Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

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The BEST berry salad with candied pecans and the ultimate raspberry vinaigrette! Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

Delicious Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad with fresh berries, feta cheese and candied pecans. The show-stopping raspberry vinaigrette that tops this salad is made with real raspberries!

 

Overhead image of the Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

My in-laws have amazing strawberry and raspberry plants in their yard. They invite us over every now and again and we definitely take advantage of those plants — the kids get stuffed on berries and we take home far too many!

There is nothing like homegrown, fresh berries. That is, until you throw them in this salad. If I’m able to save any on the trip home, they definitely get tossed in this salad (which I’m quite certain I could eat for days and never get sick of).

Process shots-- images of the dressing being made in a blender.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

This is a simple blender dressing with real raspberries. You can use fresh or frozen raspberries — if using frozen, make sure they are fully thawed before using in the dressing.

The dressing can be prepared 1-2 days in advance to save time come assembly. Once it has been blended, transfer the dressing to a Mason jar and keep in the fridge. Stir it well before drizzling over the Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad. The dressing will stay good for 5-7 days,  in the Mason jar and refrigerated, which is nice for making a quick lunch salad!

If you don’t have time to make the dressing from scratch, a good alternative is mixing together equal parts good-quality store-bought poppy seed dressing with a store-bought raspberry vinaigrette

Process shots-- images of making the candied pecans.

Candied Pecans

For this Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad, I recommend making the candied pecans a day or two in advance. By preparing them in advance they’ll have plenty of time to cool, harden up a bit, and the salad will come together easier and quicker the day you plan to serve it. 

The recipe I share below for candied pecans makes a mid-sized batch, but yields more than you need for this Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad. Sugaring the pecans works best with this volume and leftovers store well. Keep candied pecans in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months or in the pantry for 2-3 weeks. Use them as a snack, as a topping for Yogurt BowlsAcai Bowls, or another salad recipe (like this Pear Salad!).

I recommend giving the candied pecans a quick coarse chop before adding them to the salad, just so you have more pecans per bite and they don’t disappear at the bottom of the salad bowl.

QUICK TIP

For a larger batch of candied pecans and more details on storage, I have a full post dedicated to candied pecans.

Overhead image of the Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad with all the components of the salad on a plate.

Variations

  • Add in some dried tart cherries or dried cranberries or replace one of the berries with the dried fruit.
  • Swap feta cheese for goat cheese, or simply omit the cheese altogether.
  • Swap candied pecans for honeyroasted almonds or dry-roasted and lightly salted pistachios.
  • Drizzle salad with a creamy poppyseed dressing (use the recipe from this Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad).
  • Add some protein by tossing in some cooked and cooled quinoa or some leftover shredded chicken.

Image of the dressing being poured on the salad.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Storage

This salad doesn’t sit or store well once being made. Once assembled, the salad needs to be eaten soon after; otherwise the raspberry dressing wilts the greens, the berries will begin to break down, and the pecans will soften.

If making this Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad in advance, store all the components of the salad separately and assemble right before eating.

Overhead image of the Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad dressed and ready to be served.

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Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

5 from 1 vote
Delicious Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad with fresh berries, feta cheese and candied pecans. The show-stopping raspberry vinaigrette that tops this salad is made with real raspberries!
Print Recipe

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

5 from 1 vote
Delicious Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad with fresh berries, feta cheese and candied pecans. The show-stopping raspberry vinaigrette that tops this salad is made with real raspberries!
Course Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8 as a side
Calories 533kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $8.12

Ingredients

Candied Pecans*

  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (104g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups pecan halves

Salad

  • 8 cups (180g) fresh spring mix lettuce
  • 2 cups (276g) strawberries stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (144g) blueberries
  • 1 cup (123g) raspberries
  • 1/2 cup (72g) blackberries
  • 1/3 cup (49g) feta cheese optional

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons (43g) red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard do not use regular mustard
  • 1/2 cup (70g) frozen raspberries completely thawed
  • 1/2 cup (104g) vegetable oil (canola or olive oil will work)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds optional

Instructions

For the candied pecans (See Note 1)

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and line a large baking sheet (15x21 inches) with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, water and vanilla until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together white sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add pecans to egg whites; stir to coat the nuts evenly. With a slotted spoon, remove the nuts and toss them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture until coated. Spread the nuts evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring and tossing every 15 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Coarsely chop about 1/2 cup for the salad.

For the salad:

  • Toss together the spring mix, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

For the dressing:

  • Combine all of the ingredients except for the oil in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined. Slowly add in the oil in a steady stream. Blend until emulsified and smooth. If desired, add in the poppy seeds and stir to combine.
  • This dressing is supposed to be pretty thick -- when you toss it with the salad it does thin out a little with the juices from the salad ingredients.
  • Toss the dressing and candied pecans with the salad. Only dress and add pecans to what you will eat because leftovers don't sit well. You can store the salad, pecans, and dressing separately for delicious leftovers! Add feta cheese last. Enjoy immediately after dressing.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: This recipe for candied pecans will yield more than you need for this salad. Sugaring the pecans works best with this volume; leftovers store nicely! Store leftover candied pecans in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months or in the pantry for 2-3 weeks. (Recipe Prep/Cook time does not include the candied nuts.)
Note 2: Nutrition information doesn't include the candied pecans; those vary depending on how much you add.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 742mg | Potassium: 926mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 23501IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 4mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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