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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
- Vegan Quinoa Salad
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
- Wild Rice Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
- Summer Salad with Orange Basil Vinaigrette
- Detox Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
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 with Poppy Seed Dressing
- 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.
Per serving: Calories: 262, Fat: 21g, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 2g
- 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?