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 |

5.0 from 4 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

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

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!

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

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?

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

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!

perfect potluck side dish!