Summer Strawberry Salad

Jim Robinson

By Jim Robinson

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This bright and healthy summer salad is the perfect way to utilize the fruits of your summer harvest. Tangy strawberries, zesty red onions, fresh greens, and homemade strawberry dressing come together for the perfect lunch or a wonderful dinner side salad.

Close-up, vertical view of a Strawberry Summer Salad.

If you’re looking for a way to put your strawberry and greens harvests to use, this salad is a fresh and delicious option. 

The bright and tangy notes of ripe strawberries mix perfectly with the earthy flavor of greens and pistachios. Add in some zesty red onions, crunchy cucumbers, and the complex notes of our homemade strawberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and you’ve got the perfect salad to celebrate summer.

This healthy dish is vegan and gluten-free and works well as a main or side dish. Pair it with our tear-and-share bread and seared wild salmon for a fresh, filling meal.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to Make. All you have to do to make this simple strawberry salad recipe is mix the dressing ingredients and assemble the salad.
  • Great Way to Use Your Harvest. Many of these ingredients can be grown in your garden, making this a great recipe to use the fruits of your labor.
  • Customizable. This recipe is delicious as is, but can be easily customized to fit your tastes.
Ingredients for a Strawberry Summer Salad on a marble countertop.

How to Make Summer Strawberry F Salad

This fresh and cheerful salad comes together in just a few quick steps. Here, we’ll take a look at the key ingredients and how to make this yummy summer strawberry salad.

Key Ingredients

  • Strawberries. Plump and juicy strawberries work just as well for this recipe as the smaller varieties. As long as your strawberries are ripe and sweet, they’ll complement the other ingredients well.
  • Red Onion. The sharp, zesty flavor of red onion plays perfectly with the sweet and tangy notes of the strawberry balsamic dressing.
  • Greens Mix. I usually make this with spinach and arugula from my garden, but any tender greens mix will do.
  • Pistachios. Topping this salad with chopped pistachios adds a pleasing crunch that works very well with the crisp cucumbers and juicy berries. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Slice the strawberries, cucumbers, and onion. Chop the pistachios.

Strawberries cut up in a white bowl, surrounded by various bowls and plates of ingredients to make a strawberry summer salad.

2. Mash strawberries for the dressing. Slightly chunky is okay, but the smoother the texture the better.

Strawberries being mashed up with a fork in a white bowl, surrounded by various other bowls and plates of ingredients to make a strawberry summer salad.

3. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients to a bowl.

Ingredients for Strawberry Vinaigrette combined in a white bowl.

4. Mix the dressing until well combined.

Strawberry vinaigrette in a white bowl with a fork.

5. Toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

A bowl of salad greens.

6. Add the dressing. Enjoy!

A woman's hands holding a large bowl of Strawberry Summer Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette.

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Use a blender if needed. Very ripe strawberries will mash up easily, but you may need to use a blender if your berries aren’t quite soft enough. You can add all the dressing ingredients to the blender to mix them.
  • Make sure your greens are dry. Whether you’re using store-bought greens or some from your garden, be sure you wash and dry them well before building your salad.
  • Substitute the berries. If you don’t have enough strawberries (or any), you can always substitute in whatever berries you have on hand, including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
  • Add extra toppings. In addition to my recommendations here, you can also add feta cheese, goat cheese, avocado, and/or candied pecans. 
  • Switch up the nuts. The pistachios add a nice crunch, but you can accomplish the same thing with whatever nuts you have on hand. Walnuts, sliced almonds, and pecans all work well.
  • Add protein. This salad pairs very well with grilled chicken. You can also add roasted chickpeas or farro to up the protein content.

Make Ahead and Storage Recommendations

If you expect leftovers from this strawberry spinach salad, I recommend adding the dressing only to the served portions. This way, you can store the salad ingredients separately from the dressing. This will help prevent the greens from getting soggy. 

It’s also a good idea to store the strawberries whole rather than sliced. This will help the leftovers last longer. 

Either way, the leftover salad should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will last 3 to 7 days depending on how fresh the ingredients were to begin with.

This recipe should not be frozen.

Try These Other Strawberry Recipes

Got more strawberries coming out of your garden than you know what to do with? Here are a few more of our favorite strawberry-centric recipes.

Strawberry Summer Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette.
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Summer Strawberry Salad

This bright and healthy vegan summer salad is the perfect way to utilize the fruits of your summer harvest. Tangy strawberries, zesty red onions, fresh greens, and homemade strawberry dressing come together for the perfect lunch or a wonderful dinner side salad.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian

Equipment

  • small mixing bowl
  • Large salad bowl

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 2 cups strawberries sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups greens mix arugula, Romain, etc.
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cucumber thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup pistachio nuts chopped

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup strawberries
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. molasses syrup optional
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mash the strawberries for the dressing, then add olive oil, lemon juice, molasses syrup, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Arrange greens, spinach leaves, strawberries, red onion, cucumber, and pistachios in a big salad dish, top with the dressing and mix.

Notes

If keeping this recipe vegan isn’t necessary, I recommend adding some creamy feta cheese.

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