This Mixed Berry Spinach Salad will be your new go to side for almost anything!
An extra tasty and easy way to add some greens to your meal, it has everything a salad needs. A little crunch thanks to the pecans, a touch of creaminess thanks to the goat cheese, a bit of bite from the red onions and a dash of sweet thanks to the berries!
And now let me tell you my secret...
I usually make this salad with FROZEN berries! Just allow them to thaw (or toss them in the microwave for about 30 seconds if you didn't have a chance to plan ahead!) and add them to the salad- juices and all.
Why do I make them with frozen berries?
a) convenience- I always have frozen berries of some sort in the freezer so if I have spinach on hand, I can pretty much make this salad at a moment's notice.
b) availability- During the winter, the grocery store doesn't always carry the best looking fresh berries. But I find that the frozen berries are always very flavourful!
c) the berry juice- After you make this salad with frozen berries, you'll see that the juices that come of the berries when they thaw and mix with the dressing, soak into the goat cheese and fill in the crevices of the pecans make this salad the BEST!
- Spinach- I like to use baby spinach but regular spinach works as well- if the leaves are large, roughly chop it.
- Frozen Berries- Thaw your favourite mixture (I like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries) of frozen berries, chop if needed and toss them in (including the juices from melting!). If you have fresh berries on hand, you can definitely use those instead!
- Red Onion- You can substitute white or green onions. Or you can leave it out.
- Goat Cheese- Feta or gorgonzola would be other tasty options.
- Toasted Pecans- Feel free to use a different nut such as walnuts, almonds or cashews or a combination. Or try some Honey Roasted Cashews instead.
- Maple Balsamic Poppyseed Dressing
1. Prepare the ingredients.
- Spinach- Wash and dry. Chop if the pieces are large.
- Berries- Thaw if using frozen. Cut or slice larger berries.
- Red Onion- Finely chop and place in a bowl with cold water for 10 minutes. This helps to reduce some of the "bite".
- Goat Cheese- Crumble.
- Pecans- Toast and Chop. Place the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast at 350F for 3-5 minutes. Watch them carefully as they can burn quickly. They are done when they are slightly darkened and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes and then roughly chop or crumple into chunks.
- Dressing- Mix together.
2. Mix. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.
3. Serve immediately.
Make Ahead: Salad can be assembled, left undressed and stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 day in advance. Add the dressing just before serving.
To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Make it Your Own
The beauty of salads is that you can easily add, change or omit ingredients as you see fit! Some suggestions:
- Change up the Greens- Use kale, arugula, leaf lettuce or a combination instead of spinach.
- Add Meat- Make it a meal by adding some protein such as a diced or shredded chicken breast or pulled pork.
- Use Different Fruit- Blackberries, peaches, cherries, mango or pineapple would all be tasty!
- Add Grains- To give the salad more substance, you could add 1-2 cups of cooked grains such as farro or quinoa. You may want to double the dressing.
- Mix in Avocado- Dice one avocado into chunks and add with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add Boiled Eggs- Hard boil 2-4 eggs and slice or cut into chunks and add them to the salad.
- Include Bacon- Cook and chop 2-4 slices of bacon to add them to the salad or add ¼ cup of bacon bits.
Enjoy this salad as a side to:
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If you have dietary restrictions, check the packaging of specific ingredients that you use to ensure they are compliant. This recipe is:
- Dairy Free- If you omit the cheese.
- Gluten Free
- Paleo- If you omit the cheese.
- Vegan- If you omit the cheese.
And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like:
Berry Spinach Salad
- 6 cups baby spinach washed
- ¾ cup frozen berries thawed and chopped
- 2 tablespoon red onion finely chopped
- ½ cup toasted pecans chopped
- 1 oz goat cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- pinch black pepper
Make the dressing.
- Whisk together the avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, poppyseeds, sea salt and pepper.
Mix the salad.
- Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix.
- Serve immediately.