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20-Minute Strawberry Spinach Salad & Balsamic Dressing

5 from 1 vote
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.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
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Jul 7, 2020 (Last updated Mar 11, 2024) by Hannah Sunderani

20-Minute Strawberry Spinach Salad & Balsamic Dressing

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!

strawberry spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing on a white plate and white backdrop

Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe

Ingredients

The ingredients for this salad are simple and straightforward. You will need:

  • slivered almonds
  • baby spinach
  • strawberries
  • red onion
  • baby cucumbers

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. 

close up of strawberry spinach salad showcasing all of the colours

Strawberry Spinach Salad: Tips & Notes

What dressing goes well with Strawberry Spinach Salad?

Strawberries and balsamic are a gorgeous combination, which is why I have made a healthy balsamic vinaigrette 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!

How to do cut strawberries for salad?

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.

How to stop the salad from getting soggy:

The best tip for ensuring a fresh salad is to drizzle it with the salad dressing just before serving. Especially when using a tender green like spinach.

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! 

Toasting almonds in advance is okay:

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 bought my almond already chopped, but you can do this yourself with a knife.

Toast the almonds in a skillet on medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until golden and fragrant. But be sure to watch them closely and stir frequently, as they can go from golden brown to burnt quickly! Transfer to a small bowl to cool completely.

You can toast your almonds up to 3 days in advance. Store in an air-tight container.

Simple substitutions for almonds:

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.

What to serve with this strawberry spinach salad?

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.

How long does this recipe keep?

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 one day. Add the toasted almonds and dressing just before serving.

Close up of the balsamic dressing

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

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:

  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • dijon mustard
  • maple syrup
  • garlic
  • sea salt

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. 

Top down photo of Strawberry Spinach Salad scooping up with serving spoons

Other recipes you might like:

If you’re digging this salad recipe, you might also like these:

photo of the strawberry spinach salad to reshare on Pinterest

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.

GFR

20-Minute Strawberry Spinach Salad & Balsamic Dressing

5 from 1 vote
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.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serves 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 5 oz spinach
  • 16 oz strawberries sliced
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 4 baby cucumbers sliced (or 1/2 cup regular sized)
  • 1/3 cup homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Instructions

  • Sprinkle slivered almonds into a small skillet and bring to medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until lightly golden and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
  • In a large salad bowl or platter, decorate with the spinach, sliced strawberries, red onion and baby cucumbers. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
  • Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette and serve alongside the salad, or drizzle over salad the salad and toss to combine.

Notes

Salad is best prepared right before serving to ensure freshness. If making a few hours before serving then add the toasted almonds and balsamic vinaigrette just before serving.
Toasted almonds can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Homemade balsamic vinaigrette recipe can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional information is a rough estimate.

Approvals

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 912mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 3553IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3mg
DID YOU

Tag @twospoons on Instagram
and hashtag it #twospoons

MAKE THIS?
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