With the start of spring, I’m already looking for quick and easy salads to serve next to grilled items or just to keep in the fridge for fast lunches. This Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad is so easy to toss together and a homemade balsamic glaze takes it to the next level.
I kept my ingredients and add-ins low on this strawberry salad, but you should see it as a jumping off point if you want to add more things. I gave a bunch of ideas in the substitution section below!
Welcome spring with this wonderful way to show off delicious strawberries!
How to make the balsamic glaze
There’s only one thing you technically need to cook for this salad: the balsamic glaze. Can you buy balsamic glaze in the store? Absolutely. But, it’s quite expensive so I usually just make enough for the recipe I’m making.
It’s not hard to do at all. Just add balsamic vinegar and sugar to a small pot and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, stir occasionally and continue to cook until the mixture cooks down into a thin syrup. It should reduce by about half in the pot. This will take probably 8-10 minutes.
If it appears too thin to drizzle, that’s okay. It will continue to thicken up as it cools. Once it is off the heat, let it cool and then drizzle on the salad.
Extra glaze is delicious on SO may things from burgers and roasted chicken to eggs.
Ingredients for this strawberry goat cheese salad
Here are the basics for this strawberry goat cheese salad. Almost half of the ingredients are in the name of the salad!
- Baby Arugula. I like this as a base for the salad as it gives some peppery flavor to the salad.
- Strawberries. Find good, ripe strawberries. Yum!
- Goat cheese. You don’t need a bunch for this salad. A few crumbles go a long way.
- Snap peas. I wanted to add another crunchy vegetable to this mix so I chopped up some snap peas.
- Sunflower seeds. You could use a wide variety of nuts and seeds but this is what I went with.
- Lemon juice and olive oil. These are a good way to lightly dress the arugula.
How to dress the arugula for this salad
Normally, I would wait to dress the salad until after I’ve added everything but because this salad has a balsamic glaze on top, I like to dress the arugula with some olive oil and lemon juice.
Drizzle on these items over your arugula and then stir or shake the arugula well so the light dressing covers all the leaves. It should barely give the leaves a little shine and there should be no pooling of liquid.
This gives the salad a nice base flavor that you can build on!
Substitutions and ideas for this salad
Finishing this salad is very straightforward. You just top the dressed arugula with the toppings and then drizzle on the glaze. I recommend drizzling on the glaze for each serving rather than adding it to the whole dressing.
Taste the salad with a small drizzle of balsamic and see if you need to adjust flavors. The salad might need a pinch of salt and pepper.
So what are some substitutions for this salad? I got you!
- Adding extra crunch to this salad is a good idea. You can do this with other seeds and nuts like walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts.
- Instead of goat cheese, try feta cheese or even blue cheese for a stronger flavor.
- Instead of strawberries, try different fruits like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or a mix of fruits.
- Change up the green with slivered kale or baby spinach
- Add some extra protein with crumbled bacon, poached shrimp, or even grilled flank steak.
- Keep going on the veggies! You can add crunchy things like slivered red onions, grated carrots, or even apples.
- Instead of the balsamic glaze, add some maple syrup to a standard vinaigrette dressing and it’ll be perfect sweetness.
What to serve with this strawberry salad
This salad is great served in a large salad bowl with a wide variety of dinners and lunches. It would be great alongside grilled mains like grilled yogurt chicken, grilled burgers, or even these grilled halloumi skewers.
Want a different twist on strawberries? Try this Strawberry dole whip recipe from Butter & Bliss!
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 oz. baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1 cup snap peas, chopped
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- Add ingredients to a small pot over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until mixture thickens into a syrup consistency. It should be half in volume at least. Let cool. Finished glaze should coat a spoon.
- Dress the arugula by tossing arugula with olive oil and lemon juice. Plate salads with arugula and top with chopped strawberries, snap peas, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.