Strawberry Salad with Balsamic

My sweeter take on a classic Caprese salad, this strawberry salad recipe is bursting with flavor from cherry tomatoes, basil, and tangy balsamic.

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic

This strawberry salad recipe comes from our first cookbook, and it’s gotten rave reviews time and time again. Like so many spring and summer salads, it’s a perfect example of how fresh, in-season ingredients can combine to make a delicious dish in no time. This strawberry salad uses under 10 ingredients, but it still has an incredible mix of textures and flavors. The peak-season berries are sweet and juicy, and a handful of soft summer basil adds a surprising fresh accent. Toss in a little cheese and diced avocado for richness, pecans for crunch, and a drizzle of tangy balsamic, and you have a mouthwatering summer meal. Best of all, it comes together in 15 minutes flat!

Strawberry Salad Recipe Ingredients

This strawberry salad recipe is my extra-special take on a Caprese salad. Of course, tomatoes and basil are a match made in heaven, but if you haven’t tried fresh strawberries and basil, you’re in for a treat. To make the base of this salad, I combine all three. Then, I add these simple ingredients:

  • Avocado and fresh mozzarella, for richness and creamy texture
  • Toasted pecans, for a nutty crunch
  • And an easy balsamic reduction, to tie it all together! The tangy balsamic perfectly accents the sweet strawberries.

Combine the berries, tomatoes, basil, avocado, mozzarella, and pecans in a large bowl, and gently toss to coat them in a splash of olive oil. When you’re ready to serve, drizzle the salad with the balsamic reduction and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then, dig in!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Strawberry Salad Recipe ingredients

Strawberry Salad Recipe Variations

Like most salad recipes, this strawberry salad is flexible. Feel free to play with it to use what you have on hand or to suit your individual tastes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • 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 or farro 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.
  • Replace the pecans with a different nut or seed. Toasted walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, or even roasted chickpeas would be great here.
  • Swap the mozzarella for crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese to add a savory, tangy element.

Let me know what variations you try!

Strawberry Salad Recipe

Strawberry Salad Serving Suggestions

In my opinion, this strawberry salad recipe can pass as a main or side dish. Paired with veggie burgers, black bean burgers, BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, or portobello mushroom burgers, it’s a fantastic cookout side.

It also makes a lovely summer meal alongside asparagus soup, carrot ginger soup, or gazpacho. If you’re enjoying it on its own, add a slice of crusty bread or homemade focaccia for a fresh and healthy lunch.

More Favorite Salad Recipes

If you love this salad, try one of these summer salads next:

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic

rate this recipe:
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves 4
This strawberry salad recipe is perfect for spring and summer! It's bursting with flavor from cherry tomatoes, basil, creamy mozzarella, and tangy balsamic. Skip the cheese to make it vegan.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • cup pecans, toasted
  • cup loosely packed basil, torn
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Make this vegan by omitting the cheese.

 

28 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Lori
    08.31.2021

    Can you use a balsamic glaze that comes from a bottle?

  2. Meg
    07.28.2021

    5 stars
    I used marinated mozzarella balls and thought it was GREAT. (You can buy them pre-marinated or marinate them yourself. The marinade is just olive oil, garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.) I used the marinade to make a balsamic vinaigrette, too (in place of a balsamic reduction and olive oil). It added great flavor. Would recommend!

  3. Dawn
    07.04.2021

    5 stars
    I made this today for a luncheon. Everyone loved it! I’ll be making this again soon.

  4. Kira
    05.20.2021

    I love this! I substituted a few things since I didn’t have everything but it turned out great! I replaced the pecans for almonds (used raw), didn’t use avocado and added strawberry mint from my herb garden along with basil. I love this dish and will absolutely make again!

  5. Cari Lynch
    03.27.2021

    So yummy! Perfect combination of textures and flavors. Didn’t have basil so used baby spinach & threw in some leftover sautéed shredded brussels b/c… why not?! Makes me look forward to summer and trying this with peaches!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.