Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds will even convince salad haters to eat their greens! It’s topped with a homemade poppy seed vinaigrette, and it’s a truly tasty addition to your dinner table.
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds is a staple on my family’s Christmas dinner table.
It’s a delightful combination of tender baby spinach, fresh strawberries, slivered toasted almonds, and an (easy!) homemade poppy seed vinaigrette.
Color-wise, it’s perfect for Christmas, but I love it during strawberry season too!
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- Don’t skip toasting the almonds! It adds a nice flavor to the finished dish. You can also sub walnuts or pecans if you’d prefer.
- You don’t even need a blender for the vinaigrette. Just whisk everything together.
- You can also shake the dressing in a mason jar instead of whisking.
- Reserve a few strawberry slices and almonds for the top for garnish.
- Fresh baby spinach is the base of the salad. Use spring mix if you prefer.
- Fresh strawberries are a must (don’t substitute frozen).
- We’ll toast slivered almonds for the top. See below for more ideas for nut options.
- A touch of paprika jazzes up the vinaigrette.
How to make strawberry spinach salad
Start by taking the stems off the strawberries, and slicing them thinly.
Next, pour a few teaspoons of oil into a skillet, and add the almonds. Cook over medium heat until toasted, stirring frequently.
Don’t walk away for very long—these can toast quickly!
I like to add a pinch of salt while the almonds are cooking.
While the almonds cool, whisk together the vinaigrette. You can also put all the ingredients in a mason jar, screw on a tight-fitting lid, and shake it.
Then, you just need to assemble the salad!
I hold back a few slices of strawberries and a few slivered almonds for garnish. I also start with half the dressing, and add more to taste.
Additions and variations
There are a number of variations on this recipe. Here are some ideas to change it up a little:
- Add feta cheese
- Use candied pecans instead of slivered almonds
- Add thin slices of red onion
- Substitute balsamic vinaigrette for the poppy seed vinaigrette (you can do this very simply by using balsamic vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar in this recipe)
- Add mandarin oranges like they do at Panera
- Make it hearty by adding slices of chicken
- Can’t do nuts? Use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds instead!
Can I make strawberry spinach salad ahead?
Strawberry Spinach Salad is perfect for making ahead of time. Here’s how:
- Toast the almonds and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
- Slice the strawberries. Cover and store in the fridge.
- Whisk together the dressing. Cover and store in the fridge.
Then, when it’s time to serve the salad, just toss everything together and serve.
You can make the almonds and dressing several days in advance. Don’t slice the strawberries more than a day in advance.
What to serve with strawberry spinach salad
This salad pairs really nicely with main dishes of all kinds, such as roast chicken, roast beef, or roast pork.
My family serves it at Christmas dinner (the red and green of the salad is so festive!) along with prime rib and mashed potato casserole.
It’s also really nice on its own for a light lunch or dinner, with some grilled chicken on top. I like this especially in the summer months!
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds
- 10 oz baby spinach (two 5-oz bags)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 2 oz (about ½ cup) slivered almonds
- ½ cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Place the spinach in a large bowl. Top with the sliced strawberries (reserve a few for garnish).
- In a small skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted (watch them closely—this goes quickly). Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Add the almonds to the strawberries and spinach (reserve a few for garnish).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, onion, salt, and paprika to create the vinaigrette.
- Pour half of the vinaigrette over the spinach mixture and toss to coat. Add additional vinaigrette as desired. Serve immediately.
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