Skip to content

Get 5 Secrets to Make Homemade Taste Food Better + New Recipes Weekly!

    The Best Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe with Chicken

    Published June 26, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This strawberry and spinach salad is light, refreshing and served with avocado, quinoa, feta cheese, lemon marinated grilled chicken and a poppy seed vinaigrette for the ultimate summer salad.

    Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

    If you love salads and getting creative with what goes in them, then look no further than this strawberry spinach salad.  It has a wonderful combination of flavors and ingredients and is the perfect salad to serve up to the family or to guests during the summer months.

    I know that it may seem odd to add strawberries to a salad with other savory ingredients, but the sweetness from those berries do a great job of balancing out the flavors in the rest of this spinach salad, and believe me this recipe, just like my Watermelon Feta Salad Recipe with Grilled Flank Steak, is restaurant-worthy.

    Salad Ingredients

    There is definitely a base to this recipe, and after these things, you can get creative with what goes in it.

    • Spinach – Spinach is a nice light leafy green that pairs well with just about any fruit, especially strawberries.  You can, however, feel free to add other greens to the mix such as spring mix, tatsoi, arugula or frisée.
    • Strawberries – This salad only really works when strawberries are in season so be sure you are making this in the spring through late summer months.  If you need to make this out of season then try swapping out the fresh strawberries for mandarin oranges.
    • Roasted Bell Peppers – Something magical happens when roasted peppers are served up with strawberries and the flavor combination is to die for.  I prefer sweeter peppers such as orange or yellow.  Do not use green peppers in the recipe, but another option would be to use red bell peppers.
    • Feta Cheese – Feta cheese is the fat you need to bring all of this together to help bring some body to the recipe and some silky flavors.  I am a huge fan of Bulgarian feta if you can find it, it’s light like goat cheese with wonderful feta flavors.

    Some of the other ingredients I added in were:

    • blueberries
    • cooked quinoa
    • avocado
    • goat cheese
    • toasted slivered almonds

    I did not add any red onions, but if I were to I would definitely use pickled red onions.

    Make Grilled Lemon Chicken

    If you’ve been following me for a bit you know I am all about flavor balance, so when I can get just about every profile your palette can handle in one bite then I’ve done my job.  The sliced chicken that goes on top was marinating in a very simple lemon-white balsamic vinegar dressing for 4 hours and here’s how to make it.

    • In a bowl whisk together the shallots, garlic, vinegar, mustard, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper until emulsified and then simply pour it over the chicken breasts.
    • After marinating the chicken, discard the vinaigrette and cook the chicken breasts in a grill pan on the stovetop or on a grill on high heat until cooked throughout, about 5-7 minutes per side.

    I know that it’s a bit of time, but the flavor that comes from the marinade time is incredible.  If you don’t want to marinate it and want to grill it asap, fine I won’t stop you but can’t guarantee all the flavor combos will be there.

    Delicious Poppy Seed Dressing

    Pull that vinegar back out because we are going to make a really tasty vinaigrette.  It’s incredibly easy to make and bursting with flavor.  The poppy seeds will help add texture to the salad and the honey in the vinaigrette will help add a touch more of sweetness to balance off the rest of the savory flavors, not to mention the acid in the dressing will cut everything else perfectly.

    • It consists of white balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard, olive oil, honey, poppy seeds, and fresh thyme leaves.
    • Whisk the vinegar, mustard, honey, and poppy seeds together and then slowly whisk in the oil until it has become emulsified, season it with salt and pepper and set it aside.
    homemade vinaigrette with fresh thyme and poppy seeds

    Like I always used to say, if Paul Newman can make his own vinaigrette then so can you, it just takes a few extra minutes to make the perfect salad dressing and to your liking.  Homemade food just tastes better and it’s way simpler then you may have thought.

    I know I know this final picture of this Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken looks crazy and intricate, but really I just spread all of the ingredients all over a platter and drizzled on the vinaigrette.

    Definitely make this while all of these tasty ingredients are in season, and maybe I’ll come back in the fall with some in-season updated produce!

    Lemon-Chicken-Salad-7

    How To Store

    How to Store: This salad will hold in the refrigerator for up to 2 days covered in plastic.  You cannot freeze this recipe.  Be sure to keep the salad dressing on the side to prevent wilting.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • You can absolutely swap out the honey for sugar or agave.  In addition please feel free to use a different herb that you may like such as basil or oregano.

    More Salad Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    The Best Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe with Chicken

    5 from 1 vote
    Looking for a delicious salad recipe? Try this Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken that is sure to satisfy!
    Servings: 6
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Optional Marinating Time: 4 hours
    Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Chicken:

    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 small diced shallot
    • 3 minced cloves of garlic
    • ¼ cup of white balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1/3 cup of olive oil
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

    For the Vinaigrette:

    • ¼ cup of white balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
    • 1 teaspoon of honey
    • 1/3 cup of olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon of poppy seeds
    • ½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    For the Salad:

    • 2 cups of cooked Quinoa
    • 6 cups of packed baby spinach
    • 1 cup of sliced strawberries
    • 1 cup of blueberries
    • ½ cup of toasted almonds
    • 1 sliced avocado
    • 2 sliced yellow bell peppers, roasted, scraped and seeded
    • ¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
    • ¼ cup of crumbled goat cheese
    • ½ cup of microgreens

    Instructions

    • Chicken: In a large bowl whisk together the lemon juice, shallot, garlic, vinegar, mustard, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper until combined and submerge the chicken breasts and marinate for 4 hours.
    • Once it’s done marinating remove the chicken and grill it over high heat on for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked throughout. Slice and set aside.
    • Vinaigrette: Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium-size bowl until completely combined.
    • To Plate: Simply combine all of the salad ingredients together and place them on a platter. Next place the sliced chicken over the top and drizzle on the vinaigrette.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • In addition to the spinach you can, however, feel free to add other greens to the mix such as spring mix, tatsoi, arugula or frisée.
     
    • If you need to make this out of season then try swapping out the fresh strawberries for mandarin oranges.
     
    • Do not use green peppers in the recipe, but another option would be to use red bell peppers.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 622kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 27gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 219mgPotassium: 1091mgFiber: 10gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 3095IUVitamin C: 102.8mgCalcium: 148mgIron: 4.9mg
    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: American, French
    Author: Chef Billy Parisi