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Strawberry Spinach Salad (Vegan + Paleo)

Strawberry Spinach Salad – Fresh strawberry salad with avocado, nuts, and a bright, tangy dressing. This salad is always a crowd favorite! (Gluten-Free, Paleo & Vegan-Friendly)

Overhead view of a white bowl of strawberry spinach salad and a fork on a white background

Sweet, ripe red strawberries are starting to appear in the markets lately, and they have me ALL kinds of excited about spring and warmer weather.

With Easter on the way (just a few weeks away!), and spring weather coming along, it felt like the perfect time of year to share my Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe. This lovely strawberry salad has been a favorite of ours for years. It’s got all my favorite elements in a delicious salad:

  1. Sweet. The strawberries form a layer of sweetness and tang that’s gorgeous.
  2. Creamy. Avocado is my love language, and it adds a little something special to strawberry spinach salad!
  3. Crunchy. Three cheers for a good crunch! This salad gets some crunch with a mix of nuts, plus a tiny bite from the onion. It’s a lovely contrast to the creamy avocado and juicy, ripe strawberries.
  4. Savory. The tangy dressing keeps this salad from leaning *too* sweet, and it’s such a lovely balance of flavors I find myself going back for *one* more bite again and again.
Overhead view of ingredients for strawberry spinach salad on a white background
Overhead view of strawberry spinach salad on a white salad plate

Here’s What Goes Into Our Paleo Strawberry Spinach Salad:

  • Spinach (Or A Mix Of Greens). Strawberry spinach salads needs–you guessed it!–spinach. You can use all spinach here or do half spinach and half spring greens. Or half spinach and half arugula. Feel free to mix and match!
  • Fresh Strawberries. Red, ripe strawberries are the star of strawberry spinach salad. You can halve them or slice them–whichever is easiest for you.
  • Avocado. Creamy avocado is gorgeous next to the fresh strawberries.
  • A Little Red Or Green Onion. I usually use a *little* red onion for strawberry spinach salad, but if raw onion is a bit potent for you, you can absolutely swap in sliced green onion. They’re a lot more mild and the flavor is lovely here!
  • Nuts. My mom uses almonds in her strawberry salad, while my mother-in-law usually favors pistachios. I’ve taken to using a mix of salty pistachios and sliced almonds, but SO many kinds of nuts are delicious in strawberry spinach salad–walnuts, pecans, they’re all good! You can also swap in sunflower seeds for a nut-free option.
  • Sweet, Tangy Dressing. This dressing is just lovely. I love the blend of tangy and sweet. It highlights the sweetness in the berries, but keeps the salad from being *too* sweet.
Overhead view of a mixing bowl of strawberry spinach salad ready to be tossed with dressing
Overhead view of a mixing bowl of a tossed strawberry spinach salad

Mix It Up! Here Are More Toppings To Try On Strawberry Spinach Salad:

  • Arugula Or Spring Mix. I love doing half baby spinach with half spring mix or half arugula to change up the color or flavor. Spring mix adds a lovely hint of color, while arugula adds some peppery bite. Feel free to mix things up!
  • Diced Chicken. Want to take this strawberry spinach salad from side dish to main dish? Add some sliced or diced chicken. Grilled chicken adds a great smoky note; Or, leftover rotisserie or cooked chicken works nicely.
  • Crumbled Bacon. If you’re craving something salty and smoky, a bit of crumbled, cooked bacon is lovely in Strawberry Spinach Salad!
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese or Feta Cheese. If you tolerate dairy, crumbled blue cheese/gorgonzola, salty feta cheese, creamy goat cheese can be a great addition to strawberry spinach salad.
  • Candied Nuts. If you’ve got extra time, feel free to try your strawberry spinach salad with candied almonds instead of sliced ones. We love their sweetness & crunchy texture!
  • Different Nuts! Or, you can change up the nuts entirely! Try a mix of almonds, walnuts, or pecans in place if the pistachios and almonds I usually use.
  • A Mix Of Berries. Add a splash of color by using 1 cup of blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries along with 1 cup strawberries instead of the usual 1 cup strawberries.
  • Mandarin Oranges. Kind of like our strawberry orange salad with poppyseed dressing!
Overhead view of strawberry spinach salad on a white salad plate
Front view of strawberry spinach salad with avocado on a white plate

FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD:

TRY DRESSING YOUR GREENS FIRST. If you’re serving this all at once (for a family meal or a get-together), try tossing the dressing with your greens first. This will help keep the other ingredients in better condition. (That way you don’t accidentally mash the avocado much while you toss the salad.)

CAN I MAKE STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD IN ADVANCE? Like most green salads, I wouldn’t recommend making this strawberry spinach salad too far in advance since the berries will start to soften and the avocado will oxidize (brown) once it’s cut. You can wash and prep your berries ahead of time, prep your greens, prepare the nuts, and mix up the dressing, but I don’t recommend cutting the avocado and assembling the salad until close to the time you plan to eat it.

HOW LONG WILL STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD STAY FRESH? Once it’s been mixed, it’ll only really keep for a day. After that, the greens go soggy. It’s best not to dress it in advance if you can avoid it! Without dressing (and slicing the avocado right before serving), the rest of the ingredients will keep well for 2-3 days.

MAKE IT KID-FRIENDLY: SERVE THIS SALAD FAMILY-STYLE! Whenever we have salads for dinner, my kids (who still struggle with pickiness) do MUCH better if I keep all the components separate and let everyone build their own. A little autonomy can go a long way in helping kids to try new foods, so where they might have rejected the mixed salad out of hand, they might end up eating most of the components if they get to build it themselves. So, one child might choose lettuce + dressing with their berries on the side. The other might only want berries + almonds + avocado. Either way, everyone’s had a chance to try the salad + we haven’t had an argument over dinner. Win!

Overhead view of strawberry spinach salad on a white salad plate
Overhead view of a white bowl of strawberry spinach salad and a fork on a white background
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Overhead view of strawberry spinach salad on a white salad plate

Strawberry Spinach Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 cups salad 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This strawberry spinach salad recipe is light, bright, and so easy! You’ll love the tangy dressing! (Vegan, Paleo)


Ingredients

Scale

FOR THE STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD:

  • 68 cups (about 5 oz.) of baby spinach. (Or you can use half spring mix or half arugula)
  • 2 cups (1 pint) fresh strawberries, washed, stems removed, and sliced or halved
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1/3 cup salted pistachios
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced or finely minced (about 1/4 small red onion)

FOR THE SALAD DRESSING:

  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or agave (can sub maple syrup)
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or another neutral-tasting oil)

Instructions

FIRST, MAKE THE DRESSING:

  1. In a bowl or jar, combine oil, vinegar, syrup, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Whisk until the mixture is combined (it may separate since you’re not using an emulsifier like mustard. Just stir it again!**)
  3. Set the dressing aside.

ASSEMBLE YOUR STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD:

  1. Place salad greens in a large bowl. Top with strawberries, avocado slices, pistachios, and red onion.
  2. Stir the dressing again, if needed. Drizzle salad with half of the dressing.
  3. Gently toss with two forks or salad tongs to combine, adding more dressing, as desired. (It will seem like a LOT of greens, but they will start to wilt once dressed.)*

Notes

*If you’re serving the salad all at once, I suggest tossing the greens with the dressing first, then adding the other ingredients. This will help you keep the avocado from getting too mashed when mixing.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: strawberry spinach salad, strawberry salad, strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing

3 Comments

  1. just made this salad for dinner tonight with all the fixings you recommended. although it was a lil difficult to get the strawberries and spinach together on a fork, the dinner was scrumtious! the strawberry played well with the tangy vinegrette.

  2. Is this the salad that was at the RS birthday dinner? The poppy seed dressing WITHOUT onions? I pretty much ate three or four servings. Not going to lie.

  3. I made Sunday dinner for the family and tried this salad out. It was a hit! Thanks Emily for sharing your wonderful recipes! Miss ya!

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