A simple balsamic dressing does double duty as a marinade for the chicken in this light and healthy, fresh avocado and strawberry spinach salad.
Simple Strawberry Spinach Salad
The best recipes are made from muscle memory. These are the recipes you’ve made time and time again, with so much repetition you really don’t even think about what you’re doing when you make it, you just do.
These recipes aren’t really even recipes at all. They’re just the wonderful result of what happens when you take the basics and then add a twist here and a switcheroo there, all depending on what’s fresh and seasonal and hanging out in the fridge. This chicken spinach salad is exactly one of those recipes and finds itself as my lucky lunch at least once a week.
It’s loaded with heart healthy baby spinach, sliced sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, and a simple dressing that does double duty as the chicken marinate. Cook the chicken on the stove top or on the grill and you have a salad made for filling lunches or easy dinners.
Isn’t that the perfect reason to share?
What’s in This Strawberry Spinach Salad?
To make this avocado, spinach, and strawberry chicken salad, you’ll need:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Golden balsamic vinegar
- Fresh tarragon
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Chicken breasts
- Fresh spinach
- Red onion
- Feta cheese
- Sliced almonds
How to Make a Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Whisk together the balsamic dressing and pour half over the chicken. Set the chicken aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Once the chicken has had time to soak up some flavor, grill until done. Then, it’s just a matter of assembling the strawberry spinach salad and digging in!
Can I Use Another Leafy Green?
I always have fresh spinach in the fridge, where it finds its way into everything from my breakfast fritattas, to my lightened up sweet green smoothies and spinach lasagna. So it’s a natural base for this hearty salad, that works for lunch or dinner even.
But if you have kale, arugula, romaine, butter or even spring mix mingling in the crisper, by all means, use it up!
Can I Use Another Berry?
The ying and yang of sweet strawberries with red onion and avocado is one of my favorite combos ever. However, you can always swap out raspberries or blueberries for the strawberries and instead of feta, give goat cheese a try. I have and likely will again.
Tips for Making Strawberry Spinach Salad
I like to cook a few chicken breasts on Sunday or Monday to eat during the week in salads like this. I’ve shared how to cook them on the stove top below, but if you’re ready to grill, this technique is always a grilled chicken success.
This balsamic tarragon dressing is my standard, go-to-all-the-time salad dressings. I use white balsamic dressing because it’s a bit mellower and doesn’t dominate the flavor of the salad, instead letting all of the other flavors shine through.
The dressing does double duty as a chicken marinade too. Remember that after marinating chicken to discard the marinade. You do NOT want to use it for the dressing after soaking in raw chicken. Ew.
More Spinach Salad Ideas You’ll Love
- Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
- Summer Berry Spinach Salad
- Roasted Beet, Avocado, & Spinach Salad
- Mango Avocado Salad
- Spinach Salad with Turkey & Spiralized Butternut Squash
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken and Avocado
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 6 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
- 6-8 large strawberries , hulled and quartered
- 1 avocado , peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 3-4 thinly sliced rings of red onion
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- Whisk the extra virgin olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, sugar, tarragon, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl until blended.
- Place the chicken breasts in a shallow bowl and cover with half of the dressing, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Spray a grill pan or 12-inch non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat to medium high. Place the chicken breasts on the hot grill pan. Cook for 3 minutes then flip the chicken breasts. Cook for another 3 minutes, and turn. Reduce the cooking temperature to medium low and cook the chicken for 20-25 minutes more, turning every 5 minutes or so. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken, but it will be done when it hits 165 degrees internal temperature. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes then slice into ¼ inch slices.
- Arrange the spinach, strawberries and red onion in a bowl. Lightly toss with the remaining dressing. Add the avocado, sliced chicken and top with feta and almond slices. Serve immediately.
More Hearty Salad Recipes to Make
- Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad
- Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Superfood Salad with Lightened-Up Poppy Seed Dressing
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