This Spinach Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad is the PERFECT healthy lunch option and is a crowd pleasing salad to bring to any party. This is a salad that you and your guests will actually want to eat. Fresh spinach, delicious strawberries, crunchy bacon and almonds with creamy goat cheese. Just grab your favorite poppyseed or balsamic dressing and you're done! Plus, this salad is ready in under 15 minutes.
It's so easy to love this Spinach Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad! Sweet strawberries, sliced almonds, creamy tangy goat cheese and crunchy bacon. Plus, you have flexibility with ingredients and the dressing to make this salad to your preference.
This salad makes a wonderful spring or summer starter and side dish. It's also fabulous for lunch either at work or at home or on the go. It's ready in 15 minutes and under and is perfect for potlucks, Easter and even Mother's Day. There's something for everyone to love!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- No more boring salads! This is super fresh and this salad is full of textures
- Wonderful spring/summer starter and side dish
- Ready in 15 minutes or under
- Easily customizable to your preference
- Recipe easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd
- Spinach - Spinach and strawberries are classic together and make our base for this salad
- Strawberries - Buy the juiciest, ripest fruit you can find.
- Bacon - Cook to your preference of crispiness! I don't recommend skipping the bacon as it really adds so much umami unless you are vegetarian.
- Almonds - I love the crunch that nuts provide in salads and personally I love the combination of almonds and strawberries. I used sliced almonds but you could also use slivered as well.
- Goat Cheese - it's creamy, tangy, decadent and rich in this simple salad. I use a plain variety of goat cheese but a honey goat cheese would be delicious as well!
- Red Onion - I enjoy the sharp bite that a little bit of red onion provides in this salad. It keeps everything really well balanced. If red onion is too sharp: Add sliced onion to ice water for a few minutes, then dry before adding to the salad. It will take away some of the sharpness out of the red onion.
- Dressing - Usually I make my own super simple dressing but for fruit and spinach salads I'm a huge fan of Brianna's Rich Poppy Seed Dressing. I've found this dressing at most grocery stories.
Possible Recipe Variation
As I mentioned above, this recipe is endlessly customizable. So please feel free to swap in whatever ingredients you love best and make it your own! For example, you could also…
- Use different greens - Alternatively, you could use mixed greens, a spring mix or part arugula and spinach for a bit of a peppery twist.
- Use different fruit - With this salad you could swap out strawberries for apples in the fall, pears in the winter or even peaches or mixed berries. Other berries that could work would be blueberries, blackberries, raspberries.
- Use different cheese - Feta will give a salty, tangy, creamy vibe. Or, a mild bleu like a gorgonzola if you like bold, full-flavored, salty and earthy cheese.
- Add protein - Grilled or baked chicken or grilled salmon would be delicious additions to this salad to make it super filling.
- Use a different nut - Pecans, walnuts, even pistachios would work. If you love sweets you could even use candied nuts too! You can also toast them to enhance the nutty flavor or leave them raw.
- Use a different (or homemade) dressing - Make your own poppy seed dressing or use/make a balsamic vinaigrette.
- Add additional toppings - dried cranberry or avocado
- Wash strawberries, dry and slice (or quarter) strawberries. Cook bacon to your desired crispiness and chop. Thinly slice (or dice) red onion. To slice super paper thin red onion (as pictured), I recommend using a mandoline slicer. Wash and dry spinach if needed.
- In a large bowl or platter, add spinach, red onion, strawberries, almonds and bacon. Also, crumble goat cheese on top. Toss the salad to combine all the ingredients.
- Either add in the dressing and toss or serve dressing on the side. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- The salad can be dressed right away or the dressing can be served on the side. If the salad will be out for a while or if you expect leftovers, it's best to serve the dressing on the side so it doesn't get soggy.
- Using fresh, quality ingredients for your salad is best!
If you hate onions, you can definitely skip them in this recipe. But, if red onions are just a little too sharp for you raw, you can slice/dice and soak them in some cold ice water first. This will remove that harsh bite that they have.
Yes, this recipe is easy to double or triple to feed a crowd.
I would suggest layering you salad with strawberries on the bottom, red onion next, spinach and goat cheese on top. Layering this will ensure your salad doesn't get too soggy. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. For the bacon, I would suggest cooking the day of to keep it as crispy as possible. Potentially, even putting the bacon on a paper towel on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 15 seconds at a time until bacon re-crisps.
Before serving, add nuts (this ensures they are crunchy), bacon and drizzle with dressing OR serve dressing on the side before serving.
Spinach Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1 pound strawberries
- ¼ red onion
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 6 slices bacon cooked to your desired level of crispiness
- 1 cup poppy seed dressing (or more or less depending on your preference)
- Wash strawberries, dry and slice (or quarter) strawberries. Cook bacon to your desired crispiness and chop. Thinly slice (or dice) red onion. To slice super paper thin sliced red onion (as pictured), I recommend using a mandoline slicer. Wash and dry spinach if needed.
- In a large bowl or platter, add spinach, red onion, strawberries, almonds, goat cheese and bacon. Toss the salad to combine all the ingredients.
- Either add in the dressing and toss or serve dressing on the side. Serve and enjoy!