Spinach salad with hot bacon dressing is a hearty salad that's equally wonderful for both weeknights at home or gatherings. This salad combines mushrooms, red onion, and fresh baby spinach with crispy bacon and a hot bacon and shallot vinaigrette that's just perfection!
Spinach salad with hot bacon dressing is a salad I've been making for years.
The vinaigrette includes bacon fat, shallot, and Dijon mustard and is just hot enough to slightly wilt the baby spinach.
I love to serve this warm spinach salad at gatherings because it's such a crowd-pleaser, but it's also great to enjoy during the week alongside some lentil soup and crusty bread.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Slice 12 ounces of white mushrooms and 1 small red onion. Cut a ½ pound of bacon into ½-inch pieces. Mince one large shallot and grate 1 tablespoon of Pecorino Romano.
- In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, cook the bacon for about 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve 5 tablespoons of bacon fat for the dressing.
- Place 12 ounces of baby spinach in a large bowl with the sliced onion and mushrooms.
- In the same pan that was used to cook the bacon on medium-low heat, add the reserved 5 tablespoons of bacon fat, ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil, and the minced shallots, and cook for 3-4 minutes until the shallots are soft.
- Add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons of honey, and the grated Pecorino Romano and whisk together. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, then turn the heat down to low to keep the dressing warm.
- Sprinkle half the bacon and pour half the dressing onto the salad and toss well. Add a bit more dressing if needed, but don't overdress. Serve the remaining dressing on the side and top each plate with the remaining bacon. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Mushrooms. Feel free to use either cremini (baby Bella) or white button mushrooms for this recipe. Either are great!
- Serving. Because this spinach salad calls for hot bacon dressing, it's best when served immediately. If you plan to make it in advance, assemble the salad with mushrooms and onion ahead of time but keep the dressing in a separate container, then warm it up right before dressing and serving the salad.
- Greens. A hearty green like kale would do well with this salad and would hold up nicely to the heat of the dressing. I wouldn't recommend using this with more delicate greens like a mescaline mix as the dressing may wilt them too much.
More awesome salads
Here are a few more of our favorite salad recipes.
- Spinach gorgonzola pasta salad - with a super simple vinaigrette.
- Chicken Caesar salad - pan-seared chicken, homemade croutons, and creamy Caesar dressing.
- Chickpea arugula salad - with lemon and parmesan.
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- ½ pound bacon cut into ½-inch pieces
- 12 ounces baby spinach
- 12 ounces white or cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 small red onion sliced
For the dressing
- 5 tablespoons bacon fat from the cooked bacon above
- 1 large shallot minced
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Pecorino Romano grated
For the salad
- Cook the bacon in a large nonstick pan over medium heat until crisp (about 10 minutes) then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve 5 tablespoons of bacon fat for the dressing.
- Place the spinach, mushrooms, and red onion into a large salad bowl.
For the dressing
- In the same pan as used for the bacon heat the reserved bacon fat and the extra virgin olive oil to medium-low and cook the shallots until soft (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add the mustard, honey, vinegar, and cheese to the pan and whisk together. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat down to low but keep the dressing warm.
- Sprinkle half of the bacon and pour half of the dressing onto the salad and toss well. Add a bit more dressing if needed but don't overdress it. Serve the remaining dressing on the side and top each plate with the remaining bacon. Enjoy!
- If making the dressing in advance, make sure to heat the dressing up right before serving.
- This salad should be eaten right away, but if making it in advance, save the dressing in a separate container and heat it up right before dressing the salad and serving.
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