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 Fresh strawberries, basil, baby bocconcini tossed with quinoa and a spicy and sweet balsamic vinaigrette.

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

I have scheduled a couple of posts while I am on holiday with my family this week.  I apologize if I am not as quick in answering questions/comments.

It’s July and that means it’s actual summer!  Not I’m-going-to-get-your-hopes-up-by-giving-you-one-good-day-and-5-rainy-days-June.  Buh-bye, June, see ya next year!

We have had some gorgeous weather lately.  There has been a lot of picnic blanket basking.  When I say basking, I mean wiggling toys in front of a baby’s face, changing them every 20 seconds or so to keep him entertained.  But still…better outside than inside right?  Everything feels more fun outside these days!

Actually it has been really fun watching Kai take everything in…he is fascinated by the wind blowing the leaves, the {completely obnoxious} magpies, and the neighbor’s lawnmower.  He has suddenly become so much more aware of his surroundings!  Less toy wiggling for me…win!

Well all of this picnic basking/nature watching means less time in the kitchen slaving over a meal.  So here’s another easy summer recipe that takes barely any time at all!

 Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

I loooove caprese salad…tomato + basil + mozzarella = pure happiness for me.  Mostly for it’s simplicity, but also for the high ratio of cheese:vegetables.  When else do we get to eat so much cheese and still call it salad?

I don’t know where I found out that strawberry caprese salad is a thing.  Probably Pinterest.  I blame Pinterest for most of my weird ideas.

But guess what…I like this salad more than the original caprese salad!  Sorry tomatoes, but move aside…the strawberries are in town.

Then I added some quinoa because I love any old excuse to use quinoa.  It bulks up the salad and gives it a little more substance.  And it brings that extra healthy factor…to balance out the cheese.  Quinoa cancels out all cheese calories, right?

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

The salad is tossed in a baslamic vinagirette sweetened with a touch of honey.  I added some cayenne to give it a kick, which was pretty nice with the rest of the salad components: the spiciness is balanced out by the cool bocconcini and basil, and the sweet strawberries.  If you aren’t a fan of spice or are serving this for your kiddos, leave out the cayenne, it is still a fantabulous salad!

Really, the only effort you have to put forth is to cook up some quinoa in advance.  My favorite way to cook my quinoa is in my rice cooker {side note- my rice cooker is probably the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen!}  You just have to rinse it, dump it in the rice cooker with water, and cook as you would normally cook rice.  Perfect quinoa, every time!

So there you have it: sweet and cool strawberry quinoa caprese salad tossed in a {spicy-if-you-want-it-to-be} balsamic vinaigrette.  Extra easy so you can spend more time picnic-blanket-basking!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A refreshing summer salad that comes together in minutes and has strawberries, basil, bocconcini and quinoa tossed in a spicy balsamic vinaigrette.
Serves: 2-3
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup packed basil leaves {chopped coarsely}
  • ½ cup baby bocconcini, sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • ¼-1/2 tsp cayenne {taste and decide what you like}
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp Dijon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Mix cooled quinoa, strawberries, basil and bocconcini in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and toss into the salad.
  4. Serve immediately.

 Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad | sweetpeasandsaffron.com @sweetpeasaffron

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{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Jess @ whatjessicabakednext July 9, 2014, 10:45 am

    This salad is summer on plate! Love the mix of flavours- I’ve only recently started to put strawberries in salads, but they taste so good!

    • Denise July 12, 2014, 2:47 am

      Strawberries in salads are so good! I’m slightly addicted 😉

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice July 9, 2014, 1:51 pm

    You just took caprese salad to a whole new level, Denise! I love this recipe! I’m always looking for new ways to use quinoa, so I love how you incorporated it in this salad. And the spicy balsamic dressing sounds so delicious!

    • Denise July 12, 2014, 2:50 am

      Thanks, Gayle! I love quinoa, too, and love putting it in whatever I can. Kind of like avocados…and strawberries…I guess I’m just obsessive about certain ingredients :)

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) July 9, 2014, 2:21 pm

    This looks so lovely. Those strawberries make this dish amazing!

    • Denise July 12, 2014, 2:50 am

      Thanks, Jocelyn, I am totally addicted to strawberries these days!

  • Natalie @ Tastes Lovely July 9, 2014, 2:52 pm

    This quinoa salad sounds a-ma-zing! I love the idea of strawberries instead of tomato for the caprese salad. I bet the flavor of sweet and creamy is mighty tasty.

    Hope you have a great vacation with your family!

    • Denise July 12, 2014, 2:52 am

      Thanks Natalie! Strawberries are a surprisingly great substitute for tomatoes in this salad, who’d have thought? As for the holiday, I think I’m going to need a holiday to recover from my holiday…ha!

  • Leah | So, How's It Taste? July 9, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Oh what I wouldn’t give to be eating this for lunch today! Love love love everything about it. Bookmarking this!

  • Kathy @ Olives & Garlic July 9, 2014, 11:50 pm

    WOW Denise!!! This is gorgeous.

  • Alessandra // the foodie teen July 10, 2014, 11:15 am

    I absolutely adore adding berries to everything, so I’m sure I’d love this! That vinaigrette sounds lovely too.

    • Denise July 12, 2014, 2:54 am

      Berries make everything better, don’t they Alessandra?

  • Annie @Maebells July 10, 2014, 4:08 pm

    What a creative spin on a caprese salad! I love the addition of strawberries! I want it, like right now!

  • Cailee July 10, 2014, 5:15 pm

    YUM!! This looks amazing! Love your photography and dish!! So beautifully healthy! LOVE it! :)

    • Denise July 12, 2014, 2:55 am

      Thanks, Cailee! I just love salad, thank goodness, because I clearly also live sweets 😉

  • Katie July 10, 2014, 10:55 pm

    This quinoa caprese salad looks so perfect for a light summer salad. I like the strawberry and basil combo, I’ll have to try to mix those two ingredients since I love them both. Great recipe!

    • Denise July 12, 2014, 2:57 am

      Strawberries and basil are one of those weirdly delicious flavor combos…I am just loving it this summer!

  • Arpita@ TheGastronomicBong July 11, 2014, 12:15 pm

    The salad looks lovely and delicious… So light and healthy and refreshing.. Perfect for Summer.. :)

  • Consuelo - Honey & Figs July 13, 2014, 2:58 pm

    This looks and sounds like the most delicious light summer dish! Anything with quinoa and strawberries is a winner on my book! Enjoy your holiday! :)

  • Sarah | Drool-Worthy July 21, 2014, 9:51 pm


  • chelon September 4, 2014, 2:48 pm

    this looks so delicious, do you have the nutritional information for it?

    • Denise September 5, 2014, 8:03 pm

      Hi Chelon! I just put the ingredients into My Fitness Pal and got 817 calories total (and 65g carbs, 52g fat, 18g protein). So depending on how you split the salad, you would have 408 for 2 servings, or 272 for 3. Hope this helps!

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