Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs
Few dishes satisfy body and soul like a hearty spinach salad with bacon and eggs. Piled high with tender greens, crisp bacon, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and a tangy vinaigrette, this modern take on a classic is equal parts good and good-for-you.
This is the kind of salad that can bridge a great divide: the chasm between those who naturally love salads, all salads, any salad, and their compatriots who simply, well, don’t. You know at least one person who falls into each category, right?
As you might expect, a spinach salad with bacon and eggs has a lot to offer both camps. In the traditional salad-lovers column, we have tender, dark, good-for-you greens; plump cherry tomatoes; creamy, crowd-pleasing avocado; crunchy slivered almonds; and a light-yet-flavorful vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, salad skeptics are easily enticed by the crisp slices of bacon and protein-packed eggs. Basically, this salad is easy to love, for lots of people and lots of reasons.
This is a standout lunch on its own, or serve it for a mouth-watering dinner alongside some simple grilled chicken or pork chops. Or let this salad fancy up your usual breakfast-for-dinner and serve it with a stack of pancakes or tasty biscuits.
The great dressing debate
It’s very common to find recipes for spinach bacon salads that use a warm dressing made from the rendered bacon grease, such as this one and this one. The warm dressing wilts the spinach ever so slightly and, of course, doubles down on the bacon flavor.
This is not that salad.
Admittedly, if you asked us out of the blue whether there’s any such thing as too much bacon, we’d probably say “never!” All the same, in this instance, we actually prefer a light vinaigrette. Please keep it hush hush; we’d hate for anyone to question our bacon-loving credentials.
But hear out the case. These days, we want salads to be healthy as well as filling and delicious. Why compromise? A slice (or two!) of bacon crumbled on top adds so much flavor all on its own, without compromising the other textures at play. And a light vinaigrette suits this salad perfectly, adding flavor without weighing down anything. Or, ahem, anyone.
Ingredients and substitution ideas
Here’s what you will find in this salad:
- Baby spinach.
- Bacon: obviously!
- Eggs: We usually use hard-boiled eggs because they’re so easy to make in advance; in fact, this spinach salad is one of my favorite ways to use up extra hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. But if you don’t mind making or warming them right before serving the salads, jammy soft-boiled or even a poached egg is delicious.
- Tomatoes: cherry or grape work great, but a quartered Roma or on-the-vine tomato is terrific, as well.
- Slivered, toasted almonds: gotta have a little crunch!
And in the super-simple vinaigrette:
- Olive oil.
- Red wine vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is also nice.
- Dijon mustard.
- Kosher salt & black pepper.
As you might expect, the actual salad assembly couldn’t be simpler. Just combine your salad ingredients, shake up the vinaigrette in a small jar or measuring cup, dress, and serve.
One tip: if you’re making multiple portions and want to dress the salad in a large bowl before dividing onto plates, first combine just the spinach and tomatoes, then add the dressing, toss, and add the remaining ingredients either gently on top in the salad bowl or onto individual servings.
Of course, if you’re just doing lunch salads for one or two, it’s a bit simpler to put everything on a plate, drizzle with the dressing, and dive in. 🙂
Variations and options
This is a salad, after all, which is basically an open invitation to ad lib based on what’s in your fridge at this exact moment. A few other possibilities:
- Swap the spinach for spring mix or any other greens.
- Add cucumber, bell peppers, carrots, or any other veggie you love.
- Swap the slivered almonds for another type of nut, or get your crunch factor from some tasty croutons.
- Make it vegetarian: Swap the bacon for some crispy chickpeas.
- Make it vegan: Swap the bacon for chickpeas, omit the eggs, and swap the honey for agave syrup in the vinaigrette.
Next, try this classic Italian salad; French carrot salad; Greek salad with the best homemade dressing; another spinach salad with strawberries, nectarines, or simply balsamic and sea salt; or a five-minute arugula number that saves any busy weeknight.
Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs
For the Salads:
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 4 slices cooked bacon
- 2 hard-boiled eggs quartered or sliced
- 1/2 medium avocado sliced or diced
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- pinch kosher salt
- 8-10 cranks freshly-ground black pepper
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar or liquid measuring cup; shake or whisk vigorously to combine, and set aside.
- Combine spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with a portion of the dressing, and toss to combine. Transfer to plates or bowls to serve, and top with the bacon, eggs, avocado, and a sprinkling of almonds. Add additional dressing as desired, and enjoy right away.
- This makes 4 small salads that are nice for a side. If serving as a lunch or the main part of a dinner, it makes 2 filling portions.