Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Sweet and tangy strawberry spinach pasta salad with orange poppyseed dressing with pineapple, cashews, and tart cranberries is the perfect potluck side dish for every get together. 

Need to change up your potluck game? Try this Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing, Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad, Strawberry Avocado Chicken Pasta Salad, and Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing | lecremedelacrumb.com

I’m admitting it here and now, I have a pasta salad obsession.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been over a hundred degrees consistently this month and I have a hard time turning on the oven in these kinds of conditions, maybe it’s just that I I like the idea of taking lettuce, adding pasta and fruit or veggies, a handful of goodies like nuts and dried berries or cheese, and calling it a salad.

Whatever it is, I can’t get enough of this side dish/main dish/9pm leftovers snack.

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing | lecremedelacrumb.com

For Memorial Day my family got together for a big barbecue to kick off Summer and my mother’s good friend Penny contributed a pasta salad to the plethora of potluck goodness. It had dried berries and spinach and penne noodles, along with pineapple, strawberries, and some kind of orange poppy seed dressing.

You see where I’m going with this.

I ate it. I love it. I had to recreate it for myself.

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing | lecremedelacrumb.com

So this is my simplified version of that BOMB pasta salad. She actually added shredded chicken to her salad and I thought that was brilliant so if you’ve got some leftover chicken in the fridge or maybe some rotisserie chicken begging to be used up, put it in this salad. You will not regret it.

And feel free to customize this recipe, it’s very forgiving. Swap out the pineapple for mandarin oranges, or add dried blueberries or cherries instead of the cranberries. Don’t limit yourself to cashews if you prefer walnuts or pecans – go where your pantry takes you!

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing | lecremedelacrumb.com

I like to use fresh-squeezed orange juice for the dressing but you can absolutely use that carton of OJ you’ve been reaching for at breakfast each morning.

If you want to make this salad ahead of time (more than one hour ahead) I would recommend waiting to add the dressing until just before serving. Just keep it in a covered jar until ready to serve, then toss and enjoy!

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing | lecremedelacrumb.com

What people are saying about this Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

“Made this salad for a family reunion this weekend and it was a huge hit with kids and adults alike. Cool, refreshing with a great combination of flavors.” – Becky

“My favorite salad!!! Love this poppy seed dressing.” – Iona

“Thanks for a great recipe! I made extra of the salad dressing and used it as a marinade for grilled chicken breasts. This is definitely a keeper!!” – Becky

“We made this last weekend. I’m prepping it again for tomorrow! We loved it so much, it will become a staple for us.” – Denise

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing | lecremedelacrumb.com
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4.5 from 22 votes

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Sweet and tangy strawberry spinach pasta salad with orange poppyseed dressing is the perfect potluck side dish for every backyard bbq, party, and get together.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta salad, spinach
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 people
Author Tiffany

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces penne noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, or dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews, or other nut like pecans or walnuts

Orange Poppyseed Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • optional: pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, cover, and shake well. Set aside.
  • Combine penne, spinach, strawberries, pineapple, cranberries, and cashews in a large bowl and toss with the prepared dressing.
  • Serve immediately or cover and chill for 1 hour before serving.

 

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Comments

5 stars
so delicious and everyone loved it. definitely a keeper!

    Awesome job, Gaylia!

4 stars
Great flavor. Made with bowtie pasta and Added fetA and subStituted the nuts with sundlower seeds. I tossed with all ingredients except spinach and strawberries and let sit in fridge To set/chill. Tossed spinach in before serving.

    Fantastic job, Dmel! I love using sunflower seeds on this salad, or really any salad! Thanks for your feedback šŸ™‚

Hi. I am going to make this a few hours before serving. I know you said to refrigerate the salad & the dressing, but should I put some of the dressing on immediately? Pasta tends to harden & dry up a bit when not coated.

    Hey Laurie!! Try putting little oil on the noodles before you add them to the salad, that should help. I haven’t tried putting some dressing on beforehand but worry you’ll end up with some soggy spinach!

      What I did was, I put a bit of this dressing on the pasta, enough for a coating & I left the pasta separate from the rest of the salad. When I was ready to bring it to the barbecue I added the pasta, but I didn’t add the rest of the dressing until I had it ready to eat on her table. It worked out great! Thank you!

        Great job!!! Thanks for your feedback!

This looks fabulous! thank you.

This sounds wonderful!
Question: what can I use in place of the yogurt to make the dressing? I have a milk allergy. Thanks so much!

    Honestly- I’m sure you know subs for dairy free items better than me! I know that they do have dairy free yogurts these days though. Have you tried using that?

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