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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. 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


  • 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!


Ingredients

Scale

For the salad

  • 2 cups ripe strawberries
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 red onion
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds or pecan pieces
  • ⅓ 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)
  • ¼ 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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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16 Comments

  1. Simple and yummy! I regularly make balsamic dressing but following your directions took it up a notch from my usual result. Used a mix of romaine and red leaf that I picked from the ground at a local farm, as well as u-pick strawberries. Topped with the red onion and toasted Walnuts. Omitted cheese. Will be enjoying this for the next few days.

  2. Actually the very best way which I learnt from a French chef to ensure your vinaigrette is emulsified is to use a little dry mustard powder which does the trick every time and you will not have used enough to affect the flavour of the dressing just its emulsification. However, of course, it does not remain emulsified for ever.
    I will be making this recipe but there will either be meat or fish to go with it and I will be using tomatoes and cucumber too, being English these things are expected. However I live in Europee.

    1. I made two big pans of this salad today for a wedding. It was good, a beautiful presentation, but I felt that the mustard flavor was too strong. I will significantly reduce it next time. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. 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

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

  5. 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’?

    1. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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

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