Wilted Spinach With Bacon

Spinach salad with warm bacon dressing horizontal
Diana Rattray
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
103 Calories
4g Fat
10g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 367mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 82mg 6%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 343mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This wilted spinach salad needs only a few ingredients. Bacon and red onions add crunch and flavor, and the simple dressing, made with some bacon grease, is a snap to fix. The warm dressing slightly wilts the spinach leaves when drizzled over the salad.

Bits of finely chopped onion and the cooked bacon complete the salad, but if you want a more colorful salad, other ingredients may be added. Finely chopped apples, sliced fresh figs, sliced fresh strawberries, toasted chopped pecans or walnuts, or sliced radishes are just a few ideas. A garnish of chopped or sliced hard-boiled eggs is a popular addition as well. Or add shredded carrots to the salad. There are many ways to make it your own creation.

The sugar gives the salad dressing its tangy, sweet-sour flavor. Feel free to cut back on the sugar, if desired.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces spinach leaves

  • 1/4 red onion, or to taste

  • 4 strips bacon

  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash the spinach thoroughly under cold running water. Remove any large stems; spread the leaves out on paper towels to dry. Alternatively, dry the spinach with a salad spinner.

  2. Chop the onion finely—or slice it thinly—and set aside.

  3. Dice the bacon and transfer it to a skillet or medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook the bacon pieces, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crisp and browned. With a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the bacon to paper towels to drain.

  4. Sprinkle the flour over the bacon drippings in the skillet; stir to blend well. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 

  5. Add the sugar to the pan along with the vinegar and salt. Blend well and bring to a simmer. If the dressing mixture is too thick, add a bit of water to thin it. Taste the dressing and add pepper and more salt, if needed. Remove the dressing from the heat. 

  6. Put the dried spinach in a large serving bowl, tearing large leaves into smaller pieces. Drizzle the warm dressing over the spinach, and toss gently to coat the leaves. 

  7. Add the finely chopped onion to the spinach and toss gently.

  8. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the spinach salad and serve immediately.

Tips

  • To dry spinach or salad greens quickly, place the leaves in a large colander. Rinse the greens with cold water and drain thoroughly, and then spread the leaves out on a large kitchen towel. Roll the towel up and pat it gently. Unroll the towel and transfer the spinach to the serving bowl.
  • To take the salad along to a holiday dinner, potluck, or cookout, pack the dressing separately. Warm the dressing up and dress the salad just before serving.

Variations

You can also make this salad with another sturdy, dark, leafy green such as kale or Swiss chard. Baby spinach will also work, as will the sharp and bitter dandelion greens.

This salad is also good with grilled shrimp or chicken served on top.

How to Store Wilted Spinach With Bacon

This salad is really best the day it's made. However, you can make the dressing a day or so ahead of time and simply reheat it when you're ready to assemble the salad and serve it.

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