The most delicious strawberry salad topped with fried goat cheese medallions, crispy cucumbers, crunchy toasted pecans – all drizzled in the best balsamic vinaigrette! It’s creamy, cool, crunchy, peppery, and downright delicious!

bowl of fried goat cheese on strawberry salad with wooden spoons

CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH.

All of the things I love about spring – in one bowl! With those pretty strawberry hearts all loaded up, you could eat this salad from Valentine’s Day well into the summer. Persian cucumbers add a nice clean flavor and lots of crunch. I love all the freshness from the ingredients and that fried goat cheese on top! We’ll start by dredging it in flour, a beaten egg, and panko then just pan fry until golden. This is an easy and versatile salad recipe that you can use to wow dinner guests, make as a starter for date night, or pack for a quick vegetarian-friendly lunch! And feel free to make it your own – swap out the arugula for a spring mix, kale, or even baby spinach. 

It’s easy, crispy, totally gourmet-inspired and it’s utterly addicting with that shake-in-a-jar balsamic vinaigrette.

balsamic vinaigrette pouring over strawberry salad

Ingredients for strawberry salad:

  • Goat Cheese: Fresh berries and goat cheese are meant to be together! I like to elevate this salad a tiny bit by dredging the goat cheese medallions in flour, eggs, and panko and pan-frying them. The goat cheese gets nice and soft inside and all crunchy on the outside. It pairs beautifully with the balsamic vinaigrette and peppery arugula!
  • Dredging Ingredients: You’ll need flour, a beaten egg, and panko breadcrumbs to set up a basic dredging station. We’ll dip the goat cheese medallions in the flour, then the beaten egg, and finely the panko mixture. 
  • Fresh Strawberries: Strawberries work beautifully with the arugula and of course, the balsamic dressing. But you can certainly add in blueberries, blackberries, or even raspberries – infact, make it a berry medley!
  • Arugula: Arugula is my favorite in this salad, but you could also use a spring mix, kale, or even baby spinach! This salad can easily be tailored to the ingredients you have in your refrigerator.
  • Pecans: Toasted pecans add a nice crunch to the salad. Keep in mind that you can also swap the pecans for almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or use a variety of nuts.
  • Avocados: If you’ve never added avocados to a salad that you dress with balsamic dressing, the taste is incredible! My favorite salad recipes always contain avocados. They’re buttery, filling, and perfect in salads that don’t contain meat.
  • Persian Cucumbers: Add a crispy crunch. If you can’t tell already – I’m big on texture! And persian cucumbers are my absolute favorite. Feel free to swap with an english cucumber if you can’t find these specifically.
  • Honey: Just a swizzle to helps flavor the balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Works so well with the strawberries and the peppery arugula! if you’re in a hurry, you can also use balsamic glaze instead. But homemade balsamic vinaigrette is so easy to make. Just shake vinegar, olive, mustard, honey, and a little sale in a jar.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need kosher salt and black pepper to season the salad with.
  • Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard plays a critical role when making a vinaigrette. It allows two liquid ingredients that wouldn’t usually comebine to come together. More basically stated – it’s an emulsifing agent.
  • Olive Oil: is the base of the balsamic dressing.
balsamic vinaigrette in glass pitcher with handle

How to make this easy spring strawberry salad:

  1. Dredge the goat cheese. Grab three shallow bowls. You want to add the flour along with a big pinch of salt to one of the bowls. Add the beaten egg to the second bowl, and add the panko to the third bowl. Dip the goat cheese in the flour mixture making sure to coat both sides. Then dip in the beaten egg, and finally press the goat cheese gently in the panko to coat.
  2. Fry it until it’s crispy and golden! Add an inch of oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the goat cheese in the pan and cook the medallions for 3-4 minutes or until they’re golden on both sides. Remove them to a paper towel-lined plate and continue cooking the remaining medallions the same way if you couldn’t fit them all in one batch.
  3. Make the dressing. Add the ingredients for the dressing to a mason jar and shake to combine. You could also blend the dressing in a blender if you’d like. Combining the dressing in a blender will allow it to stay emulsified for longer!
  4. Make the salad and serve! When you’re ready to enjoy, add the arugula (or spring mix or baby spinach) to a large bowl. Top the greens with stawberries, pecans, avocado pieces, abd cucumbers. Toss the salad in the dressing. Then serve in individual dishes topped with goat cheese. Try to get a bit of everything in each bite – it’s such a refreshing salad!
sliced fried goat cheese drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette

FAQs about strawberry balsamic salad:

  1. What kind of protein would work well with a strawberry spinach salad? My favorite is grilled chicken! You can add chopped-up chicken tenders, chicken breasts, or even use leftover faux-tisserie or rotisserie chicken! You could also use cooked salmon or shrimp.
  2. What other ingredients can I add to this salad? You can swap the nuts, or the greens, you could also add thinly sliced red onions, or even farro or quinoa to bulk up the salad even more!
  3. I’m not a fan of goat cheese, what else can I use? You can just crumble feta cheese over the salad and skip the dredging process entirely. Or you can use grilled/pan-fried halloumi instead.

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arugula topped with strawberry salad and fried goat cheese medallions
Yield: serves 4

Crunchy Strawberry Salad with Fried Goat Cheese

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

The most delicious strawberry salad topped with fried goat cheese medallions, crispy cucumbers, crunchy toasted pecans – all drizzled in the best balsamic vinaigrette! It's creamy, cool, crunchy, peppery, and downright delicious!

Crunchy Strawberry Salad with Fried Goat Cheese

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 6-ounce log of goat cheese, sliced into 8 pieces
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil, for frying
  • ~5 ounces arugula (or spring mix or kale)
  • 6 ounces strawberries, trimmed and quartered
  • ½ cup whole pecans
  • 1 small avocado, sliced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced

Balsamic Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

    1. DREDGE: Place the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small shallow bowl; whisk. Add beaten egg and panko in two more shallow bowls. Dip the goat cheese slice in the flour, then egg mixture, and finally, panko. Place on a plate. Repeat this with the remaining goat cheese.
    2. FRY: Heat a frying pan over medium heat with ½ cup of frying oil. When the oil is hot, add the goat cheese medallions in a single layer and pan for 3-4 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
    3. DRESSING: Add the ingredients to a mason jar and shake well to combine. If dressing separates before dressing salad, reshake jar.
    4. SALAD: Place arugula in a large salad bowl, add strawberries, pecans, avocado, and cucumbers. Toss the salad with half of the balsamic dressing, adjust as needed. Then serve topped with goat cheese medallions.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 545Total Fat: 40gCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 15g

To get the most accurate information, please input the ingredients you've used into a nutrition calculator.

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