A ripe peach, a juicy watermelon, a plump blueberry. What do all of these have in common? They are delicious summer fruits! And when summer fruit is at it's finest, I love looking for every way I can to utilize it in my recipes. Fresh fruit in salad is one of those ways! Spinach blueberry salad features a bed of fresh spinach leaves, salty feta, chicken and pecans for protein, and ripe blueberries for sweetness! Not only is this blueberry spinach salad delicious, it is highly nutritious too!
I will be the first to admit, I am more of a savory than sweet kind of girl when it comes to salad. I generally chose creamy, salty, garlicky dressings to sweet ones. And I will never say no to classic ranch. But when it's the heat of summer, and fruit is this good, it is almost begging to be enjoyed in a fresh spinach salad recipe.
There truly is no end to how many green salad recipes you can make with baby spinach! It is a mild flavored lettuce, and it pairs well with all sorts of toppings! Spinach is also highly nutrient-dense, low calorie food. One cup of raw spinach is only 7 calories! Spinach is rich in vitamins D, A, E, C, and K. It is also high in iron. It is known to decrease the risks of high blood pressure and blood sugar. This is all the more reason to use spinach as much as we can!
Ready to make this sweet and salty blueberry spinach salad? Here are the ingredients you will need.
- olive oil
- lemon juice
See recipe card for quantities.
Chop cooked chicken into bite-sized piece.
Place washed spinach on a plate and top with chicken, blueberries, pecans, and feta.
In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Pour dressing over the top of the prepared salad and toss to coat everything. This salad serves two people.
Hint: Having baked or grilled chicken on hand is a great way to always have a lunch protein ready to go for salads, soups, and wraps. To make, coat 1 lb. of chicken breasts with 1 tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake chicken at 400 for 25 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
This spinach blueberry salad is fresh and delicious as is-- but everyone has different tastes! The great thing about salad is the way you can keep the core ingredients the same but mix up the toppings to suit your liking. Try one of these salad variations to replace the cheese, fruit, or even the spinach itself!
- Cheese: Try blue cheese, white cheddar crumbles, or goat cheese in place of feta cheese in this salad recipe.
- Fruit: Just like this delicious strawberry salad recipe, lots of fruits are great in salad! Try strawberries, peaches, or even watermelon!
- Lettuce: Baby spinach is great here, but so many other lettuces would be, as well. Baby field greens, arugula, or even romaine! I find tender lettuces pair best with fruit, so I suggest whatever you choose be a "baby" variety of lettuce.
- Vinegar: Add apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar to the vinaigrette. You can either use these in place of the lemon juice or in addition to it.
- Salad Dressing: This lemon juice dressing is delicious, but very simple! If you are looking for something with more sweetness, try a lemon poppyseed dressing. Honey mustard dressing would pair beautifully, as well.
- Nuts: Not a fan of pecans or have a nut allergy? Try subbing in sunflower seeds. They keep a similar saltiness and texture (despite being smaller).
Spinach wilts fast, especially when it has been dressed with vinaigrette. I suggest waiting to pour on the dressing until you are ready to eat your salad!
If you would like to make this salad ahead of time, you certainly can. Combine all of the ingredients in a container and simply keep the dressing ingredients in a small container separately until you serve.
Spinach is one of my favorite greens to keep stocked in the fridge because it is delicious both cooked and uncooked. I love it in soups, curries, and pasta dishes. In fact, cooking spinach in a recipe is one of my favorite hacks for helping not to waste leftover spinach or how to use spinach that is close to going bad! Try one of the following recipes if your spinach is a little past its prime.
Spinach Blueberry Salad-- a fresh, fruity salad with ripe blueberries, salty feta, and a delicious and tangy lemon vinaigrette.
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 cup cooked chicken, diced
- 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup pecans
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Place washed spinach on a plate and top with chicken, blueberries, pecans, and feta.
- In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Pour dressing over the top of the prepared salad and toss to coat everything.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 22g