Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans

This is a Spring and Summer salad dreams are made of! Fresh baby spinach topped with juicy strawberries, creamy goat cheese and the tastiest paleo candied pecans all tossed with a tangy Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette. Fresh-tasting, unbelievably delicious and satisfying! And of course, gluten-free!

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans Balsamic Vinaigrette gluten-free spring summer salad recipe
Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans

An easy recipe for a Spring/ Summer Salad everyone will rave about!

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This Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans is a Spring and Summer salad dreams are made of!

Fresh baby spinach topped with juicy strawberries, creamy goat cheese, and the tastiest paleo candied pecans all tossed with a tangy balsamic shallot vinaigrette and garnished with fresh mint.

Fresh-tasting, unbelievably delicious and satisfying!

And of course, it’s gluten-free!

A perfect addition to just about any meal, holiday table, barbecue, picnic or gathering!

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans Balsamic Vinaigrette gluten-free spring summer salad recipe

The salad is has an amazing mix of flavors and textures, making is both delicious and satisfying!

All you need to make this unbelievably delicious Spring/ Summer salad is:

baby spinach and/ or greens of choice

fresh strawberries  (or use mixed berries!)

goat cheese

pecans or candied pecans (details on paleo candied pecans recipe below)

red onion

fresh mint for garnish

balsamic shallot vinaigrette (5 ingredient recipe below)

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans Balsamic Vinaigrette gluten-free spring summer salad recipe

Let’s take a closer look at the Paleo Candied Pecans…

They are a healthier version of the classic, made with just 5 ingredients:

pecans

coconut oil

coconut sugar

maple syrup

cinnamon

They are addictively delicious!  I always make a few extra for snacking or another salad…

And they come together in 10 minutes!

  • First you toast the pecans for 4 minutes.
  • While they toast, you whisk together the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix the toasted pecans with the other ingredients, then place them back in the oven for 6 minutes. That’s it!

Once out of the oven, the candied coating continues to thicken and harden around the pecans and they are so tasty!

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans Balsamic Vinaigrette gluten-free spring summer salad recipe

Let’s look at the Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette….

The entire salad is tossed in a simple tangy Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette that is the perfect contrast to the sweet strawberries and pecans, and creamy goat cheese.

It made with just 5 ingredients…

extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

balsamic vinegar

shallots

dijon mustard

and garlic powder.

All you do is whisk all the ingredients together until well combined!

Both the paleo candied pecans and balsamic shallot vinaigrette can be made ahead so that you can assemble the salad at the last minute.

And you can serve it in a bowl or a platter as I did here.

I love the platter for presentation especially if serving for party or holiday because  heavier ingredients won’t fall to the bottom, you can clearly see all the ingredients and it looks fresh and festive.

This Strawberry Spinach Salad is fresh, pretty and so delicious!

All my taste testers went crazy for it!  Gluten-free never tasted so good!

And it’s a perfect salad all Spring and Summer. And to keep it fresh, you can use whatever berries are fresh and available … even using mixed berries would be delicious!

It’s equally perfect with a every day meal, on a holiday table or any barbecue or get together.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans Balsamic Vinaigrette gluten-free spring summer salad recipe

Hope you love it as much as we do!

For more salad recipes, click here.

Have you tried these fan favorites?

Greek Chickpea Salad

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PIN it!

Scroll down for recipe and leave a rating/ comment if you love it!

 

Recipe

 

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans Balsamic Vinaigrette gluten-free spring summer salad recipe
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Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans

This is a Spring and Summer salad dreams are made of! Fresh baby spinach topped with juicy strawberries, creamy goat cheese, the tastiest paleo candied pecans, all tossed with a tangy Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette.
Course: Spring/ Summer, Salads, Sides
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Gluten-free Vegetarian
Keyword: spinach salad with strawberries, strawberry salad, Spring/ summer salad recipe, balsamic vinaigrette, paleo candied pecans, spinach salad strawberies goat cheese, Gluten-free salad recipe, hearty gluten-free vegetarian salad, strawberry spinach salad
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 5 oz container fresh baby spinach or hearty greens
  • 1-2 handfuls spring mix or mesclun, optional
  • 10-12 strawberries, sliced option: try mixed berries in the summer
  • 3 oz creamy goat cheese, broken into pieces more or less to taste
  • ½ cup paleo candied pecans or plain pecans more or less to taste
  • ½ small red onion, sliced thin and halved
  • handful fresh mint for garnish, optional but recommended

Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • dash garlic powder

Paleo Candied Pecans (recipe makes 1 cup so you have extra for snacking or another day)

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • generous pinch cinnamon

Instructions

Paleo Candied Pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place raw pecans in single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in a heat proof bowl.
  • Remove pecans from oven and add to bowl with remaining ingredients. Gently stir to combine and place back on parchment lined baking sheet in single layer.
  • Place back in oven and bake for another 4-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden.
  • Let cool on the pan. As they cool, the coating will continue to harden around the pecans.
  • Store in a sealed container, room temperature. Will stay fresh for several days.

Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette

  • In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together all the ingredients until very well combined. Set aside. Can be made 1-2 days ahead.

Assemble

  • Combine all ingredients (except mint) in a large bowl or assemble on a platter, and toss with balsamic vinaigrette to taste when ready to serve. Top with fresh mint for garnish.

Pro Tip

  • For prettiest presentation, serve on a flat platter so you can see all the ingredients.
  • To keep freshest, dress just before serving
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!

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