This spinach salad recipe offers a gorgeous summer eat that is both refreshing and nutritious.
If you’ve run out of meal ideas for National Fresh Spinach Day (July 16) and you’re tired of takeout, let us inspire you. This spinach salad is full of berries, mixed with bits of nuts and cheese, and tied together with a sweet-tangy dressing.
The salad complements pretty much any meat or pasta dish. If you’re peckish in between meals, it also makes for a satisfying snack.
Is Spinach Salad Healthy?
Yes. Let us begin by stating an impressive but lesser-known fact: spinach is rich in calcium. Calcium intake is often thought of as drinking milk, but for those who are lactose intolerant, spinach can be a helpful source.
Besides calcium, significant amounts of iron, B vitamins, and most importantly, fiber, are found in spinach. Together with the berries and nuts, the salad can help you meet your daily nutritional needs and improve your digestion.
But healthy eating isn’t just about eating salads. It’s all about being aware of what you consume in your diet, according to the USDA.
Being mindful of this we do all we can to ensure our dishes have sound nutritional profiles. For example, in this salad, we used moderate amounts of salt, feta, and honey to limit sodium and sugar intake (but it still tastes great).
Our hope is that you can have peace of mind knowing that our recipes will give you the nutrition you need, which is already calculated.
Can You Eat Too Much Spinach?
While it’s important to eat enough good foods, overconsumption isn’t something we’d recommend either.
Interestingly, overeating spinach can prevent the absorption of several minerals, or lead to serious health conditions, such as kidney stones. Oxalic acid and purine in spinach are safe if they’re consumed moderately, but otherwise, would promote the growth of kidney stones.
There’s currently no clear answer to “How much is too much?” Doctors suggest less than 100 mg of oxalic acid a day for those at risk of having kidney stones, but no recommendations for those who are not.
Although, most people get around 200-300 mg of the substance a day, which equates to what 1/4 cup cooked spinach (or 4 oz fresh) yields. A serving of this salad certainly doesn’t contain that much.
If it still worries you, bear in mind that there is plenty you can do to balance your oxalate levels. Simple actions, such as meeting your water needs, consuming enough calcium (which spinach already has), and more, all help.
Remember too that this salad is made up of a variety of healthful ingredients.
The Main Ingredients
Let’s take a look at what’s going to turn this leafy green into a delicious dish, shall we?
1. Spinach Choice
There is a hint of sweetness in young leafy greens, which slowly fades as the plant grows. Therefore, the ideal option for this salad is baby spinach (the fresh kind, not frozen).
Unlike mature spinach, these baby leaves also come in just the right size. They require nothing but a quick wash.
2. Spinach Salad Toppings
We selected some apples, berries, nuts, and cheese to add nutrition and variety in texture, as well as make the dish look colorful and taste wonderful.
To ease the sound of spinach, the unique crunchiness of apples is perfect. We happened to have a Granny Smith and honeycrisp in our basket, so that’s what we used— a perfect sweet-tart combination.
Using only one type of apple is fine, but using more than one type adds different notes of flavor. We encourage creativity and diversity in the kitchen.
For the berries, we decided to use fresh strawberries and dried cranberries. This extra fruitiness also brings a contrast in texture (juicy-chewy) which adds another interesting aspect to the salad.
Finally, we topped it all off with walnuts and grated parmesan. The nuttiness and savoriness complete the flavors, making each bite a taste sensation(see this salad with apples, veggies, and nuts.)
Then all that’s left is to get dressed.
3. Spinach Salad Dressing
The dressing we gave our salad is a simple one but not the usual. It’s made of honey, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and pepper — the saltiness we leave to the feta cheese.
Once whisked together, these ingredients form a rather sweet, creamy addition to our green “dessert”.
How to Make Spinach Salad
The salad is really straightforward:
Plate the spinach and toppings
Combine the dressing ingredients
Drizzle the dressing over (toss if desired)
For exact ingredients and measurements, refer to our spinach salad recipe card down below.
What to Do With Leftover Spinach
Leftover spinach is hardly ever found in our kitchen (possibly because we use it in almost everything!)
If there’s baby spinach left, it can be used in other salads within a few days. Or you can add it to whatever smoothie is being whipped up that day — additional nutrients at no extra cost.
Most breakfasts tend to lack a fresh element, so sautéd spinach makes for a quick fix. Do you have a sauted spinach recipe? It might be too simple for its own recipe, but a little oil, salt, and garlic goes a long way!
Or, you can add it to a healthy frittata.
You may notice how spinach’s texture is uniquely soft when cooked. This makes it an ideal ingredient for dips, like this one made of cooked artichoke and heaps of cheese.
How Long Does This Salad Last?
Keep the salad in containers that are carefully wrapped up or air-sealed and you should be able to refrigerate it for up to a week. Don’t freeze it, as you’ll end up with a mushy salad once thawed.
Salads are best fresh. For the best taste and texture, use within a couple of days.
Spinach Salad Recipe
Our spinach salad is quick and easy to make. All it takes is 5 minutes of cutting and arranging.
- prep TIME 7 mins
- total TIME 7 mins
- COURSE Salad, Side Dish
- CUISINE Global
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 206 kcal
- 8 oz baby spinach
- 2 oz green apples (sliced)
- 3 oz red apples (sliced)
- 4 oz strawberries (sliced)
- 1 oz dried cranberries
- 1 oz walnuts (crushed)
- 1 oz feta cheese (crumbled)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp traditional Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
Place the spinach onto a serving plate.
Arrange apple slices, strawberry slices, dried cranberries, walnuts, and feta cheese on top.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, honey, and the mustards in a bowl.
Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad. Toss if desired.
Tuyet PhamChef, Culinary Consultant
Luna ReginaWriter, Author
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LDNutrition Reviewer
March 27, 2023 at 8:54 AMSalad was an unexpected delight - it's simple yet flavorful, and packed full of vitamins and minerals too.