpful tip is to toast your slivered almonds in advance, so that they are ready for the strawberry spinach almond salad when putting it together. I toast mine in the oven at 350F/175C for 5 to 6 minutes, until golden brown. Then let cool for a couple of minutes.
No oil is necessary, just pop them on a baking tray, spread to even and watch them brown. But be sure to watch them closely, as they can go from golden brown to burnt quickly!
If you don’t have almonds then this recipe would also be delicious with chopped pecans or walnuts. If you’re nut-free than you could swap for pumpkin seeds. Toast them just the same as directed for the almonds.
This salad makes a deliciously light lunch with fresh baguette! But, if you’re looking to make it a filling main then I highly recommend serving alongside my Tofu Chicken Nuggets for some extra protein. It’s also delicious paired with my Zucchini Lasagna or my vegan stuffed sweet potatoes and white bean stuffed sweet potatoes.
Once the salad is tossed with the vinaigrette, it’s best to enjoy immediately as over time the spinach will wilt.
However, you if want to prepare in advance then you could prepare the salad in advance and keep the balsamic dressing on the side. The salad will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for 1 or 2 days. Add the toasted almonds and dressing just before serving.
So, let’s talk a little bit about this strawberry spinach salad dressing. I’ve dressed this salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, which is simple, healthy, slightly sweet and tart.
To make this balsamic vinaigrette dressing, you will need:
A few simple flavours in this dressing really takes it to the next level, from plain and boring to full of flavour. To make, simply toss together in a small bowl or jar, and whisk to combine.
The best part about the balsamic vinaigrette dressing is that it can be prepared well in advance, and it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks. So you have a delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing whenever you need to dress a salad.
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So there we have it, an easy and simple strawberry spinach salad recipe with a flavourful and easy balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It’s a lush and easy healthy salad made to please a crowd. I think you’re going to love it!
And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.