Blueberry Salad with Balsamic Dressing

How to make everyone want to eat salad? Add blueberries! This blueberry salad with spinach, feta, and a balsamic dressing is a total crowd pleaser.

Blueberry salad with balsamic dressing

It’s not summer until we’ve picked blueberries in Michigan. This year Alex and I came back with a 5 pound bag of blueberries! Let me tell you, that haul makes one HUGE bowl. A few batches of blueberry pancakes and blueberry waffles later, we were craving something fresh. Enter: this blueberry salad. It’s classic, fresh, and tangy sweet from the creamy balsamic dressing. It complements nearly every meal. Yes, it’s absolutely what you need in your kitchen repertoire.

Spinach blueberry salad

What’s in this blueberry salad?

Alex and I always looking for side dish recipes that are easy to make and versatile, and this spinach blueberry salad is both. It goes with baked salmon or creamy pasta with ease. In fact, there’s not much that it wouldn’t go with! It’s pretty quick to make: all you’ll need to do is whip up the balsamic dressing and slice the onion.

Here’s what’s in this blueberry salad:

  • Ripe blueberries (local, if possible!)
  • Mixed baby greens (or any lettuce mix)
  • Pistachios (or try our glazed pecans or walnuts)
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Balsamic vinaigrettemade with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and olive oil
Blueberry salad

How to make balsamic vinaigrette dressing

The balsamic dressing is what carries this spinach blueberry salad. The flavor is zesty and bright, tangy from the balsamic vinegar and balanced with a touch of maple syrup. Making balsamic dressing is easy, but it can be a challenge to get the perfect emulsion: that’s when the oil and vinegar combine into a creamy texture instead of separating.

Over the years, we’ve found a few tips for making a perfect emulsion:

  • Use a medium-sized bowl to allow for enough movement of the whisk. Trust us, we’ve done it in small bowls before and it’s almost impossible to get the oil and vinegar to meld!
  • Whisk the ingredients by hand. Start with the balsamic, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup.
  • Add the olive oil as gradually as you can: we typically add it tablespoon by tablespoon and whisk in between until the oil fully incorporates.

The Dijon mustard in the dressing also helps to form and lock in the emulsion. We’ve used this technique in our other vinaigrette recipes, like our Classic Vinaigrette and Italian Dressing.

Balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Finding local blueberries

Do you have local blueberries in your area? There are only a few U Picks here in Indianapolis, so when we’re looking for fruit we venture up to Michigan. Each summer we head to the South Haven and Saugatuk area. We’ve found the best U Pick around (called Dee’s Farm), where the blueberries are just $1 a pound. It’s an absolute steal.

When you step into the rows of blueberry bushes, there’s a sense of magic. Something about an empty bucket, the rows of bushes and the purple blue berries just waiting to be picked is exhilarating. If you can find a way to pick blueberries: DO IT! It’s become a favorite summer activity in our family and has resulted in so many delicious recipes, like this blueberry salad.

When we returned to our kitchen, the first recipe we made was blueberry waffles with blueberry sauce, and man they were incredible! Its become a new tradition in our house. Oh, and these blueberry buttermilk pancakes. And healthy blueberry muffins… Yeah, we’re a little blueberry obsessed around here.

Blueberry picking

All the blueberry recipes!

If you’ve got fresh blueberries on hand, we’ve got lots of blueberry recipes for you to choose from! Here are a few favorites:

Blueberry salad

This blueberry salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the feta cheese.

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Blueberry salad with balsamic dressing

Blueberry Salad with Balsamic Dressing


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

How to make everyone want to eat salad? Add blueberries! This blueberry salad with spinach, feta, and a balsamic dressing is a total crowd pleaser.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe Best Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 8 cups mixed baby greens (we used baby spinach and arugula)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles (omit for vegan)
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the Best Balsamic Vinaigrette. (*For the nutrition analysis, we’ve calculated 1 tablespoon dressing per serving. We recommend making the entire dressing recipe and saving leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature prior to serving.)
  2. Wash the blueberries. Thinly slice the red onion.
  3. Place the greens on plates, then top with blueberries, red onion slivers, feta cheese crumbles, and pistachios. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Blueberry salad, Salad recipe, Balsamic vinaigrette, Balsamic dressing, Spinach Blueberry Salad

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Kathrin
    March 25, 2020 at 6:13 am

    We’re not big salad eaters, but my husband and I both absolutely love this one. So delicious, simple, and quick :)

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