Mixed berry salad

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This tasty mixed berry salad features strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries all over a bed of fresh arugula. This salad is topped with a sweet and tangy lemon poppy seed dressing that ties all of the flavors of the different berries together in perfect harmony. This salad is easy to make and can be eaten as a starter before a big meal or as a meal of its own. 

This mixed berry salad is also gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, egg free, and dairy free. If you do not keep to a vegan or dairy free diet, this recipe also includes some suggestions for cheeses that would go well on this salad. 

Close up of a summer berry salad with lemon poppyseed vinagrette

What is in lemon poppy seed dressing?

There is a lot to love about this mixed berry salad but if I had to pick my favorite part of the salad it would be the lemon poppyseed dressing. What is in our lemon poppyseed dressing? Here is a list of all of the ingredients used in the dressing. 

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Poppy seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Brown mustard
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Salt

This lemon poppy seed salad dressing is super easy to make. All you have to do is juice the lemons then combine all of the ingredients and mix them. This lemon poppy seed dressing is also versatile and it goes well with many other types of salads if you have any leftover dressing. If you have any questions about our lemon poppy seed dressing you should check out our dedicated recipe for lemon poppy seed vinaigrette.    

What other dressings go on mixed berry salad

What other dressings pair well with mixed berry salads? If you are looking for a dressing for a salad with berries on it you should choose a dressing that is both acidic and sweet. The acidity compliments the sweetness of the berries and the sweetness ties together the flavor of all of the different berries. 

I recommend using a balsamic vinaigrette if you do not have the ingredients for our lemon poppy seed dressing available. You could also use another citrus based dressing such as a dressing that is yuzu or tangerine based.  

Lemon poppyseed vinagrette with a spoon dripping off some of the dressing

Additions to this mixed berry salad

Here are some additional ingredients that would go well in this mixed berry salad. 

  • Creamy cheeses. Light, creamy cheeses such as queso fresco go well with acidic dressings like this lemon poppyseed dressing. I generally add queso fresco when I make this salad, however I left the queso fresco off of the base ingredients list so that the base recipe would be suitable for dairy free and vegan foodies. 
  • Candied pecans or walnuts. The base recipe for this salad includes regular pecans but if you have candied pecans lying around they would make a great addition to this salad. You can add candied pecans as an additional ingredient on top of the regular pecans or you can swap the pecans out with candied pecans.
  • Additional fruits. If you have other sweet fruits like peaches, grapes, or blueberries lying around you can also add them to this mixed berry salad. I would avoid adding overly acidic fruits and citric fruits since the dressing on this salad is already relatively acidic. 
  • Seeds. You can add most common seeds to this salad without affecting the flavor. I recommend sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds.

Summer berry salad with lemon poppyseed dressing

Storing leftover mixed berry salad

Are you planning to make some leftovers? You can store leftover mixed berry salad in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Our main tip for storing leftover salad is that you should always store the salad dressing separately from the rest of the salad. If you store the mixed berry salad and the lemon poppyseed dressing together then the leaves of the arugula will get soggy and begin to fall apart. 

I recommend storing the salad dressing in a container with a narrow opening. This will make it easier to pour the leftover salad dressing directly from it’s container onto the mixed berry salad. If you store the dressing in a container with a larger opening you will have to use a spoon to transfer the dressing. 

Mixed berry salad with lemon poppy seed dressing

This delicious mixed berry salad is made with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 5 oz arugula
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup lemon poppy seed dressing (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (optional garnish if not vegan)

Lemon poppy seed dressing

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp grainy brown mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Juice the lemons then combine all of the ingredients for the lemon poppy seed dressing and mix thoroughly.
  • Wash the berries and arugula.
  • Slice the strawberries into thin slices then mince the red onion.
  • Combine all of the salad ingredients then top with the lemon poppy seed dressing.

Notes

You should make sure to mix the lemon poppyseed dressing well before topping your salad with dressing. The olive oil has a tendency to separate and float to the top, so you want to make sure you do not get a spoonful of pure olive oil.

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Lemon poppyseed vinagrette with a spoon dripping off some of the dressing

If you have any other questions about our lemon poppy seed dressing you should check out our dedicated recipe for this salad dressing. 


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