Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad is a delicious, beautiful salad with fresh strawberries, creamy goat cheese, red onion, candied walnuts, and baby spinach with a homemade honey lime dressing.
Strawberry spinach salad with goat cheese and walnuts is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavors and creamy and crunchy textures.
It comes together in minutes with fresh baby spinach, juicy strawberries, crispy red onions, brown sugar candied walnuts, and goat cheese crumbles, drizzled with a sweet and tart honey lime dressing.
Now, you CAN use raw walnuts or toasted walnuts, but I encourage you to try these yummy candied walnuts! You make them on the stovetop in about 5 minutes with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and a pinch a cayenne. They're AMAZING!
Or top it with a grilled chicken breast or shrimp for a main dish salad.
More Delicious Salad Recipes
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Fast and easy salad recipe you can serve as a side dish or full meal
Perfect way to enjoy fresh berries during strawberry season
Zippy honey lime homemade dressing you can stir or shake together in minutes
Perfect summer salad with fresh and healthy ingredients
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
Baby spinach. Baby spinach is a great choice because it has tender stems that don't need to be removed -- unless you really want to.
Strawberries. Look for ripe strawberries that are firm and bright red with the green caps in place. Strawberries don't ripen after they're picked, so try to stay away from ones with white around the stem -- they weren't ripe when they were picked.
Candied walnuts. Walnuts candied in brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little cayenne adds sweetness, a touch of heat, and crunchy texture. You can make them with this recipe or pick some up at the grocery store. You can also use toasted walnuts.
Red onion. Red onion adds mild, yet zippy onion flavor and pretty color to the salad.
Goat cheese. I like to use goat cheese that comes in a log -- it's creamier. You can also use pre-crumbled goat cheese.
Honey Lime Dressing Ingredients
Fresh lime juice. You'll need 2-3 limes to get 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice. If possible, avoid using bottled lime juice -- it just doesn't have that same bright, fresh flavor.
Honey. A little bit of honey balances out the tart of the lime.
Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard adds tang and helps emulsify the dressing.
Olive oil. I like a low ratio of oil to acid in my salad dressings, so this recipe only has ¼ cup of oil. If you prefer, add more oil.
Minced garlic. Fresh minced garlic adds sharp flavor to the dressing.
Greens. Any kind of leafy greens will work here like romaine, peppery arugula, or spring mix.
Fruit. If you can't find fresh, sweet strawberries, use any kind of seasonal berries you love like blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Fresh peaches would also be divine!
Nuts. Crunchy pecans, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds would all be delicious on a spinach strawberry salad.
Onions. For less pungent onion flavor, try green onions instead of red onion.
Cheese. Feta cheese, blue cheese crumbles, or any kind of crumbly, tangy cheese are great substitutes in this goat cheese strawberry salad.
Dressing. This salad is also delicious with this maple syrup balsamic dressing or poppy seed dressing. Or use any of your favorite salad dressings.
How to Make Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
1. Make the dressing.
Add the lime juice, honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to a small bowl or mason jar with a lid. Whisk or shake in the covered jar until completely combined.
2. Assemble the salad.
Place the spinach, strawberries, and red onion on a platter or in a large salad bowl. Toss to combine.
Add enough honey lime dressing to lightly coat the salad. Or serve the dressing on the side.
Sprinkle with candied walnuts and goat cheese crumbles.
I like to add the goat cheese after tossing with the dressing because the goat cheese can dissolve into the dressing.
3. Serve and enjoy.
Serve the salad immediately after tossing in the dressing.
Brown Sugar Candied Walnuts
Brown sugar candied walnuts add an extra special flair to the salad. They're really easy to make in about 5 minutes and are way less expensive than buying them at the store. Click here to get my easy recipe.
Store undressed leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Store leftover dressing in a covered jar for 3-4 days.
This salad dressing is on the tangy side, with a low ratio of oil to acid. If you prefer less tang, add more oil.
If tossing the salad with dressing, add the goat cheese crumbles afterward. Otherwise, the goat cheese melts into the vinaigrette.
Dress the salad immediately before serving.
Store undressed leftover salad and dressing in separate containers.
Look for strawberries that are firm and bright red. Try to avoid ones with white at the stems -- they weren't ripe when picked and won't ripen any more after they're picked.
If you're looking for clean slices of goat cheese, a really easy way to cut it is with a piece of dental floss. Just hold one end of the floss with each hand and slice it right through the soft cheese.
To make your own goat cheese crumbles, just break a piece of the goat cheese off of the log and tear it into small pieces.
Yes, baby spinach is delicious eaten raw in salads. And because the stems are so soft and tender, there is no need to remove them.
Yes. To make this spinach goat cheese salad ahead of time, prepare the candied walnuts and honey lime dressing a day or two in advance.
Cut the strawberries and onions and crumble the goat cheese a day ahead of time and store them in separate containers.
The fully assembled and dressed salad is best enjoyed immediately after preparation.
Get the Stuff I Use
A Lodge cast iron skillet will last longer than you do. It's also perfect for making
This OXO balloon whisk is perfect for mixing up salad dressings.
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Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
Honey Lime Dressing
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- ¼ cup sliced red onion
- 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- ½ cup candied walnuts or toasted or raw walnuts
Make the Honey Lime Dressing
- Place all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake until well combined.
Make the Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- Place the spinach, strawberries, and sliced red onion on a large serving platter or in a large salad bowl.
- Drizzle enough dressing to moisten the salad and gently toss to combine (or serve dressing on the side).Top with goat cheese crumbles and walnuts.
- This salad is best enjoyed immediately.