This strawberry caprese salad is the ultimate summer salad -- with strawberries, basil, mozzarella, quinoa, and pecans tossed with a creamy balsamic dressing.
Bring this strawberry salad to a potluck (one day!), eat it on a patio with a glass of Rosé, add some chicken or shrimp, eat it in a box with a fox, this salad is just plain delicious. It's all the things you love about summer produce (deep, red strawberries! peppery arugula! homegrown basil!) with a tangy and creamy balsamic dressing that's good for you. I'll tell you more about the balsamic below because it's not to be missed.
You can think of this salad as a caprese salad with a twist -- a fun, hallelujah-it's-summer twist.
What's in the Strawberry Caprese Salad?
Here are the ingredients you'll need for the salad:
- arugula or spinach
- strawberries, sliced
- basil leaves
- mozzarella balls (aka bocconcini mozzarella)
The Secret to Making Your Dressing Creamy but Healthy
The secret to making this salad dressing creamy and delicious without all the unhealthy stuff is plain Greek yogurt. I prefer the 0% or 1% fat content so it's still pourable when combined with the other ingredients, but you can use whatever you have.
Do let the yogurt sit out at room temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour before using. This'll help the dressing be extra pourable.
The dressing also has zero refined sugar. There's just a teeny tiny amount of honey to balance out the tang of the balsamic.
This dressing was directly inspired by the creamy balsamic at Sweetgreen, my favorite salad place. I learned about the yogurt in the dressing the hard way when I ordered my Harvest bowl with balsamic dressing while I was breastfeeding C and keeping to a strict, dairy-free diet. Oops!
Ingredients for the Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- plain Greek yogurt (I prefer 0 or 1%)
- balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- black pepper
- olive oil
Make It A Meal
Secret confession: I used to think a meal wasn't a meal without a protein. I no longer think that...but my husband sure does. We like to add chicken to this strawberry caprese salad but shrimp is also delicious.
If You're Looking for Amazing Pecans...
My college friend’s family owns a pecan farm in Twin City, Georgia, and their pecans (All the Fixins’) are truly the best I’ve tasted. You can order them online and Janna will send the nutty, home-grown goodness to you in a flash. They’re inexpensive and super high quality. Plus, Janna and her family give back to the local community with every purchase.
Other Summer Favorites
Try some of these other recipes that scream summertime!
- Spinach Salad with Mandarins and Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A Superfood Kale Salad
- Tomato and Peach Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese
- Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Radishes, Mint, and Ricotta
- Easiest Summer Peach Tart
- Brownie Pizza Cake with Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream
Strawberry Caprese Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing
For the salad:
- 6 cups arugula or spinach
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 10 basil leaves, torn
- ¼ cup pecans, halved
- ½ cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 cup bocconcini mozzarella (mozzarella balls)
For the dressing:
- ½ cup plain yogurt*
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- juice from half a lemon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Place arugula (or spinach) in a bowl. Place remaining ingredients on top and gently toss.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together except for olive oil. Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Toss dressing with salad and enjoy!