This Summer Strawberry Salad recipe is packed with the flavors of the season, including a strawberry infused balsamic vinaigrette (and all in under 30 minutes)!
Is the Wendy’s summer strawberry salad a guilty pleasure of yours? It’s ok to treat yourself sometimes, but did you know you can make something really similar at home without the extra cost and crazy ingredients?
I love this salad because of the great mix of textures and colors, not to mention the flavor! The best part about making your strawberry salad at home is customizing your ingredients and not worrying about your order being wrong. Doesn’t it just look like summer in a bowl?
Ingredients for Summer Strawberry Salad
There’s a LOT of fresh produce here! Salads are the perfect way to add new-to-you ingredients because there is always something you are sure to like, which can help you taste new flavors.
- Homemade Dressing: There’s no need to use a bottle here. It is so easy to make an oil and vinegar based dressing! Honey, balsamic, and lemon juice all enhance the natural strawberry flavor.
- Baby Spinach: This baby green is one of the mildest there is, making it a good choice for hesitant salad eaters (plus, spinach is a nutritious powerhouse).
- Arugula: This green has been described as “tasting like black pepper smells” and helps mix things up. New to arugula? Check out our arugula guide!
- Strawberries: It wouldn’t be a strawberry salad without these sweet berries!
- English Cucumber: Crunchy and juicy, it adds a perfect fresh taste (without having to spend the time deseeding it).
- Red Onion: Like the arugula, this adds a nice bite. For a more mild onion flavor, feel free to replace these with green onions or shallots.
- Feta: I love the refreshing zing of creamy feta cheese in this salad. Feta not your thing? Feel free to use goat cheese or parmesan.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley is a wonderful herb and it’s easy to add some from your windowsill garden. Go for the Italian parsley, which has more flavor than curly parsley.
- Almonds: Finally, almonds add the last bit of crunch and chew, as well as a healthy fat hit.
Look for English or “hothouse” cucumbers when you are in the produce section. These are often wrapped in plastic and labeled so you can easily find them. This variety has a thin skin and small or no seeds. This makes it more enjoyable to use in a salad than a regular cucumber with large seeds.
How to make Strawberry Salad
Besides quite a bit of chopping, this comes together fast. The dressing takes but a minute in the blonder, and then you just toss it allllll together.
Step 1: Dressing
Add all dressing ingredients to the jar of a blender. If yours has measurements on the side, it makes it easy to measure the oil and vinegar without dirtying anything extra! Add just a pinch of salt and pepper before blending. Blend until nice and creamy with no chunks of strawberry. At this point you can taste and determine if you need any more salt or pepper.
Step 2: Salad
Add all your chopped salad ingredients to the biggest bowl you have. No, really – this is a LOT of delicious salad and you want to be able to evenly coat every piece in dressing.
Step 3: Assemble
Now it’s time to drizzle on that creamy strawberry dressing. Don’t pour it all on at once, just in case it’s too much. People can always add more to their individual serving. I like to do the assembly and tossing in one bowl and transfer the final, dressed salad to the serving bowl. This keeps the serving bowl neat.
Prep Tip: You can do all your chopping ahead and set the bowl in the fridge. Just don’t add the dressing to the salad until right before serving. You wouldn’t want things to get soggy!
Dress it Up: This dressing will last a few days in the fridge, so give it a try over other salad types or even over tofu.
Switch it Out: See something you don’t like? Swap it! I just like to use so many ingredients to give different textures. Swap in sweet onion for red or walnuts for almonds, for example.
Plays well with
Salads are light and refreshing and can help tone down some heavy meals. When you aren’t eating it on its own as a meal, try these ideas.
- Loaded Avocado Sandwich, this will feel like your own “you pick two” from Panera!
- Seitan Burgers, because grilling also says summer and will be the perfect pairing for dinner on the deck.
- Vegetable Baked Ziti, enjoy your salad while this finishes off in the oven.
Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
- 1 cup halved strawberries 166 g
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 120 mL
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 60 mL
- 2 Tbsp honey 30 g
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice 15 mL
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups baby spinach 115 g
- 2 cups arugula 50 g
- 2 cups sliced strawberries 1 pint, 332 g
- 1 cup sliced English cucumber 150 g
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion 75 g
- ½ cup crumbled feta 57 g
- ¼ cup roughly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley 17 g
- ¼ cup sliced almonds 22 g
- Dressing: Add all Dressing ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
- Salad: In a large bowl, toss together all Salad ingredients.
- Assemble: Drizzle dressing over the salad (you may not need it all – add a bit, toss, then add more as needed).
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