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. 

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing |
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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

4.6 from 11 reviews
Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
Prep time
Total time
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.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10
  • 8 ounces penne noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, or dried blueberries
  • ½ cup salted cashews, or other nut like pecans or walnuts
orange poppy seed dressing
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • optional: pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, cover, and shake well. Set aside.
  2. Combine penne, spinach, strawberries, pineapple, cranberries, and cashews in a large bowl and toss with the prepared dressing.
  3. Serve immediately or cover and chill for 1 hour before serving.


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Oh my…sooooo good! Not to mention how smashing this will look in our kitchen or on a weeknight summer table.-Laurel

Made this salad yesterday for a family Birthday party and if was amazing everyone raved about it. I used a dried cranberries and candied walnuts mix to top it with. Yum

I tried this yesterday evening, as I happened to have all the ingredients – except the poppy seeds, which I promptly went out and bought – in my cupboard/fridge. Delicious and easy.

I bet some feta cheese would be yummy with this awesome dish

    I agree Olivia. I felt it was a little on the sweet side and very citric. I thought some feta or asiago cheese might help balance that a little better.

I added some precooked chicken breast with added dressing to make a whole meal, and used it in a lunch.

I don’t have and Greek yogurt on hand. Do you think mayo or sour cream would be a suitable substitute? Thanks!

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 combiation of flavors. The only additions might be chicken breasts ad feta cheese to make it a meal. Delish!!ofti

    I love adding leftover over chicken to this salad! So glad you love this as much as we do Becky!! 🙂

I love pasta. I tried pasta salad. Its delicious and healthy too. Your recipes are superb. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes!

Absolutely amazing salad! I’ serving it with pulled pork on buns, and homemade coleslaw for a cottage meal this week. Thanks so much for sharing!

Loved it!

thank you so much for this! I changed it up a bit, since I eat whole foods/plant based. I subbed out the oil and yogurt for an avocado and put all the dressing ingredients except the poppy seeds in the blender, then added the seed. It was amazing, and I didn’t miss the other fats at ALL. My hubby ate FOUR bowls <3 Thanks, again!

Will definitely be making this one, would be a great Xmas salad

How many calories?

Can you replace the pineapple with mandrin orange segments?

    Yes, definitely!

      Do you have calorie and carb count on this?

        Hi Laurie – My Fitness Pal has a great tool that calculates calories for any recipe on the internet – you can go there and find calorie information for any recipe on my site! Thanks!

          This salad is not in my fitness pal. Just checked. Id like calorie count as well

          It may not be saved already, however you can use any online recipe URL and get all the nutrition facts on their website! It’s quite handy and useful for lots of recipes, not just mine!

    Oh NO WAY! Don’t do it.
    Just kidding of course.

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!!

this looks like a great summer salad. Anyone ever tried making it more “fallish” by substituting apples for the strawberries and/or spaghetti squash for the pasta?

Great salad!! I used the whole box of pasta-16oz instead of just 8oz the recipe calls for. I had plenty of dressing to coat it all. Wonderful flavors! I’m not a fan on nuts in my salads so I left them out and had some goat cheese I really needed to use up so I crumbled that on top.
This recipe’s a keeper for me!

I love your recipe videos ! My only suggestion would be to list the nutritional value after the recipe.

    Look it up yourself!


This is a delicious salad!!!! It is now a family favorite!

Making this tonight. My husband just came home from the hospital and is low on iron. Thought this would be a tasty way to “sneak” in some spinach as he isn’t a big vegetable lover.

Delicious suas receitas

Is there a salad dressing with close to the same flavors AS this dressing. I’m allergic to poppy seeds.

    If you left out the poppy seeds it would still be super delicious!

Can you double this for a crowd ?
Just by FOllowing the reCipe times two?

    Hi Erin – you can definitely double the recipe by doubling each item in the recipe.

My favorite salad. Love this poppyseed dressing.
Will definitely add some duced cooked chicken to make acrounded meal too.

perfect potluck side dish!

Thinking of buying dressing instead… anyone else do That and Still love it?

    The brand Annie’s organics makes a really good LIght poppyseed dressing.

If making ahead, should i regrigerate the dressing

    Hi JOAnna – Yes, I would recommend refrigerating the dressing if preparing in advance.

Can you list the calories?

Could I substitute avocado oil for the extra virgin olive oil?

    Hi LaWanda – You could definitely substitute avocado oil – you might have a slight change in the flavor of the dressing however. Let me know how it goes!

What’s the calories?

    Hi Michele – My Fitness Pal has a great tool that will calculate the nutritional information.

Where can I find the nutrition information on this recipe? I saw you mention a website, which website?

    It’s about 296 Calories, 5g Protein, 14g Total Fat, 38g Carbs. Hope this helps!

      Thank you.

I can’t wait to try these Awesome recipes!!!

Made this for supp, so so good! I did add slices of red Onio and chicken, the home dress, is to die for!

    Glad that you loved it!

I made the pasta fruit salad but added fresh blueberries instead of dried and chose organic walnuts. I pretty much used organic ingredients except the pineapple. Same forf the dressing, all organic. It was fabulous.

I made the pasta fruit salad but added fresh blueberries instead of dried and chose organic walnuts. I pretty much used organic ingredients except the pineapple. Same for the dressing, all organic. It was fabulous.

Do you have the nutrition facts on this scrumptious looking pasta salad?

    Hi Donna- My Fitness Pal has an awesome tool on their website that you can use to plug in any recipe URL into and get all the nutrition facts. I recommend using that!

Anyone know what the CalOries, fat, etc are for this recipe?

    Hi Laura- My fitness pal has an awesome tool on their website where you can import any recipe online and it will pull up all the nutritional information, for ANY recipe!

Awesome sslad

    Thanks, Kim!

Well i made this tonight for dinner and i dont know what i did wrong but the dressining was not eDible. Luckily , i had not put it on the sald. I remade it with Less apple cider vinegar and it was better but not great so we addEd Italian vinegarette and it was better.

Kristi McClellan Mantay
You’re going to love this site!

Do you think i cou use coc yoGUrt?

    Do you think i could use coconut yogurt? InstEad of GReek yogurt

      It would definitely leave a coconut flavor in the dressing.. which isn’t quite what I was going for with this recipe! Not sure how it would turn out!

        Hi Tina- I just realized what you meant by coconut yogurt- I was thinking you meant coconut flavored yogurt. Sorry! I haven’t used that kind of yogurt for anything but I think it would turn out fine!


Absolutely delicious.
Dressing RECIPE FOR dressing was excellent

    So excited that you loved this recipe! Thanks, Shelley!

Do you happen to have the nutritional breakdown of the recipe?

If possible please email me the strawberry, spinach,pasta salad with orange poppyseed dressing

Hi I was wondering how long the dressing would stay fresh in the fridge

    Hi Mike- it should last a couple days before it will start to separate. It will need to be shaken well before using!

      thank you

En francais s.v.p.

What a great salad for summer! Love your photos

    Thank you so much!! 🙂

Whhere is the nutritional information?

    Hi Elizabeth- My fitness pal has an awesome tool on their website where you can import any recipe online and it will pull up all the nutritional information, for ANY recipe! And, its free!

Love these

Wish i could print your Recipes

    Hi Debra- you can print any of my recipes and its very, very easy. On each recipe there is a little print tab on it. Click that! Hope this helps! 🙂

Love that rec and i will def try it. I also was inInterested on the asparag one!

    I hope that you love it!! 🙂

SuggestioN, tell how many days a recipe might keep in refrig,, also, Refrigerate with or without dressingthen add when serving or shortly before

    Hi Patty- I definitely suggest that you refrigerate without the dressing on. Keep it fresh and put it on right before serving! The dressing will last a couple days in the fridge, you will just need to shake it up really good before using.

Really loved this salad, Tiffany! How long would the dressing last in frig? Becky’s idea to use dressing as a marinade for chicken breasts is brilliant!

    Hi Jill- I am so happy to hear you loved this salad recipe so much! The dressing will last a couple of days in the refrigerator. Just make sure to shake it really well when you go to use it!

Forgot to mention…used only 1/4 cup olive oil and doublEd up on spinach and strawbrries. Going to add mandarin oranges and take to Father’s Day celebration next weekeNd. This is a keeper!

    That sounds awesome! Mandarin oranges would be so delicious in this!

We made this Last weekend. And im prepping it again, foe tomorrow. We loved it so much i believe it will become a Staple for us.

I cant have tRee nuts so we left the nuts out and added them seperately per bowl for those who wanted them whIle i added some sUnFlower keRnels to mine.

I noticed, whIle ChEcking tO make sure i wasnT missing anything for tomorrow’s lUncH, So many people suggested feta cheese. We Added goat cheese crumbles to the second roUnd last weekend and it was superb.

    Hi Denise- I am happy to hear that you all loved this salad so much! It is for sure one of my absolute favorites! Sunflower kernels sounds great on this- nice substitution! I love goat or feta cheese on this- I add cheese every time if I have some on hand!