Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Salad

Before we officially say goodbye to strawberry season and welcome all of the other amazing fruits of the summer, its worth giving this Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette a try. The combination of fresh fruit, leafy greens, protein rich quinoa, and a light summery lemon vinaigrette make this whole food recipe loaded with real food nutrition a winner.

To make the salad, start with cooking and cooling the quinoa.

While the quinoa is cooking, prep your other ingredients including spinach (or tatsoi), red onion, and chop the strawberries.

Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Salad

Dry roast the walnuts or pecans in a small heavy bottomed pan to lightly toast until they smell fragrant but not burned. Set the nuts aside.

Mix up the dressing. Add all of the ingredients including freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined then drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil while continuing to whisk. Set aside.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Next, combine the cooked and cooled quinoa with the spinach and strawberries. Slowly drizzle in the dressing until you have enough to evenly coat the salad. If you have extra, just put it in the fridge and save it. Your strawberry spinach quinoa salad is coming together!

Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Salad

Finally, top with the toasted and cooled nuts and take to your potluck, picnic, or party. Not only will you have a healthy option to eat there, your guests will be pleased there is a wholesome dish with vegetables too. =)

If you make this or have questions, be sure to leave a comment below or tag me on Facebook or Instagram. I LOVE hearing from you. Enjoy!

Strawberry spinach quinoa salad
Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Salad

Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Salad

This is a quick salad to make that's perfect for summertime picnics, potlucks, and other gatherings. It also keeps well for a few days for lunchtime meal prep.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 cup quinoa cooked and cooled
  • 3 cups spinach leaves chopped
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 cup strawberries chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans chopped, toasted

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly juiced from about 2-3 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest from 1 lemon, use a microplane
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard gluten free if needed
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Cook and cool quinoa. To do this, rinse with a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear then combine in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Then, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, cook for 1 minute at high pressure then allow natural release for 10 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, chop the spinach, strawberries, onion, and add to a large bowl.
  • Dry roast the nuts in a heavy bottom skillet until they smell lightly toasted. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
  • Next, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, salt, and pepper until well combined. While whisking, slowly add the oil.
  • Add the cooled quinoa to the strawberry spinach mixture and toss. Slowly add the dressing and toss. If you have extra dressing, save as a salad dressing in the fridge or add more if needed. Sometimes the quinoa will dry out a bit when kept in the fridge for a day or two.
  • Top the salad with the cooled nuts and serve.
  • This salad is best eaten fresh but it will keep for 2 to 3 days. Enjoy!


  • Take this delightful recipe to your next potluck, party, or picnic!
  • To add additional protein to this salad to make it a complete meal, add 1 cup white beans or garbanzo beans.
  • Make a double batch of the dressing so you’ll have extra for your salads for the week. The dressing will keep about 1 week in a sealed jar in the fridge. 
Keyword June produce, picnic, potluck, quinoa salad, strawberries

Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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