With fresh, ripe raspberries, this delicious and refreshing raspberry salad is a little sweet and tangy -- in addition to crunchy and creamy, thanks to the pecans and goat cheese. Plus, this low-carb and keto raspberry salad is only 3 net carbs per serving and a perfect side salad!
Although it's incredibly quick and simple to make, you wouldn't guess it since the raspberry salad is so beautiful in presentation. It's a perfect salad for for any type of gathering -- formal or casual. But, it's also great to serve alongside a simple lunch or dinner at home.
It's such a versatile salad, too. You can customize most of the ingredients to your preferences. Instead of pecans, you could use walnuts (more traditional for this salad). Or, you could replace the goat cheese with feta cheese -- or skip cheese altogether. There are so many ways to make this salad your own.
A Little Background on the Salad...
There are many variations of raspberry salad out there, but it seems that the most common one calls for spinach as a base and walnuts as the nut. Unfortunately, we don't know much about the history of raspberry salad, or else we'd share some of that with you.
Our recipe is an adaption of my mom's recipe, which she got the from the Byerly's cookbook a while back (early 90s). Byerly's, now known as Lunds & Byerly's, is a specialty grocer in the Minneapolis area, which also opened a few local restaurants. The Byerly's recipe, called Spinach and Boston Lettuce Salad, calls for a mix of spinach and Boston lettuce. In addition, it uses toasted walnuts and doesn't include any cheese. A highlight of the Byerly's recipe is their raspberry salad dressing, which is made with raspberry vinegar, walnut oil, a little sugar, and salt and pepper.
Our adapted recipe is different than the Byerly's recipe since we prefer pecans over walnuts (but you can use whatever you prefer!), and we love cheese in our salads -- and goat cheese works really well in this recipe. We like using a mix of spinach and another type of lettuce. So, we chose one that is sold at most stores and is one of our favorites -- 50/50 baby spinach and spring mix.
Although we love the Byerly's raspberry dressing, we did make several changes to it. Since we could not find any raspberry vinegar at local grocers, we replaced it with raspberry red wine vinegar. Obviously, red wine vinegar is different from raspberry vinegar, but it still works well (in our opinion anyway). Additionally, we replaced the walnut oil with extra-virgin olive oil since that is all we had around the house, but you could also consider avocado oil, pecan oil, or another neutral oil. We also skipped the sugar in the dressing -- but if you prefer your dressing a little sweet, you could easily sweeten with some sugar-free sweetener.
This simple raspberry salad is made with just 7 ingredients!
- 50/50 blend of baby spinach and spring mix - This 50/50 mix is available at most grocers. This is one of our favorite salad mixes and it works well in this salad. If you prefer, you could use all spinach or another lettuce of your choice. Or, you could do as the Byerly's recipe, and use a mix of spinach and Boston lettuce.
- Fresh, organic raspberries - It's important to buy organic raspberries since they're part of the "dirty dozen," which are some of the most pesticide-contaminated foods.
- Roasted, salted pecan halves - We love using pecans in this recipe since they're a little sweeter than walnuts. But, walnuts are just as good! I've seen other people use sunflower seeds, almonds and even pine nuts in raspberry salads. As long as the nuts are toasted and salted!
- Crumbled goat cheese - We love goat cheese in the salad, and it's easiest to use crumbled goat cheese. As mentioned earlier, you could use feta instead of goat cheese or no cheese at all.
- Raspberry vinegar or raspberry red wine vinegar - Most salad dressings use one part vinegar or acid and three parts oil. We love the taste of raspberry vinegar or raspberry red wine vinegar in this salad. But, if you can't get or prefer not to use, you could substitute red wine vinegar or even lemon juice.
- Extra-virgin olive oil - It's ideal to use a neutral oil in the dressing. We use extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil since that is all we have around the house. But, if you're adding nuts to your raspberry salad, you could use a similar nut oil like pecan oil or walnut oil (like the Byerly's recipe) for the dressing.
- Salt and pepper - Just a little salt and pepper are used to season the salad dressing!
How to Make
You'll start by making the salad dressing. In a small bowl, you'll mix one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or other oil of preference), and a heaping teaspoon of raspberry vinegar (or raspberry red wine vinegar or simple red wine vinegar if need be). Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
In a large serving bowl, you'll add 3 ounces of the baby spinach and spring mix. Then, toss the salad with dressing until leaves are well coated.
After, you'll finish the salad by topping the salad with the raspberries, pecans and crumbled cheese.
Now, is that not easy or what?! From start to finish, the salad takes only 5 to 10 minutes to make!
Other Low-Carb and Keto Salads
Check out our other delicious low-carb and keto salad recipes!
- Simple, Roasted Asparagus Salad: This simple asparagus salad, made with with roasted asparagus, grape tomatoes, red onions, vinaigrette and freshly grated parmesan, is such a tasty low-carb and keto side dish and perfect for celebrating spring or summer!
- Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing: Sweet, ripe strawberries take center stage in this salad, but the creamy, sweet yet tangy poppy seed dressing is absolutely delicious!
- Thai Cucumber Salad: This low-carb and keto Thai cucumber salad, known as ajad, is a quick-pickled relish that is deliciously spicy, tangy, sweet, and crunchy.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or other neutral oil like avocado oil or even a nut oil)
- 1 heaping teaspoon raspberry vinegar or raspberry red wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar or even lemon juice)
- Salt and pepper to season
- 3 ounces 50/50 baby spinach and spring mix blend (or other preferred lettuce)
- ⅓ cup (2 ounces) organic raspberries, rinsed and dried
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ cup whole pecans, salted and roasted
- Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, mix one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or other oil of preference), and a heaping teaspoon of raspberry vinegar (or raspberry red wine vinegar or simple red wine vinegar if need be). Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine.
- Finish the salad: In a large serving bowl, toss the 50/50 baby spinach and spring mix with the salad dressing until leaves are well coated. Top the salad with the raspberries, pecans and crumbled cheese. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving Calories 297.0Total Fat 28.3gSaturated Fat 4.8gCholesterol 12.5mgSodium 60.7mgCarbohydrates 7.5gNet Carbohydrates 3.2gFiber 4.2gSugar 2.0gProtein 5.5g