This strawberry spinach salad with poppyseed dressing may just be the perfect summer salad. Sweet strawberries and creamy poppyseed dressing are a match made in heaven, and the spinach adds a touch of healthy greens.
Why you’ll love it
This salad is light, delicious, flavorful, and so quick & easy to put together!
This salad is a great way to use up fresh strawberries in the summer. It’s also a healthy and refreshing option for a light lunch or dinner.
Plus… that dressing!
You can mix up the poppyseed salad dressing in a matter of minutes. A simple mix of mayo, poppy seeds, rice vinegar, and Dijon mustard is whisked together, then ready to use! The finished result is deliciously creamy, subtly sweet, tangy, and rich.
This salad works well as a side salad with Smoked Burgers.
- Baby spinach: You can also use kale (more hearty) or arugula (more peppery).
- Mandarin oranges: I like to purchase the canned no-sugar-added mandarin oranges. You could also use fresh mandarin oranges or canned peaches.
- Strawberries: I like to quarter or halve the berries, depending on their size.
- Blackberries & blueberries: Or, use all strawberries.
- Chopped walnuts: You can also use sunflower seeds, sliced almonds or chopped pistachios or pecans instead.
Poppyseed dressing ingredients
- Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise is used as the base of this poppyseed dressing recipe. It gives it a thick and creamy texture and rich flavor that tastes very comforting.
- Milk – To help thin out the dressing without losing the rich consistency.
- Sugar – The sweetness from the sugar balances the rest of the tart and rich flavors. If you don’t want to use granulated white sugar, use coconut sugar, cane sugar, maple syrup, or honey instead.
- Poppy seeds – Poppy seeds don’t add much in terms of flavor here, but they do give the dressing some personality and crunch! Plus, the small black seeds speckled throughout the dressing make it look totally irresistible.
- Rice wine vinegar – If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead. Regular white vinegar is too tart and acidic for this recipe.
- Dijon mustard – Try not to replace this with regular yellow mustard. A fancy brown mustard is a much better option because of the depth of flavor.
- Kosher salt
If you’re not up for making your own dressing, you can use store-bought poppy seed dressing or a creamy balsamic vinaigrette instead.
How to make it
First, make the dressing. Whisk all of the ingredients together until you have a smooth and creamy dressing. Season with additional salt, to taste.
Combine the spinach, mandarin orange slices, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and walnuts in a large bowl. Gently toss to combine.
If you are serving it right away, you can add the poppyseed dressing and toss to combine. Then, plate it up on a large platter, salad plates or simply serve this simple salad in the large salad bowl you mixed it in.
If you’re meal prepping for later, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to eat. More tips on that below…
- Dairy free dressing – Use your favorite dairy free milk instead of regular milk.
- Instead of mayonnaise – Make a lighter version of this dressing by swapping the mayo for Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- Add tartness – By stirring finely diced or shredded shallots or red onion into the dressing.
- Cheese – Add some crumbled feta or goat cheese to the salad for a salty, tangy flavor.
- Nuts – Swap the walnuts for almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, or hazelnuts. You can also sprinkle on some dried cranberries for texture.
How to make ahead & store
If you don’t plan on serving the salad right away, it’s best to store the salad and the dressing in separate containers. You can make the dressing up to 5 days ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve, simply toss and enjoy!
More flavor-packed salad recipes
- Chicken Cobb Salad
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Cauliflower Chickpea Salad with Quinoa
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Peach Caprese Salad
- Avocado Chickpea Salad
- Jennifer Aniston Quinoa Salad
Did you make this strawberry spinach salad?
If you loved this salad with poppyseed dressing, I would appreciate it so much if you would leave a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Season with additional salt, to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, then drizzle on the desired amount of poppyseed dressing on top. Toss gently to combine. Enjoy!