Spinach Berry Salad with Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Berry Salad with Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing bursting with fresh berries and adorned with CANDIED pistachios and feta is so easy, delicious and beautiful for company!

This Berry Salad is summer in a bowl.  It’s bright and refreshing, requires hardly any chopping and all the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time for an easy, stress-free potluck salad side.  You can customize the Berry Salad with your favorite ingredients or whatever you have in your garden!


Berry Feta Spinach Salad with Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing and CANDIED pistachios is so easy, delicious and beautiful for company, it is sure to become a new favorite!

Spinach Berry Salad Recipe

This isn’t just any Berry Salad, this Berry Salad recipe is is loaded with candied pistachios, creamy feta and a silky Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing!  Because in my opinion, every salad needs cheese and nuts and the best dressing in order to be extraordinary.  And we only aim for extraordinary here at Carlsbad Cravings. 

The salted, roasted, candied pistachios and the creamy, salty feta are the crowning jewels in the strawberry feta spinach salad that perfectly balance the the sweet enveloping creamy Poppy Seed Dressing.  

If a salad is only as good as its dressing – then this Berry Salad is deeeevine.  This Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing is deceptively simple, velvety, smooth, and sweet speckled with poppy seeds and sesame seeds.  It starts with a base of strawberry yogurt, which you blend with sour cream and mayo, cider vinegar, sugar, dried onions, poppy seeds and sesame seeds.

Refreshing Berry Salad with Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing so you can taste the best of summer in every forkful.

large serving bowl filled with feta spinach berry salad


Spinach Berry Salad Ingredients

This strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing is a cinch to make! Here’s what you’ll need to make the salad itself as well as the strawberry spinach salad dressing:

  • Spinach: I used baby spinach, but any variety will work.
  • Berries: I used a blend of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
  • Red onion: Slice it very thinly so you don’t chomp down on a big piece.
  • Apple: You can use any variety of sweet apple you’d like.
  • Kiwi: An optional add in, but I love the flavor and texture it adds to this strawberry feta salad.
  • Strawberry yogurt: I used regular, full-sugar strawberry yogurt. Use any kind you’d like.
  • Mayonnaise: Provides the creamy base of the dressing and binds all of the ingredients together.
  • Sour cream: I prefer sour cream in this strawberry poppyseed dressing recipe but Greek yogurt works well because we are making a tangy dressing. 
  • Milk: You need just a splash to thin out the strawberry poppyseed dressing.
  • Sugar: I add a few tablespoons to the dressing to balance out the tangy sour cream and vinegar.
  • Apple cider vinegar: You need some vinegar to cut through the creamy dressing.
  • Poppyseeds: A must in any poppyseed dressing recipe.
  • Sesame seeds: Adds extra flavor and texture to the dressing.
  • Feta cheese: You can buy feta cheese in a block or pre-crumbled. Either works!
  • Caramelized nuts: I use my 5 Minute Caramelized Nuts Recipe for the caramelized pistachios — so — you guessed it – they only take 5 minutes and are so worth it. 
overhead view of feta strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing

How to Make Spinach Berry Salad

  1. Caramelize the nuts according to recipe instructions (linked below).
  2. Add all of the strawberry poppyseed dressing ingredients (EXCEPT the poppy seeds and sesame seeds) to your blender; blend until smooth. 
  3. Add poppy seeds and sesame seeds and pulse until combined. 
  4. Assemble the strawberry feta spinach salad and drizzle with dressing!

Tips for Making Spinach Berry Salad

  • The caramelized nuts recipe is for 1 cup nuts. You can prepare 1 whole cup (because you will eat them!) or simply halve all the ingredients.
  • You can swap out the strawberries for raspberries to make this a winter in season salad too!
  • You can prep the dressing days in advance and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to dress your salad.
pouring strawberry poppyseed dressing onto a strawberry feta salad

Salad Variations to Try

  • Make it tangier. You can customize the dressing to make it tangier by adding more vinegar.
  • Make it sweeter. Add more sugar to the strawberry poppyseed dressing.
  • Use different nuts. You can substitute the pistachios for caramelized almonds or walnuts as well. 
  • Skip caramelizing the nuts. If you are running short on time, you can skip the caramelizing of the nuts altogether and just use plain nuts, but you will also be skipping out on some serious YUM. 
strawberry poppyseed dressing being poured onto a large bowl of spinach berry salad

Can I Prep Spinach Berry Salad in Advance?

Yes, you can prep individual components of this salad in advance and then assemble it when you’re ready to eat.

  • Fruit and veggies. You can slice the onion, apple, and kiwi ahead of time. Store in separate containers until ready to use.
  • Dressing. Blend up the strawberry poppyseed dressing and store in the fridge up to 5 days before using it.
  • Nuts. You can prep the nuts days in advance so you can have them all ready to go and are never tempted to skip this crowning jewel.

How to Store Spinach Berry Salad

This strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing will last approximately 3 days in the refrigerator IF you don’t add the dressing directly to the salad. If you combine the salad and dressing before storing it in the fridge, it’ll become soggy. If you plan on storing leftovers, hold the dressing, fruit and the veggies and store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. 

strawberry feta spinach salad tossed with poppyseed dressing in a large serving bowl

What to Serve with Spinach Berry Salad

This feta strawberry spinach salad recipe pairs well with pretty much any summer main dish. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

close up of a forkful of spinach berry salad tossed in a strawberry poppyseed dressing





©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Spinach Berry Salad with Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Berry Salad with Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing bursting with fresh berries and adorned with CANDIED pistachios and feta is so easy, delicious and beautiful for company, it is sure to become a new favorite!
Servings: 6
Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

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Berry Spinach Salad

  • 10 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup strawberries sliced**
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced then quartered
  • 1 sweet apple chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 Kiwi peeled, sliced and quartered (optional)

Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 5.3 oz container strawberry yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsps sour cream
  • 2 Tbsps milk
  • 3 Tbsps sugar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dry minced onion flakes (optional)



  • Caramelize pistachios according to directions. Set aside.*
  • Add all of the Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing Ingredients (EXCEPT the poppy seeds and sesame seeds) to your blender; blend until smooth. Add poppy seeds and sesame seeds and pulse until combined. For a tangier dressing, add more vinegar, for sweeter, add more sugar. Add additional milk to thin if desired. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare salad.
  • Combine Spinach Salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving entire salad immediately, drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. If there might be leftovers, drizzle dressing on individual salad servings. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.



Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
*The Caramelized Nuts recipe is for 1 cup nuts. You can prepare 1 whole cup (because you will eat them!) or simply half all the ingredients. **You can swap out the strawberries for raspberries to make this a winter in season salad too!

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  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! Spinach. berries ad nuts – oh yes! And poppy seeds are a nice touch! I love the ingredients in this – looks indulgent, but is also so good for you! Your recipes are GOOD (or as Nagi says they are gold! ). 🙂

    • Jen says

      You and Nagi are making me blush! I love all the ingredients in this salad too – and you will LOVE the creamy dressing! Thanks for your comments Dorothy, I love them all!

  2. B Vera says

    How many servings is the berry feta spinach salad?

    • Jen says

      Hello! It should serve about 6 people. Enjoy!

  3. Angie says

    Is there something I can substitute for the spinach?

    • Jen says

      Hi Angie! You can substitute any of your favorite greens – mixed greens, romaine, etc. Enjoy!

  4. Anne says

    Is the strawberry dressing located somewhere else? I have searched and searched with no luck, and really want to give this a try!

    • Jen says

      Hi Anne, I recently switched to a different recipe plug in and apparently some of my recipes disappeared – AH! I am so sorry! It should all be there now. Thank you for your patience!

  5. Jennifer says

    We just had this on Easter and it was so good. My mom is going to make it again this weekend for a dinner with friends. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      YAY! so happy you love this salad Jennifer and what a great salad to serve friends! I just made a FB video of it last week so it was fun to eat it again – its been a while for me 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  6. Kelly says

    I made this last night and it was delicious!! I only wish I would have seen it to make for Easter! I passed it onto my sisters too! So good!!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Kelly, I’m so happy you loved it thank you! Next Easter!!!

  7. Kendra Hanegan says

    Can you make any of this the night before? Jw how well it keeps in the fridge!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kendra! You can certainly make this salad the night before and keep the components separate and then assemble when ready to serve. Enjoy!

  8. Andrea Arto says

    Hello, can you suggest what I would substitute for the nuts as my son is allergic?

    • Jen says

      Hi Andrea, sunflower seeds would be delicious!

  9. Mandy says

    We subbed candied walnuts for the pistachios, as I had some leftover from the last salad I made. This is now known as “the dessert salad” in our home. I honestly feel like I’m indulging in some sort of decadent dessert, not a healthy meal!
    Thanks so much Jen, I’ve never been a fan of salads, but this blog has us craving a new salad of yours every week. You must be a miriacle worker because I figured that was impossible!

    • Jen says

      LOL! That is awesome Mandy and the ultimate compliment- I’m thrilled your family is loving my salads! Thank you so much for making my morning!

  10. terene stewart says

    If this is salad is to be the star of a meal, what carb goes with it?

  11. Laura Diaz says

    How do you caramelize the nuts

    • Jen says

      Hi Laura, click on “1/2 Recipe Caramelized roasted and salted pistachios”and it will take you to the recipe, enjojy!

  12. Kristen says

    Would grilled chicken work in this salad to make it a main dish?

  13. Laura says

    I don’t like feta cheese. Can I use something else instead?

    • Jen says

      Goat cheese would also be delicious, otherwise mozzarella, Gouda, Havarti or another favorite cheese.

  14. Danielle says

    How long is the dressing good for?