Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This easy strawberry salad recipe features a creamy homemade balsamic dressing and sweet ripe berries. It’s the perfect side dish!

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | A Couple Cooks

Ready for a killer strawberry salad recipe? Strawberries are a natural pairing with the acidity of a balsamic vinaigrette. In fact, strawberries and balsamic vinegar are often paired together in Italian desserts (here’s our spin on it!). So for this salad, we used our favorite vinaigrette method to whip up a creamy balsamic dressing that perfectly accentuates the bright red sweet berries. Paired with red onions and toasted almonds, it was a simple and delicious way to enjoy seasonal berries!

How to make homemade salad dressing?

Making homemade salad dressing is cheap and easy. It’s also a healthy alternative to using purchased salad dressings, which can contain additives and preservatives! When Alex and I first started cooking at home, we were inspired to throw out all our store bought salad dressings and star making homemade salad dressing! Using just a handful of ingredients, you can whisk up salad dressing make of whole foods and no additives.

Homemade dressing: a few tips!

Here are a few tips to making homemade salad dressing:

  • Use the correct ratio of acid to oil. Having enough oil is important to get a creamy emulsion. If you want less oil, use less of the overall dressing! A healthy fat like olive oil is part of our philosophy of a healthy diet.
  • Use a medium bowl and whisk in the oil gradually. Whisking in the oil gradually is key to forming a creamy emulsion, which allows the dressing to stick to the salad leaves instead of being too wet.
Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | A Couple Cooks

What’s in the best strawberry salad?

Strawberry salad is a pretty classic dish, so our best strawberry salad stays true to form. Here’s what’s in our favorite strawberry salad recipe:

  • Ripe strawberries: Finding ripe strawberries is the number one key to a good strawberry salad! If you don’t have access to local berries, try to buy in the summer when strawberries are in season and find the ripest strawberries that you can. If you’re looking to mix it up with the type of berry, try our Blueberry Salad or Blackberry Salad.
  • Creamy balsamic dressing: Strawberries are a natural pair with the acidity of balsamic vinegar, which makes the berries shine! See above for our tips on how to make homemade salad dressing. It’s so simple, you’ll never go back!
  • Cheese crumbles: Cheese crumbles make a killer strawberry salad, though they’re not required. For vegan, simply omit the cheese crumbles and it’s just as good!
  • Nuts: Add nuts for crunch in this salad; you can use any you’d like! We recommend pecans, walnuts, or sliced toasted almonds.
  • Red onion: The color and flavor of red onion is our final touch to bring a savory flair to this salad. Here’s a tip to get rid of onion breath: soak the onion slices in cold water for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving! This mellows the flavor and softens the risk of onion breath.

Let us know if you try try our strawberry salad recipe in the comments below! Want a soup with your salad? Try our Moroccan Cauliflower Soup.

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | A Couple Cooks

Looking for more homemade salad dressing recipes?

Here are a few of our favorite homemade salad dressing recipes:

This strawberry salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free. For vegan, omit the cheese crumbles.

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Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | A Couple Cooks

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (106 votes, average: 4.08 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This easy strawberry salad recipe features a creamy homemade balsamic dressing and sweet ripe berries. It’s the perfect side dish!


Scale

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 2 cups ripe strawberries
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds or pecan pieces
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the balsamic vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Wash and slice the strawberries. Wash and dry the salad greens.
  2. Thinly slice the red onion Tip: To mellow the flavor, soak the onion slices in cold water for about 20 minutes prior to serving, then drain.
  3. Optional: In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast the nuts for a few minutes until they are golden brown, stirring frequently and watching carefully so that they don’t burn.
  4. Make the balsamic vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and kosher salt. Then gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until fully emulsified and creamy.
  5. To serve, spread the greens on a plate and top with strawberries, red onion, almonds, feta cheese crumbles, vinaigrette, and several grinds of black pepper.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Strawberries, Strawberry, Strawberry Salad, Vinaigrette, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Dressing, How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing, Salad Dressing, Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Looking for more healthy side dish recipes?

This strawberry salad is a delicious healthy side dish recipe; here are a few more side dish recipes on A Couple Cooks:

Last updated: January 2020

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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.

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Marla
    June 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

    We are both on the same page with strawberries and salads. A dreamy combo :)

    Cookin’ Canuck and I would love if you linked up this recipe & any 2 other side dishes in this weeks Get Grillin’ event posted on both of our blogs. We have a fabulous Ile De France Cheese giveaway. You just need to link up on one site :) http://su.pr/17fizq

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I love all these salad recipes! The pictures look so delish and is inspiring to get back into salads for the summer. Healthy eating and yummy at the same time. Yipee!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    June 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    That vinaigrette sounds wonderful! Happy summer!

  • Reply
    kari beth
    June 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    this looks delicious. and love the new look for the blog.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    June 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Hi! Found your blog on FoodGawker, anyways, that salad sounds really good! I usually find a regular salad dull but I’ve never thought of adding strawberries! I have added dried cranberries however. :) looks good!
    Oh and what would you use for the ‘mixed salad greens’?

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Glad you found us! For the greens, we just meant to use any lettuce that you like. We had a mix of different types from our garden, but whatever you prefer should taste just fine!

  • Reply
    Annie
    June 22, 2011 at 8:23 am

    This sounds fabulous to me! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    Brittany Lauren
    June 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Lovely! I’ve had something like this similar at a charming cafe in our town. Thanks for posting. Blueberries would be yummy too!

  • Reply
    David
    July 1, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Loved this. I was a bit weary of the mustard, and thought dijon mustard would’ve been the route to go on, but the plain mustard worked out very well. I added a bit more fruit (blackberries), and it was very flavourful. Thanks for sharing!

    David,
    Canada

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    July 25, 2013 at 10:10 am

    :-)

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