I almost feel like a cheater calling this beautiful berry salad a “recipe” because it’s just so darn simple and not all that creative, if I’m honest. That said, it’s wildly flavorful and boasts a heart-healthy serving of some of my favorite fruits. That counts for something, so here we are: meet the Basil Berry Salad!
There are thousands of ways to pull together a flavorful and healthy salad recipe. It’s one of the many reasons I love salads. There’s an opportunity to get creative with relatively low chances of creating a complete failure of a meal. I’ve been eating variations of this salad for years but there’s something about this particular combination of berries, basil and pistachios that continues to draw me in.
Here are a few reasons I think you’ll love this low-calorie salad recipe as much as I do:
- No cooking required.
- Comes together in 10 minutes or less.
- Easy peasy for us busy folk.
- Literally bursting with flavor.
- Perfect meal prep recipe.
- Nutrient-dense and full of heart-healthy fiber.
That last point is the most important for our family. If you’re looking for healthy recipes your family will feel good about eating, this salad is one you’ll want to add to the weekly recipe rotation, especially during warmer months.
Health Benefits of Berries
Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system, add fiber to your diet or shed some weight for the summer, this berry salad recipe is a healthful choice as you work toward your goals. According to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat. The many health benefits of berries include:
- Immune support
- Cancer-fighting antioxidants
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Reduced blood pressure
- And even a boost in brain function
My Purple Goddess Power Bowl recipe discusses the benefits of anthocyanins found in foods that are violet-blue or purple in color. Berries are among this group of purple fruits and vegetables that have the potential to give our bodies a major boost. Evidence also suggests that anthocyanins can help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and regulating blood sugar levels.
A phrase I use often is “eat the rainbow.” It’s something I learned more than a decade ago while earning a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University’s executive education program in conjunction with the T. Colin Campbell Foundation for Nutritional Studies. It was a transformative experience that changed the way I think about food. What’s more, it’s a reminder that the most delicious meals are often the most simple – like this plant-forward salad recipe.
Basil Berry Salad Recipe Ingredients
This plant-based salad is a nutritious and fiber-filled lunch or dinner option when you’re looking for something on the lighter side. It’s perfect for warm summer days when turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this gluten-free berry salad recipe.
- Mixed greens
- Fresh basil leaves
- Fresh blueberries
- Fresh blackberries
- Fresh raspberries
- Unsalted pistachios
- Gorgonzola or crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Basil Berry Salad: Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a gluten-free recipe?
Yes, this recipe leans on plant-forward whole foods that are naturally gluten free.
Can I make this a vegan salad?
Absolutely! This Basil Berry Salad is easily modified to make a whole foods, plant-based vegan salad recipe. Simply eliminate the cheese (feel free to use a vegan alternative).
What proteins pair well with this salad recipe?
Bulk up this salad with plant-based proteins like cannellini beans, great northern beans or chickpeas. The flavor profile of this salad also lends itself to salmon, shrimp, scallops or the white fish of your choice.
Is this a low-sodium recipe?
This recipe is naturally low in sodium with no added salt. Cheese does contain salt and most vegetables have trace amounts of sodium but, again, we have intentionally made this recipe without added salt.
Can I make this salad in advance?
Delicate salads are always best made fresh in terms of appearance, but you won’t compromise on quality or taste if you prepare the salad up to 24 hours in advance and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve it. If you’re using the crumbled cheese, I would wait to add it to the salad until you’re ready to serve.
What kind of salad dressing should I use?
I love this salad for its versatility. It’s perfect with a splash of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, or you can use your favorite vinaigrette. It’s a fruit-forward salad, so sweeter dressings like raspberry or fruit-based vinaigrettes are delightful.
- 4 ounces mixed greens
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 3/4 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- Divide the ingredients between two bowls, top with 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette, serve and enjoy!
- This salad is perfect with a splash of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, or you can use your favorite vinaigrette. Sweeter dressings like raspberry vinaigrette are also delightful.
- Prep Time: 10 mins.
- Cook Time: 0 mins.
- Category: Salads
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: berry salad recipe, healthy salad recipe, heart-healthy recipe, plant-forward recipe