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A classic Spinach Salad with Bacon and Poppy Seed Dressing is the perfect addition to any meal. This colorful side dish satisfies all of your cravings with a variety of salty, smoky and sweet ingredients. You’ll love the combination of tender baby spinach leaves with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, red onion and mushrooms tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing. It’s special enough for a holiday table on Easter or Christmas, ideal for the church potluck, and simple enough for your next family supper.

Long overhead shot of a bowl of spinach salad with bacon and poppy seed dressing

Fresh Spinach Salad with Bacon

After enjoying roasted vegetables, hearty casseroles, and slowly-simmered stews throughout the cold-weather months, we’re welcoming spring with enthusiasm — including its sunshine, warmer days, fresh flowers, and colorful produce! This easy spinach salad with bacon is one of the first sides that I toss together each year, with its delicate leaves of baby spinach, tender mushrooms, hard-boiled farm-fresh eggs, and zesty red onion. The crispy, smoky bacon is a perfect finishing touch, and an ideal contrast to the sweet-and-tangy poppy seed dressing. Best of all, this simple spinach salad can be prepared in advance for a convenient side dish at your next special gathering, holiday meal or Sunday dinner.

Spinach Salad Dressing Recipe

I love a classic homemade poppy seed dressing with this salad, which you can whisk or shake together in less than 5 minutes. A simple combination of oil, sugar, vinegar, grated onion, poppy seeds, salt and ground mustard, gives the dressing a sweet-and-tangy flavor that balances the savory salad ingredients really nicely. Plus, you can prep it in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a few days.

Bottle of a spinach salad dressing recipe

Best Bottled Dressing for Spinach Salad

If you’d rather not bother with a homemade dressing, then your next best option is a high-quality store-bought dressing. In my opinion, Brianna’s brand Rich Poppy Seed Dressing is the best bottled dressing for spinach salad. In fact, if you hide the bottle, folks will probably think it’s homemade!

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need to make a spinach salad with bacon. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Baby spinach: feel free to use a blend of other lettuce as well. For instance, swap out half of the spinach leaves for crisp, chopped Romaine or Iceberg lettuce, or use a blend of mixed greens. This will give the dish some more texture and flavor variety.
  • Red onion: adds a savory, zesty touch to the salad.
  • Mushrooms: any fresh variety will work. I like baby bella mushrooms, but white button mushrooms are another good option.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: you can easily boil your own eggs at home, or take a shortcut by purchasing hard-boiled, peeled eggs at the grocery store.
  • Bacon: cook it until it’s nice and crispy, then wait to add it to the salad just before serving.
Square image of the front shot of a simple spinach salad

How to Make Spinach Salad with Bacon

There’s nothing difficult about preparing this simple spinach salad! Just gather your ingredients, layer them in the dish, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  1. Whisk together the poppy seed dressing, then set aside.
  2. Layer half of the spinach, half of the red onion, half of the mushrooms, and half of the eggs in a 9 x 13-inch dish or a large salad bowl.
  3. Repeat the layers once more.
  4. Drizzle with some of the dressing to taste, and top with the bacon just before serving.
Process shot showing how to make spinach salad dressing recipe
Square image of spinach salad with bacon egg and mushrooms on a white table

What to Serve with a Spinach Salad with Bacon and Hard Boiled Eggs

This simple salad pairs well with just about any meat-based entrée. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Overhead shot of a fresh spinach salad with bacon on a white table

Make Ahead

The salad keeps really well in an airtight container in the refrigerator before it’s dressed. You can assemble the dish up to 24 hours in advance, but wait to add the bacon and dressing until you’re ready to serve. This will prevent the spinach from getting soggy in the dressing and it will keep the bacon nice and crispy!

Storage

Leftover salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days without dressing. If you’ve already added the dressing, the leaves tend to get soggy, so it’s really only good for a day or so.

Recipe Variations

  • Add store-bought rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken to make this salad a light entrée for lunch or dinner.
  • Swap out some of the spinach and replace it with a different type of lettuce for added flavor and texture variety. Good options include mixed baby greens, chopped Romaine, or shredded Iceberg lettuce.
  • Include blue cheese, feta cheese or goat cheese crumbles for a creamy, flavorful touch.
  • Garnish the salad with toasted almonds, walnuts or pecans for added crunch.
  • Instead of the homemade poppy seed dressing, use a shortcut store-bought bottled dressing (like Brianna’s brand).
  • Homemade or store-bought croutons would also be a great addition to the salad. Just wait to add them right before serving so that they don’t get soggy.
Overhead shot of a spinach salad recipe served in a large dish with eggs, bacon mushrooms and onion

Tips for the Best Spinach Salad Recipe

  • When preparing the dressing, make sure that you finely grate the onion. A microplane (or citrus zester) works really well for this task, since it practically purees the onion into a fine paste when grated. This gives you that great onion flavor without any big chunks in the dressing.
  • In order to prevent the spinach from wilting or becoming soggy, wait to add the dressing just before serving.
  • Add the bacon on top just before serving so that it stays nice and crispy.
  • You might not need all of the dressing, so drizzle it on the salad slowly so that the leaves are damp, and then serve a pitcher of extra dressing on the side in case your guests need more.
Front shot of spinach salad with bacon in front of a white brick wall

More Salad Recipes to Try

Long overhead shot of a bowl of spinach salad with bacon and poppy seed dressing

Spinach Salad with Bacon

Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 316 kcal
A classic Spinach Salad with Bacon, hard-boiled eggs, red onion, mushrooms and Poppy Seed Dressing is the perfect addition to any meal!

Ingredients
  

For the Dressing:

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard

For the Salad:

  • 10 ounces baby spinach (about 13 cups)
  • ½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary. Set aside until ready to use, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • In a large bowl or rectangular dish, layer half of the spinach, half of the red onion, half of the mushrooms, and half of the eggs. Repeat the layers once more. Drizzle with dressing and top with bacon just before serving.

Notes

  • When preparing the dressing, make sure that you finely grate the onion. A microplane (or citrus zester) works really well for this task, since it practically purees the onion into a fine paste when grated. This gives you that great onion flavor without any big chunks in the dressing.
  • In order to prevent the spinach from wilting or becoming soggy, wait to add the dressing just before serving.
  • Add the bacon on top just before serving so that it stays nice and crispy.
  • You might not need all of the dressing, so drizzle it on the salad slowly so that the leaves are damp, and then serve a pitcher of extra dressing on the side in case your guests need more.
  • Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the salad and dressingCalories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 8gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 352mgPotassium: 375mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 3450IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: Spinach Salad with Bacon
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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