Strawberry Spinach Salad (With Optional Chicken)



By: The Real Food Dietitians Updated: 7/6/23

This Strawberry Spinach Salad is a refreshing meal that’s perfect for so many occasions. Serve it for a fresh salad lunch at home or take it to a potluck to “wow” everyone around. Sweet strawberries combine with tender baby spinach, onions, goat cheese, sliced almonds, and cooked chicken in this restaurant-worthy salad. Tossed with a vibrant strawberry vinaigrette dressing, this fresh salad is quick to make and sure to satisfy. We’ve provided dairy-free and nut-free options, too.

Close up overhead view strawberry spinach salad in stone bowl, topped with chicken and avocado slices.

A Healthy Strawberry Salad You’ll Make On Repeat!

Salad lover or not, this recipe is sure to be a hit. Made with fresh strawberries, creamy goat cheese, crisp almonds, and tender chicken, it’ll have you saying “mmm,” with every forkful. In fact, it’s so yummy, you wouldn’t even guess it’s healthy! The perfect combo of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, it fills you up and satisfies your taste buds for a healthy salad that’s great to whip up for a potluck or bbq, a quick lunch, or weeknight dinner. One batch requires minimal prep time, makes enough for four servings, and can easily be doubled to feed a bigger group. Pair it with your favorite sides, and you’ve got a delish meal that doesn’t disappoint.

Ingredients To Make This Strawberry Spinach Salad

Here’s what you need to make this fresh strawberry spinach salad recipe today:

  • Fresh strawberries – you’ll use fresh, sliced strawberries in both the salad dressing and the salad for a sweet, fruity flavor.
  • Olive oilPrimal Kitchen Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is our go-to oil to make homemade salad dressings
  • Champagne vinegar – may substitute red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey – can sub maple syrup, but this will create a different flavor profile
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh spinach – use spinach leaves to form the base of the salad while packing in lots of vitamins and nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, B vitamins, manganese, folate, and copper; may sub arugula or any fresh salad greens of choice
  • Red onion
  • Green onions (scallions) – include both the white and light green parts
  • Goat cheese – may substitute feta cheese crumbles, blue cheese, or shaved Parmesan cheese for a similar flavor while maintaining a good source of calcium
  • Almonds – lightly toasted slivered or sliced almonds add extra crunchy and a nutty flavor. May substitute toasted pecans, if desired.
  • Cooked or grilled chicken – this is an optional ingredient, but is a nice way to add more protein and make this a main-dish salad. To add chicken, learn how to cook the perfect chicken breast, or use leftover shredded chicken breast

Find the ingredient list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.⁠

Ingredients for strawberry vinaigrette in food processor.

How To Make the Best Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe

Here are the steps to make this easy strawberry salad recipe today:

  1. Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or small food processor, and blend until smooth. Add additional honey as needed to suit your flavor preferences.
  2. Combine the ingredients. Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl or 4 individual salad bowls.
  3. Toss to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving, and gently toss to combine, distributing it evenly.

For the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include the nutrition analysis, listing calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium, and more per serving.

Red strawberry vinaigrette being poured over strawberry spinach salad with avocado and chicken pieces, in stone bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this strawberry spinach salad be made ahead?

This recipe is best enjoyed right away. However, if you want to prepare in advance, the salad dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container or a small bowl with an airtight lid in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Can I use a different salad dressing?

Sure! Feel free to use any homemade or purchased dressing you like best. Balsamic Vinaigrette, plain balsamic vinegar, or poppy seed dressing would taste great.

Can this salad be made with other berries?

You bet. Blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries could all be used instead of or in addition to the strawberries.

White stone bowl filled with strawberry spinach salad served with chicken and avocado slices.

To make this strawberry spinach salad dairy-free, omit the cheese. May use a vegan soft cheese or add additional avocado, if desired.

To make this recipe nut-free, swap out the almonds for sunflower seeds.

Overhead view strawberry spinach salad with strawberry vinaigrette and avocado slices. Served in white bowl.

Try These Other Fresh Salads With Fruit


For the Strawberry Vinaigrette:

  • 45 medium strawberries, halved
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 large lemon)
  • 12 teaspoons pure honey (omit for Whole30)
  • Dash of sea salt and black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups baby spinach or salad greens of choice
  • 6 medium strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 4 green onions, whites and light green parts sliced thin
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (omit for Whole30, paleo or dairy-free)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted* (omit for nut-free)
  • 12 ounces cooked or grilled chicken (optional)
  • 1 avocado, sliced

  1. In a blender or small food processor, combine the vinaigrette ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and add additional honey if you prefer more sweetness. Set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the salad ingredients. This can also be done in one large salad bowl or by dividing the salad ingredients among 4 individual bowls/plates.
  3. Gently toss the salad with the vinaigrette just before serving. You may not need to add all of the vinaigrette – add as much or as little as you’d like, or serve it on the side.

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If you don’t want to make your own vinaigrette, you can use any favorite purchased dressing, such as a balsamic vinaigrette or other fruity vinaigrette. 

*To toast the almonds: Place a small sauté plan over medium-low heat. Add the almonds to the pan and toss or stir every so often. Toast the almonds for 3-4 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown and fragrant. Watch closely as they can burn easily.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of salad with chicken, cheese, nuts, and avocado
  • Calories: 475
  • Fat: 30 g
  • (Sat Fat: 9 g)
  • Sodium: 590 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 19 g
  • (Fiber: 7 g
  • Sugar: 7 g)
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Cholesterol: 76 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians

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Close up overhead view strawberry spinach salad with chicken and avocado slices.

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

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