This beautiful summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad is packed with fresh juicy strawberries, pecans, feta and drizzled with a healthy poppyseed dressing. Easy, colorful, and healthy this salad is always a crowd pleaser!
All about this Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
- Sweet: this is a sweeter salad featuring sweet, summer strawberries and drizzled with a maple syrup sweetened dressing. This makes it a wonderful salad to serve with heavier meals. And it’s always a huge hit with our little ones!
- Perfect Side: this salad is the perfect side for all those Spring and Summer get togethers. The fresh berries make this a beautiful addition to an Easter table, Mother’s Day Brunch, or even Summer BBQs.
- Adaptable: this is a gentle guide on how to make a salad, this is a recipe that is easily adaptable to make it how you want! Want yours just like Paneras? Add some blueberries and mandarins! Want a fuller meal? Top it with some chicken or other meat of choice.
Key Salad Ingredients
- Salads Greens: I love using a spring mix, but you can easily make this salad with baby spinach leaves or any other salad mix of your preference.
- Strawberries: use fresh strawberries for this recipe.
- Pecans: add a nice crunch with a mellow nutty flavoring.
- Feta: crumbled feta adds a nice creamy, mild taste. Can substitute with crumbled goat cheese also.
- Red Onion: add a nice tangy bite to the salad in contrast with the sweet flavorings.
Poppyseed Salad Dressing:
- Greek Yogurt: makes the creamy base for the poppyseed salad dressing.
- Maple Syrup: adds a hint of sweetness to the dressing. Can substitute with honey.
- Vinegar: apple cider vinegar is a great option and has some health benefits.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: adds a wonderful flavor.
- Poppyseeds: beautiful and add a delightful crunch to the dressing
How to Make
- Soak the red onions: since we’re using raw red onion the flavoring can be pungent. A quick soak in cold water can help take care of that issue. Press dry on a paper towel or clean kitchen towel afterwards and before adding to the salad.
- Mix the dressing: combine the ingredients for the poppyseed dressing and whisk or stir to combine. You can store the dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Prepare Salad: Layer the salad greens with sliced strawberries, chopped pecans, crumbled feta, and sliced red onion. Toss together and drizzle with the poppyseed dressing.
Make Ahead and Storage Information
- Make Ahead: the dressing can be made and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 2-3 days. Prepare the salad by adding the toppings with the salad greens as soon to serving as possible. If you are needing to prep it ahead of time, be sure to leave the dressing off and add that just before serving.
- Storage: Store the leftover, un-dressed salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Refrigerate any leftover dressing for up to 3 days in a sealed jar.
Substitutions & Variations:
- Greens: use your favorite type of lettuce, spring mix, or spinach for the base of this salad.
- Nuts: if you’re dealing with a nut allergy you can substitute the pecans with another type of nut, such as walnuts. Or you can use seeds instead, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would be a tasty addition.
- Toasted Nuts: if you want a nice roasted flavoring, add the pecans to a skillet and heat over medium low heat until fragrant and toasted. Allow to cool before adding to the salad.
- Onions: if you’re serving to a crowd who isn’t a fan of the onion flavoring, you can simply omit.
What to serve with Strawberry Salad
- Main Dish: this summer salad is the perfect side to pair with any grilled or smoked meats, smoked chicken wings, Mexican grilled chicken, smoked pork ribs, grilled shrimp, or even a Cast Iron Ribeye would be a great main dish to serve.
- Breads: you can never go wrong with serving a main, a salad and a nice piece of bread to round it all off.
- Protein: want to enjoy a larger portion of this salad but add a protein? Some nicely grilled chicken would be the perfect addition!
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Photography by the talented KJandCompany.co
Recipe first published May 16, 2017. Updated poppyseed dressing recipe.