This is the best spinach salad recipe because you make the dressing from scratch and you can add just about any vegetables to change the flavor and texture, how great is that? This is a great salad to take to a family reunion, a church function, a neighborhood party, or make for dinner. Add some French Bread and dinner is ready to go.
You can assemble all of the ingredients the day before, cover and refrigerate the ingredients separately, and make it the night before you serve it. I love making the homemade dressing from scratch the day before as well, it’s sweet, but not too sweet. Just refrigerate everything overnight and you are good to go the next day.
Items You May Need in the Kitchen:
Spinach Salad Ingredients:
- Spinach: Spinach not only adds nutrients to any meal, but it’s not a strong flavor so most people love it in a salad.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms add a unique texture with an earthy taste, I love it.
- Swiss Cheese: This cheese adds a different taste to just about any meal. It’s also one of the healthiest cheeses around. It’s high in protein and calcium and is low in sodium.
- Bean Sprouts: I prefer buying them in a can because I can’t control where they are grown or how they are harvested if purchased fresh. They add a slightly crunchy texture to any meal.
- Croutons: I feel like even purchased croutons add so much flavor to any salad, and they are fairly inexpensive.
- Cooked Bacon: I don’t know about you, but bacon adds a little smokey flavor to any dish, right?
Best Spinach Salad Recipe
Step One: Gather All Ingredients
Gather the salad ingredients, baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, Swiss cheese, croutons, bean sprouts, and cooked chopped bacon.
Step Two: Gather Optional Toppings
I like to visualize what I’m making. The bonus is letting those enjoying the salad choose what they want to add to their salad bowl for dinner.
Step Three: Separate The Nuts
Most of my family loves all of the ingredients. This salad doesn’t have nuts so we are safe to combine everything together. We have some family members who have an intolerance to nuts, but you can add them or serve them on the side for those who may want to add some crunchy texture and flavor.
Step Four: Gather Dressing Ingredients
Here are the ingredients for the homemade salad dressing. It’s everything you probably have in your pantry or refrigerator. Vegetable oil, onion salt, salt, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, white vinegar, and ketchup. It’s a little sweet, but not overbearing, it’s perfect.
Step Five: Blend Dressing Ingredients
The mini blender helps blend it together. I hoped to use a pint, but soon learned I needed a quart. Well, actually I needed a 1-1/2 pint mason jar. So, today I ordered the unique-sized jars, two of them, on Amazon. Ball 1-1/2 Pint Jars. I’ll be making my salad dressing in those jars when I receive them.
This spinach salad recipe is so light and refreshing, I really wish you could taste it right now. My family loved it.
Best Spinach Salad Recipe
- 2 packages of baby spinach (this depends on how large you want your salad)
- 3 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 3/4 pounds sliced mushrooms
- 1- pound bacon (cooked, drained and crumbled)
- 2 handfuls of bean sprouts (rinsed) or 2 cans of bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
- 1 bag of croutons (or make your own)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion salt
1. Gather all of the ingredients.
2. Grab a large bowl and layer the baby spinach, the shredded Swiss cheese, the sliced mushrooms, the chopped cooked bacon, and the bean sprouts.
3. Add the croutons just before serving. When ready to serve, drizzle with the spinach salad dressing. Enjoy.
Combine the ingredients above in a blender and pour over salad JUST before serving.
How do I store the leftovers?
I like to store this salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Can I use a different type of lettuce other than spinach?
The great thing about this salad is that it is actually very versatile. I love the deep green color of the spinach and the crisp texture. I have tried other lettuces, such as romaine, butter leaf, and iceberg. Although you experience a different flavor and texture with each variety, they were all delicious!
Can I assemble the spinach salad ahead of time?
As I mention above, I highly recommend that you assemble the salad right before serving it. This will keep your salad fresh and crisp. I do keep most of the ingredients in the fridge before making the salad. To save time during meal prep, I try to make the dressing the night before and then keep it chilled.
Would this salad taste good with a different type of cheese using Mozzarella, feta cheese, or goat cheese?
The sharp taste of the Swiss cheese in this recipe really helps to pull all of the flavors together! if there are other cheeses that you enjoy better, maybe some with a little milder flavor, like Mozzarella, feta cheese, or goat cheese, go for it! It’s always fun to try new things and adjust recipes to our liking!
Could I add additional toppings to the salad, such as cranberries, strawberries, apples, blueberries, or other berries?
Yes! I think adding additional toppings would be delicious! I do like the combination of the flavors as is, but it’s so fun to customize salads, especially to what you and your family enjoy. Adding an ingredient, such as cranberries, strawberries, or apples would be a delicious change to this salad.
Could you use a different protein besides bacon, such as grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs?
The flavor of the bacon adds a bold taste to this recipe! It is always fun to play around with different flavors. I love, love, love, the taste of bacon in this spinach salad! Grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs would be a good alternative for those wanting a more lean protein. Let me know if you try a different protein and your thoughts on what that added or took away from this salad.
Would adding nuts, such as pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or almonds, taste good in this spinach salad?
Adding nuts would give this salad a yummy crunch! What is so great with this salad, is that you can customize it to your taste. The options are endless! As mentioned, I had nuts on the side since we have family members who can’t eat nuts.
Could I use a different type of oil to make the vinaigrette dressing for this recipe, such as olive oil?
This recipe is so versatile! Switching out the vegetable oil for olive oil is definitely an option. What we are going for is to use a mild-tasting oil so that it doesn’t overpower the flavors of the other ingredients. Safflower, soybean, or canola oil are also very neutral or mild-tasting oils that would work. Olive oil has a stronger flavor and may alter the flavor of the dressing, but is an option for those looking to use what some consider a healthier oil.
Would it be an option to use balsamic vinegar instead of white vinegar in the dressing?
White vinegar has a milder flavor than balsamic vinegar. It is definitely an option, but with the balsamic being a stronger flavor it may overpower some of the other ingredients. It is best to use what you and your family would like! Let me know what you and your family prefer!
In case you missed this post:
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Easy-To-Make Spinach Dip
- The Best Spinach Bowtie Pasta Salad Recipe In The World
- Healthy Bok Choy Salad Recipe
- 20 Delicious Farmers Market Salads
- 20 Homemade Salad Dressings
- Growing Spinach: Everything You Need To Know
What can I serve with this recipe?
- French bread
- Easy To Make Soft Dinner Rolls
- Easy To Make Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Fresh fruit
- Easy To Make Homemade Breadsticks People Love
Please let me know if you make my spinach salad recipe. What other items would you add or change out? It’s so fun to teach our kids and grandkids how to cook from scratch. Life is so good in the kitchen, right? May God Bless this world, Linda