There’s nothing quite like a delicious salad to get your taste buds excited for spring and summer. This Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad is the perfect mix of sweet and tangy, with fresh strawberries, creamy goat cheese, and spinach leaves all coated in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese
If you’ve never tried adding fresh berries to salad, you’re missing out. This combination is especially popular in the spring and summer months because it’s light, fresh, and super tasty.
Our strawberry goat cheese salad mixes fresh strawberries, tender spinach, tangy crumbled goat cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. This salad is so easy to make and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s the perfect combination of sweet, tart, and tangy.
- It can be enjoyed as a side dish or topped with protein for a full meal.
- A homemade balsamic vinaigrette rounds out this salad beautifully.
- Whip it up in under 30 minutes for a quick lunch or dinner.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Toasted Chopped Pecans – Adds a warming nutty flavor with lots of crunchy texture.
- Baby Spinach – This tender green holds up well in the salad and offers texture and nutrient density.
- Fresh Strawberries – Gives this salad freshness and a naturally sweet flavor that pairs well with the savory and tangy ingredients.
- Red Onion – A mild onion flavor complements the sweet flavor of the strawberries and balsamic dressing.
- Crumbled Goat Cheese – Adds a tart and tangy salty bite.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette – This simple dressing is easily put together and can also be used as a marinade for other recipes.
How To Make Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- Toast the pecans: Add the pecans to a small pan. Heat over low heat, and toast for 3-4 minutes just until fragrant. Make sure you watch them carefully to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Assemble the salad: In a large bowl combine the spinach, strawberries, red onion, goat cheese, and toasted pecans. Toss with tongs to fully incorporate the ingredients.
- Add dressing and serve: Drizzle the top with balsamic vinaigrette and serve immediately in individual salad bowls or one large serving bowl.
- When toasting pecans, make sure you are watching them carefully as raw nuts have oil inside that can burn and become bitter very quickly.
- For best results, thinly slice the onions with a sharp knife or mandolin to get a mild onion flavor in each bite.
- If you don’t have time to make the homemade dressing, a high-quality store-bought balsamic vinaigrette will work just as well.
- Remove the stems from the spinach to create a smooth and tender texture in the salad.
- Add the dressing right before serving to keep the ingredients fresh and crunchy.
- Use different flavored goat cheese such as herb, honey, or garlic and chive for a different flavor profile.
- Toss in some fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, and cilantro for a fresh garden taste.
- Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak to make this salad a complete meal.
- Try using raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries in place of the strawberries.
- You can also add in some roasted crumbled bacon for a salty and savory bite.
- Instead of spinach, try using other leafy greens such as Romaine, Kale, or Arugula.
- If you’re looking for a vegan version of this salad, omit the goat cheese and use your favorite plant-based protein such as chickpeas or tofu.
This salad is best served immediately. If making ahead of time, prepare the ingredients and keep them in separate containers until you’re ready to assemble. Freezing is not recommended.
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- ½ cup pecans chopped
- 4 cups baby spinach washed and stems removed
- 8 ounces strawberries fresh, hulled and sliced
- ¼ purple onion medium-sized, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette or more if desired
- Add the pecans to a small pan. Heat over low heat, and toast for 3-4 minutes just until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.½ cup pecans
- In a large bowl, or divided between individual bowls, combine the spinach, strawberries, red onion, goat cheese, and toasted pecans. Toss to combine.4 cups baby spinach8 ounces strawberries¼ purple onion4 ounces goat cheese
- Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and serve immediately. Storage is not recommended.¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette