This hearty spinach salad is topped with crispy bacon, thinly sliced mushrooms and hard boiled eggs and dressed with a warm and tangy bacon vinaigrette. It’s the perfect main course salad for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
This post was originally published in June 2020 and updated September 2022 with new photos and revised recipe and notes.
There’s nothing I love more than a good meal salad and this spinach salad does not disappoint. Spinach might be my favorite vegetable, but there’s nothing more disappointing than cooking an entire clamshell container of spinach to end up with barely a serving of sautéed spinach when it wilts down. This spinach bacon salad solves this first-world problem.
Tender baby spinach leaves and sliced mushrooms are tossed in a warm bacon dressing, gently softening them, and then the salad is topped with crispy, salty bacon bits, and sliced hard boiled eggs. It’s a seriously delicious meal of bacon and eggs that’s perfect for any time of day. Plus, you’re packing in a healthy dose of vegetables. It’s a win win!
This filling salad is perfect as a main dish, but it also makes a great side dish for your favorite soup, a good steak, simple salmon or a rotisserie chicken.
Why you will love this recipe
- It’s high protein and has tons of veggies for a healthy, balanced meal.
- It’s perfect for any meal of the day – breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!
- It’s simple to make and really packs in the flavor and texture.
- Because – BACON!
This salad is really simple to put together. The warm bacon vinaigrette really takes it over the top!
- Spinach – fresh spinach only. I recommend going with pre-washed baby spinach leaves in a bag or clamshell container. This way, you also don’t have to worry about taking the time to remove the tough stems from the more mature spinach bundles in the loose produce bins.
- Mushrooms – stick with white mushrooms here. They are the best option for eating raw in salads. You could save a step and buy pre-sliced mushrooms, but I prefer to do it myself to get them as thin as possible.
- Shallot – If you don’t have fresh shallots, you can substitute with a bit of red onion.
- Red wine vinegar – the acidity balances out the bacon fat in the dressing.
- Dijon mustard – adds a nice tang.
- Honey – for a touch of sweetness.
- Olive oil – a little bit of olive oil and bacon grease together makes the dressing so good!
- Black pepper
Make hard boiled eggs
Start by boiling the eggs. To make perfectly boiled eggs, I place them in a sauce pan and cover them completely with water. Next, bring them to a rolling boil then turn on the heat and let them sit for 10-12 minutes. Immediately transfer them to an ice water bath to cool them down and stop the cooking. To get a cleanly peeled egg, tab the bottom of the egg against the counter and peel from there. There’s a little air bubble at the bottom of hard boiled eggs that when released, helps the shells come off easily!
Hard boiled eggs keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week so I always have a few on hand for quick and easy snacks and meals.
Prep vegetables and make dressing
Next, gently wipe any dirt from the mushrooms with a wet paper towels and cut them into thin slices. Set mushrooms aside and finely mince the shallot.
Place a large skillet (preferably cast iron) on the stove but don’t turn on the heat just yet. Add the bacon strips and then turn it on to medium heat. As the pan gradually heats up, it will slowly render the fat from the bacon and make it super crispy and evenly cooked. Cold start bacon is one of my favorite tricks to cook it perfectly every time! Turn the bacon over occasionally and cook until its brown and crispy. This takes about ten minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
Turn the heat down on the remaining bacon grease and add the minced shallots to the pan. Cook them over low heat for about 2 minutes until they’re softened and translucent.
Use a big spoon to remove the shallots and about half of the hot bacon grease from the pan and add it to a medium bowl. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk it together.
Add the spinach leaves and thinly sliced mushrooms to a large bowl. Pour about ⅓ of the warm bacon dressing over the salad and use tongs to toss and coat the vegetables. The warm dressing will slightly soften the uncooked spinach leaves and mushrooms and they will absorb so much great flavor!
Transfer salad to serving dishes or a platter and top with sliced hard boiled eggs and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
Tips for recipe success
- To save time, make the hard boiled eggs in advance. Hard boiled eggs keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week. I always have a few on hand for quick and easy snacks and meals.
- This easy moves quickly. Make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking the bacon. They key is having the hot bacon grease in the dressing.
- Serve this salad warm and enjoy it immediately. Leftovers don’t keep well.
- I encourage you to add an extra slice or two of bacon to the recipe. I can’t help snacking on a few bites while I’m making it. A little extra bacon on a spinach salad is always welcome!
What to serve with spinach bacon salad
- Sous Vide Top Sirloin Cap or Garlic Herb Crusted Eye of Round Roast Beef
- Spatchcock Garlic Herb Roast Chicken with Baby Potatoes or Grilled Mediterranean Chicken
- Creamy Potato, Leek and Cauliflower Soup, Red Kuri Squash Soup with Roasted Fennel or Caribbean Carrot Ginger Soup
- Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potatoes or these Skillet Fried Potatoes and Onions
- For a great breakfast or brunch, enjoy this salad with some Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins, Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins or Zucchini Bread!
More big salad recipes you will love
Baby Spinach Salad With Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 2 hard boiled eggs sliced
- 4 slices bacon preferably thick cut
- 4 small white mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1 medium shallot, minced see recipe note about substituting red onion
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1.5 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- black pepper to taste
- Start by hard boiling the eggs. Add raw eggs to a sauce pan and completely cover them with water. Bring them to a rolling boil, then turn the heat off and let them stand for 10-12 minutes. Immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process and cool them down. Peel and slice.
- Wipe the mushrooms clean with a wet paper towel. With a sharp knife, slice them as thin as possible.
- Finely mince the shallot.
- Place bacon strips in a cold skillet (preferably cast iron) and place over medium low heat. Cook low and slow for about ten minutes, turning every few minutes until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- While the bacon is cooking, whisk together red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and olive oil.
- Place the spinach and thinly sliced mushrooms in a large bowl.
- Keeping the bacon grease over low heat, carefully add the minced shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened and translucent.
- Spoon the cooked shallots and about half of the bacon grease into the dressing and whisk to combine. Taste the dressing and add more bacon grease or red wine vinegar to taste.
- Pour about ⅓ of the warm dressing over the salad and toss with tons to thoroughly coat all of the vegetables. Season with black pepper to taste.
- Transfer to serving dish and top with hard boiled eggs and crispy crumbled bacon. Serve immediately with extra dressing on the side.