Spinach Salad with Berries, Pecans & Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Get ready for oohs and aahs—this spinach salad with berries, pecans, and goat cheese is an absolute stunner!

bowl of spinach salad with berries, pecans, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette

We usually think of fresh berries as something to enjoy at breakfast or for dessert, but here they make a delicious addition to a summery spinach salad. What really makes the salad work is the fruity raspberry vinaigrette, which ties everything together beautifully. This is one of my go-to dishes for outdoor entertaining—it’s gorgeous and always gets oohs and aahs when I bring it to the table. Don’t wait for a special occasion to make it, though; it’s just as wonderful served alongside grilled chicken or cedar plank salmon for a casual family dinner.

A quick tip: to keep the goat cheese in nice chunks, crumble it over the salad after tossing. If goat cheese isn’t your thing, blue cheese or feta are great alternatives. And yes, the amount of honey in the dressing might seem like a lot, but trust me, the sweetness balances perfectly with the tart berries and tangy goat cheese. That’s what makes this salad so delicious.

What You’ll Need To Make Spinach Salad with Berries, Pecans & Raspberry Vinaigrette

spinach salad ingredients.
  • Raspberry Vinegar: Adds a tangy, fruity base to the dressing and ties all the ingredients together.
  • Vegetable Oil: Provides a neutral, smooth consistency to the dressing.
  • Honey: Balances the acidity of the vinegar and tanginess of the mustard with a touch of sweetness.
  • Dijon Mustard: Adds depth and a slight tang; it also helps the dressing emulsify.
  • Shallots: Contribute a mild, sweet onion flavor.
  • Baby Spinach: Provides a fresh, leafy base and bright green color for the salad.
  • Strawberries: Add sweetness and a pop of beautiful color.
  • Blueberries: Pair nicely with the strawberries and offer additional color and a burst of juicy flavor.
  • Pecans: Adds a crunchy, nutty element. Toasting the nuts makes them crunchier and helps bring out their rich flavor.
  • Goat Cheese: Adds a creamy, tangy finish. Blue cheese or feta will also work here.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Raspberry Vinaigrette

Combine raspberry vinegar, vegetable oil, honey, Dijon mustard, shallots, salt and pepper in a small sealable container.

raspberry vinaigrette ingredients combined in jar.

Shake vigorously to blend, making sure the honey doesn’t stick to bottom. (Alternatively, combine vinegar, honey, mustard, shallots, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified.)

emulsified raspberry vinaigrette in jar.

Step 2: Assemble the Salad

In a large bowl, combine baby spinach, strawberries, blueberries and pecans.

spinach, berries, and pecans in large bowl.

Add the dressing little by little and toss until greens are well-coated (you may have a bit left over but you’ll use most of it).

dressing the spinach salad.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the top of the spinach salad and serve.

bowl of spinach salad with berries, pecans, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette

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Spinach Salad with Berries, Pecans, Goat Cheese & Raspberry Vinaigrette

Get ready for oohs and aahs—this spinach salad with berries, pecans, and goat cheese is an absolute stunner!

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots, from one shallot
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1 (6-7 ounce) bag or carton baby spinach (about 6-7 cups)
  • 2 cups (1 pint) stemmed and sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup (½ pint) blueberries
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine raspberry vinegar, vegetable oil, honey, Dijon mustard, shallots, salt and pepper in a small sealable container and shake vigorously to blend (be sure honey doesn't stick to bottom). Alternatively, combine vinegar, honey, mustard, shallots, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified.
  2. In a large bowl, combine baby spinach, strawberries, blueberries and pecans. Add the dressing little by little and toss until greens are well-coated (you may have a bit left over but you'll use most of it). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over top and serve.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 481
  • Fat: 37g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Sugar: 26g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Sodium: 296mg
  • Cholesterol: 13mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • what brand of raspberry vinegar do you use?

    • — Joni Antweil on June 9, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Joni, I don’t currently have it in my pantry, but believe the last time I purchased it, it was Whole Foods brand.

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2024
      • Reply
    • Joni,

      Raspberry vinegar is pretty easy to make. Just use 2 parts white vinegar to 1 part raspberries. Put in a jar, close the lid and let it sit in a cool dark corner for a couple of weeks. Strain out the berries using cheese cloth and you’ve got raspberry vinegar better than the stores. It will last for about a year in the fridge. Yum!

      • — Doug on June 11, 2024
      • Reply
  • Great salad! Have made it 3-4 times in the last 6 months and every time it’s a hit. This is my new “go to” salad for company. I don’t have raspberry vinegar so have been using champagne vinegar and the dressing comes out very nice — light and tasty.

    • — Ellen on October 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, out of raspberry vinegar, can I sub raspberry liqueur?

    Thx bunches!
    Yvonne

    • — Yvonne Greenwood on September 25, 2023
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it, but you can use red wine or cider vinegar – it just won’t have a raspberry flavor.

      • — Jenn on September 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    You asked if I would follow-up with a couple of changes I made to this yummy salad just for variation. I love the original recipe too. I kept the dressing as is and to change it up I used watermelon, marionberries and toasted pine nuts instead of the strawberries, blueberries and pecans. I kept the spinach and goat cheese too. It was delicious, but I liked your original one better! 🙂

    • — Rose on July 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • They sound like yummy changes (and good to know that you still prefer the original version). Thanks for taking the time to report back! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I substitute watermellon for the strawberries? Will the dressing pair well with watermellon? I love and made this salad many times and I was looking for a way to change it up a little. Love all of your recipes! Thanks so much!

    • — Rose on July 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Rose, I think you could swap watermelon in here. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • I haven’t made a ton of homemade salad dressings. Can you explain why you prefer vegetable oil to oils like olive or avocado? Thank you!

    • — Jen on July 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • Vegetable oil is more neutral in flavor than olive oil. Avocado oil is fairly neutral tasting, so if you’d like to use that instead of vegetable oil, that would be fine.

      • — Jenn on July 3, 2023
      • Reply
  • All the goodness of the season in one bowl that is as beautiful as it is delicious. My family always knows when it’s a Jenn Segal recipe!

    • — Stacy C on June 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this salad for a Memorial Day picnic. It was fabulous and got many compliments. The best part was that it was super fast and easy to make. I had a little bit of trouble finding the raspberry vinegar but eventually located some at a local market. I was tempted to replace the raspberry vinegar with white balsamic vinegar but am so glad I didn’t, the raspberry vinegar gives the dressing a delicious delicate flavor. I also had some extra blackberries in the fridge which I added along with the blueberries and strawberries.

    • — Karen Horn on May 29, 2023
    • Reply

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