Strawberry Spinach Salad
Strawberry Spinach Salad consists of a bed of spinach and red leaf lettuce, fresh strawberry slices, bacon crumbles, sliced red onions, candied pecans, chopped bell peppers, and fried wonton strips and drizzled with a creamy strawberry salad dressing made with jam!
Why This Recipe Works
- Crowd pleaser. This strawberry spinach salad recipe is the perfect side dish for parties and gatherings because it’s one that everyone loves and is made with fresh ingredients. It’s easily the first thing devoured and everyone comments on how amazing it is!
- Makes a bunch. This is the best salad for parties because it makes a lot! If you’re lucky enough to have have leftovers, this salad makes a perfect lunch the following day.
- Creamy strawberry salad dressing. The star of this beautiful salad is the delicious strawberry jam salad dressing! It’s creamy, flavorful, and delicious.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Every good vinaigrette salad dressing has part oil part vinegar. Using the red wine vinegar pairs beautifully with the strawberry jam.
- Oil: Vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, anything will work!
- Dry Mustard: This gives a nice depth of flavor to the strawberry jam salad dressing.
- Strawberry Jam: This is the bulk flavoring for the creamy strawberry salad dressing. You can use homemade jam or store bought jam.
- Red or Green Leaf Lettuce: The variation of lettuce helps bulk up the salad and provide a different texture, flavor and color to the bed of lettuce.
- Fresh Spinach: You can use more or less spinach to prepare a salad for your party size.
- Toppings: Bacon crumbles, crunchy pecans (use pecan halves, no need to chop them), wontons (cut into thin strips and fried), red bell pepper (chopped), red onion (cut into strips), and fresh strawberries (cut into slices).
- Make the creamy strawberry salad dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, sugar, oil, dry mustard, salt, and strawberry jam in a liquid measuring cup. Mix the dressing ingredients vigorously until well blended. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Make the candied pecans. In a skillet over medium heat Add the sugar and pecans to a skillet over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has melted and the pecans are slightly browned and coated in the sugary mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Fry the wonton strips. Heat oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the wonton strips and cook until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drip dry on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Prepare the additional toppings. If using additional toppings, prepare those now. Cut the bell peppers, slice the red onions, cook and chop the bacon.
- Assemble the strawberry salad. When ready to serve, you can assemble the strawberry spinach salad recipe in one large bowl, add the dressing and toss. Or, you can leave the lettuce and spinach plain, place the toppings in bowl and pull out the dressing. This way people can assemble their own spinach bacon strawberry salad and add as much or as little of the different toppings as they’d like!
Rather than add everything to a large salad bowl, you can make individual salads and family members or friends can add their own toppings and dressing.
You don’t have to use pecans, you can use any nut variety you’d like… almonds, cashews, walnuts.
Replace the fresh fruit with dried cranberries. Doing this makes this spinach bacon strawberry salad more fall and winter appropriate.
You can add variations and additional toppings if you’d like, a popular one… feta cheese! It will add a boost of saltiness (if that’s your thing).
Use fresh raspberry jam for the homemade salad dressing and fresh raspberries instead of the strawberry jam and fresh strawberries.
Toppings for Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Fresh strawberries (sliced)
- Red bell peppers (diced)
- Red onion (thinly sliced – soak in cold water prior to serving to keep flavor but remove harsh aftertaste)
- Wonton strips (fried)
- Bacon (cooked, chopped)
- Candied nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds work great)
- Cheese: salty feta cheese crumbles or creamy goat cheese crumbles
- Sunflower seeds or pepitas
- Add protein: rotisserie chicken is a great option or grilled chicken breasts cut in chunks
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
You can make the salad dressing in advance, simply make the dressing, cover, and then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can store any extra dressing for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
Store the strawberry spinach salad toppings in separate containers or ziplock bags in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store the leafy greens in an airtight container or bag in the fridge when not in use.
You can freeze a jar of the strawberry vinaigrette with jam if you’d like.
No it’s not a necessary step. Making sugared pecans will take extra time, but it adds a nutty, toasty, yet sweet crunch to the salad.
You can skip the wontons if you’d like. It’s one component of the salad that dresses it up to make it more of a special occasion/holiday salad.
This strawberry spinach salad recipe is perfect accompanied with one of our tasty soup recipes! As toppings you can serve chopped bell peppers, candied or plain nuts, craisins, and sliced fresh strawberries of course!
Fresh Salad Recipes
- Kale and Quinoa Salad
- Feta Corn Salad
- Asian Cabbage Salad
- Broccoli Caesar Salad
- Olive and Artichoke salad
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Strawberry Spinach Salad Dressing
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 1 head red leaf lettuce - or green leaf lettuce
- 3-4 cups spinach - stems trimmed (can add more or less spinach)
- 1/3 cup bacon crumbles
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pecans
- 15 wontons - cut into thin strips
- 1/2 cup red bell peppers - chopped
- 1/2 red onion - thinly sliced
- 1 cup strawberries - sliced
- Make the dressing: In a large liquid measuring cup whisk the vinegar, sugar, oil, dry mustard, salt, and jam. Mix vigorously until all ingredients are well blended. Set aside. If making in advance, you can cover and refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
- Toast the pecans: In a skillet over medium heat add the sugar and pecans. Stir occasionally until sugar melts and nuts are coated and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Fry wontons in hot cooking oil util golden, remove with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate.
- When ready to serve salad place the red leaf lettuce, spinach, bacon, bell pepper, onion, and strawberries in a large bowl and toss. Add the salad dressing and toss to coat. Add the pecans and wontons last. Serve immediately.