A Simple Strawberry Spinach Salad, perfect for any day of the week. Toss the greens in a lightly sweet dijon vinaigrette, and top it with crunchy, toasted seeds. It’s the perfect summery complement to any meal!
A Summery Spinach Salad – Simple & Delicious!
Welcome summer with tons of fresh, produce-packed salad recipes! I love having a variety of delicious “go-to” salad recipes for summer. Simply grill whatever meat or seafood you’re planning, and add it to the salad for a light and healthy meal.
This strawberry spinach salad is one I have been making for years! A friend gave it to me at a BBQ, and said every time she brings it to a party, she gets asked for the recipe. Now I bring this to gatherings, and am also asked for the recipe. It’s so simple, and such an interesting combination!
The seeds are an unexpected addition. Often, strawberry salads have cheese or almonds. These are both awesome variations, but give this sunflower and sesame seed version a try! The combo adds a ton of flavor and texture to the salad (not to mention fiber, protein, and satiating healthy fats!).
Strawberries and spinach top the list of the “dirty dozen,” meaning they contain the highest levels of pesticides if grown conventionally. If you can’t find organic options, it’s best to skip using them altogether. Look at the notes below for other fruit and green options for this salad!
What You’ll Need
- Organic Baby Spinach (washed and shaken until most of the excess water is removed)
- Organic Strawberries (hulled and thinly sliced)
- Toasted Sunflower Seeds
- Toasted Sesame Seeds (these add so much flavor! I don’t recommend skipping them)
Simple Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil (or avocado oil)
- Dijon Mustard (make this dressing sugar free by using a monk fruit sweetener)
- Shallots (very finely chopped, or sub red onion)
How to Make a Strawberry Spinach Salad
Step 1: Add the shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, dijon, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a jar, and shake to combine. Set dressing aside.
Step 2: Add strawberries and spinach to a large salad bowl.
Step 3: Toss the strawberries and spinach with the dressing.
Step 4: Top the salad with toasted sesame and sunflower seeds.
Homemade Dressings for Spinach Salads
Homemade salad dressings are quick and simple to make. They also are a great way to control the oils and sugars used in your meals.
Store bought dressings are most likely made with highly processed industrial seed oils, like canola, soy, or sunflower oil. These oils are inflammatory because of their high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio, which is already heavily skewed in the Standard American Diet.
The lightly-sweet honey mustard vinaigrette in this salad is as simple as chopping some shallots and tossing them with red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, and dijon mustard. You can also use a mustard powder.
Love Balsamic Vinaigrette? Sub balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar in this recipe. Balsamic strawberry spinach salads are awesome with a little feta cheese!
Lower the Sugar: Prefer your strawberry spinach salad dressing with no sugar? No problem! I use powdered monk fruit sweetener in place of other sweeteners when I want to entirely avoid sugar.
Try a Poppyseed Honey Mustard Dressing: This salad is perfect with a bright yellow poppyseed honey mustard dressing! While this recipe requires a blender, it’s a great option if you want a beautiful dressing for a special occasion.
Want to create your own dressing? Use this as a guide! (source) (note: I recommend not using grapeseed or peanut oil, and using sesame oil only occasionally.)
Tips & Variations
Add Other Fruit or Berries: Raspberries, blueberries, and ripe summer peaches would be delicious additions.
Other Nut and Seed Options: Toasted pecans, almonds, raw walnuts, or pumpkin seeds are delicious in this strawberry spinach salad.
Try Other Greens: Baby kale, arugula, or green leaf lettuce are great options if you can’t find organic spinach.
Add More Veggies: Thinly sliced cucumber, avocado, orange or yellow bell peppers, red onion, and shaved asparagus would be delicious in this salad.
Love Cheese? Try crumbled goats cheese or feta in this salad. If you want to avoid the nuts and seeds, use cheese in place of them.
Other Healthy Salad Recipes
- Summer’s Freshest 3-Bean Salad (a meal all on it’s own!)
- Midsummer Dream Salad (a must try of summer farmer’s market produce!)
- Grilled Balsamic Chicken Salad with Strawberry Cucumber Salad (perfect for the hottest summer days!)
Simple Strawberry Spinach Salad
- 8 cups baby spinach
- 1 pound strawberries hulled and sliced
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds toasted*
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted*
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or sub monk fruit sweetener for sugar free option
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (the powdered spice)
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely chopped
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Add all salad dressing ingredients to a small container, and shake well. Serve the dressing on the side, or dress the salad when ready to serve.
- Add spinach to a salad bowl. Slice strawberries and add to the salad.
- Toss the spinach and strawberries with the dressing, and then top with toasted seeds.