Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Tested & Perfected Recipes

spinach salad with warm bacon dressing

If there’s one thing that gets everyone in my family circling the kitchen like sharks at dinnertime, asking “Whatcha makin’?” it’s the smell of bacon sizzling on the stovetop. At our house, we love to eat bacon beyond breakfast, and not just in the “breakfast for dinner” sense. This salad combines crispy thick-cut bacon with baby spinach, boiled eggs, mushrooms, and a tangy-sweet warm bacon vinaigrette. Since the dish requires cooking and needs to be prepared right before serving, I usually serve it as a main course, with a store-bought rotisserie chicken or broiled salmon on the side. It’s also wonderful with potato leek soup. To save time, use pre-washed baby spinach, pre-sliced mushrooms (and even pre-cooked boiled eggs, if you like) — and pick up a fresh baguette to round out the meal.

Before making the salad, you’ll need to boil the eggs. I love soft-boiled eggs (for directions, click here), but hard-boiled eggs (for directions, click here) are equally delicious.

how to make spinach salad with warm bacon dressing

Begin by frying the bacon in a nonstick skillet, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. While the bacon cooks, start the dressing: in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

When the bacon is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel–lined plate.

how to make spinach salad with warm bacon dressing

Pour the bacon fat into a heatproof bowl, then return 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat to the skillet. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown.

Add the bacon fat and shallots from the skillet to the vinegar mixture and whisk to combine.

how to make spinach salad with warm bacon dressing

Add the spinach and mushrooms.

Toss to coat evenly, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Divide the salad between 4 plates or bowls; evenly divide the egg and cooked bacon among them. Serve immediately.

spinach salad with warm bacon dressing

My Recipe Videos

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots, from 1 to 2 shallots
  • 2½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Several grinds fresh black pepper
  • 6 oz (about 8 cups) baby spinach
  • 8 oz white button or baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 hard or soft boiled eggs, thinly sliced or cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. Place the bacon in a medium nonstick skillet and fry over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. While the bacon cooks, start the dressing: in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel–lined plate.
  4. Pour the bacon fat into a heatproof bowl, then return 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat to the skillet. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown.
  5. Add the bacon fat and shallots from the skillet to the vinegar mixture and whisk to combine. Add the spinach and mushrooms and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Divide the salad between 4 plates or bowls; evenly divide the egg and cooked bacon among them. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 338
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Sodium: 505 mg
  • Cholesterol: 157 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • This was a big hit with the family. The dijon/honey/cider vinegar was a great combination with the bacon fat. Your recipes are always a success. I enjoy sharing my food photos and your recipes with my daughter who lives in Europe. Great recipes for a new bride. The stepwise instructions paired with your photos maks it easy for her to learn. Thanks again.

    • — Momcat on November 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • ☺️

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2018
      • Reply
  • for the mushrooms, do u cook them? Thanks.

    • — Stephanie on November 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, The mushrooms are not cooked in this recipe. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • Delicious! One of my favorite salads that I had once almost 30 years ago and I have never been able to find another that tasted as good until now and I made it myself! Thank you for the recipe. Now I know I can stop searching. Everyone in the family gave rave reviews and there wasn’t any left.

    • — Monica - VR on November 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • Excellent! This tastes just like my mom used to makes when I was growing up. Hubs even loved this and he’s NOT a veggie/salad lover. He ate every last bite and said this one is a keeper.

    • — Karin on August 15, 2018
    • Reply
  • Spot on proportions and absolutely delish! I add about 1/2 thinly sliced red onion, just personal preference. For dinner, I like to serve with a baked potato, because this Scot is a carb lover! Thanks so much for a simple and yummy recipe!

    • — Jackie on July 26, 2018
    • Reply
  • Excellent salad! I made this a few nights ago for my husband and a house guest who needed a late dinner. This salad is very satisfying all by itself but not too heavy for eating post-8 pm. Served it with slices of home made multigrain bread and everyone went to bed happy!

    • — Ann C on July 26, 2018
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  • Absolutely the BEST Spinach Salad that I have ever made! Jenn, even my husband raved about it – easy and delicious. This is a a keeper.

    • — Anne on April 28, 2018
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  • Awesome! Easy to make!! Will make again

    • — Jen on April 23, 2018
    • Reply
  • This was great. Dressing and proportions are spot on. I did add a little ricotta salata to mine. I am not sure if it was necessary or not but the finished product was great! I added chicken as well. Going to make it into the the dinner rotation for sure.

    • — Beth on April 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    This is one of my favorite salads, and I can’t even count how many times I’ve made it.. I made it two nights ago, served with potato-leek soup. On a whim, I added a small handful of dried cranberries on top for color. Delicious! Try it and tell me what you think!

    • — Cyndi on March 29, 2018
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this a few times and it’s heavenly every time! I cook the mushrooms because we don’t like them raw. I’ve served it with steak and also with a bowl of soup. It’s just delicious and I thank you for another winner. 🙂

    • — Aimee Kaz on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • Slightly sweet, slightly salty and ever so delicious!

    • — Laura Kargov on February 24, 2018
    • Reply
  • This salad is excellent! My entire family and guests loved the dressing!

    • — Peg Hasner on January 25, 2018
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  • My whole family loved this salad!! The dressing was so delicious. I served it with salmon and it was a great meal. A total keeper.

    • — R ALLEGRI on December 4, 2017
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  • This salad reminds me of my dad. He loved spinach and bacon salad with hot dressing made with the bacon drippings. My mom wouldn’t make it often so it was a special occasion dish. This recipe is very close to what my mom made but much better. The mushrooms were a great addition. So many flavors and textures….I love this recipe.

    • — Jo Smith on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • I made the Spinach Salad for my son’s birthday dinner. Not only was it delicious, it was beautiful! The eggs were perfect with it and the dressing was out of this world! Every salad recipe here is the bomb!

    • — Gayle Snyder on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • Can the dressing be made ahead and re-warmed?

    • — Jennifer Ottolini on November 22, 2017
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jennifer, I think that would be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2017
      • Reply
  • Jen, good morning, just to double check… no need to cook mushrooms, correct???

    Thank you
    Elena

    • — Elena on November 7, 2017
    • Reply
    • Correct — hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 7, 2017
      • Reply
  • Another winner. I have made it twice and everyone loved it. Our new favorite spinach salad.

  • I made this for a quick Friday night dinner. Using locally grown spinach from the farm stand down the street, it came together quickly. My husband helped out and cooked the bacon and shallots while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. Delicious – this will go in the family cookbook!

    • — Deb on October 20, 2017
    • Reply
  • Is there a worthy substitute for bacon fat for those of us who don’t eat pork?

    • — Adele on October 19, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Adele, if you plan to use turkey bacon, I’d suggest using vegetable oil in place of the bacon fat. If you plan to omit the bacon completely, I’d honestly suggest a different salad (as the lack of any kind of bacon would make the salad significantly less appealing). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 20, 2017
      • Reply

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