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

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Spinach Salad with Berries and Raspberry Vinaigrette

This baby spinach salad with fresh berries, pecans and goat cheese always elicits oohs and aahs.

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Usually we think of fresh berries as something to eat for breakfast or dessert, but here they make an elegant addition to a baby spinach salad. The fruity raspberry vinaigrette complements the berries and brings all of the elements together.

I love to make this spinach salad as a first course for an outdoor dinner party — it’s so pretty and always elicits oohs and aahs — but don’t save it for a special occasion. It’s delicious served alongside grilled chicken or fish for a casual family dinner.

Ingredients For Baby Spinach Salad with Berries, Pecans & Goat Cheese

How To Make Baby Spinach Salad with Berries, Pecans & Goat Cheese

Begin by making the vinaigrette. Combine the raspberry vinegar, vegetable oil, Dijon mustard, honey, minced shallots, salt and pepper in a glass jar or sealable container and shake well to emulsify.

Don’t be alarmed by the amount of honey: the sweetness of the dressing against the tartness of the berries and tanginess of the goat cheese is the what makes the salad so good.

Right before serving, combine the spinach, berries and pecans in a large bowl and toss gently with the vinaigrette.

Crumble the goat cheese over the tossed salad (rather than tossing it in) so that it doesn’t melt into the dressing. If you don’t care for goat cheese, feel free to substitute blue cheese or feta.

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

More Salads You Might Like

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

This baby spinach salad with fresh berries, pecans and goat cheese always elicits oohs and aahs.

Servings: 4


For the Dressing

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots, from one shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 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 (1/2 pint) blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
  • 4 ounces goat cheese


  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

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  • 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, 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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Reviews & Comments

  • This is my go to salad. I eat it at home. I take it to dinner parties. Everyone loves this salad. It is so easy and fresh!

  • An awesome salad!!! The dressing is soooo good! So easy to prepare.

  • Will canola oil work?

  • Is there any substitute for the Dijon mustard??

    • Hi Stacey, Check out this page with several potential substitutes for Dijon mustard.

  • Made this for a dinner party. It was a hit. We used a little sugar vs. honey and added almonds on the side instead of pecans. What a great summer salad!

  • Oh my!!!! This was awesome. I keep all of the ingredients separate, and then make a beautiful salad every day for lunch. My co-workers are envious!

  • Best spring or summer salad everybody loves! Made triple the recipe for family gathering and all raved about it and no leftovers!

  • This was delicious. I didn’t have raspberry vinaigrette; I used red wine vinegar and raspberry jelly and left out the honey. Don’t skip the shallots, they are a deal breaker! Great recipe and also quite versatile with type of nuts and cheese, thank you!

    • Jenn,
      I can’t find the raspberry vinegar. Would “ Raspberry Flavored Dressing with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” work or do you have a recommendation for a substitute? Can’t wait to make this! Thx!

      • — Tracey on June 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Tracey, Yes, you can use that dressing, but I’d incorporate the shallots and some Dijon mustard that the recipe calls for if you feel like it could use a little bite. You could also just replace the raspberry vinegar with apple cider vinegar – it will taste a little different, but still good. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on June 10, 2020
        • Reply
  • Just made this terrific salad for our family get together to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It was a hit! For some reason, I had to look in a few grocery stores for the raspberry vinegar, but I’m glad I kept looking. The raspberry flavor added a wonderful counterbalance to the honey in the recipe.

    • — Paula Massanari
    • Reply
  • I just made this recipe for company on the weekend. Great salad but I probably wouldn’t add as much dressing. It kind of drowned out the veggies.

  • Can you use olive oil in place of vegetable oil or would it be too strong?

    • I like vegetable oil better here due to its mild flavor, but you can use olive oil if you prefer. Enjoy!

  • How can you make the raspberry vinegar? I live abroad and can’t get it. Thanks!

    • Hi Sandy, you can combine fresh raspberries with red wine vinegar to create your own. Here’s a simple recipe to give you some more details.

  • Jenn,

    This was delicious! I served it to our gourmet dinner group this week-end and substituted gorgonzola for the goat cheese as one of my guests won’t eat that. It was a hit with everyone. Also, I pulled pecans out of my freezer and discovered they were the spicy, candied variety from Trader Joe’s. Since I didn’t have time to go to the store I used those and they worked very well. Thanks for another winner!

  • Made this salad exactly as written. It was outstanding! I am planning to bring it to a mom & kid luncheon for the moms. It would be nice to have a little additional protein available. Is there an easy chicken dish or something I could make in advance and bring to the event to be served alongside the salad that would not need to be reheated?

    • Hi Alisa, This grilled chicken can be made in advance and served next to or on top of the salad. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • Huge hit!

  • Love this recipe. Would like to make this to serve at a large party. Will it keep well on the buffet table if the dressing is served on the side? Any other considerations?

    • Yes Nancy, that would work. Hope the party is fun!

  • We served this salad for Easter brunch yesterday along with your Ham & Cheese Tailgate Sliders. The salad is really delicious. Can’t wait for the local berries to be ready to make this again!

  • Baby spinach with fresh berries salad: I have “balsamic raspberry vinegar” – can I sub that for the “raspberry vinegar” – or will that throw the taste off? Thanks for your help! Love your recipes!!

    • — Susan montross
    • Reply
    • Should be fine, Susan. Enjoy!

    • Any substitute for shallot? I can’t find any..

      • — Michelle on June 7, 2020
      • Reply
      • Sure, Michelle — you can use an equal amount of yellow onion. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on June 8, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I want to make your rosemary flank steak, parmesan potatoes & sauteed zucchini and tomatoes next weekend for a dinner party, do you think this salad would be a good addition to the menu?

  • I made this last night for a group of 40 people … my boyfriends sailing buddies and their spouses … most of whom I did not know. Everyone sought out the person that made the goat cheese and strawberry salad. It was the first item gone from the buffet and I tripled the recipe. I will definitely make this again and add chicken when I want to serve it for lunch.

  • Hi Jen. This salad looks amazing! If my family doesn’t like goat cheese, what is the best cheese substitution for this salad? Or any of you other recipes that call for “goat cheese”?


    • Feta or blue cheese would work well.

  • This was an awesome dressing! I did cut the honey in half and used baked goat cheese instead. It was fantastic!!

  • Hey there! Have you ever tried substituting agave for honey? If not, do you think that would work? Thanks!

    • Hi Katie, Should work fine. Enjoy!

  • Hi! I made this recipe for a shower and it was a huge hit! People asked for the dressing recipe it was so good! My question is- how long would the dressing hold up when refrigerated? I’m making it just because it’s that yummy! Thank you!

    • Hi Jenn, The dressing keeps well for 4-5 days. Glad everyone enjoyed it!

  • Which other type of cheese could I use instead of goat’s cheese. How about a brie?

    Many thanks. Great recipes!

    • Hi Violet, Brie would be delicious.

  • Beautiful and delicious! I will make this again and again. Will add chicken next time for a great lunch or dinner. Thanks, Jen for another great recipe.

  • This is a fresh luscious salad that my kids love. We make our own Raspberry Vinegar and along with garden fresh spinach and strawberries call it Fresh Local Healthy Food. Great for hot summers with crusty rustic bread. The salad has everything in it for good nutrition.

    • — Georgianna Goetsch
    • Reply
  • Delicious – easy to make – whole family loved it, wanted more. Next time will double the recipe.

  • Absolute perfection! Best spinach salad I’ve had. A total hit!

  • Looks amazing! Can you substitute balsamic vinegar for the raspberry?

    • Hi Shelly, The dressing will have a much different flavor, but balsamic will work just fine.

  • Thank you for the awesome recipe. Such a beautiful salad!

  • Just made this salad for my family & it is delicious! My three year old son wanted his own bowl, and that was after he finished his usual peanut butter and jelly sandwich! My husband asked me to make it next time company comes. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • Delicious & fresh salad! Great tasting and easy to prepare.

  • Great Salad!! I added a little red onion too!

  • The salad is amazing! I make the salad for all my girl friends and they all want the recipe….. : )

  • Made this salad when we had company (two teenagers, two twenty-two year olds, and 4 fifty-somethings), and everyone loved it. I used feta rather than goat cheese (since that’s what I had in the fridge), and it tasted great. I also toasted the pecans in a smal frying pan on top of the stove, rather than in the oven, to save time. Great tasting, healthy salad and it’s easy to make.

  • I made this salad and it was soo good. I did leave out the shallots. Also, I used honey roasted pecans.

  • This salad is so fabulous. Wonderful for a spring wedding shower… so healthy and pretty to serve. One of my all-time favorites. 🙂

    • — Elizabeth C. in Kansas
    • Reply
  • Has anyone tried this salad with the addition of other vegis? Any suggestions?

  • I loved the flavor combinations of the salad…as I didn’t have any raspberry vinegar I used red wine vinegar and olive oil and the dressing was great!
    Next time I think I would cut the honey in half…

  • Made this for book club supper. It was DELICIOUS!!! and beautiful… everyone reaved about it!

    My substitutions:

    Used 1/8 cup of honey
    Used extra virgin olive oil

  • This was a yummy salad…I would reduce the shallots to 1 Tbsp because I thought the dressing was too onion-y (and I like onions). Husband thought blue cheese would be great as a substitute to goat cheese, but we both enjoyed the goat cheese, too. I thought I’d have trouble finding the raspberry vinegar but my local grocer had a few choices which I appreciated. Definitely adding this to my summer repertoire.

  • This salad is delicious. However, I had plenty of berries left after slicing them on the salad, so I made strawberry vinaigrette. I chopped the berries with a little sugar and left them for about 2 hours. I forced them through a strainer to get the juice and then followed the recipe, except I added balsamic vinegar and cut back on honey. Oh my goodness!

  • With so many fresh berries in season right now, I’ve been making this salad to take to work every day for lunch. The salad dressing is delicious, but to speed up prep time I find that it is great with a simple balsamic vinaigrette (store bought or homemade). I have substituted blue cheese a few times, which is also tasty!

  • This was incredibly refreshing…great success …would serve it as a light lunch or a salat before a more formal dinner. WONDERFUL! Wouldn’t change a thi g!

  • I love this salad on a hot summer night when no cooking is my goal. I left out the shallots when making the vingarette and it was still wonderful. I enjoyed the addition of blueberries, I have seen and made a salad like this before but without blueberries.

  • My maj girls are coming on Thurs. I’m making this for them and adding grilled chix. I’ll let you know the results LUV

  • I love strawberries and goat cheese on a salad! Cannot wait it to this sensation! The dressing sounds so delicious!

  • We’ve been making this salad for years and usually put grilled chicken in ours…and it IS to die for! I confess though, I use the Ken’s Raspberry Vinaiggrette so I’m planning to give your recipe a try! One change we do once in a while is to candy the pecans. such a sweet, pleasant surprise!

    • You know, I thought to myself that candied and spiced pecans would be so delicious on this salad, but in the end I decided to keep it simple. If you use them, you might want to cut back a bit on the honey to account for the added sweetness of the nuts.

      • Hi Jenn,
        You’re my go to chef for recipes. Everything I’ve tried is amazing. If I were to use the candies pecans here, exactly how much honey would be used for the dressing. Would it be half the amount?

        • — Sheila on November 26, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Sheila, Candied pecans sound delicious. The honey helps thicken the dressing so I would probably use 3/4 the amount. Enjoy 🙂

          • — Jenn on November 26, 2019
          • Reply
  • I love salads like this! Strawberries and nuts, so delicious! My only substitution would be for feta cheese, which is a favorite.

  • Oooh! That salad looks so beautiful and delicious, and your fresh salad dressing sounds perfect. I will definitely try this. Thanks, Jenn!

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