My favorite Spinach Salad combines crumbly bacon, cheddar cheese and a light poppy seed dressing into an irresistible side dish or main meal. Pair it, or any other spinach salad recipe, with any of these recipes to really fill you up!
Spinach is such a versatile leafy green vegetable. Not only can it be used in amazing warm dishes like this sauteed spinach or spinach pie, but it seems like everyone has their go-to Spinach Salad recipe that must be included in their holiday celebrations or at a dinner party.
The beauty is there are so many variations to a simple spinach salad from the fresh ingredients to the homemade dressing. You can add fresh fruits like sweet strawberries, apples and pears and mix them with raisins, cranberries or even mandarin oranges. In my favorite recipe, fresh spinach leaves pair perfectly with poppy seeds, bacon, and cheddar cheese.
It makes sense, then, that Spinach Salad doesn’t have to be served only at holidays and it doesn’t need to be relegated to just a side dish salad either.
If you’re craving a flavorful salad and need some ideas for what to serve with your easy salad recipe, I’ve got you covered! Read on to find my favorite suggestions to include with your tasty salad.
FAQs about Spinach Salad
There’s a reason why spinach salads are a popular addition to many American holiday meals–they are entirely customizable! Some recipes call for filling your salad with leafy greens, olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy additions like nuts.
Alternatively, you can also choose to fill your spinach salad with cheese, sugar-filled dressing, or unhealthy toppings. The health of your salad relies entirely on your desire to make it so!
Spinach itself is sometimes considered a superfood. It’s full of calcium, magnesium and iron which are good for bone health, metabolism, blood pressure, and energy.
Whether or not you chop your spinach leaves is totally up to you. Some recipes call for cutting spinach leaves off of the stems, but you can also keep it simple and use pre-washed spinach leaves from a bag.
The smaller you chop your leaves, the more dressing they will soak up and the quicker they will become soggy so I prefer to keep my leaves whole.
Make sure to serve your salad in a large bowl so that it is easy to mix the toppings and dressing together without making a mess!
If you’re hoping to enjoy spinach salad later, I would suggest leaving the dressing off at first. The rest of the salad ingredients can be stored together; just add the dressing when you are ready to enjoy.
Absolutely! If you want to make your salad more filling, it’s easy to add some grilled chicken or steak, farro or quinoa. Salads come together so easily and are one of my favorite things to have as a quick meal.
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to eat spinach raw. Fresh baby spinach is best. It’s a good idea to wash your spinach before using, even if it is pre washed in a bag.
Favorite Spinach Salad Recipes
- This Spinach Salad with Bacon and Poppyseed Dressing is such an easy spinach salad and is always a HUGE family favorite at our gatherings. It’s one of my favorite salads and the perfect addition to every holiday meal.
- Most restaurants serve a strawberry spinach salad like this spinach salad from Well Plated.
- I love this versatile Apple Spinach Salad from Gimme Some Oven
- Eating Bird Food has a recipe for a Spinach Salad with a simple balsamic vinegar dressing that is delicious!
- You can also serve warm spinach salad for a unique addition to the dinner table. My favorite is this salad with warm bacon dressing!
- Serve your recipe soon after applying salad dressing. Your spinach will soak up the dressing and become soggy the longer it sits.
- Mixing the salad up about ten minutes before serving will give you the best mix of flavor and texture.
- When building a spinach salad, try to choose one addition from each of the categories in the “What to Serve with Spinach Salad” section below. You will end up with a delicious and nutritious dinner idea!
- Use store bought dressing for quick dressings with lots of variation. Use homemade dressings for healthier alternatives without so much added sugar!
What to Serve with Spinach Salad
Spinach salad is so versatile. Try it with these additions:
- Protein: Grilled chicken thighs, chicken breasts, steak, shrimp, tofu, turkey
- Fruits or Vegetables: Sweet potato, avocado, cranberries, craisins, red onion, apples, pears, mandarin oranges, fresh strawberries
- Grains: Farro, quinoa, pasta, sourdough bread, dinner roll, pasta salad
- Cheese: goat cheese, feta cheese
- Main Dish: Hamburgers, ham, turkey, chicken, soup, ribs, pork tenderloin
Best Recipes to Serve with Spinach Salad
12345 pork ribs (from Greedy Girl Gourmet) are delicious, finger-licking asian-style pork spare ribs that are as simple to cook as 12345. using only the pantry staples of wine, dark soy sauce, vinegar and sugar to braise the meat and only a few minutes of active cooking, this is the best easy sticky Chinese spare ribs for when you don’t have time to do the grocery.
This beef stroganoff recipe (from Fantabulosity) is an old-fashioned favorite that’s easy to make for a quick weeknight dinner. You only need ground beef, egg noodles, cream of mushroom soup, and a few other simple ingredients and it’s ready in 30 minutes!
Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
You’re three ingredients away from the most wonderful butternut squash lentil soup (from Vintage Kitchen Notes) ever! It’s low carb, nutritious, delicious, and can be made vegan. It freezes well and is ready in 30 minutes.
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers (from A Paige of Positivity) with tasty ranch seasoning and a big brioche bun are just what your week needs. They’re bursting with flavor, have a super moist texture, and can easily be made macro-friendly. Oh and did I mention, these Turkey Burgers with Feta are just 5 ingredients!
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs
These sweet and spicy chicken thighs (from Christian Guzman) combine the flavors of honey and chipotle for the spicy heat you crave. Searing the chicken before baking gives a tasty crust on the outside.
Easy Stuffed Shells in the Instant Pot
Easy Panko Chicken
This easy panko chicken (from Through the Fibro Fog) is coated with a flavourful breading giving the best crispy texture! A quick and easy pan-fried chicken recipe that comes together in 20 minutes.
Creamy Sage Chicken
This creamy sage chicken (from Through the Fibro Fog) has the best fragrant sauce, and is made with minimal ingredients. It comes together fast in just 30 minutes, making it perfect for a busy weeknight meal!
Chicken Cutlets with Mustard Sauce
These delicious Chicken Cutlets with Mustard Sauce (from Kalyn’s Kitchen) are a super quick-and-easy low-carb chicken dinner that the family will love!
Herbs de Provence Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
This whole roast chicken recipe (from foodworthfeed) is infused with the flavors of fresh herbs de Provence and lemon served with baby potatoes and a buttery white wine pan sauce!
Filet Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet
Steak and Onions
Rum Soaked Pork Loin
Instant Pot Pasta with Palomino Sauce
Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Easy Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo
Creamy Beef and Shells in the Instant Pot
Carrot Ginger Soup with Creme Fraiche
This Carrot Ginger Soup (from Vanilla Bean Cuisine) is so easy—just simmer carrots, leeks, and ginger in vegetable broth until tender and blend. Top with crème fraiche and pistachios!
Mini Crab Cakes
This delicious canned crab recipe is for easy mini crab cakes (from Champagne Tastes)! Serve them with a spicy yogurt sauce as tapas or hors d’oeuvres.
Easy Chicken Marsala
Easy Chicken Marsala (from Chef Savvy) is a rich and creamy dish made in one pan and ready in under 30 minutes! It’s an Italian staple that you can easily make at home.
Bread Machine Breadsticks
These homemade copycat Olive Garden breadsticks (from Culinary Shades) are soft, flavorful, delicious, and easy to make. Breadsticks dough can be made in the bread machine or in the stand mixer. Check out how to make soft breadsticks at home.
Parmesan Crusted Cod
If you love fish you definitely have a favorite. Most people tend to go for the classic fish and chips and don’t get me wrong I love a good fried fish, but this parmesan crusted cod with lemon butter sauce (from Oh, For the Love of Food) beats them all! It’s flaky and buttery fish with a crispy, salty and beautifully herbed crust. The lemon butter sauce adds some great flavor from the fat and wonderful acidity from the lemon.
Brown Butter Gnocchi with Sage and Walnuts
Harissa Tempeh Recipe
When it comes to tempeh recipes, this Harissa Tempeh (from Savory Spin) is quick, easy, packed with flavor, and can be served as a side, in a salad, or in a bowl!
Super Easy Flank Steak
This ultra-simple, Quick Flank Steak recipe (from Two Healthy Kitchens) has been a family favorite for decades. You need just 2 ingredients … seriously, JUST 2! Yet it’s flavorful, tender and delicious, every single time! And if you’re not a grill master? No worries! It’s really easy, and I break down every step so you can get it exactly right, even if you’ve never grilled flank steak before in your life!