This stunning Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken is made with everything you need – loads of veggies, fiber, healthy fats and quality protein.
Say goodbye to boring salads and hello to the most flavorful salad that you’ll want to make again and again!
Salad lover or not, this recipe is one you’ll want to try. It’s one I personally make often during the summer and thoroughly enjoy every bite. It’s not one of those salads you eat just because it’s “healthy.” In fact my philosophy, healthy or not, is that food MUST taste good and let me tell you, this salad most definitely tastes good! The combination of ingredients will have you mmmm’ing with every forkful. The sweet strawberries, creamy goat cheese, toasted almonds, tender chicken chunks – need I say more? It truly is the perfect salad for summer! Below I share how simple substitutions and modifications can make it dairy-free, Whole30-friendly or vegan-friendly.
And if you’re wondering how to make the perfect chicken breast…we’ve got you covered! Jess shows you how with a step-by-step photo tutorial in this post.
The dressing is made with 5 simple ingredients!
The homemade dressing is a perfect accompaniment to the ingredients in this Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken. It really adds a depth of flavor and a pop of color to the salad! It’s made by simply blending together fresh strawberries, champagne vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and optional honey or maple syrups. You could also add a couple of teaspoons of poppy seeds to the dressing for a bit of texture.
Now if you’d prefer to stick to a dressing you personally love, you most certainly can. I’ve also enjoy this salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing or our homemade Citrus Vinaigrette with Thyme. Whatever you choose, I know you’ll thoroughly enjoy the salad as much as I do.
Strawberry Spinach Salad is easy to modify to make dairy-free, Whole30-friendly or vegan-friendly.
While I love this salad written as is, it’s incredibly easy to modify to fit your dietary preferences.
- For a Whole30-friendly salad, simply omit the goat cheese and honey.
- For a dairy-free salad, simply omit the goat cheese.
- For vegan-friendly salad, simply omit the goat cheese, use maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing, and substitute cooked quinoa for the chicken.
Made with some true powerhouse ingredients! Let’s explore…
- Spinach* – Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich food. It contains an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, and vitamin C. It’s rich in antioxidants, contains anti-inflammatory properties and promotes healthy, strong bones.
- Strawberries* – An excellent source of vitamin C, good source of fiber and abundant in antioxidants and several phytonutrients making this a picture perfect anti-inflammatory food. And you can’t beat the perfectly ripe, sweet strawberry!
- Avocado – Another standout fruit (yes, it’s a fruit), that’s high in monounsaturated heart healthy fats, fiber, vitamin B5, vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, and vitamin C. The healthy fats found in avocado aid in the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E & K. So do your salad and your health a favor and add some avocado!
*Strawberries are No. 1 on the dirty dozen list and spinach is No. 2. These produce items are best purchased organically, at your local farmers market or grown in your own backyard.
It’s time to give this simple Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken (or no chicken) a try! It truly is a salad for all to enjoy!
And if this recipe is a winner in your book, I’d also recommend you give our creamy Strawberry Chicken Poppy Seed Salad a try!
For the strawberry vinaigrette:
- 4–5 medium strawberries, halved
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1–2 tsp. honey (omit for Whole30)
- dash of sea salt & 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 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (omit for Whole30, paleo or dairy-free)
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (omit for nut-free)
- 12 oz. cooked or grilled chicken
- 1 avocado, sliced
- In a blender or small food processor, combine vinaigrette ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and add additional honey if you prefer more sweetness. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the salad ingredients. This can also be done by dividing ingredients into 4 individual salad bowls.
- Gently toss salad with vinaigrette just before serving. You may not need to add all of the vinaigrette. Feel free to add as much or as little as you’d like or serve on the side.
To toast almonds: Place small sauté plan over medium-low heat. Add almonds to the pan and toss every so often. Let toast for 3-5 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. Watch closely as they can burn easily.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe as written
- Calories: 320
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 240 mg
- Fat: 24 g
- Carbohydrates: 10 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 26 g
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.
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