Strawberry Harvest Salad tastes just like the salad at Zupa’s! It’s topped with a homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette dressing.
a Zupa’s Copycat Recipe
I love to try out new salad recipes and especially love it when they have a house dressing to go with it. I do like my ranch and Caesar dressings, but I LOVE a custom dressing that’s made especially for a salad, just like today’s creation.
This recipe is inspired by the Strawberry Harvest Salad at Zupa’s.
Have you ever been there? It’s similar to a Panera or Paradise Bakery and has soups, salads and sandwiches. They have some great options, but my favorite salad is this one.
The last time I ordered it, I decided I had to attempt a copycat recipe. Even if you’ve never had this salad at Zupa’s, it’s definitely a good one to try. It has so many wonderful flavors and is simple to make!
Ingredient Tips and Variations
Candied Pecans: You can buy candied pecans or you can make your own. You’ll need ¾ c roughly chopped pecans, 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar and ½ tbsp butter. Use a small non stick cooking pan.
Over medium heat add all the ingredients. Stir constantly until the sugar and butter melt together. Continue stirring as it caramelizes; about 2-3 more minutes. Pour pecans, in a single layer, to a plate to cool. You can also check out our candied pecans recipe.
- Use tart or sweet apples depending on your preference.
- Add different berries such as blueberries or raspberries
- Add poppy seeds to the dressing
- Use sliced pears along with or instead of apples.
- Try walnuts, cashews or sliced almonds
- Use feta, blue cheese or a goat cheese
Making a fresh strawberry harvest salad requires the best berries. Once you have the strawberries you’ll want to properly wash and cut them.
- Choosing the best strawberries: Strawberries stop ripening once they have been picked so it is important to find perfectly ripe berries to use. Look for berries that are red from tip to stem. The more white there is at the top, the less ripe they are. Fresh berries also have a sweet aroma. Over ripe berries will start taking on a musty odor, become darker in color and develop soft mushy spots.
- Rinse: Hull the berries by first removing the green leaves. In a large bowl add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. Soak the berries for about 5 minutes. Drain and thoroughly rinse them with water. Arrange them in a single layer on a kitchen towel to dry. You can also use a kitchen or paper towel to pat them dry.
- Cut: I have a really handy strawberry slicer. All you have to do is place the whole berry into the device and cut. It will make evenly sliced berries every time. Thankfully, you can also use a paring knife to cut even slices from stem to tip.
One of the best parts about the salad is the dressing! This Strawberry Vinaigrette is AMAZING!! It takes just a few minutes to make and is delicious too!! 😀
It’s literally made of 5 ingredients:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
And you just throw all of it into a blender. Simple! This dressing is the perfect compliment for strawberry harvest salad.
Dressing can be STORED in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. For more information, check out our post all about our strawberry vinaigrette.
Serving and Storing
You can assemble the salad a day ahead of time, but don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve it. You may also want to wait to slice the strawberries so they don’t get mushy. Store the salad, covered, in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Cover and store leftovers in the fridge. It won’t keep for very long so you’ll want to finish it as soon as possible.
Pair it with Soup or a Sandwich:
- Tomato and Basil Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Baked Potato Soup
- Monte Cristo Sandwich
- Mini Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich
For more delicious salad recipes, try:
- Chicken Berry Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard
- Applebee’s Oriental Salad
- Chinese Pasta Salad
- Southwest Salad
Strawberry Harvest Salad Recipe
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 large chicken breasts seasoned to taste, cooked and sliced
- 1 apple thinly sliced
- ½ cup Craisins
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup candied pecans
- sliced strawberries for topping
- 1 cup strawberries tops cut off
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Place romaine in a salad bowl and top with chicken, apple slices, craisins, mozzarella, candied pecans and sliced strawberries.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add dressing to salad right before serving.