If you’re looking for a flavorful salad that can be made in no time and with minimal ingredients, then this strawberry and spinach salad is for you! The homemade balsamic dressing only requires five, easy-to-find ingredients.
This strawberry and spinach salad is spring heaven in a bowl. Filled with lots of seasonal and antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as spinach, strawberries, blueberries, and pumpkin seeds among others. And the best part is how easy it is to put together. I prepared this salad and the balsamic dressing all in under 15 minutes!
The sweet and tangy balsamic dressing pairs wonderfully with this strawberry and spinach salad.
Some good-for-you Ingredients in this Quick Strawberry and Spinach Salad
- Strawberries and blueberries are known to contain compounds that could inhibit cancer growth (USDA) and that could improve cognitive and motor functions (Subash S, Essa MM, et al 2014). Strawberries also contain magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, flavonoids, and a rich dose of vitamin C (California Strawberries).
- Spinach contains rich amounts of vitamin K, which plays a key role in bone health. It also contains calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, folic acid, magnesium, iron, and flavonoids, among other nutrients.
- Avocados are not only creamy and delicious, but they also pack tons of nutritious goodness. Avocados provide monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid (omega-9 fatty acids), which has been shown to improve lipid profiles (Drehel ML, Davenport AJ 2013). They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are natural antioxidants that have been studied for their protective effect on eye health. Avocados are also good sources of fiber, folate, vitamin A, and other carotenoids (USDA).
- Olive oil contains antioxidants called phenols (phenolic compounds) and monounsaturated fats.
- Cranberries, much like olive oil, contain phenols, which have been linked to various health benefits (Weh KM, et al 2016).
Other Ingredients you can add to this Strawberry and Spinach Salad
- Thinly sliced granny smith apple or pear
- Pecans or slivered almonds
- Other leafy greens, such as chopped romaine, kale, or spring mix
- Crumbled feta or goat cheese
Is this the Perfect Lunch to Pack to Work/School?
The short answer is: YES! However, I would recommend packing the balsamic dressing separately so the spinach does not become soggy. Also, I suggest chopping the avocado right before enjoying your salad, to prevent browning. To make this lunch more nutrient-dense and help you stay full for longer, I suggest pairing it with a protein – such as grilled chicken breast, salmon, or a plant-based protein of choice.
This recipe makes approximately 2 servings
For the Balsamic Dressing
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of honey
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
For the Strawberry and Spinach salad
- 2-3 cups of baby spinach
- 10 fresh strawberries, chopped
- 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
To prepare the balsamic dressing, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl. For convenience, I suggest using a one-tablespoon measuring spoon to measure and add the olive oil first. Then, eyeball about 1/2 of a tablespoon of honey using the same measuring spoon. The olive residue will help so the honey falls easily off the spoon.
In a large salad mixing bowl, toss the spinach, chopped strawberries, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and mix until well combined. Then, pour your prepared homemade balsamic dressing. Lastly, serve with fresh diced avocado and enjoy!
If you are making this recipe to pack for the next day’s lunch, bring the dressing separately and dice the avocado right before serving to minimize browning.
Quick Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing
Flavorful salad in no time? This strawberry and spinach salad is made with tons of good-for-you ingredients and an easy balsamic dressing.
For the Balsamic Dressing
For the Strawberry and Spinach Salad**
- To prepare the balsamic dressing, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl. For convenience, I suggest using a one-tablespoon measuring spoon to measure and add the olive oil first. Then, eyeball about 1/2 of a tablespoon of honey using the same measuring spoon. The olive residue will help so the honey falls easily off the spoon.
- In a large salad mixing bowl, toss the spinach, chopped strawberries, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and mix until well combined.
- Pour your prepared homemade balsamic dressing onto the salad and toss gently until the dressing is well incorporated.
- Add freshly diced avocado and toss salad once more to combine avocado. Serve immediately.***
- *I have tested this recipe using less salt (1/4 teaspoon instead of 1/2) and it was also tasty this way.
- **A word about the ingredients for the strawberry and spinach salad – the quantities are just guidelines, not set rules. I encourage you to add more or less of the ingredients to fit your personal preference.
- ***If you are making this recipe to pack for the next day’s lunch, bring the dressing separately and dice the avocado right before serving to minimize browning.