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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado and Steak

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5 from 2 votes

A light and bright salad full of spinach greens, freshly sliced strawberries and avocado, seared steak and a simple lemon balsamic vinaigrette dressing! Or try my lemon poppy seed dressing.

spinach salad with strawberries, avocado and steak in white bowls

The first time I made this, it started as a just a strawberry spinach salad. I wanted it to be a more substantial salad that could be served for dinner, so I added avocado, some sliced almonds, and cheese.

We had a nice sirloin that we seared and placed in the oven until it was medium rare, sliced it against the grain, plopped it on top and it was freaking perfect.

It was definitely filling because it was piled with plenty of steak, avocado, strawberries, almonds and cotija cheese (because it's the best cheese ever and if you don't agree, come at me bro).

Ingredients for strawberry spinach salad

  • Steak: Your favorite cut, sliced against the grain. You could also do grilled chicken! Or you can leave meat off altogether if you're not a fan or vegetarian.
  • Spinach: The base for the salad itself! You could always use different greens if you'd prefer, but I love how simple a spinach salad is.
  • Fresh strawberries: The other star of the salad show – fresh strawberries are an easy, sweet topping.
  • Avocado: This adds some fat to the salad to make it more filling. Sliced or diced, up to you.
  • Cotija cheese: Cotija cheese is my favorite kind of cheese for topping salads, dips, tacos, basically anything. You could always use feta cheese, goat cheese, or whatever else you like!
  • Sliced or slivered almonds: Optional, but I like it for the extra fiber and protein, and a little crunch. You could also swap them for walnuts or pecans if you prefer their flavor.

How to make a balsamic vinaigrette dressing

This is such an easy dressing to whip together for any salad! You can add other ingredients and spices, but I like to keep it super simple – I just whisk these together in a small bowl until combined:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
spinach salad with strawberries, avocado in a white bowl

How do you know when avocado is ripe?

This is a great resource with lots of information and visuals about how to tell when avocados are ripe.

But the short answer is that ripe avocados will:

  • Have a skin that is very dark green in color
  • Have a bumpy skin texture
  • Yield to gentle pressure, but won't feel mushy
spinach salad with strawberries, avocado and steak in white bowls

How do you hull a strawberry?

All you need is a pairing knife to hull a strawberry. Hold the strawberry in one hand and the knife in the other with the tip of the knife inserted into the top of the strawberry, slightly off-center from the stem. Angel the knife toward the center of the strawberry.

Turn the strawberry as you guide the knife around the stem (keeping it angled) and once you've made a full turn of the strawberry the stem cap should come right out! You'll have a little green stem with a cone-shaped center attached to it.

If you feel like that's too much trouble, you can also just slice off the top of each strawberry. You lose a little more of the strawberry this way, but if you're not concerned about that – go for it.

A strawberry being hulled with a pairing knife

Add steak to your salad

This time my husband had somewhat mistakenly picked up a ribeye, so we just used the leanest parts of the cut for the salad. Not as pretty as before, but hey – I never promise you guys Pinterest perfection up in here.

You can use whatever cut of steak you prefer, but personally, I prefer a flank steak or sirloin. Cook it to your desired doneness, let it rest, slice, and now you've got a nice hearty salad.

Don't like steak? Try some baked salmon or seasoned shredded chicken.

spinach salad with strawberries, avocado and steak in a white bowl

How to cook steak

Everyone has their own preferred method of cooking steak – on the stovetop, in the oven, on a grill – but what remains the same is the temperatures that you cook it to for your desired result.

Different doneness temperatures, for reference:

  • Rare: 125°F
  • Medium rare: 135°F
  • Medium: 145°F
  • Medium well: 150°F
  • Well done: 160°F

Regardless of your cooking method, make sure that you make the steak before you prep the salad so that the steak can rest for a bit.

Not a fan of steak? Just leave it off! And maybe compensate by adding extra cheese. I'm just saying.

Need more salad recipes?

Or maybe you want to mix up your salad dressing game:

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Spinach and Strawberry Steak Salad

5 from 2 votes
A light and bright salad full of spinach greens, freshly sliced strawberries and avocado, seared steak and a simple lemon balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Let your cut of steak rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes, or until it has come to room temperature. Blot the steak with paper towels to soak up excess moisture, then salt and pepper all over.
    1 steak
  • Preheat oven on the broil setting.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat, add a little oil and then sear the steak for 30-60 seconds. Carefully use tongs to flip the steak and sear on the other side for 30 seconds.
  • Insert a probe style thermometer into the center of the steak, and carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and broil for 3-4 minutes, then flip and broil for another 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature is 5° lower than your ideal finished temperature (it will continue to cook a bit after being removed from the oven). Your time may be more or less depending on how you prefer your steak cooked.
    See below in the notes for the different doneness temperatures.
  • Transfer finished steak to a cutting board and tent with foil. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • Rinse and dry spinach and place in a large salad bowl. Set aside.
    6-7 cups (180 g) spinach
  • Hull and slice fresh strawberries and set aside. See tips in the post above about how to hull strawberries!
    2 cups (288 g) fresh strawberries
  • Slice avocado and set aside.
    1 avocado
  • In a small bowl, whisk to combine balsamic vinegar, EVOO and lemon juice, adding salt and pepper to taste.
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 tablespoon (½ tablespoon) balsamic vinegar
    Juice of 1/2 a lemon
    Salt and pepper
  • Add strawberries and the balsamic vinaigrette with the bowl of spinach and gently toss to coat.
  • Cut steak against the grain into 1/2″ slices.
  • Divide spinach and strawberries between two bowls. Top with avocado slices, steak, cheese and slivered almonds. Serve and enjoy!
    1/4 cup (37 ½ g) cotija cheese
    2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds

Notes

Thermometer: I highly recommend using the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm (affiliate link) probe thermometer to monitor the temperature of your steak while it's cooking.
Steak doneness: Different doneness temperatures, for reference:
  • Rare: 125°F
  • Medium rare: 135°F
  • Medium: 145°F
  • Medium well: 150°F
  • Well done: 160°F

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 1607mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 8700IU | Vitamin C: 123mg | Calcium: 253mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

The provided nutrition information is generated by an automatic API and does not take variations across specific brands into account. This information is provided as a general guideline and should not be treated as official calculations. Learn more here.

Recipe created by Leslie Kiszka

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