Spring is peak strawberry season, which is the best time to enjoy these bright red berries while they’re ripe, ready, and bursting with flavor. While strawberries are always a stand-out star when it comes to desserts (like vegan ice cream), these versatile berries are also one of the best fruits to pair with a more savory fare. No matter what you toss strawberries into — a salad, a crumble, or even a sandwich — they bring their sweet, fruity juice that plays perfectly with salty, nutty, peppery, and other intensely savory flavors.
Here are 11 ways to get the most out of strawberry season with both sweet and savory spring recipes.
Strawberry Basil Chicken
Courtesy of Wholesomelicious
Wholesomelicious‘s Strawberry Basil Chicken is a flavor-packed dish with delicious ingredients you may have never thought to mix. In this sweeter twist on chicken bruschetta, marinated grilled chicken is topped with fresh basil, tangy balsamic, sautéed garlic, and strawberries in place of the typical tomatoes. This dish is big on taste and short on time, going from the kitchen to the grill and your plate in less than 20 minutes.
- 3-4 large chicken breasts
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- Begin by heating a large skillet to medium heat.
- Prepare your chicken breasts: You may need to pound the breasts to make them a bit thinner, mine were approximately 1 inch. While the skillet is heating up, marinate the chicken with garlic and balsamic vinegar.
- Add oil to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side (until golden brown, but cooked through). Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Toss together strawberries and basil. Top each chicken breast with strawberry mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Add additional balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze if desired. Serve immediately.
Courtesy of Real House Moms
A Monte Cristo is a sweet, savory, ham and cheese sandwich that puts all other grilled cheese to shame. This recipe from Real House Moms takes two thick slices of bread and covers them with mustard and a generous helping of strawberry preserves, then stacks them with layers of fried ham and Emmental, gruyere, or swiss cheese. The whole sandwich is then either, dipped in batter and deep-fried, grilled, or more commonly, dipped in an egg mixture and pan-fried and dusted with sugar for a crispy, melty, berry-filled grilled cheese that is beyond your wildest dreams.
- 4 slices of white bread
- 3 tablespoon strawberry preserves
- 2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 6 ounce grated Emmental cheese, or gruyere or swiss cheese (or 6 slices)
- 4 slices of ham or 6 – 8 thinly sliced deli ham
- 1 tablespoon butter salted or unsalted
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoon milk
- Generous pinch of salt
- Extra preserves to serve
- Confectioner’s sugar to serve
- Maple syrup to serve
- Place the slices of bread on a cutting board.
- On two of the slices, spread a thin layer of mustard, followed by the strawberry preserves.
- Place two slices of cheese on top of the strawberry preserves, on each of the bread slices. Divide the ham between the two slices of bread. Place another slice of cheese on top of the ham.
- Spread butter on the remaining slices of bread, and place each one on top of the sandwich. Gently press down on each sandwich to flatten it slightly.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat with a little oil or butter.
- While the pan is heating, whisk the two eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt in a flat container.
- When the pan has heated, place a sandwich in the egg mixture for about 5 seconds on each side. Carefully place the egg-coated sandwich in the pan. Cook each side for about 4 – 5 minutes until golden brown, and the cheese has melted.
- If the sandwiches turn brown before the cheese melts, don’t worry! Preheat the oven to 300°F, and place the sandwiches on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Toast the sandwiches in the oven for about 5 – 10 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Once the sandwiches are ready to serve, place each sandwich on a plate and cut them in half using a serrated knife. Dust the tops with confectioner’s sugar and serve with extra preserves and maple syrup.
Sparkling Strawberry Limeade
Courtesy of All The Healthy Things
Stay hydrated in style with this refreshing sparkling strawberry limeade from All The Healthy Things. Made with fresh strawberries, lime juice, and sweetened with just the right touch of honey, it’s an easy and delicious all-natural summer spritz that’s great as it is but also makes a pretty sweet sparkling cocktail.
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pound strawberries
- 3/4 cup lime juice
- 4–6 cups lime sparkling water
- Add the honey and water to a small pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the honey is completely dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool.
- Add the strawberries and lime juice to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the strawberry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds.
- Add the honey simple syrup to the strawberry lime mixture and stir until well combined. Chill the mixture for two to three hours until cold.
- Once the strawberry/lime mixture is chilled, pour one-fourth to half a cup of the strawberry lime mixture into the bottom of a glass. Add ice and then top off with lime sparkling water. Add a few chopped strawberries and extra lime slices if you like. Stir and enjoy!
Strawberry BBQ Chicken Skewers
Courtesy of A Dash of Dolly
Spicy, tangy, and sweet these Strawberry BBQ Chicken Skewers from A Dash of Dolly are a bite of summer on a stick. In this recipe, juicy chicken is marinated in a mix of bbq sauce and strawberry preserves to create smoky-sweet kebabs with an optional jalapeno kick.
- 1 cup Noble Made Classic BBQ Sauce or Any BBQ Sauce
- ½ cup strawberry preserve
- ¼ cup sliced jalapeños
- ½ tablespoon jalapeño brine
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- avocado oil
- wooden skewers
- Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes and set aside until ready to use.
- In a food processor or blender, add in Noble Made Classic BBQ Sauce, strawberry preserve, jalapeño slices, and jalapeño brine. Blend until the jalapeños slices are well blended.
- Add strawberry BBQ sauce to a small saucepan and gently simmer for about 10 minutes. Separate ½ cup of strawberry BBQ sauce.
- Cube chicken into bite-size pieces. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and ¼ cup of strawberry BBQ. Thread 4-5 pieces of chicken onto the wooden skewer. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat a nonstick skillet (or you can grill) over medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of avocado oil.
- Add the chicken skewers to the skillet and lightly baste the chicken skewers using the 1/2 cup of strawberry BBQ sauce you separated.
- Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes, flip, baste, cook for another 2-3 minutes, and then flip one more time and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with any leftover strawberry BBQ sauce.
Strawberry Energy Balls
Courtesy of Nom Nom Paleo
These healthy and satisfying strawberry energy balls by Nom Nom Paleo are packed with fruit, nuts, and healthy fats for a feel-good, easy-to-make grab-and-go snack. While these energy bites use sweet strawberries and prunes, you can freestyle the recipe to include any fruits or nuts that you choose.
- 4 pitted prunes or pitted Medjool dates
- 1 cup toasted walnuts or toasted almonds
- ½ cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ½ cup diced fresh strawberries or your favorite berry
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pulse the prunes in a food processor until they form a uniform paste.
- Add the nuts to the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.
- Pour the melted coconut oil through the top chute of the food processor while the blade is running. Turn off the food processor as soon as the oil is incorporated.
- Scoop the mixture into a large bowl and add the strawberries. Gently mix everything until uniform.
- Form the dough into 12 even portions and roll them in your palms until they resemble uniform balls. The balls will be sticky and soft at this point.
- Roll the balls in the shredded coconut until coated all over.
- Chill in the fridge until solidified. You can keep them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Strawberry-Blue Cheese Steak Salad
Courtesy of Taste of Home
Steak and strawberries take center stage in this loaded dinner salad from Taste of Home. It loaded with fresh strawberries, walnuts, blue cheese, and leafy greens, topped with seared steak, and drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet plus by adding the steak on top of the salad instead of on the side, it saves you a plate.
- 1 beef top sirloin steak (3/4 inch thick and 1 pound)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 bunch romaine, torn (about 10 cups)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- Reduced-fat balsamic vinaigrette
- Season steak with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add steak; cook 5-7 minutes on each side until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; medium-well, 145°).
- Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak into bite-sized strips; toss with lime juice.
- On a platter, combine romaine, strawberries, and onion; top with steak. Sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Serve with vinaigrette.
Turkey Fajitas with Strawberry-Jalapeño Salsa
Courtesy of Food and Wine
Turkey Fajitas with Strawberry-Jalapeño Salsa take taco night to a whole new level. This recipe from Food and Wine uses juicy, flavorful turkey breasts and a sweet and spicy strawberry salsa instead of the usual chicken and tomato type. The combo works in tacos and bowls or served with colorful peppers, onions, and warm tortillas, and make sure to save some strawberry jalapeno salsa to dip with your chips.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- One 3 1/2-pound skinless, boneless turkey breast, butterflied to a 1-inch thickness
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced on a mandoline slicer
- 2 small jalapeños, very thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1-quart strawberries, thinly sliced
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large bunch of cilantro, separated into small sprigs
- Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil, ancho chile powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper until it forms a smooth paste. Rub the spice paste all over the turkey breast. Season the turkey breast with salt.
- In a medium bowl, toss the sliced onion and jalapeños with the sherry vinegar. Add a pinch of salt to the salsa and let stand, tossing a few times, for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grill the turkey breast over a medium-hot fire until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the turkey to a carving board.
- Stir the honey into the salsa until dissolved. Then fold in the strawberries and season with salt.
- Heat the corn tortillas on the grill until they are warm, about 5 seconds per side. Transfer the tortillas to a cloth-lined basket and cover to keep warm. Thinly slice the turkey breast and transfer to a platter; serve with the tortillas, salsa, red bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro sprigs.
5 Ingredient Strawberry Crumble
Courtesy of Jessica in the Kitchen
Some days you need a dessert that’s sweet, fast, and can be made with a handful of ingredients you probably already have. Jessica in the Kitchen‘s Strawberry Crumble is just fresh, juicy strawberries baked with a sugary oat crumb topping that’s ready in 30 minutes for an easy and vegan treat that’s healthy, simple, and delicious.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar divided
- 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour divided
- 1 1/2 pounds strawberries chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup oats
- 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons flour, and the sea salt. Add the strawberries and toss to coat. Allow sitting for 10 minutes to bring out the flavor of the strawberries and to thicken their juices.
- In another bowl, mix the oats, remaining 1/2 cup flour, and 1 tablespoon bite-size the sugar. Add the melted butter bit by bit until a loose crumble forms. Don’t over-mix it.
- Divide the strawberry mixture evenly between two ramekins. Top with the oat mixture, dividing the topping equally between the two ramekins.
- Place the ramekins on a half sheet pan to catch any juices that bubble out of the ramekin. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow cooling for 10 minutes before serving.
Strawberry Margarita Popsicles
Courtesy of Just a Taste
These Strawberry Margarita popsicles from Just a Taste are like a frosty and fruit-filled cocktail on a stick. With just four ingredients, fresh strawberries, tequila, agave, and lime these boozecsicles are the perfect way to beat the summer heat while you have your drink and eat it too.
- 1 1/4 pounds strawberries, stems removed
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon silver tequila
- 2 Tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Blend the strawberries in a blender until they are puréed.
- Pour the strawberries into a large liquid measuring cup or bowl with a spout then stir in the tequila, agave nectar, and lime juice.
- Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds, insert the popsicle sticks and freeze the popsicles until they are frozen solid.
- To unmold the popsicles, run them under lukewarm water for 10 seconds then slide them from the molds.
Strawberry Protein Pancakes
Courtesy of My Dominican Kitchen
These light and fluffy Strawberry Pancakes from My Dominican Kitchen are almost too good to be breakfast. Packed with protein powder, eggs, soy milk, vanilla, and fresh strawberries then smothered with a delicious homemade strawberry sauce they are a delicious and nutritious stack to start your day with.
- 1 cup pancake mix
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/2 fresh strawberries, cubed, plus more for topping
- 2-3 teaspoons butter, for cooking
For the Strawberry Sauce
- 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the strawberry sauce:
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil, bring the heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thick and strawberries break down completely.
- Strain the mixture and reserve tightly sealed in the fridge.
- In a large bowl, combine pancake mix, protein powder, egg, vanilla, and soy milk. Fold in fresh strawberries into the pancake mix.
- Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Once the pan becomes hot, grease with 1 teaspoon of butter. Add ¼ cup of the pancake mixture at a time. Let cook until the top of the pancake begins to create bubbles and the edges have set. Carefully, flip the pancake using a spatula. Let cook for about 1-2 minutes or until both sides are golden brown. Repeat steps with the remaining pancake batter.
- Serve warm with strawberry sauce.
Read more: Best Brunch Recipes
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing
Courtesy of Well Plated
Whether you need a healthy lunch or a hearty dinner this strawberry spinach salad from Well Plated works great. Sweet berries, toasted pecans, creamy feta, and a lovely honey balsamic poppy seed dressing make for a decadent and filling dish even if salad isn’t your typical first pick. Feel free to adjust the recipe to fit with your preferred greens or nuts, or cheese.
For the Strawberry Spinach Salad:
- 3/4 cup raw pecans
- 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach I also love a 50/50 arugula and spinach blend
- 1 quart strawberries hulled and quartered (about 1 pound)
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese buy the block-style feta, not pre-crumbled; the texture is much better
For the Poppyseed Dressing:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the pecans smell fragrant and the center of the pecan is tan when the pecan is broken in half. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
- Place the sliced onions in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Prepare the dressing: In a small mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients—vinegar, oil, poppy seeds, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper—until well combined. (Alternatively, you can shake the ingredients together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid).
- Assemble the salad: Place the spinach in a great big serving bowl. Add the strawberries. Drain the red onion and add it as well. Drizzle about half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the leaves. Assess the amount of dressing. You want the spinach leaves to be nicely moistened but not swimming in dressing. Add a little more if needed to suit your preferences. Add the feta and pecans. Toss lightly to combine.
- Serve immediately, with extra dressing on the side as desired.
- 28 Essential Kitchen Tools and Appliances to Buy in 2021
- How To Make a Rich and Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- How to Make Cioppino, the Italian-American Seafood Stew
- Breaking Down Milk Punch, a Creamy and Increasingly Clarified Classic
- How To Make Fresh Homemade Tomato Sauce and ‘Small Sauces’ for Your Dishes