A delicious, soul warming Wilted Spinach Salad with the BEST hot bacon dressing. This special spinach salad is simple to prep ahead, making it a perfect holiday starter.
A Holiday-Worthy Spinach Salad
Topping a simple bed of greens is my favorite go-to lunch. Add some quality proteins, like bacon and eggs, and some healthy fats, like nuts and avocado, and a perfect meal is formed.
This salad started out as an excuse to use up my Hot Bacon Dressing and some veggies in my fridge, but the result was so beautiful (and DELISH!) I knew it needed to be shared.
My secret for the best wilted spinach salad? A Hot Bacon Dressing, that combines the best salty-sweet-and-tangy flavors!
What You’ll Need:
- Baby Spinach
- Roasted Red Peppers (make your own, or buy them jarred!)
- Hard Boiled Eggs (read this on how to make the easiest to peel eggs!)
Hot Bacon Dressing
- Bacon (nitrite/nitrate free)
- Avocado Oil (or olive oil)
- Red Wine Vinegar (or use Balsamic vinegar)
- Monk Fruit Sweetener (or honey)
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make a Wilted Spinach Salad
Step 1: Cook bacon until browned and slightly crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the bacon drippings. Drain the bacon on paper towel until it cools. Chop the bacon and set aside.
Step 2: Add the shallots into the pan with the bacon grease, stirring occasionally, and sauté over medium heat until they just begin to brown.
Step 3: Into the skillet, add the avocado oil, red wine vinegar, chopped bacon, sweetener, and salt and pepper to taste. I like to keep this bacon dressing sugar free by using a monk fruit sweetener. Feel free to use maple syrup or honey in place of the monk fruit.
Step 4: Assemble the spinach salads by adding roasted red peppers, a sliced hard boiled egg, avocado slices, and pecans to a bed of spinach.
Step 5: “Wilt” the spinach by adding the hot dressing to the salads. This works best if the dressing is very hot, so if I make the dressing ahead of time, I reheat it before dressing the salads.
A Perfect Holiday Meal
If you’re planning your holiday meals right now, be sure to save this one! It’s easy to prep ahead, and has a beautiful contrast of colors. It’s also a healthy way to start an indulgent night of eating.
If you have guests who will not eat the bacon and need to keep it on the side, try this recipe for a Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs.
I like to start with the good stuff, and this wilted spinach salad has it all.
Round out a perfect holiday meal with:
- Beef Tenderloin Roast – a delicious tenderloin coated in a rosemary butter.
- Cauliflower Cheese – a great veggie dish with the right amount of indulgence for the holidays!
- Baked Sweet Potatoes – a favorite at our holiday gatherings.
- Sausage Stuffing Balls made with Gluten Free Cornbread
- Gluten Free Apple Pie
- Mini Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cheesecakes
Other Spinach Salad Recipes
- Simple Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Chicken Spinach Salad with Pomegranate & Pecans
- Butternut, Millet, and Spinach Salad
Wilted Spinach Salad
- 12 cups baby spinach
- 6 hard boiled eggs cut in half
- 1 cup roasted red peppers or 2 red bell peppers, roasted, skins removed, peeled and sliced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 6 tablespoons pecans chopped
Hot Bacon Dressing
- 1 package Jones Dairy Farm No Sugar Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon or 8 slices of bacon
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener sub maple syrup or honey
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Assemble the salads on individual plates by layering spinach, a hard boiled egg, a few slices of roasted red pepper and avocado, and a tablespoon of chopped pecans.
- Top with Hot Bacon Dressing when ready to serve.
Hot Bacon Dressing
- Cook the bacon until browned and slightly crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the bacon grease, and chop the bacon and set aside.
- Add the shallots into the pan with the bacon grease, and sauté over medium heat until they just begin to brown.
- Into the skillet, add the avocado oil, red wine vinegar, chopped bacon, sweetener, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low simmer and then remove from heat. Top the salads while the dressing is still hot to wilt the spinach.