Looking for a colorful, fresh and delicious salad to feed a crowd? This Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad hits the spot with a beautiful balance of sweet and savory.
Vibrant in both flavor and color, this simple salad tops a leafy green base with fruits, veggies, nuts, goat cheese, and a quick and easy homemade vinaigrette to bring a variety of flavors and textures to each bite.
As an environmental scientist, I always try to stick to seasonal eating! It’s one of the easiest (and most delicious!) ways to support local farmers and improve your carbon footprint.
Green tip: Seasonal and local foods have less associated transportation costs and fuel emissions. Check when strawberries are in season in your area with this Seasonal Food Guide.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad Ingredients
Here’s everything you need:
- Leafy greens. Like arugula, spinach, spring mix, watercress or a combination of these.
- Strawberries. The star of this salad. It adds just the right amount of sweetness and color to this salad.
- Red onion. For crunch, and to merge the savory and sweet elements seamlessly.
- Cucumber. For freshness and crunch.
- Nuts. Like pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, or pistachios.
- Goat cheese. It adds the right amount of tang
- Balsamic Vinegar & Oil. To make a quick vinaigrette.
- Honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup. The last element in the vinaigrette to add some sweetness to cut the acidity of the vinegar.
Additional add-in ideas:
- Bell peppers
- Snow peas
- Apple slices
- Hemp seeds
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad Tips and Tricks
Prep Your Add-Ins
Peel and slice your red onion thin. Rinse your cucumber and strawberries. I like to peel my cucumber, but that’s up to you. Either way, slice it thin and then cut each slice in half.
Cut the greens off of the strawberries and slice them in half or thirds if they are very large.
The idea is for each element to be bite-sized, making your salad easy to eat and giving you a better chance to get a little bit of everything in every forkful.
Toss It Together
To a large salad bowl, add the prepped onion, cucumber, and strawberries. Then, add the nuts and use your hands to crumble the goat cheese.
Use salad tongs to toss the salad, distributing the ingredients evenly throughout the leafy greens.
Make Your Quick Vinaigrette
Oil and vinegar do not easily combine. I find the best way to make the vinaigrette is to add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup) to a jar with a lid.
Secure the lid on the jar very tight and shake vigorously to combine. When the oil and vinegar do combine, they create an emulsion, which will thicken the vinaigrette.
Dress Right Before Serving
The longer the salad sits with the vinaigrette on it, the more chance you have of it getting soggy. Additionally, leftover salad without the dressing will last much longer in the fridge.
And lastly, some people like more dressing than others! For these reasons, I highly recommend serving the vinaigrette on the side, and allowing everyone to dress their own salad.
If you do wish to dress the entire salad, you can use all of the vinaigrette. This recipe is designed to make just the right amount.
Should You Have Leftovers
Salad without vinaigrette will last on the counter at room temperature for about four hours. In an airtight container, it will last for about 3 days in the refrigerator.
If you have leftover vinaigrette, it can last in a sealed jar for up to 3 months.
If your salad has vinaigrette on it, it’s best to enjoy it within a couple of hours. Otherwise, it will start to get soggy.
Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and enjoying your leftovers!
Additional Serving Ideas
If you want this Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad to be elevated to a main dish status, consider adding a hot element.
My favorite ways to make this salad a main is by adding roasted vegetables or fish.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad Frequently Asked Questions
What veggies go well with strawberries?
Strawberries go well with a lot of veggies! My favorite vegetables to pair with strawberries are cucumbers and red onion over arugula in a salad
Strawberries also go well with red and green bell peppers, avocado, asparagus, snow peas and spinach.
Why You Should Make this Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- It’s fresh. Loaded with fresh fruits and veggies with a variety of flavors and textures for a delicious salad.
- It’s balanced. Tang from the goat cheese, sweetness from the strawberries, acidity from the onions, all tied together with a balanced quick and easy vinaigrette.
- It feeds a crowd. Six main-dish-sized servings or up to 10 side salads!
Strawberry Goat Cheese SaladPRINT PIN RATE
Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- 10 ounces leafy greens like arugula, spinach, spring mix, or watercress
- 1 pound strawberries
- ½ large red onion
- 1 small cucumber
- 3 ounces nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, or pistachios
- 4 ounces goat cheese
Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup) to a jar fit with a lid. Close the lid tight and shake vigorously to emulsify.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- Rinse and dry your leafy greens (if necessary) and strawberries. Chop the leaves off of your strawberries and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Then, peel and slice your onion and cucumber into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the greens, onion, cucumber, strawberries, and nuts to a large mixing bowl and crumble the goat cheese on top. Toss to combine.
- Add the Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette to the salad just before serving or serve the vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy!
- If you want to add a warm element to this salad, but keep it vegetarian, consider adding these Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus or Roasted Asparagus and Carrots.
- If you want to add protein to this salad, consider adding this Roasted Garlic Salmon, Pecan Crusted Halibut, or Baked Cod with Panko.