This easy Blackberry Spinach Salad recipe has just four ingredients and a tangy blackberry salad dressing. It’s perfect when you want a quick, tasty, and nutritious meal, side dish, or appetizer. Plus, this recipe is gluten-free, ketogenic, vegan, and healthy, and can even be made vegan!
While I love a simple Blackberry Spinach Salad as much as anyone, sometimes you just want a little spice. The dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients and are the perfect base for a variety of additional foods. Food Healthy helps you to know how to prepare it easily.
You’ll love this special Blackberry Spinach Salad because it uses simple ingredients, is light and healthy, and has a great balance of flavors and textures.
Topped with tender grilled chicken, this salad makes a delicious, complete lunch or dinner. I also like to serve it as a side dish without the chicken when it is served with another main dish.
This spinach, cucumber, and blackberry combo are so perfect and so easy to make – you’ll want it all the time!
What You Need for Blackberry Spinach Salad
- Spinach: I buy washed spinach almost every week. It lasts longer than most other greenery and can be used in many ways.
- Blackberry: juicy, plump, slightly sweet, slightly tart. The gem of summer!
- Cucumbers: Light, crunchy cucumbers pair perfectly with blackberries and are a piece of cake to add to salads. Use a small Persian cucumber, as shown, or a long, thin English cucumber, thinly sliced and halved. Both have a relatively low water content, which will help you avoid a soggy salad (gross).
- Frozen pecans: Each salad needs some crunchy! I usually buy these at Trader Joe’s where they are sold with other nuts and dried fruit. Almost every grocery store has a similar version. If they’re not served with other nuts, check out croutons and other side salads.
- Shredded Feta: Every Blackberry Spinach Salad needs a little creaminess too! If feta isn’t your thing, try goat cheese or ricotta salad (it’s different from regular ricotta).
- Blackberry Vinaigrette: Grab an already delicious salad and knock it out of the park! And it’s easy—just combine blackberry puree, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried thyme, salt, and pepper.
Grilled Balsamic Chicken: Get the thrill when you add protein because this marinade is to die for. You’ll need more olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to prepare.
This is the same marinade I make for my Blackberry Spinach Salad. So good we have to find more ways to enjoy it!If you’re pressed for time or only have a few blackberries, you can save them for the salad instead of the Blackberry Spinach Salad. Instead, just use a simple balsamic vinegar.
Tips and time savers
- Pre-washed, pre-shredded: A little comfort is enough; pre-washed baby spinach and pre-shredded feta make a quick and easy combination.
- Click on the marinating window: You can marinate the chicken for as little as 20 minutes up to 4 hours in advance. If you need to marinate it longer (like overnight), omit the lemon juice. The acidity of even a small amount of citrus fruit can adversely affect the texture of chicken if left in a marinade for a long time.
- Shake and store the dressing: If you have a small jar with a tight lid, like B. a reusable jam jar, it’s the perfect jar for preparing salad dressings. Refrigerate the excess. It will keep for at least a week—just let it sit at room temperature for a minute or two, then shake well to remix before using.
- Extra chicken? Big! Save and serve with roasted vegetables the next night, or chop up and use in sandwiches or other salads. The balsamic chicken must not be wasted!
Storage Blackberry Spinach Salad
This salad is best served right away, but can be made 3-4 days in advance. Keep in an hermetically sealed container in the refrigerator.
Just be careful not to mix the dressing with the Blackberry Spinach Salad until you’re ready to serve. Failure to do so will make the salad soggy and greatly reduce shelf life.
Blackberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Chicken
- First prepare the chicken. In large bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth Blackberry Spinach Salad. Add the chicken, then toss to coat with the marinade.Cover and refrigerate for no less than 20 minutes and 4 hours.
- When ready to cook, discard the marinade and grill or broil the chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F. Set aside to cool slightly and cut into strips.
- For the dressing, puree the blackberries in a food processor or blender. Squeeze the resulting pulp through a fine mesh sieve or slotted spoon to remove the seeds. Discard seeds; combine strained puree with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover, shake and set aside until ready to serve. The vinaigrette may be refrigerated for one week.
- For the Blackberry Spinach Salad, combine spinach, cucumber, and blackberries in a bowl. Sprinkle with a small quantity of vinaigrette and stir. Sprinkle with sliced chicken, pecans and feta cheese.