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Spinach Salad With Warm Maple Bacon Dressing

This easy Spinach Salad With Warm Maple Bacon Dressing is a super delicious way to get in some of those good-for-you dark leafy greens. It makes an excellent lunch, light supper, pre-dinner salad, or side dish!

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to a new year and a new decade!

I don’t know about you, but after all of the decadent holiday food, I am really feeling ready to get back to eating more sensibly. For me, this always means eating more veggies – but they have to be delicious veggies – and this classic spinach salad covers all the bases!

We all know spinach is a healthy vegetable, but it sometimes gets such a bad wrap in the taste department – especially among kids – and I’m not sure why. I think it’s really delicious (well, at least now I do)!

Growing up, I always claimed that I hated spinach even though I had never even tried it. Come to think of it, I actually did that with a lot of foods that I now absolutely love. Why do we do that as kids?

Thankfully, my mom always encouraged me to just try everything at least once before I vowed that I would never, ever, in my whole life, eat it. As I got a little older, I stopped being so stubborn and followed her wise advice.

And I am so glad that I did because I would have missed out on a lot of delicious food!

With spinach, I dipped my toes in the water by trying her Spinach Dip In A Bread Bowl and was hooked with the first bite. Then came the true test…spinach salad.

My mom loved a classic spinach salad with sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced red onions, hard-boiled eggs, and a sweet-and-tangy warm bacon dressing that ever-so-slightly wilted the spinach.

Wait. Warm bacon dressing? That’s all I needed to hear to give it a try. I absolutely loved it, and it has been one of my all-time favorite salads ever since!

And let’s face it, folks, the dressing is really the star of the show here, and it’s so simple to make! It’s just my Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette made with warm bacon fat instead of olive oil plus crispy pieces of bacon. Everything is better with bacon!

You might even win over some spinach haters with this one!

large bowl of spinach salad with a small bowl of warm maple bacon dressing on the side

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Red onion
  • Bacon (I use thick-sliced)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Maple syrup
  • Dijon mustard
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Salt and pepper

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE SPINACH SALAD WITH WARM MAPLE BACON DRESSING:

three images showing steps to make spinach salad with warm maple bacon dressing
three images showing steps to make spinach salad with warm maple bacon dressing
three images showing how to make spinach salad with warm maple bacon dressing

TIPS & TIDBITS:

  • I like using baby spinach because it is tender and delicious, you don’t have to remove the stems or chop it, and it usually has been pre-washed (but you should still wash it anyway!). It also has a slightly milder flavor than regular spinach, so it might be a better option for any spinach first-timers or doubters! You can use regular spinach if you prefer. If you use bunches that have not already been pre-washed and cut, be sure to wash them well, as they can have quite a bit of dirt or sand on them, and remove the thick stems.
  • The best way to clean fresh whole mushrooms is to wipe off any dirt with a damp paper towel. A super quick rinse followed immediately by drying them is okay too. Just don’t soak them. They suck up water fast, and you will end up with not-so-pleasant mushrooms. Of course, you could also just use pre-sliced mushrooms!
  • If you are afraid that your red onion will have a strong bite, you can tone it down a bit by soaking the slices in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • I make my hard-boiled eggs in my Instant Pot. It’s so easy! If you don’t have an Instant Pot and need to cook them on the stove, check out my recipe for Cajun Spiced Deviled Eggs, which provides instructions on how to do it.
  • This recipe makes four servings and is best served immediately after adding the dressing. If you aren’t serving four people, only dress the salad that you will be eating right now. Leftover dressed salad won’t hold up well at all and will become really soggy. Store any leftover salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, gently reheat the dressing in a small pot on the stove and dress your salad right before serving.
spinach salad with warm maple bacon dressing on a white plate with a forkful being taken out

You can adjust this salad to suit your tastes by adding more or less mushrooms, red onion or hard-boiled eggs or by adding other yummy stuff like croutons, cheese, or nuts. You could even make it more of a meal by adding in some cooked chicken, steak, or shrimp!

I hope you try this recipe for Spinach Salad With Warm Maple Bacon Dressing and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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spinach salad with warm maple bacon dressing on a white plate with a fork

Spinach Salad With Warm Maple Bacon Dressing

This easy Spinach Salad With Warm Maple Bacon Dressing is a super delicious way to get in some of those good-for-you dark leafy greens. It makes an excellent lunch, light supper, pre-dinner salad, or side dish!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 334

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces baby spinach, washed and well-dried
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Place the spinach, mushrooms, and red onions in a large bowl; set aside.
  • Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp.
  • Turn off the heat and remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • For the dressing, you will need 6 tablespoons of the bacon fat. If there is more than that in the pan, remove the extra fat. I always end up having to remove some of the bacon fat, but if you don't have enough, just add some olive, vegetable, or other oil to make up the difference.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste to the hot bacon fat in the skillet and whisk until well combined.
  • Add the cooked bacon to the skillet and stir to combine. Allow the dressing to cool slightly before serving; you want it warm but not super hot.
  • Pour the warm dressing over the spinach mixture and toss to coat everything evenly with the dressing.
  • Evenly divide the salad between 4 plates and top each with 3 wedges of hard-boiled egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • You can use regular spinach, if you prefer, instead of baby spinach. If you use bunches that have not already been pre-washed and cut, be sure to wash them well, as they can have quite a bit of dirt or sand on them, and remove the thick stems.
  • If you are afraid that your red onion will have a strong bite, you can tone it down a bit by soaking the slices in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If you aren’t serving four people, only dress the salad that you will be eating right now. Leftover dressed salad won’t hold up well at all and will become really soggy. Store any leftover salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, gently reheat the dressing in a small pot on the stove and dress your salad right before serving
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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Recipe Rating




Stephen Tranter

Wednesday 15th of March 2023

We loved the recipe! The maple syrup added a wonderful layer of sweet and helped ‘bulk’ up the dressing, so it all stayed put on the spinach. Way better than plain sugar. I don’t love basaltic vinegar but my wife does, so I used half white and half basalmic. Thank you!

Michelle

Wednesday 15th of March 2023

Thank you, Stephen! So glad you both enjoyed it!