This delightful Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe is paired with an amazing tomato-balsamic dressing. It's so fresh, full of flavor, and easy to prepare! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
We absolutely adore this bright and fresh strawberry salad!
The sweet strawberries and tender spinach pair amazingly with the tangy balsamic dressing.
My mother-in-law made a similar recipe from her "Marshall Field's Cookbook" years ago. And it's been a recurring salad and side dish in our kitchen ever since.
The original dressing recipe calls for a bit of oil, but we omit it here for a lighter, oil-free version.
Ingredients for Strawberry Spinach Salad
For the salad portion you will assemble in bowls:
- Baby spinach: Or you can use a mixed greens blend instead if you'd like. I've done this too and it works great.
- Fresh strawberries: Be sure to find ones that are ripe and sweet for best flavor. I try to find organic strawberries whenever possible.
- Red onion slices: We will finely slice red onion, but you can substitute green onion (scallion) for a milder onion taste.
- Nuts or seeds: These are optional but they add great crunch and texture. You can sprinkle sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, or hemp hearts on your bowl before serving.
Ingredients for Dressing
To make the dressing, you will blend in a blender:
- Roma tomato: We will need two medium roma tomatoes for this recipe.
- Shallot: We'll use one medium shallot. These add a really nice onion flavor to the dressing.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Use one or two cloves depending on how much you enjoy the taste.
- Balsamic vinegar: I love the rich, complex flavors of balsamic, but if you're not a fan, you could try substituting apple cider vinegar instead. (Although I have not tested this yet.)
- Dijon mustard
- Water to thin: Or you can use olive oil for a smoother consistency.
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe. You can also include black pepper to taste.
Other fruit: In addition to the strawberries, you could also add fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears, etc.
Add vegan cheese: Sprinkle vegan feta cheese crumbles or dairy-free goat cheese on top before serving if desired.
Candied nuts: Adding candied pecans or candied walnuts is so delicious on this salad! (We love these naturally sweetened Maple-Vanilla Candied Nuts.)
Add protein: For more plant-based protein and fiber, toss in garbanzo beans or other white beans of choice. You could also add your favorite vegan chicken strips.
Dressing: You could also make this spinach strawberry salad with your favorite poppyseed dressing if desired.
Store the salad and dressing separately in airtight containers in the fridge for best freshness. We find it keeps for about 3-4 days.
Tip: I think the dressing tastes even better the next day after the flavors mingle, so it's something you can make ahead of time and use throughout the week!
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Tomato-Balsamic Dressing
- 5 oz. fresh baby spinach (or a spinach/baby greens mix)
- 8 oz. fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced (or green onion for milder flavor)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds + sunflower seeds (optional)
For the tomato-balsamic dressing:
- 2 medium roma tomatoes
- 1 medium shallot (1/3 cup chopped)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (or up to 1/2 cup)
- 1-2 tsp. Dijon mustard (I like 2)
- 2 Tbsp. water (or olive oil*)
- 1/4 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Make the dressing: Roughly chop tomato. Dice shallot, and mince garlic. Place in a blender with all remaining dressing ingredients. Blend until smooth.* Taste and adjust flavors if needed. (More balsamic, salt, etc.)
- In a large bowl, toss spinach/salad greens with about 1/2 cup dressing (more or less to taste). This gives it a nice coating.
- Slice strawberries and thinly slice red onion.
- Place dressed greens on a plate and top with strawberries, red onion, seeds, and another drizzle of dressing if desired.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this vegan spinach strawberry salad recipe with balsamic, also feel free to check out:
- Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
- Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad