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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
- 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 Poppyseed 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
- 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.
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!
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