Strawberry Spinach Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Fresh & Colorful Strawberry Spinach Salad topped with a Creamy Poppyseed Dressing. Loaded with fresh feta cheese, red onions, and pine nuts, serve it as a side salad or add protein to make it a meal!

Nothing beats a fresh, fancy salad! Try my Peach, Feta, and Blackberry Salad, and my Watermelon Feta Salad to make the most of the sweetest summer fruits!

Strawberry Spinach Salad in a white bowl.

I’ve been on a serious salad kick lately. I can’t get enough of them. This light and fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad is by far one of my favorites. Loaded with fresh spinach, strawberries, cucumber, red onion, pine nuts, and feta cheese.

This has summer written all over it but you can make it anytime. This salad is similar to Panera Bread’s Strawberry Poppyseed salad which is sadly only served during the summer. Their version is loaded with blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and chicken. It gets drizzled with an amazing Poppyseed dressing.

I was originally planning on pairing this salad with a balsamic vinaigrette but I couldn’t pass up on this creamy poppyseed dressing. It is the perfect combination of feta cheese and strawberries. The Creamy Poppyseed dressing makes this salad. It’s super thick and creamy thanks to the Greek yogurt. Don’t let the creaminess fool you. Swapping the Greek yogurt for mayonnaise lightened up the dressing and added a boost of protein. The dressing is not too sweet with a hint of lemon. No blender is required to make it! Everything gets whisked by hand.

Strawberry Spinach Salad in a white bowl on a wooden table.

What you’ll need for this recipe

Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • Spinach: Beautiful, leafy, and green, fresh spinach is one of my favorite salad bases. You can substitute another leafy green like arugula instead for a change, but I do love raw spinach!
  • Onion: Red onion is sweet and less pungent than most onions. If you’re sensitive to the flavor, add 1/4 of red onion instead of half.
  • Strawberries: Really, you can use any berries in this salad like blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
  • Cucumber: Adds freshness and crunch! Keep the skin on – that’s where all the good nutrients are!
  • Pine nuts: For crunch, I added pine nuts. Walnuts, pistachios, or pecans are good substitutes.
  • Feta: Tangy and soft, this greek cheese is so tasty! If you want to try another cheese on this Strawberry Spinach Salad, give goat cheese or ricotta a go.

Poppyseed Dressing

  • Vinegar & lemon: This dressing has a delightful tartness from the rice wine vinegar and lemon. The rice wine vinegar is a little more subtle than most kinds of vinegar and really delicious in this Poppyseed dressing.
  • Greek Yogurt: Thick and creamy, Greek yogurt is my absolute favorite. You can use full fat or a lighter version, or for a vegan option use a vegan Greek yogurt.
  • Poppy seeds: Poppy seeds add texture and just a little nutrition. Feel free to skip them.
  • Milk: Milk thins the dressing to the perfect consistency. Add whatever milk you have on hand – dairy or plant-based!
  • Oil: Use a healthy oil like extra virgin olive oil. Avocado oil is great too.
  • Sugar: To balance all of these flavors I add just a touch of sugar. You can skip it or use honey instead if desired.

How to make Strawberry Spinach Salad

It’s easy – just 3 steps!

  1. Add spinach to a large bowl or 4 individual bowls.
  2. Top with red onion, strawberries, cucumber, pine nuts, and feta cheese.
  3. Drizzle with poppyseed dressing.

How to make Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

In a small bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, poppy seeds, milk, extra virgin olive oil, and sugar. Whisk until smooth and set aside until you are ready to serve the salad.

Strawberry Spinach Salad in a white bowl on a wooden table.

Tips for Success

  • Pine nuts are added for crunch. If you don’t have pine nuts on hand, walnuts, almonds or pecans would also work in this salad. I personally love pine nuts and always keep a stash in my freezer.
  • Meal prep: This salad is super easy to toss together or make ahead for a quick work lunch.
  • Grilled chicken can be added to this salad for a protein boost.
  • Make extra dressing to have on hand for the week.
  • Make it vegan by using dairy-free greek yogurt and milk. Add some tofu for protein if desired!
  • Store this Strawberry Spinach Salad in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Store the dressing in an airtight container for a week.

Strawberry Spinach Salad in a white bowl.

What goes with Strawberry Spinach Salad?

I love to add protein to this recipe! Here are a few suggestions:

 

Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad in a white bowl with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing being poured over it.

And I can’t forget to give a shout-out to my favorite assistant Daisy! ♥

Daisy, black Labrador.

Here are more healthy salad recipes to try!

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Spinach Strawberry Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Fresh & Colorful Strawberry Spinach Salad topped with a Creamy Poppyseed Dressing. Loaded with fresh feta cheese, red onions and pinenuts.

Ingredients

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 4 cups spinach
  • 12 thin slices red onion about half of a small onion
  • 10 whole strawberries sliced
  • 20 slices cucumber about 1 small cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons feta cheese crumbled
  • Poppyseed dressing recipe follows below

Poppyseed Dressing

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

  • Add spinach to a large bowl or 4 individual bowls.
  • Top with red onion, strawberries, cucumber, pine nuts and feta cheese.
  • Drizzle with poppyseed dressing.

Poppyseed Dressing

  • Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine until creamy. Set aside until ready to serve salad.
Nutrition Facts
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 292 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 191mg8%
Potassium 823mg24%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 2892IU58%
Vitamin C 53mg64%
Calcium 221mg22%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing, Feta Cheese, Healthy Dinner, Spinach Strawberry Salad

 

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