Warm Spinach Salad Recipe

Looking for a salad that's big in flavor, packed with protein, and looks great there in the serving bowl? Then you're looking in the right place with this tasty and nutritious warm spinach salad. It has loads of protein, thanks to the bacon and eggs, lots of nutrients, thanks to the spinach, and as for flavor, if those three weren't enough, look no further than the blue cheese and the dressing you'll whip up.

Now for the big question, though: with those uniquely blended ingredients, how do you serve this salad? As a meal in a bowl? A side to an entrée? A power snack?

Well, that's really up to you, says chef and recipe developer Christina Musgrave of Tasting with Tina. "It could be either one! It could definitely be a meal if it's split in two," she says, "or a side dish if you make four servings. It's definitely a more filling salad." Want to make a serving for one? Just halve the recipe, of course. And need some extra starch in there to stay feeling fuller longer? "You could add croutons to add carbs," Musgrave tells us.

Any way you serve the salad — as a meal or side and as brunch, lunch, or a part of dinner — you'll be pleased to realize just how easy this dish is to prep. Overall, Musgrave says, "It's pretty straightforward." Now let's get straight to it!

Gather your ingredients

This is one salad that, we're sorry to say, really can't be made vegan-friendly. And frankly, despite all the great veggie bacon substitutes that exist, you really can't make this one properly without the real deal. So carnivores unite! Or omnivores, rather.

Anyway, all told for this salad you'll need some bacon, a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, some Dijon mustard, a half teaspoon each of salt and black pepper, 8 cups of fresh baby spinach, 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half, and about a half cup of blue cheese crumbles.

Cooking the perfect hard-boiled eggs

This recipe calls for hard-boiled eggs, so in case you don't have any on hand, here's a quick primer on how to make the perfectly cooked egg. Most people are making hard-boiled eggs wrong (sorry to say it!). The main mistake? Overcooking, plain and simple. To make perfect hard-boiled eggs, with set but still soft yolks and reliably cooked whites, just follow these basic steps:

Remove the eggs from the fridge 15 or 20 minutes before you will cook them to let them warm a bit.

Bring your water to a boil, and once it is at a full boil, slowly and gently add the eggs with a spoon or tongs — slowly introduce them to the hot water to help ensure they won't split.

Boil the eggs for exactly 10 minutes.

Crash the temperature down with cool running water for at least a full minute and, better yet, an ice water bath.

And that's it — ideal eggs every time, and nice and easy, too!

Cook the bacon, reserving some fat

Now that you have your eggs ready, we can move on to the most fragrant part of the recipe: cooking up that bacon!

First, slice up your bacon strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Then fry the bacon pieces in a large non-stick skillet (or a greased pan) over medium heat, flipping once or twice, until the pieces grow crispy, which takes about 8 minutes. When the bacon is cooked, remove it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat.

Make the dressing for the salad

Next, in a small saucepan, combine those 2 tablespoons bacon fat, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and the half teaspoons of salt and pepper, and put the pan on the stove over low heat. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, and then remove from heat.

"Just make sure you don't cook the dressing too long, it really only needs a minute or two to combine over the heat," Musgrave says. And try to move to the next (and final) step fast so the dressing does not have time to congeal.

Assemble the salad and enjoy

Now combine the 8 cups of spinach, the cooked bacon, the 4 halved hard-boiled eggs, and the half cup of blue cheese crumbles in a large bowl — no need to toss, as that can break up the eggs and ruin the looks here. Just add things evenly. Now pour the bacon dressing over salad and serve it right away.

Musgrave says this salad is "definitely best eaten right away, this does not keep well," but don't worry, you're not going to have any leftovers anyway — not with a bacon-based dressing on this dish!

Warm Spinach Salad Recipe
4.9 from 15 ratings
This delicious salad combines fresh spinach, warm bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and blue cheese, tossed in a bacon-based vinaigrette -- perfect for a main dish!
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
A warm spinach salad served in a bowl
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
Directions
  1. Fry the bacon pieces in a large non-stick skillet until crispy, about 8 minutes.
  2. When the bacon is cooked, remove the pieces to a paper towel to drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the 2 tablespoons of bacon fat, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper over low heat, whisking until combined, then remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cooked bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and blue cheese crumbles.
  5. Pour the warm bacon dressing over salad, and serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 311
Total Fat 26.5 g
Saturated Fat 10.3 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 190.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 1.1 g
Sodium 561.0 mg
Protein 14.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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