This spinach bacon salad with red onion recipe is a common salad to serve for holidays, but can be an excellent salad at any time. The best part about bacon spinach salad recipe is the dressing, a red onion vinaigrette recipe that always gets rave reviews.
This salad is one that has been popular for generations.
Making the salad itself is simple and straightforward. It follows the classic spinach salad recipes with chopped hardboiled eggs, mushrooms, red onion and, of course, bacon pieces.
The red onion vinaigrette recipe is also easy to make. You can make it often, not just for this salad. Consider keeping a bottle of this sweet and tangy red onion vinaigrette in a bottle in your fridge as it goes perfectly with so many salads — although it is heavy on the sweetness!
Other Bacon & Bev recipes to try:
- Arugula Bacon Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- Fried Green Tomatoes Topped with Bacon
- Best Breakfast Quiche After Drinking
- Spinach. You can use a package of baby spinach. The leaves of baby spinach are perfect fork size, but regular spinach would work, too. This recipe is designed for a package of spinach, but you can easily double or triple it if you need more to serve a larger party.
- Red onions. Red onions lend a beautify little burst of purple to this colorful salad. Cut into roughly quarter inch pieces or use use red onion rings for a different appearance.
- Hard boiled eggs. Making hard boiled eggs is easy. You simply start with the eggs in a cool pot of water, then bring to a boil. Let them boil for about a minute. Then remove the hardboiled eggs from the heat and let them continue to cook in the hot water for about 15 minutes. You can dice the hard-boiled eggs for the spinach salad, or you can cut them into discs.
- Mushrooms. Simple button mushrooms or Portobello mushrooms work with this spinach bacon salad recipe. To clean them, wipe them with a damp paper towel.
Red Onion Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- Red onion. Save about a quarter to an eighth of the red onion you use for the spinach salad. You should still have a bit of red onion leftover even after that, depending on how oniony you like your spinach bacon salads.
- Dry mustard powder. Using dry mustard powder works perfectly with this dressing. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute a bit of Dijon mustard.
- Celery seed. Celery seed adds just the extra spice you need to make this dressing unique.
- Sugar. This recipe does call for some sweetening, but you can reduce the sugar for a lower-calorie version.
- Canola oil. Any oil you use for salads would work. Canola oil works the best for this recipe because it lets the flavors of the other ingredients shine. But olive oil can work just as well. For a light salad oil, try avocado oil or walnut oil.
- Red wine vinegar. You can substitute another vinegar like apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar. But for a red onion vinaigrette, a red wine adds to the beautiful pinkish color of the dressing.
Spinach Bacon Salad Recipe:
- Add spinach leaves to large bowl.
- Toss with chopped mushrooms and chopped red onion.
- Toss salad with dressing and bacon bits. Or serve dressing on the side.
Red Onion Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe:
- Blend oil, vinegar, sugar, onion and spices in a food processor or blender.
Spinach Bacon Salad
- Pot for boiling water
- Pan for frying bacon
- Salad Bowl
- 1 Package Baby Spinach Or Regular Spinach Leaves
- 3 Hardboiled Eggs
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Carton White Mushrooms
- 4 Slices Bacon
Red Onion Vinaigrette
- ¼ Red Onion
- ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
- ¾ cup Canola Oil
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Dry Mustard Powder
- 1 tsp Celery Seed
- Cook bacon pieces in frying pan over medium heat. About 20 minutes, flipping once.
- Drain bacon on paper towel and let cool.
- Boil eggs in water for one minute. Let stand in hot water for 15 minutes.
- Chop eggs, bacon, 1/2 of mushrooms and 1/2 of the red onion.
- Toss spinach with onion and mushrooms.
- Combine red onion salad dressing ingredients together.
- Toss salad again with salad dressing and bacon.
- Gently fold in chopped eggs.
Why are Red Onions Preferred to White Onions in a Salad?
Red onions are often preferrable to white onions in a salad such as a bacon spinach salad because they are a bit sweeter and they have a pleasing appearance. Raw red onions are also more mild than white onions. You can still use white onion and green onions in salads as well.
The Best Oil for Salads
If you enjoy making your own vinaigrette salad dressing, you have a variety of oils to choose from. Choosing you’re the best oil for your salad may be a matter of taste, health or simply a matter of what you have on hand.
Here are some of your best options for oil for salads:
The key to using olive oil for salad dressing like olive oil vinaigrette is to use extra virgin olive oil, which is 100% natural oil from cold-pressing. EEVO dressing has a number of health benefit because extra virgin olive oil has antioxidants, some Vitamins K and E, and is considered a “healthy” fat that can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Canola oil salad dressing is another popular oil-based dressing. Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil derived from a plant called rapeseed. It’s considered less healthy than olive oil because of its transfat, but it’s a good oil for salad dressing because of its fairly neutral flavor.
Avocado oil, prized by health conscious crowd, is derived from an avocado pulp. It’s considered healthy because it’s rick in oleic acid. A lot of people use avocado oil for cooking or frying because of its high smoke point, but it also works well in many homemade salad dressings.
You can certainly use corn oil in salad dressings. This oil is considered on the heavier side compared to oils like avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil. Many people have this oil on hand because it’s commonly used in cooking because it has a higher smoke point than many other common cooking oils.
Walnut oil is said to contain a bevy of nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, so it’s considered among the “healthy” oils. With a stronger flavor, it’s often paired with balsamic vinaigrette to make a rich salad dressing.
Made from sesame seeds, sesame oil has a stronger nutty flavor so should be used carefully in salad dressings. Try using sesame oil in tandem with another milder oil like canola oil if you want a less strong flavor. Toasted sesame seed oil is popular in Asian dressings.
Flaxseed oil is not commonly used in salad dressing, but it can be done. Many people use flax seed oil, which is made from ground fax seeds, for its nutritional value. This oil has omega-3 fatty acid.
Safflower oil is an excellent neutral oil to use in basic homemade vinaigrette salad dressings. Its also commonly used as a cooking oil because of its higher smoke point.
Coconut oil has a number of well-known health benefits, but it does have some limitations for salad dressing use. Primarily, this oil tends to solidify easily, when the temperature drops at about room temperature. So, if you’re using coconut oil in a salad dressing, you may have to warm it up a bit and use immediately.