This Summer Berry Salad Recipe is as healthy as it is delicious. Made using fresh fruit and vegetables of the season with an amazing raspberry vinaigrette dressing, this beautiful and flavorful salad is the perfect spring and summer side dish.
What could be a more perfect way to usher in the warmer months of summer than dressing up all those boring salads days with a fruit salad recipe using fresh berries, mint, crispy lettuce and a super easy and tangy homemade vinaigrette!
If you’ve browsed my site before then you’ve heard me say how much I love including tasty and interesting salads into everyday meals. Afterall, one of the easiest ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into a healthy diet are delicious salad recipes! Whether it’s a simple side salad like this Caprese Salad, or a healthy main course salad like this Easy Beef Taco Salad, they’re a great way to add extra daily nutrients.
One of the things you’ll love the most about this summer salad recipe is all the wonderful colors. It’s with good reason you have heard how important it is to “eat the rainbow.” Eating a wide variety of colorful foods can be a great way to get a complete range of nutrients your body needs to thrive. For more information about the health benefits associated with eating berries, check out this article on healthline.com.
Variations and Add-ins
- Protein: This recipe was created to be a colorful fruit side salad, but you can easily make it a whole meal by adding a protein of your choice. A sliced roasted chicken breast is always a good choice. Or when you are meal prepping, you can make extra grilled chicken to use or add in leftover rotisserie chicken. I also loved grilled shrimp and leftover grilled or Pan Seared Steak when I have some on hand.
- Leafy greens: You can make this a blackberry and strawberry spinach salad using baby spinach greens. You can also use a spring mix, butter, arugula or bibb lettuce.
- Fruit: This recipe uses a perfect combination of fresh strawberries and blackberries, but you can add in any of your favorite summer berries. Watermelon is another great summer fruit that taste wonderful with the raspberry vinaigrette dressing. If you’re craving this salad outside of berry season, you can use any of your favorite fruits that are in season. Crisp apples are great in this salad during the autumn months. Mandarin oranges and pears are awesome during the winter months. You really can’t go wrong!
- Salad dressing: If you aren’t a fan of raspberries, you can use your favorite balsamic vinegar dressing or red wine vinegar dressing. Another great way to change up the dressing recipe is that instead of lemon juice, you can use fresh orange juice or fresh lime juice and lime zest.
- Cheese: You can add any crumbling cheese of your choice if you prefer. Feta cheese, soft goat cheese or blue cheese crumbles would make a great addition. White cheese, like tangy goat cheese and feta, mixed in with the red and blue berries make a gorgeous patriotic colored salad for Memorial Day or 4th of July.
- Other add-ins: This salad is so versatile. For added crunch you can throw in some sunflower seeds, chopped pecans or other caramelized nuts. You can also add some sliced green onion or thinly sliced red onion if you prefer. Just go light on the onions so they don’t overpower the fresh flavor of the kinds of berries you use.
- Food processor
- Measuring cup
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Colander or salad spinner
- Large salad bowl
- Salad Tongs
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Why We Love this Recipe
- Simple salad that makes the perfect side dish to just about any main dish you want to serve it with.
- Made with all fresh ingredients with a zesty homemade vinaigrette that is bursting with flavor.
- Great salad to take to a potluck, summer BBQ or gatherings to celebrate summer holidays.
Raspberry Dressing Ingredients
- Rice wine vinegar
- Fresh raspberries
- Fresh lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Romaine lettuce
- Fresh mint, chopped
- Fresh ripe strawberries
- Fresh blackberries
- Sliced almonds, toasted
Make the vinaigrette: Add vinegar, raspberries, lemon juice, and olive oil to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and taste. Adjust other flavors to achieve the desired balance. Set aside.
Prepare the salad: Add lettuce, fresh mint, sweet strawberries and ripe blackberries to a large bowl. Sprinkle in the toasted almonds and gently toss to combine.
Dress and serve: Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette and serve immediately on chilled salad plates for a refreshing appetizer.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container overnight or up to a couple of days.
Can I Use Frozen Berries in this Salad?
Once berries are frozen, especially strawberries, their texture changes a good bit. For best results, this salad is better when made using fresh fruit, but if you happen to have frozen berries on hand, you can certainly use them. Make sure they are thawed and drained well before adding them to the salad.
Why is My Salad with Fresh Berries Soggy?
- Make sure you start out with dry ingredients: Moisture will cause the ingredients in the salad to break down faster. After washing the salad greens and other fruit and veggies, add them to a salad spinner if you have one. If not, lay out a row of paper towels and pat them gently until dry.
- Store your salad properly: Vegetables and fruits have a high-water content, which makes them prone to getting soggy quickly. Keep them separate and chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad. If you are adding meat of any kind that you’ve salted during preparation, wait until the very last minute to add it. The salad will draw out moisture making the salad soggy.
- Add some citrus juice: Once all your fruits and veggies are sliced up, add a little citrus juice or super cold water will help to slow down the oxidization of the salad that breaks it down and makes it soggy You don’t have to add a lot. Just a light drizzle over the top will help a lot.
Summer Berry Salad Recipe
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup raspberries washed
- 2 t lemon juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ t sea salt
- 1 head romaine lettuce washed and chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves chopped
- 1 cup strawberries washed, hulled and sliced
- 1 cup blackberries washed
- ⅓ cup almonds sliced and toasted
- Add vinegar, raspberries, lemon juice, and olive oil to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and taste. Adjust other flavors to achieve the desired balance. Set aside.
- Add lettuce, fresh mint, sweet strawberries and ripe blackberries to a large bowl. Sprinkle in the toasted almonds and gently toss to combine.
- Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette and serve immediately on chilled salad plates for a refreshing appetizer.