Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic

By Updated on

This delicious Spinach Salad couldn't be more delicious with sweer apples, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts all tossed in an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

229 CAL 25g CARBS 12g FAT 10g PROTEIN
Leave a Comment

This Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing features wholesome and flavorful ingredients like apples, walnuts, and goat cheese. It’s easy to make, packed with nutrients, and bursting with fresh flavors. 

There was once a time when many people thought salads were boring. In recent years, the world has started to shift towards a healthier lifestyle with an emphasis on fresh, whole foods. Now, not only are more and more people realizing that salads are actually the opposite of boring, but there are even dining establishments dedicated solely to serving different types of salads!

Salads are an incredible way to get a ton of different flavors into one bowl and one of my favorite ways to clean out the fridge at the end of the week. Any time I find myself with a ton of leftover veggies that I’m not sure what to do with, I simply toss them into a salad and voila! Instant delicious meal.

This Spinach Salad is loaded with healthy and flavorful ingredients like crisp apples, cucumbers, walnuts, tangy goat cheese, and sharp red onion. The combination of sweet and savory ingredients all wrapped up in a thin coat of creamy homemade dressing is out-of-this-world delicious. Spinach also won't' want to miss this Strawberry Spinach Salad.

You can serve this dish on its own or pair it with grilled chicken or fish and a grain like quinoa or rice for a complete healthy meal that guarantees to impress. This refreshing and flavorful salad makes the perfect summer dish, so try it out and see for yourself! You can also add crispy bacon if the classic spinach and bacon salad is what you're craving.

Ingredients for spinach salad including fresh baby spinach, red onions, cucumbers, apples, walnuts, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

Key Ingredients

To bring this vibrant salad to life, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Baby Spinach: This mild and nutrient-rich green makes the perfect base for our salad. Feel free to swap it out for kale, arugula, or mixed greens, if you’d like.
  • Cucumbers: These crunchy veggies are mild in flavor and excellent for a boost in hydration. You could also add some bell pepper for crunch.
  • Apples: You can use any variation of apples you prefer, or swap them out for pears instead.
  • Walnuts: I love the nutty flavor and crunch that these add. If you don’t like walnuts, you can use plain almonds or pecans. If you have the time, make toasted walnuts or toasted pecans in a skillet to bring out even more flavor in the nuts. 
  • Goat cheese: This tangy cheese adds a delicious flavor and gives the salad a creamy component. If you don’t like goat cheese, try swapping it out for feta cheese, blue cheese, or gorgonzola cheese.
  • Red onion: This adds a nice pop of color and a sharp bite to the salad. Green onions also work for a milder flavor.

Spinach Salad Recipe Ideas

When it comes to salads, there are plenty of ways to get creative depending on what you’re in the mood for and what you have laying around. Here are some of my favorite ways to switch up this dish:

  • Use a different base: Not a fan of spinach or just looking to try something else? You can use another leafy green like kale, arugula, or mixed greens.
  • Add a protein source: You can beef up this salad to make it a more filling meal by adding your favorite source of protein. I love adding grilled chicken or fish, but you can also add a vegetarian protein source like chickpeas or lentils.
  • Swap out the fruit: You can swap out the apples with another fruit like pears or fresh strawberries. For added sweetness, you could also combine the sliced apples with dried cranberries or raisins.
  • Use a different cheese: If you don’t like goat cheese or don’t have any, you can easily swap it out for a different type of cheese. Some of my favorite choices for this dish include feta cheese, blue cheese, and shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Change up the dressing: If you aren't in the mood for balsamic vinaigrette, you could make a simple lemon salad dressing. Just whisk together fresh lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, kosher salt, and black pepper. Add a splash of red wine vinegar for more acidity. For a different creamy option, try this yogurt blue cheese dressing or healthy honey mustard.

What to Serve With This Dish

When I’m serving this dish as part of a larger meal whether it’s for a family dinner or a party, I love pairing it with cooked meats, soups, and pasta dishes. Just in case you’re in need of a little inspiration, here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with this salad:

How to Store Salad and Meal Prep

When storing the leftovers, it’s best to store the dressing separately from the salad so the salad doesn’t get soggy. If the dressing is already mixed in, you can store the dish in the fridge for a day or two. When stored separately in airtight containers, the salad will last in the fridge for up to 4 days and the dressing will last in the fridge for up to a week.

Balsamic vinaigrette being poured over spinach salad with apples, goat cheese, and walnuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy salad recipe:

What can I use instead of spinach?

Any leafy green will work well as a base for this salad. Some of my favorite alternatives include kale, arugula, and mixed greens.

Is spinach salad good for weight loss?

This dish is low in calories and high in nutrients, making it an excellent addition to any healthy diet. If you’re trying to lose weight, recipes like this one are great to add to your routine.

What goes well with spinach salad?

This salad goes well with a wide variety of dishes, but I personally like to pair it with a lean protein like chicken or fish and some type of grain like pasta, rice, or quinoa. The classic soup and salad combination is always a great choice as well.

What can I use instead of walnuts?

If you aren’t a fan of walnuts, you can swap them out for another type of nut or seed to get a nice crunch and add a ton of nutrients. Some of my favorite options include almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and hemp hearts.

Apple and spinach salad with red onions, cucumbers, and goat cheese in a bowl with walnuts and balsamic dressing on the side.

More Healthy Salad Recipes

If you liked this delicious recipe, try out these healthy salad recipes next:

The Recipe
Spinach salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette, goat cheese, apples, and walnuts in a white bowl with wooden salad tongs.

Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic

229 CAL 25g CARBS 12g FAT 10g PROTEIN
  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 2 apples, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (dressing)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (dressing)
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil (dressing)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard (dressing)
  • 2 tsp honey (more to taste, dressing)
  • 1 Salt and pepper (dressing)

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


Make the dressing by whisking together the yogurt, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey in a bowl to make balsamic salad dressing.

Toss together the spinach, cucumbers, apples, red onion, goat cheese, and walnuts. Drizzle with dressing.

Baby spinach, apples, red onions, cucumbers, walnuts, and goat cheese in a large glass bowl.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229
Calories from Fat 103
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 10mg
Sodium 211mg
Total Carbohydrate 25g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 16g
Protein 10g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic
user image
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.