Fresh baby spinach and crisp romaine lettuce are mixed with homemade croutons, toasted almonds and sliced berries in this strawberry poppyseed salad. And, it’s all topped off with a creamy, dairy free dressing. Serves 8 – 12.
Why I love this strawberry poppyseed salad
Summers are made for salads with fresh fruit. There are so many delicious berries and fresh stone fruits at the markets and grocery stores, it would be crazy to not take advantage of it. I’ve already had my fair share of grilled peach salad, so I figured it was time to move on to berries.
I used to love topping my fruit salads with a little goat cheese, but since we’re making this one dairy free, I decided to add my favorite dairy free croutons instead.
It’s a great way to add a little something extra to your salad without adding cheese. I always try to find a “replacement” ingredient, even when I could just leave the cheese out, because I think it makes for a well rounded recipe.
Tips for making this strawberry poppyseed salad
- Make your croutons ahead of time. I like to make a big batch and store them in a large zip-top bag to use as I need them.
- Use the freshest strawberries you can get your hands on. I try to make my salad the day I buy my berries, or, at the very least, within a day of buying them. Read this post about keeping your berries as fresh as possible.
- Toast your sliced almonds for better flavor.
How to make creamy poppyseed dressing:
My secret for making a creamy, dairy free dressing is mayonnaise (or vegan mayo if you prefer). It adds a hint of creaminess without adding any milk.
I simply swap out half of what I would measure for olive oil and whisk it into my dressing. You could even use homemade mayonnaise like I do in my favorite dairy free ranch dressing.
I like to make a double batch of the dressing in a mason jar and store it in the fridge for whenever I want it.
Variations for your strawberry poppyseed salad
Try adding blueberries to your strawberry poppyseed salad for an extra pop of color. It’s perfect for taking to a Fourth of July party, but it’s also nice you just want a change of pace or you have a ton of blueberries to eat.
Cucumbers and avocados would also be great in this salad. I left them out because I didn’t have any on hand, but both would be great additions, so don’t hesitate to try them.
More salad recipes to try:
- Tomato salad recipe
- Farro salad recipe
- Easy macaroni salad
- Spicy cucumber salad
- Mexican street corn salad
- BLT pasta salad
Summer berry recipes you’ll love:
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For the salad:
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 6 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced
- 2 ounces sliced almonds
- 1/2 recipe dairy free croutons
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or vegan mayo
- 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- In a mason jar or small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Toss or serve with salad dressing on the side.
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