Spinach salad is an easy, elegant starter that’s absolutely packed with flavor. Our version of these classic greens includes crumbled bacon and slivered almonds for flavor and crunch. A delicious bacon vinaigrette finishes this mouthwatering salad.
I never thought I’d be one to wax poetic about salad, but here I am.
This classic spinach salad is so good.
Its combo of crisp, tender baby spinach and salty, crunchy bacon with mild, smooth slivered almonds is just the best.
And the dressing. Oh my!
We’re talking about a dressing flavored with bacon drippings.
If that doesn’t make you excited to eat this steakhouse style salad, I don’t know what will.
But honestly, the dressing is amazing. I could eat it right off the spoon.
Not that I would do that, of course….
There are two sets of ingredients you’ll need for this- the dressing and the salad itself.
For the dressing you’ll need:
- Olive oil– Use good extra virgin olive oil here and don’t substitute another kind of oil. Other oils will change the flavor of the dressing.
- Vinegar– Go for white vinegar over any other kind of vinegar. White wine vinegar or champagne vinegar would also be nice in this.
- Spices– Dried tarragon, salt, freshly cracked black pepper and dried mustard powder give this so much flavor.
- Bacon drippings– Don’t skip this!
- Garlic– Use minced or pressed garlic. For best results, don’t substitute it with garlic powder.
For the salad itself, you’ll need:
- Spinach– Use baby spinach here. It is tender and doesn’t have the woody stalk in the center of the leaf that regular spinach has.
- Bacon– Cook it up extra crispy and crumble it.
- Almonds– I prefer slivered almonds but you could also use sliced almonds.
How to Make
You’d never know such an elegant starter is so easy to make, but it is!
To do it, start by adding all the ingredients for the dressing into a blender and blending them together until smooth.
Once the dressing is smooth, put it in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Then add the spinach to a large mixing bowl or large salad bowl.
Remove the dressing from the fridge and whisk it vigorously to recombine it.
Pour it over the spinach.
When you’ve poured the dressing over the spinach, gently toss the spinach with a set of tongs to make sure it is evenly coated.
Finish the salad by adding the bacon and almonds and toss it gently to combine.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
This salad is absolutely delicious as is, but you could absolutely add other ingredients to it to make it suit your tastes.
Here are some of my favorite additions and variations:
- Toast the almonds prior to tossing them in the salad to give them a deeper, nuttier flavor.
- Substitute walnuts or another kind of nut for the almonds.
- Add crumbled blue cheese, sliced red onions and/or green apples.
You could also turn this into an entrée salad and serve with grilled steak, shrimp or salmon.
Can I make this ahead of time?
No, this salad is best put together just prior to serving.
You can cook the bacon ahead and make the dressing a few minutes before though.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure to whisk the dressing well as you pour it to recombine it.
- Don’t pour the dressing on ahead of time, the salad will wilt.
- If you want to get ahead, you could put the dressing together earlier and keep it separate from the greens.
Other Salad Recipes You May Enjoy
This spinach salad tastes just like a classic steakhouse starter salad.
It’s our favorite easy, elegant salad to throw together to start nearly any meal.
Looking for other salad recipes?
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dried Cranberries
- BLT Salad Bowl
- Chicken & Waffles Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
If you’ve tried this SPINACH SALAD or any recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
For The Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
- 2 tbsp bacon drippings
- 2 cloves garlic minced
For The Salad
- 6-8 cups fresh baby spinach washed & dried
- 3/4-1 cup crisp, crumbled bacon
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.
- Cover the dressing, and place it in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- Add the spinach to a large mixing bowl. Whisk the dressing vigorously to mix up to re-combine, and then pour it over the spinach.
- Using a pair of tongs, gently toss until all the spinach is evenly coated in the vinaigrette-style dressing. The salad is ready to serve, and should be served within 5 minutes.
- Just before serving, add the bacon and almonds. Toss gently to combine, and serve.