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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Fresh flavors shine bright with this simple and delicious Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta. An easy balsamic vinaigrette tops this flavorful and healthy strawberry salad.

When the weather begins to warm, I love reaching for fresh ingredients from my fridge and garden. Heck, the ingredients don’t even have to be from my own garden, just give me healthy, colorful food!

This spinach salad is a perfect spring or summer salad and can be made into a potluck side dish or transformed into a dinner recipe with the simple addition of grilled chicken.

Whether you make this healthy spinach strawberry salad for a crowd or for your own dinner on your patio, it’s sure to please!

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Ingredients in Strawberry Spinach Salad

For the balsamic salad dressing

  • good quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper

For the salad

  • baby spinach – or you can use a 50/50 mix of baby spinach and baby arugula.
  • Fresh strawberries – no substitutions here, you need the freshest, juiciest strawberries you can find!
  • Feta cheese – gives the salad a tangy and salty component. I recommend you buy a block of feta cheese and crumble it yourself. I agree the pre-crumbled cheese is convenient but often it’s tossed in extra ingredients to keep it from sticking. In my option, that alters the flavor a bit and I love my feta. 

Life is betta’ with feta.

  • Toasted pecans – they’re easy to make. I’ll share how below.
  • Red onion – for a little texture and contrast to the sweet strawberries.

How to toast pecans

Toasting pecans, or most nuts for that matter, makes them extra crunchy and improves the flavor and texture. Even though it may sound like a pain in the you-know-what, you’ll be happy with the results and truly, it only takes a few minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium heat on your stovetop. Add your whole pecans to the pan and plant your feet firmly on the ground.

Translation: stay at your post and don’t walk away. Burned nuts are a totally bummer.

Use a spoon to stir the nuts for about 3-4 minutes until they become fragrant. When you can start to smell them, it’s time to pull them off the stove.

Remove the pecans from the pan to a plate or cutting board and allow to cool before you chop them.

Seriously, remove them from the pan or they’ll keep toasting. Nuts, they’re a persnickety bunch!

That’s it, the Cliff notes version of pecan toasting!

If you’re really looking to dive into the world of pecan toasting you can read more about how to toast pecans.

strawberry spinach salad with feta

How to Make Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta:

Step 1: Make the dressing. Whisk together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl OR combine your ingredients in a cruet or mason jar with a lid and shake well. 

Taste and adjust your seasonings, adding a touch of salt or pepper as needed.

Step 2: Toast your pecans. Heat a skillet over medium heat on your stovetop. Add your whole pecans and stir the nuts for about 3-4 minutes until they become fragrant. When you can start to smell them, it’s time to pull them off the stove.

Remove the pecans from the pan to a plate or cutting board and allow to cool before you chop them.

Step 3: Soak your onions. Sounds weird, but I highly recommend it! I love red onion in summertime and the bite it gives to offset the sweet strawberries and tangy dressing.

But sometimes, red onions can be very pungent!

We’ll solve this by soaking our cut onion in a small bowl of ice water while we prepare the other ingredients.

Step 4: Assemble the salad. Grab your prettiest salad bowl and let’s get assembling!

Add the spinach, strawberries and drained red onions, Toss your salad lightly with about half of your dressing. Don’t overcoat, we just want a little bit here and there.

We can always add more salad dressing, but we can’t take it off! Leftover dressing can be served along side the salad or refrigerated for up to a week.

Top your strawberry spinach salad with feta and your toasted pecans.

strawberry spinach salad with balsamic dressing

Spinach Salad Variations:

  • Use goat cheese instead of feta
  • Omit the red onion
  • Sub in walnuts instead of pecans
  • Try candied pecans
  • Shortcut it with a pre-made balsamic vinaigrette dressing mix
  • Use a 50/50 mix of 50/50 mix of baby spinach and baby arugula

Ideas to make this salad ahead of time:

Soak your red onions. They can stay in the water until you’re ready to assemble.

Prepare your salad dressing. If it’s been in the refrigerator you may need to let it come up to temperature a bit. Shake well before using.

Pre slice strawberries and crumble feta cheese. Keep in separate containers.

Toast pecans up to several days before and refrigerate until needed.

What to serve with strawberry spinach salad

This salad pairs really well with honey mustard grilled chicken, and I’ll never turn down a crusty piece of homemade bread!

Make it for two

So many of you have asked for recipes to serve one or two, so here you go!

Half the salad ingredients. I’d go ahead and make the entire batch of dressing, through!

You can use leftover dressing throughout the week to top Mediterranean Roasted Veggies, simple salad or even to drizzle over or marinate grilled pork chops!

Other Salad Recipes

Try this Strawberry Spinach Salad and let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, or tag me @thisfarmgirlcooks on Instagram or Facebook!

Strawberry Spinach Salad


Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Fresh flavors shine through with this simple and delicious Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta. An easy balsamic vinaigrette tops this flavorful and bright strawberry salad.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Balsamic Dressing Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups baby spinach OR 50/50 mix of baby spinach and baby arugula
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, crumbled
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

    1. Place onion slices in a small bowl of ice water. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before removing from cold water and transferring to salad.
    2. To make salad dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a touch of salt or pepper as needed.
    3. In a large salad bowl, add the spinach, strawberries and drained onions. Add about half of the salad dressing and toss to lightly coat. Sprinkle pecans and feta cheese over the top. Toss lightly to combine.

Notes

To toast your pecans: Heat a skillet over medium heat on your stovetop. Add your whole pecans and stir the nuts for about 3-4 minutes until they become fragrant. When you can start to smell them, it's time to pull them off the stove.

Remove the pecans from the pan to a plate or cutting board and allow to cool before you chop them.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 478Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 548mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 7g

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Mention @ThisFarmGirlCooks or tag #thisfarmgirlcooks!

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