This strawberry goat cheese salad is the perfect spring and summer salad! Made with fresh strawberries, goat cheese, spinach, walnuts & pine nuts. Then drizzled with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette with a hint of cinnamon.
During strawberry season, this goat cheese salad is a great way to use up fresh strawberries.
- The homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing has a hint of cinnamon which goes really well with the strawberry & goat cheese.
- The sweet strawberries balance out the tangy goat cheese for a perfect blend of flavors.
- Walnuts & pine nuts add a little crunch.
- It’s an easy 10 minute salad you can make on a busy weeknight.
Ingredients & Substitutions
You will need the following ingredients to make this strawberry goat cheese salad:
- Strawberries: Use fresh strawberries at their prime. Avoid strawberries that have started to soften or that have gotten mushy. (Use them to make this strawberry syrup instead).
- Goat Cheese: Not all goat cheeses are equal. Choose a quality goat cheese that you enjoy the taste of. Avoid flavored or herbed goat cheeses.
- Spinach: Use fresh spinach. If needed, you can substitute this with arugula instead.
- Nuts: Walnuts and pine nuts add some crunch to the salad. You could use pecans as a substitute.
- Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar: These ingredients are the base for the vinaigrette. Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil if you have it.
- Honey: Honey adds some sweetness to the salad dressing. You can substitute this for maple syrup.
- Spices: A dash of cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- A salad spinner to wash & dry the lettuce.
- A kitchen scale to measure the goat cheese accurately.
- A large salad bowl to make and serve the salad in.
- Tongs to toss the salad.
- A large mason jar to make and store the salad dressing in.
- Airtight containers to store leftover salad.
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, walnuts and pine nuts.
Step 2: Next, add the dressing ingredients — olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper to a mason jar. Close the lid and shake well until combined.
Step 3: Pour the dressing over the salad and enjoy.
- Add-ins: Try different add-ins, such as pecans, poppy seeds, arugula, blueberries or pomegranate arils.
- Substitute for feta: Some people really don’t like goat cheese. If this is the case, substitute the goat cheese for feta.
Storage & Make-Ahead
Storage: Store leftover salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The salad will stay fresh once mixed for up to 3 days. The dressing will last for up to 2 weeks.
Make-Ahead: You can make this salad in advance, but don’t add the dressing until you are ready to serve it or it will make the salad soggy. For the freshest option, store each salad ingredient in separate reusable containers in the fridge and mix them together when ready to eat.
- This recipe makes extra dressing. Some people like lots of dressing on their salad, so you may end up with leftover dressing from this recipe. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Toast the walnuts. If you have time, toast the walnuts before adding them to your salad. Toast them at 350F for about 10 minutes.
- Shake the dressing before using. Oil and vinegar will naturally separate when at rest. Vigorously shake the dressing to recombine the ingredients before pouring it on your salad.
- Weigh the goat cheese. Using a kitchen scale is the most accurate way to measure soft cheese. It is easy to accidentally add too much when measuring with measuring cups.
Frozen strawberries do not work in this salad. When they thaw they are too mushy and soggy. You can use frozen strawberries in this strawberry chocolate banana smoothie or this strawberry apple crisp.
You can use a store bought dressing instead, but this homemade one tastes SO much better!