Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
This Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad recipe is a summer version of the classic Cobb salad. It has the traditional chicken, bacon, avocado, and egg, but adds the bright flavors of strawberries and oranges. Pull it all together with your favorite store-bought or homemade poppyseed dressing for a fresh and satisfying lunch or dinner that is sure to be one of your favorite salad recipes.
I can eat salads every day. In fact, I pretty much do.
I’ll be honest, going out to eat as someone who is gluten free does sometimes limit me to the salad menu. But I’m OK with that because restaurants have gotten more and more creative with their salads over the years. You aren’t just limited to Chicken Caesar Salad or Chef Salad.
Heck, even the Italian Country Salad that was my restaurant favorite for years now seems a bit tame compared to all of the options out there today.
But at home for lunch, I keep it simple. Romaine, some leftover chicken or lunchmeat or hard-boiled eggs. Maybe a little fruit or cheese or leftover roasted veggies. Then it gets a drizzle of Creamy Balsamic Dressing or something similar.
My husband and kids, on the other hand, it takes a little more to get them to eat a salad. They need a serious salad.
This, my friends, is a serious salad…
Summer Strawberry Cobb Salad
A Cobb salad is traditionally made with lettuce topped with chicken, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and chives, and then drizzled with red wine vinaigrette. With a few swaps and additions, you can transform that Cobb into something bright and summery, and maybe with even a few more nutritional benefits.
What is in a strawberry spinach salad?
- Sliced strawberries
- Slice avocado
- Orange segments
- Goat cheese (or blue cheese or feta)
- Hard-boiled egg
- Salad dressing
You can arrange it all nicely on individual serving plates, or toss it all together in one large bowl.
What kind of dressing do you put on strawberry spinach salad?
- Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing is the perfect accompaniment, or you can buy a bottle of your favorite poppyseed dressing.
- For an extra burst of berry flavor, try this fresh and fruity Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing.
- Blueberry Lemon Chia Seed Vinaigrette swaps out those poppy seeds for an extra dose of superfood omega-3s.
- If you prefer a creamier dressing, Creamy Greek Yogurt Maple Dijon Salad Dressing is a perfect choice.
- Maple Warm Bacon Dressing is also a showstopper addition to any spinach salad.
Do I need to wash bagged spinach?
Despite the package claims you often see of bagged spinach being “triple-washed”, it can still harbor bacteria. And even if you get it from a farmers market or your own organic garden, due to its ridges, it notoriously hangs on to dirt and sand. Therefore spinach should always be washed.
How do you wash spinach?
- Fill a large bowl or another clean container with cool water.
- Add the spinach to the water and submerge a few times.
- Remove the spinach to a clean towel and let it dry, or put it in a salad spinner to remove the excess water.
What is the best way to cut an avocado?
Avocadoes can be tricky little guys. The easiest way to cut an avocado is to slice through the skin at the top of the avocado and press the knife all the way to the pit. Then run the knife all the way around the avocado and pop the two halves apart. You can then carefully bang the blade of your knife into the pit and twist to remove the pit. Either scoop the flesh out with a spoon or slice it right in the shell and scoop it out.
If all of this sounds a bit too risky and likely to cause you to end up in the emergency room, I highly recommend a simple avocado tool that has features to allow you to do all of these things without losing a finger.
Is spinach salad good for you?
This spinach salad is inspired by the classic Cobb salad. A Cobb salad can be one of the more calorie-dense salads out there with the bacon, eggs, avocado, and cheese. With the swaps to turn it into a summer strawberry Cobb salad, it is a bit lighter and filled with even more nutritional benefits.
Spinach adds more fiber, iron, vitamins, and minerals than the usual iceberg, Bibb, or butter lettuce you’ll typically find in a Cobb salad. Dark, leafy greens are good for skin, hair, and bone health.
Avocados and almonds have plenty of healthy fats. Berries and oranges provide Vitamin C that helps your body absorb all that iron from the spinach.
And, of course, it is loaded with protein from chicken, bacon, eggs, nuts, and cheese.
How can I make this salad healthier?
While this hearty salad truly does make a satisfying meal that will keep you full for hours, there are some options to lighten it up:
- Instead of a quarter of an avocado per salad, you can use just one-eighth of one to cut down on calories but still keep that creamy texture.
- You can use just half an egg per salad.
- While the bacon adds amazing flavor, it can be omitted. It can even be a vegetarian salad if you skip both the bacon and the chicken.
- Cut down on the dressing, or purchase or make a lighter dressing.
What else can you make with spinach?
- Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Bites turn your favorite cheesy dip into healthy finger food.
- Healthier Creamed Spinach is a lighter way to enjoy the steakhouse classic.
- Spinach Feta Frittata is perfect for brunch or breakfast for dinner.
- Spinach Parmesan White Bean Hummus sneaks some greens into a yummy dip for veggies.
Want more creative Cobb salad recipes?
- Lobster Cobb Salad is another summery way to enjoy this classic.
- New England Turkey Cobb Salad adds a Vermont maple dressing plus some fresh summer corn to the usual mix.
- Harvest Autumn Cobb Salad is delicious anytime during the fall, but it’s a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers too.
- Southwestern Chicken Cobb Salad gives it a Tex Mex twist.
- BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad is totally delicious when you add Ranch dressing.
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad Recipe
A salad that truly makes a meal with all of its delicious, healthy, and filling toppings. Inspired by the classic Cobb salad, but with a summertime spin. Everyone will love the bright, fresh flavors and gorgeous colors in this strawberry spinach salad with poppyseed dressing.
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on Pinterest! Tag #cupcakesandkalechips when you make this recipe to be featured on my IG stories!
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- 6-8 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 medium orange, cut into segments
- 8 oz. chicken breast, cooked and cubed (about two cups, or one small or two large breasts)
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 Tablespoons sliced almonds
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered or chopped
- 8 Tablespoons poppyseed salad dressing, storebought or homemade
- minced parsley, optional for garnish
- Divide the spinach between four plate or bowls.
- Top each plate of spinach with about a quarter of the strawberries, avocado, orange, and chicken, one slice of crumbled bacon, 1 oz. (about a two Tablespoons) goat cheese, one Tablespoon almonds, and one egg.
- Drizzle each salad with about two Tablespoons of dressing. Garnish with minced parsley, if desired.
- Serve as-is or toss before serving. You can also toss all of the ingredients in one large bowl and divide between individual plates or bowls.
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