Fresh, flavorful, and light, this Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad is made with butter lettuce and tossed in a poppy seed dressing. It’s a delicious recipe for the spring and summer.
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Growing up, I remember eating the MOST delicious strawberry and spinach salad with homemade poppy seed dressing that my mom made in the summertime. I’ve loved the combo of strawberries and poppy seeds ever since! Something about the two together just screams warm weather, family dinners, and sunshine.
Inspired by that salad of my past, I set out to make a grown-up rendition for all of you. The result of my experimentation is today’s Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Butter Lettuce. It still has a classic poppy seed dressing but gets a little fancy with goat cheese crumbles and butter lettuce. (Tangy goat cheese and sweet, tart strawberries are one of the best duos in the culinary world, after all.)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with butter lettuce, also known as Bibb or Boston lettuce, it’s pretty much the most DELISH variety of lettuce out there. As the name implies, it literally has a buttery mouthfeel. It’s very fresh-tasting and has a wonderful light green color. I love to use butter lettuce leaves as natural “cups” in recipes (see my Grilled Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Cups and Rotisserie Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups for examples).
But butter lettuce really shines as the base of a light salad. So, I hope you’ll give it a try and make this recipe! If you’re in the mood for another salad with strawberries, see the Arugula Salad with Burrata.
Throwing together a salad is easy, but here are my tips for making the best possible strawberry goat cheese salad!
- I use olive oil as the base of the dressing, but I recommend using a fairly neutral variety of olive oil. If you use a rich olive oil, the dressing can be slightly bitter. You can sub light olive oil, avocado oil, or even canola oil if you want to prevent any bitterness.
- I like to use honey as the sweetener for my poppy seed dressing, but you can also sub white sugar.
- When selecting butter lettuce in the store, see if you can find a head of butter lettuce that still has the root intact. They often come in circular plastic containers near the packaged salads and lettuce greens at the grocery store. Loose heads of butter lettuce are also available, but the ones with the roots attached stay fresh for a lot longer.
- The salad and dressing both call for onion, and you can use any variety. I especially like sweet onions or shallots in this recipe, but it also works with red onion.
- To prep this in advance, make the salad dressing and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can prep the salad up to a day in advance, but wait to dress it until right before serving.
Oh, and before I forget, another great thing about this strawberry goat cheese salad is that it can be served as a side or main dish. It goes great on the side of fish for dinner or even as a companion to an egg bake for Mother’s Day brunch. You can also serve it as part of a bridal shower spread!
To make it a main dish, add a piece of grilled chicken or salmon. For a vegetarian option, add some white beans or chickpeas. There are so many great options!
More Healthy Salad Recipes
If you like this strawberry goat cheese salad, you may also enjoy the following recipes.
- Blueberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Tahini
- Sweet Corn and Cherry Arugula Salad
- Cashew Cabbage Salad with Bok Choy
- Kale Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Croutons
- Quinoa Arugula Salad with Pineapple
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Butter Lettuce
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 pound strawberries - sliced
- ½ onion - sliced into half-moons, recommend sweet onions or shallots
- ½ cup goat cheese - crumbled, plus more to taste
- Wash and dry the butter lettuce. Use your hands to rip leaves into pieces of desired size. Add lettuce pieces to a large bowl and add the sliced strawberries and onions. Top with goat cheese crumbles.
- To prepare the dressing, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss well. Transfer to plates, and enjoy!
- To make this a main dish, add a piece of grilled chicken, salmon, or some white beans or chickpeas.
- I recommend using a light variety of olive oil, or one that you know has a fairly neutral taste. This will prevent the dressing from having any bitter undertones.
- If you're looking for the freshest possible butter lettuce (that can last longer than other varieties), see if your store carries heads of butter lettuce that still have the root intact.
- You can prep the dressing up to 5 days in advance and store in the fridge (shake well before using). The salad can also be prepped up to a day in advance, but wait to add the dressing until right before serving.
Enjoy your Tuesday! – Lizzie
This post was originally published in April 2018. The recipe was updated and republished in May 2020.