Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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This Strawberry Spinach Salad is a classic summer staple, topped with an addictive poppy seed dressing. I love how fast & easy it comes together for entertaining!

strawberry spinach salad overhead on a white plate

How to Make a Strawberry Spinach Salad

This salad is quick and easy to assemble. I start with a bed of fresh baby spinach, then top it with sliced strawberries, red onion, and avocado.

strawberries, avocado & red onion spinach salad

Make sure you slice the avocado right before serving, so it doesn’t brown. I also like to add the dressing right before serving, so that the spinach doesn’t wilt too fast. (Alternatively, you can serve the dressing on the side and let your guests choose how much to add.)

How to Make Poppy Seed Dressing

If you’re making this colorful Strawberry Spinach Salad for a party or holiday gathering, you can make your life easier by making the dressing ahead of time. I like to make it the night before so it tastes fresh, and that also gives it time for the flavors to meld and get better.

lemon poppy seed dressing in bottle

I usually make a double-batch of my Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing, because I love to have leftovers to use on my salads for the rest of the week. So keep in mind that you might want to double the recipe below!

More Spinach Salad Toppings

If you follow food combining principles, this salad is properly combined for streamlined digestion. If that’s not a concern for you, you can get creative with even more toppings!

Here are some ideas:

  • Grilled chicken or salmon (to serve it as a complete meal)
  • Chickpeas (for vegetarian protein)
  • Crumbled gorgonzola or feta cheese
  • Maple Glazed Walnuts
  • Cooked quinoa

If raw spinach isn’t your favorite salad green, feel free to use another lettuce that you do like. Chopped romaine, kale, or mixed field greens would all be nice with these toppings!

spinach salad leaves with dressing on top

Can We Eat Raw Spinach?

There has been some concern about eating spinach raw because it contains oxalic acid, which may interfere with the absorption of certain minerals, like calcium and iron. However, research has shown that dietary oxalate may not be a major contributor (only 10% to 20%) to the oxalates excreted in urine, so oxalate restriction may not be necessary for most people.

Spinach also contains nutrients which are more available to the body when you eat it raw. These include nutrients like vitamin C, folate, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin. I eat at least a cup or two of raw spinach every day, but if oxalates are a concern for you, try using a low-oxalate green in this recipe, like kale, romaine or arugula.

More Crowd-Pleasing Salad Recipes

If you need more salad ideas, try one of the recipes below!

If you give this recipe a try, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. If you’re on social media, use tag #detoxinista so I can find you and show you some love!

strawberry spinach salad overhead on a white plate
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5 from 5 votes

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

This STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD is a colorful summer dish, with an easy Poppy Seed Dressing. Topped with strawberries, avocado, and red onion.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword salad, salad dressing
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 262kcal


  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries , sliced
  • 1/4 red onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado , sliced

Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds


  • To prepare the Poppy Seed Dressing, combine the lemon juice, oil, honey, mustard and salt in a small jar with a lid. Shake it vigorously until the dressing looks emulsified, then taste and adjust any seasoning as needed. Add the poppy seeds and shake again, then set it aside for the flavors to meld.
  • To assemble the salad, place the spinach in a large serving bowl, then top it with strawberries, red onion, and avocado. Drizzle the dressing over the top and gently toss, just before serving.
  • If you plan to save this salad for later, store the salad ingredients separately from the dressing for best shelf life. The dressing should last up to 5 days in an airtight container the fridge.



Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 533mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3590IU | Vitamin C: 43.1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Per serving: Calories: 262, Fat: 21g, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 2g

Recipe Notes:

  • This salad recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to use any other ingredients you have on hand. The mustard in this dressing helps it to emulsify without using so much oil, so I don’t recommend leaving it out, but feel free to experiment!
  • For a vegan dressing, replace the honey with maple syrup to taste. (You might need a little more maple syrup, since honey is sweeter.)

As always, if you try something different with this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know what you tried. We can all benefit from YOUR experience!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite summer salad?

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This is my favorite salad! You’re right, the dressing is ridiculously good, and it’s really the only thing that has made me like eating raw spinach. I’m bringing this to our July 4th party this year!


Any suggestions for making the dressing oil free? Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    You could try adding some peeled & chopped zucchini instead of the oil.


Instead of poppy seeds, do you think you could use chia seeds in the dressing?


Delish! The dressing really makes this salad shine! I have made this type of salad before but honestly your version is truly the best! Thank you!


Just now figuring out that food combining has been hindering my gut health healing IBS-C and low fodmap journey to Healing from Within…

But is this allowed,.. fruit and veggie to be combined also with acid in the vinegrette!?!? TiA i need a good simplistic food combining chart lol 😔🤪

Saved some of your smoothie recipes they look amaaaazing!

💗 confused overwhelmed struggling Texan aka Lindsay Melrose

    Megan Gilmore

    I practice pretty “simplistic” food combining rules, so this combination works well for me! I never worry about the acid in a salad dressing; and eating fruits like avocado and strawberries along with non-starchy veggies like red onion and spinach is just fine! Be sure to print off my food combining chart here if you need some extra guidance:


Made this last night with the zucchini in the dresing (as suggested for oil free) and it was fantastic! The whole dish disappeared with requests for more. Putting this in the rotation!


as always the salad is delicious. I cannot get enough of your recipes. It is always tasty, healthy and creative.

Debbie Forrester

Made is today for our small group gathering, and everybody that are it raved about it. Megan, you are right, the dressing is addictive! 5 stars!

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