This mixed green strawberry goat cheese salad with cucumber, red onion, and walnuts will surely be your new go-to Summer recipe! It’s fresh, made with simple ingredients, and dressed with a healthy homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Best mixed green strawberry salad with goat cheese
I’m excited to share this recipe with you because it’s super simple and made with mixed greens, cucumbers, strawberries, red onions, walnuts, and crumbled goat cheese. I love adding fresh strawberries to my salads since they are perfectly sweet, juicy, and the ideal Summer salad topping. But my favorite part is the tangy homemade healthy balsamic vinaigrette.
This strawberry goat cheese salad is a great side dish for a family dinner or Summer BBQ. You can add a protein like this grilled chicken, these crispy chicken thighs, grilled salmon, grilled shrimp, crispy tofu, or steak to make this a full lunch or dinner.
One of our favorite things about this recipe is that it takes 5 minutes to make, but everyone will be impressed. You only need six ingredients for the salad and five ingredients for the dressing.
You can already tell how much we love this strawberry goat cheese salad. It is just the perfect Summer meal that everyone will love! We can’t wait to hear what you think.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Packed with fresh, juicy strawberries.
- The goat cheese is creamy and salty.
- It takes 5 minutes to make.
- Dressed in a healthy homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
- It’s gluten-free and grain-free.
- The perfect side dish for Summer and Spring.
- Add chicken, steak, salmon, tofu, or shrimp for protein.
- Super customizable, so everyone is happy.
- You’ll also love this orzo pesto salad or this Greek spinach salad – so good!
Ingredients and substitutions
This strawberry goat cheese salad recipe only needs a handful of healthy ingredients like mixed greens, strawberries, cucumber, onion, and goat cheese. It’s light, refreshing, and super fresh. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
The Strawberry Salad:
- Mixed Green Lettuce: Mixed greens are my favorite salad base – they’re fresh, crisp, and easy to digest. You can also use baby spinach.
- Strawberries: Next up, fresh strawberries for sweetness. You can use blueberries if needed.
- Cucumber: Grab an English cucumber, peel it, and cut it into quarter moons. This adds a crunch and freshness to the strawberry goat cheese salad. You can substitute the English cucumber with Persian cucumbers.
- Red Onion: For a bit of sharpness. I prefer red onion, but you can use white onion or yellow onion too.
- Walnuts: For the perfect nuttiness and crunch factor, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts. You can also use pecans or almonds if you prefer.
- Goat Cheese: Finally, add in crumbled goat cheese. This adds the best creamy, salty, and delicious flavor to this salad. Feel free to use feta cheese if you don’t have goat cheese.
Homemade Healthy Balsamic Dressing:
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: First, you’ll need extra virgin olive oil as the base of this healthy balsamic dressing. You can use avocado oil too.
- Balsamic Vinegar: You’ll need 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar for a little sweetness and acidity. Balsamic vinegar is not the same as a balsamic glaze.
- Honey: 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey add the perfect amount of sweetness. This is optional, and you do not need to add it if you like a sharper, tangier dressing.
- Dijon Mustard: I promise you cannot taste the Dijon mustard, but it adds depth to this simple homemade healthy balsamic dressing.
- Garlic Clove: Garlic makes everything taste better! You need one clove.
- Salt & Black Pepper: For seasoning.
Kitchen tools required
Here is a list of kitchen utensils for making this easy 5-minute goat cheese and strawberry salad. Clean-up is so easy.
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Kitchen Knife
- One Large Mixing Bowl
- One Small Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Tools: 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, and 1/4 cup.
How to make this easy strawberry goat cheese salad
This strawberry goat cheese salad recipe comes together in 5 minutes. Simply prepare the salad, make the dressing, and serve! Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so anyone can make it. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
First, make the dressing by whisking together ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar until olive oil and balsamic vinegar emulsify – meaning there are completely mixed and no longer separate.
Then, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking by adding more balsamic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, if desired.
After that, add the mixed greens to a large salad bowl and layer on the strawberries, cucumber, sliced red onion, walnuts, and goat cheese.
Finally, when ready to serve, drizzle dressing on the salad and gently toss to combine or serve with dressing on the side. Enjoy!
Expert recipe tips:
- Thinly slice the onion. The sharp flavor will overpower each bite if the onion pieces are too big.
- Don’t dress the salad until serving. It will be soggy otherwise, and you want this salad to be crunchy and fresh.
- Use store-bought dressing. If you don’t have time to make the homemade balsamic vinaigrette, feel free to use your favorite store-bought balsamic dressing.
- Use pecans or almonds. Pick your favorite! You can use any nut.
How to add protein to this salad:
To make this salad a balanced lunch or dinner, feel free to add protein! Here are my favorite options:
- Grilled Chicken. Grill up two chicken breasts, slice them up, and add them to your salad. I love this recipe!
- Chicken Thighs. For a juicy cut of chicken, add in 3 sliced-up crispy chicken thighs.
- Grilled Steak. Grill 1 pound of flank steak to your desired temperature (I like medium doneness), slice it up and add it to your salad.
- Grilled Salmon. Grilled salmon is the best! Add 3 – 6 pieces of grilled salmon to the salad, depending on how many people you are serving.
- Grilled Shrimp. There is nothing better than grilled shrimp in the Summer! Add 1 pound of cooked, grilled shrimp to this salad for protein.
- Crispy Tofu. If you are vegetarian or vegan, add 1 batch of this super crispy tofu to the salad!
It is super easy to customize this strawberry goat cheese salad and make it your own. Here are a few ideas:
- Use Feta. Swap the goat cheese for crumbled feta.
- Add Bell Peppers. Feel free to add 1 cup of chopped yellow, orange, or red bell peppers for a sweet and crunchy addition.
- Add Tomatoes. I love tomatoes, especially when they are in season. Just add 1 cup.
- Pecan or Almonds. Swap out the walnuts for chopped pecans or slivered almonds.
- Nut-Free. Remove the walnuts and add roasted chickpeas or croutons from crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use arugula or baby spinach?
Absolutely! You can use any lettuce as the base. I also love leafy lettuce, like bib lettuce.
Is this recipe healthy?
Yes, strawberry goat cheese salad is healthy! First, it is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. Second, it is gluten-free and low-sugar. Third, it is packed with micronutrients.
Can I use a different salad dressing?
Yes! Try this healthy caesar salad dressing. It’s so good.
Is it gluten-free?
Yes, this salad recipe is 100% gluten-free. There is no gluten, and there are no grains in this recipe.
Is goat cheese dairy free?
No, goat cheese is not dairy-free, as it is made from goat milk.
Can I make it dairy free?
To make this salad dairy free, leave off the goat cheese. You can substitute it with your favorite dairy-free alternative.
Are feta and goat cheese the same?
No, feta cheese and goat cheese are not the same. Goat cheese comes from goat milk and is softer and often creamier. On the other hand, feta cheese is typically made from sheep milk and is tangier in flavor.
What is the best goat cheese substitute?
For salads, the best substitute for goat cheese is feta crumbles.
Can you make this strawberry goat cheese salad ahead of time?
You can easily make this salad a day in advance or a few hours ahead of time to serve at a bbq, cookout, or party. Simply prepare the salad in a large mixing bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or foil, and store it in the refrigerator. Then, keep the dressing in a separate airtight container in the fridge. DO NOT dress the salad until you are ready to serve. For best results, serve within 6 – 10 hours of making the salad.
How to store leftovers:
Store undressed salad in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days in an airtight container or in a large mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap or foil. Make sure to store the dressing in a separate airtight container.
Do not store leftover dressed salad – it will be soggy.
If you love this recipe, try these salads next!
- Greek Spinach Salad
- Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad
- Balsamic Grilled Peach Summer Salad
- Orzo Pesto Salad
- Kale Crunch Salad (Chick-Fil-A Copycat)
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Alsodon’t’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- 10 ounces mixed green lettuce
- 1 quart fresh strawberries (about 1 ½ cups), hulled and sliced
- 1 medium English cucumber, peeled and cut into quarter moons
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ – ⅓ cup walnuts, pecans, or almonds
- 2 – 3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
- Make the dressing by whisking together ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar until olive oil and balsamic vinegar emulsify – meaning there are completely mixed and no longer separate. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking by adding more balsamic, salt, pepper, and/or olive oil, if desired.
- Add mixed greens to a large salad bowl and layer on the strawberries, cucumber, sliced red onion, walnuts, and goat cheese.
- When ready to serve, drizzle dressing on the salad and gently toss to combine or serve with dressing on the side. Enjoy!
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