Whip up this Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Pecans in just 20 minutes for a company-worthy salad that is sure to delight. The textures from the lush berries, smooth cheese, and crunchy candied pecans will make your taste buds happy. Follow along, and I’ll show you just how easy it is.
This strawberry salad with goat cheese has been a hit at many of our family gatherings, and I know you are going to love it as much as I do.
This isn't your typical run-of-the-mill salad. It's a beautiful combination of sweet, tart, creamy, and crunchy elements all in one bowl.
And the best part? It’s as easy as pie to put together!
Let's get started!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pecans: If you're not a fan of pecans, feel free to substitute with walnuts, almonds, or even sunflower seeds for a nut-free option.
- Butter: If you prefer, coconut oil or olive oil are great alternatives.
- Sugar: A touch of sugar caramelizes the pecans, creating a sweet and crunchy surprise in every bite. For a sugar-free swap, you could use honey or maple syrup or a sugar-free alternative like Swerve.
- Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Don't have sea salt? Regular table salt will do. And if you're out of black pepper, a pinch of white pepper can work too.
- Spring Mix or Baby Greens: These tender, mild greens make the perfect base for our salad. Feel free to use your favorite salad greens here, such as baby spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, or kale.
- Strawberries: You could also use raspberries, blueberries, or even a mix of your favorite summer fruits.
- Goat Cheese Crumbles: If you're not a goat cheese fan, feta cheese or blue cheese would be delicious substitutes.
- Red Onion: Thinly sliced red onion adds a punch of flavor and a pop of color. If you find raw onion too strong, try soaking the slices in cold water for about 10 minutes to mellow their bite. Alternatively, you could use sweet onion or shallots.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette: This tangy, sweet dressing ties all the flavors together. Feel free to use your favorite store-bought version or make my balsamic vinaigrette. If you're adventurous, you could even experiment with different dressings like raspberry vinaigrette or lemon poppy seed dressing.
Step by Step Instructions
For the full recipe for salad with strawberry and goat cheese with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Tips and Tricks
- Get Creative with Your Greens: While I've used spring mix in this recipe, feel free to mix and match your favorite salad greens. Spinach, arugula, or even kale can add an exciting twist to this goat cheese strawberry salad.
- Say Cheese!: Crumbling the goat cheese can be a bit tricky as it's quite soft. A neat little trick is to chill the cheese before crumbling. It makes the process so much easier!
- Toast Your Pecans: Toasting pecans in butter and sugar not only gives them a wonderful crunch, but also a delightful caramel flavor. Don't skip this step; it really elevates the salad.
- Dress to Impress: Tossing the salad in dressing just before serving ensures the greens stay crisp and fresh. No one likes a soggy salad, right?
- Make it a Meal: Simply add some grilled chicken, prawns, or tofu to make this salad with goat cheese and strawberries a meal.
If you want to make this recipe ahead, I recommend making the pecans and storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Make the salad and keep it in a separate airtight container in the fridge. If you are using homemade dressing, keep it in a mason jar with a lid.
When you are ready to serve, give the dressing a good shake and toss everything together.
Leftovers will wild fairly quickly but can be enjoyed for about one day after the salad has been tossed.
More Salad Recipes to Try
- Kale Pomegranate Salad: A celebration of flavors and colors, this salad is a delightful mix of crunchy kale and juicy pomegranate seeds - it's like a festive party in a bowl!
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad: Say hello to the ultimate power-packed salad, combining the goodness of broccoli and cauliflower, it's a must-try for all my health-conscious readers out there.
- Cranberry Chicken Salad: If you're a fan of sweet and savory combinations, this Cranberry Chicken Salad will be your new favorite - the tart cranberries beautifully complement the tender chicken pieces.
- Broccoli Apple Salad: This salad is a refreshing medley of crisp apples and crunchy broccoli, making it the perfect side dish for any family gathering or picnic.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Pecans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces spring mix or baby greens
- 1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
- 3 ounces goat cheese crumbles
- 1 small red onion halved and sliced thin
- ⅓ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pecans and sugar and cook for 7 minutes, until toasted.
- Stir in the salt and pepper and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
- Place the spring mix, strawberries, red onion, and goat cheese in a large bowl.
- Toss with the dressing and top with pecans. Serve immediately.