If there’s one recipe that I suggest you make while strawberries are in season, it’s this one! This is not only my favorite strawberry salad, but it’s one of my favorite salads of all time (and I really like salads). It’s especially great for summer entertaining because it’s SUCH a crowd pleaser. The recipe comes from our first cookbook, and it’s gotten rave reviews, time and time again. The best part is that it has minimal ingredients and it’s super quick to put together.
What’s in this strawberry salad?
This is my extra-special take on a Caprese salad. Tomatoes and basil are, of course, a match made in heaven, but if you haven’t tried strawberries and basil, you’re in for a treat. Here’s what else makes this recipe one of our warm weather favorites:
- Avocado and fresh mozzarella add creaminess.
- Toasted pecans bring a sweet, nutty flavor.
- And an easy balsamic reduction ties it all together with a tangy pop.
Just toss everything together with a generous drizzle of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper. Then, dig in! The best part about this recipe is that it’s so quick (about 15 minutes!) that you’ll want to make it again and again.
Strawberry Salad Recipe Variations
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: salad recipes are some of the most flexible, fun ones out there. Feel free to play with this recipe to use what you have on hand or to suit your individual tastes. Here are some suggestions:
- Make it a strawberry spinach salad by tossing in a handful of baby spinach. Arugula would be good too!
- Use a basic balsamic vinaigrette instead of the balsamic reduction and olive oil.
- For a vegan version, simply skip the cheese! The avocado adds plenty of creaminess, so you really won’t miss it.
- Stir in a cup of quinoa to make this salad a full meal.
- Use peaches instead of strawberries for a late summer variation.
- Try adding another herb! I love berries + mint.
- Swap the mozzarella for crumbled goat cheese or feta to add a savory, tangy element.
Strawberry Salad Serving Suggestions
I like to serve this strawberry salad recipe as side dish at cookouts with BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, veggie burgers, black bean burgers, or portobello mushroom burgers.
It would also be good paired with asparagus soup or gazpacho and crusty bread for a light summer meal.
If you loved this strawberry salad recipe…
Be sure to try another of my favorite picnic salads like this broccoli salad, this potato salad, or this pasta salad next!
Strawberry Salad with Basil and Avocado
Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Recipe type: Salad
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup halved mini mozzarella balls
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- ⅓ cup pecans, toasted
- ⅓ cup loosely packed basil, torn
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a high simmer over medium heat. Stir, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vinegar has thickened and reduced by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Place the strawberries, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, avocado, pecans and basil in a shallow bowl or platter. Drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Gently toss. Drizzle with the reduced balsamic.
Make this vegan by omitting the cheese.