Our garden is finally at the point of giving us beautiful salad greens each day. Since local strawberries are in season, we had the idea to combine them with our greens to make a killer strawberry salad! Strawberries are a natural pairing with the acidity of a balsamic vinaigrette. In fact, Alex and I learned about pairing strawberries and balsamic in an Italian cookbook where the balsamic vinegar is used in a classic Italian dessert (here’s our spin on it!). Here I used our favorite vinaigrette method to whip up a creamy honey balsamic dressing using local honey and Dijon mustard. Paired with spicy red onions and some toasted almonds, it was a simple and delicious way to enjoy them!
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 by several books to throw out all our store bought salad dressings and star making homemade salad dressing! We loved that using just a handful of ingredients, we could whisk up salad dressing that was made of real food and skipped any added ingredients.
The key to how to make homemade salad dressing is to have the correct ratio of acid to oil. In the past, Alex and I liked to cut back on the oil in our dressings, but having enough oil is important to get a creamy emulsion. If you want less oil, use less of the overall dressing! Plus, using a healthy fat like olive oil is part of our philosophy of a healthy diet, so I now am happy to consume olive oil!
Another important thing for how to make homemade salad dressing is to 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.
What’s in your 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:
- Local strawberries: If at all possible, finding local 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.
- Creamy honey balsamic dressing: As I mentioned, 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: We like to add cheese crumbles to our strawberry salad, but they’re not necessary for a killer salad. For vegan, simply omit the cheese crumbles and use maple syrup in place of honey in the dressing. Our favorite cheese crumbles are feta cheese and blue cheese.
- Nuts: We’ve added nuts for crunch in this salad, and you can use any you’d like! Here we recommend pecans or sliced almonds.
- Red onion: The color and flavor of red onion is our final touch to bring a savory flair to this salad. One tip we have is to get rid of onion breath! If you soak the slices of red onion in cold water for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving, it 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.
Looking for more homemade salad dressing recipes?
Here are a few of our favorite homemade salad dressing recipes:
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:
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate
- Seriously Simple Three Bean Salad
- Crispy Sweet Potato Fries
- Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad
- Smoky Ranch Wedge Salad with Potato Chips
- Beet Salad with Blue Cheese
- Best Popover Recipe
- Apple Manchego Salad
This recipe is…
This strawberry salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette recipe is vegetarian, gluten free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free. For vegan, use maple syrup in place of honey and omit the cheese crumbles.Print
Want a salad with strawberries? With creamy honey balsamic dressing, this strawberry salad recipe is tasty and features how to make homemade salad dressing.
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 honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Wash and slice the strawberries. Wash and dry the salad greens.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make the balsamic vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and kosher salt. Then gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until fully emulsified and creamy.
- 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.
Keywords: Strawberries, Strawberry, Strawberry Salad, Vinaigrette, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Dressing, How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing, Salad Dressing, Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website 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.
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 food 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.