You’ll love this Strawberry and Avocado Salad! It is the perfect balance of sweet and savory together in one delicious salad. Plus, with the addition of pine nuts or almonds, and a bit of crumbled feta cheese, it is pure salad perfection. And of course, a drizzle of the honey poppy seed dressing to take it to the next level.
The best part of this salad is how easy it is to throw together for a quick dinner and would be great topped with your favorite form of grilled protein as well. And when it comes to the dressing, it is just slightly sweet, unlike other spinach salad dressings that are so overwhelmingly sweet it ruins a delicious dish.
Do I have to use spinach in this salad?
Absolutely not, if that is going to be a sticking point for your family. Feel free to use a standard romaine lettuce, or a nice spring mix instead (although, there is spinach in a spring mix but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!)
Yes, you could also use iceberg, but in my opinion, iceberg is only good for tacos because it is so super crunchy. The reason I don’t like iceberg on salads is because it just doesn’t have any flavor. As my son says, “this is just crunchy water” 🙂
What proteins could I add to this Strawberry and Avocado Salad?
While adding proteins isn’t necessary to make this a main dish salad, there is certainly nothing wrong with doing so if you want to up the overall protein level. For the sake of being easy, just toss on any leftover protein you already have in the fridge. Chicken, beef, pork, and even tofu would all be delicious additions.
If you are looking for something a bit “fancier,” simply grill up any of those proteins, slice them up, and add them warm to your salad. The greens will wilt just a bit, but in my opinion, that only makes it better.
Personally, I have used my favorite Grilled Chicken Breast Marinade on some chicken for the grill and it was completely fabulous on this salad!
What substitutions would work well for this salad?
Besides the already mentioned spinach substitution, you could easily use raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries in place of the strawberries. Or even better, make a combo of all the berries! If you like stone fruits, fresh peach slices in place of the strawberries would be killer as well.
For the nuts, honestly whichever one is your favorite is what you should use…pine nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or cashews. They should be unsalted and be sure you TOAST the nuts in a pan over medium heat until they begin to brown. Toasting nuts adds such an amazing depth of flavor, plus a much better texture so do NOT skip this important step.
As far as the cheese, any type that is fairly dry and crumbly is what works best for a strawberry and avocado salad. My personal favorite is blue cheese, but if that isn’t an option for you, try a feta, ricotta salata, or even queso fresco.
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10 ounce bag spinach
1 lb strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 C pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted
4 ounces crumbled feta or blue cheese
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 Tb honey
1 Tb poppy seeds
4 Tb apple cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
- In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients for the salad.
- In a blender, blend together all the ingredients except the oil. With the blender running, slowly add the oil and let the dressing emulsify.
- Add desired amount of dressing to the salad, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Salads
- Method: Fresh
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/8th
- Calories: 251
- Sugar: 10 g
- Sodium: 269 mg
- Fat: 21 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 16 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 5 mg
Keywords: summer salads, spinach salads, healthy salad recipe