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Healthy Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe – A Versatile Recipe

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If you want a healthy and tasty dish, try assembling a homemade Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe . This recipe combines fresh spinach with a warm, tangy dressing, creating a delightful texture contrast. Add toasted nuts for crunch and dried cranberries for a touch of sweetness. It’s the best way to enjoy a nutritious meal that’s simple to make and flavorful. Perfect for any meal, this salad will never disappoint!

Embarking on a culinary journey across the Middle-Eastern and European landscapes. 

I’ve found that a simple yet exquisite dish often catches the attention of food enthusiasts everywhere. 

Among these, the Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe stands out with its vibrant colors and rich flavors.

Fork and Bowl

Imagine you’re dining in a quaint café in Europe, and the chef recommends their signature salad

That first bite is a revelation of taste and texture, inspiring you to recreate this masterpiece back home. 

However, recreating the same magic can be challenging. The key lies in balancing the spinach’s delicate nature with the right warmth of the dressing. 

This recipe allows you to capture that essence, transforming your kitchen into that charming European café. 

By combining fresh ingredients and a homemade dressing, you’ll never find yourself far from the flavors that once graced your plate during those travels. 

This Wilted Spinach Salad is not just a dish; it’s a gateway to reliving those delightful moments right in the comfort of your home.

What Is Wilted Spinach Salad?

Wilted Spinach Salad is a vibrant and flavorful dish showcasing spinach’s tender, slightly cooked leaves. 

The salad’s charm lies in its simplicity and the delightful contrast of warm and cool elements. 

Fresh spinach is gently wilted by a warm, often tangy dressing, commonly made with ingredients like vinegar, mustard, and sometimes sweet elements like honey. 

The salad often includes crispy bacon, sautéed mushrooms, or hard-boiled eggs, and is garnished with nuts or dried fruit for texture

It’s a versatile, nutritious dish that could be a perfect side or a light main course.

What Is The Origin Of Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe?

The origin of Wilted Spinach Salad traces back to American cuisine, particularly influenced by Southern cooking traditions

Historically, this delicious salad emerged as a creative way to use readily available ingredients, such as fresh spinach and bacon, staples in many American households. 

Wilting spinach with a warm dressing is believed to have been popularized in the United States during the early 20th century. 

It reflects a blend of simplicity and resourcefulness, characteristic of home cooking during that era. 

Over time, the recipe evolved, incorporating diverse ingredients, but its essence remains a testament to American culinary innovation and tradition.

Bowl and Salad

Ingredients List

IngredientQuantity
Spinach6 cups
Green Onion1⁄4 cup, sliced
Hard Boiled Egg3, coarsely chopped
Bacon5 slices, chopped
Vinegar1⁄4 cup
Sugar2 tablespoons
Water2 tablespoons
Salt1⁄2 teaspoon
Pepper1⁄4 teaspoon
Ingredients

What Are The Variations Suitable For The Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe?

Numerous variations suit the Wilted Spinach Salad recipe, allowing you to tailor it to different tastes and dietary preferences.

Bacon And Egg Wilted Spinach Salad

Classic combo with crispy bacon and soft-boiled eggs.

Strawberry Walnut Wilted Spinach Salad

Sweet strawberries, crunchy walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette for a refreshing twist.

Mushroom And Goat Cheese Wilted Spinach Salad

Earthy mushrooms and creamy goat cheese elevate the flavor profile.

Warm Citrus Wilted Spinach Salad

Sautéed spinach meets citrusy segments like orange or grapefruit for a burst of brightness.

Asian Sesame Wilted Spinach Salad

Soy-ginger dressing, sesame seeds, and mandarin oranges for an Asian-inspired delight.

Pomegranate Pecan Wilted Spinach Salad

Tangy pomegranate arils and crunchy pecans add a festive touch.

Blue Cheese And Apple Wilted Spinach Salad

The perfect blend of savory blue cheese and crisp apple slices.

What Are The Tips For The Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe?

  • Spinach Quality: Use fresh, vibrant spinach. Older leaves can become overly limp when wilted.
  • Proper Draining: After washing, thoroughly drain the spinach. Excess water could dilute the dressing.
  • Dressing Temperature: Warm the dressing just enough to wilt the spinach without overcooking it.
  • Bacon Crispiness: If using bacon, cook it until crisp for the best texture.
  • Balancing Flavors: Adjust the vinegar and sugar in the dressing to find the perfect balance of tanginess and sweetness.
  • Garnish Choices: Experiment with different nuts, cheeses, or fruits to add complexity.
  • Serving Immediately: Serve the salad immediately after dressing to enjoy the contrast between warm and cool ingredients.
  • Portion Control: If you’re looking for a side dish, a smaller portion works; for a main, be generous.

Are There Any Unusual Or Exotic Ingredients That Work Well With Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe?

  • Pomegranate Seeds: These add juicy sweetness and a pop of color.
  • Roasted Beetroot: Their earthy flavor and vibrant color can make the salad more visually appealing and nutritious.
  • Quinoa or Farro: For a heartier salad, these grains add texture and make it more filling.
  • Edible Flowers: For a decorative touch and a hint of floral flavor, such as nasturtiums or pansies.
  • Dukkah: This Egyptian spice and nut blend adds a crunchy, flavorful topping.
  • Preserved Lemon: For a tangy, intensely citrusy note.
  • Halloumi Cheese: Grilled and added for a salty, chewy contrast.
  • Avocado: Provides creaminess and healthy fats.
  • Sesame Seeds or Pumpkin Seeds: Toasted for a nutty crunch.
  • Pickled Red Onions: For a sharp, tangy element.
Bowl and Spoon

Recipe Directions

  • Combine Ingredients in Salad Bowl: In a large salad bowl, combine 6 cups of torn, washed, and well-drained spinach, 1⁄4 cup of sliced green onions, and 3 coarsely chopped hard-boiled eggs.
  • Cook Bacon: In a skillet, cook 5 chopped slices of bacon over medium heat until crispy. Once cooked, remove the bacon and drain it on paper towels.
  • Prepare Dressing: Keep 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings in the skillet. Add 1⁄4 cup of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of pepper to the drippings. Heat this mixture to boiling, stirring continuously to blend the ingredients well.
  • Toss Salad with Dressing: Pour the hot dressing over the spinach mixture in the salad bowl. Toss gently to ensure the spinach wilts evenly and all ingredients are well coated.
  • Add Crispy Bacon: Sprinkle the cooked, crispy bacon over the salad.
  • Rest and Serve: Let the salad rest for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve immediately while the dressing is still warm.

Take a step towards a healthier you by preparing and relishing Wilted Spinach Salad.

What Herbs And Spices Work Well In Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe?

  • Garlic: Minced or thinly sliced, garlic adds a pungent, earthy flavor.
  • Shallots: Finely chopped shallots bring a mild, sweet onion taste.
  • Dill: Fresh dill complements the spinach with its light, feathery texture, and slightly tangy flavor.
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves contribute a sweet, aromatic essence.
  • Chives: Snipped chives offer a mild onion-like flavor with a hint of garlic.
  • Thyme: Fresh thyme leaves add a subtle, earthy aroma.
  • Paprika: A sprinkle of paprika can introduce a smoky element, especially when bacon is omitted.
  • Mustard Seeds: For a little bite and texture.
  • Cumin: A pinch of ground cumin adds warmth and a slight earthiness.
  • Crushed Red Pepper: For those who enjoy a bit of heat.
  • Lemon Zest: Adds a bright, citrusy note.
  • Mint: Fresh mint leaves for a refreshing, cooling flavor.
Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe

Nutritional Values

The Wilted Spinach Salad is a nutritional powerhouse. Spinach, the main ingredient, is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, iron, and calcium. 

The eggs add high-quality protein and essential vitamins like B12 and D. If you include bacon, it contributes protein and fat. 

However, it’s wise to consume it in moderation due to its sodium and fat content. 

Adding nuts or seeds can boost the intake of healthy fats and fiber. This salad is a well-rounded option for a nutritious meal.

What Are The Total Calories In The Salad?

The total calories in the Wilted Spinach Salad depends on the specific quantities and types of ingredients used.

However, a typical serving of this salad might contain around 100-200 calories. 

Most of these calories come from the bacon and the dressing, particularly if oil or bacon drippings are used. 

Spinach and other vegetables contribute minimal calories, while eggs add a moderate amount. 

Reducing or substituting the bacon and dressing ingredients can be effective for a lower-calorie version.

Health Benefits Of The Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe

Rich In Vitamins And Minerals

Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrients like vitamins A, C, K, iron, and calcium.

Protein Source

Hard Boiled eggs provide high-quality protein essential for muscle building and repair.

Heart Health

The leafy greens in the salad contribute to cardiovascular health due to their high levels of folate and magnesium.

Eye Health

Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health.

Bone Strength

The vitamin K in spinach supports bone health.

Antioxidant-Rich

Spinach is loaded with antioxidants, which combat free radicals and support overall health.

Weight Management

Low in calories yet high in fiber, this salad can aid in weight management and satiety.

Improved Digestion

The fiber in spinach and other greens promotes healthy digestion.

Blood Sugar Control

Fiber also helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

Skin Health

Vitamins in spinach contribute to healthy, glowing skin.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Dressings Are Best Served With Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe?

  • Classic Vinaigrette: A simple blend of olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and a hint of garlic complements the salad without overpowering it.
  • Balsamic Reduction: Offers a sweet and tangy flavor that enhances the natural taste of spinach.
  • Lemon Tahini Dressing: Provides a creamy, nutty flavor with a citrusy zest, ideal for a Middle-Eastern twist.
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette: Adds a fruity and slightly sweet note, perfect for balancing the savory elements.
  • Honey Mustard: A combination of sweet and tangy that works well with the bacon and eggs in the salad.
  • Blue Cheese Dressing: For a rich, tangy, and creamy texture that contrasts with the crisp spinach.
  • Warm Bacon Dressing: Utilizes the bacon drippings from the salad, mixed with vinegar and sweeteners, creating a traditional and flavorful dressing.
  • Caesar Dressing: A richer option that adds a garlicky and cheesy depth.
  • Greek Yogurt Dressing: A healthier alternative, offering a tangy and creamy flavor without too many calories.
  • Italian Dressing: A herbaceous and zesty option for those who prefer a lighter dressing.
Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe

Wilted Spinach Salad. A celebration of health with spinach, green onions, and the richness of bacon.

Are There Any Unique Toppings That Can Elevate The Crunch Factor Of Wilted Spinach Salad?

  • Candied Pecans: Their sweet and nutty crunch adds a delightful contrast.
  • Crumbled Pita Chips: A Mediterranean twist that offers a satisfying crunch.
  • Sesame Sticks: These bring a nutty flavor and extra texture.
  • Fried Shallots: Offer a crispy, slightly sweet onion flavor.
  • Roasted Chickpeas: For a protein-packed, crunchy addition.
  • Sunflower Seeds: A simple way to add a nutty crunch.
  • Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas): Their unique texture and flavor work well with spinach.
  • Crumbled Rice Cakes: A light, airy crunch that’s also gluten-free.
  • Wasabi Peas: For a spicy, crunchy kick.
  • Fried Capers: They add a salty, crispy element.
Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe

What Is The Difference Between Homemade And Store-Bought Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe?

  • Freshness: Homemade salads typically use fresher ingredients, especially spinach, which can be more appealing.
  • Ingredient Quality: You have control over the quality of ingredients in homemade salads, ensuring they are organic or locally sourced if preferred.
  • Flavor Customization: Homemade salads allow for personalizing flavors adjusting dressings and toppings to taste.
  • Nutritional Control: You can make healthier choices with homemade versions, like reducing sugar or salt in the dressing.
  • No Preservatives: Homemade salads don’t contain the preservatives often found in store-bought versions.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Preparing salads at home can be more economical than buying pre-made ones.
  • Portion Sizes: Homemade salads offer flexibility in portion sizes, ideal for different meal needs.
  • Variety of Ingredients: You can experiment with a wider range of ingredients at home.
  • Dressing Quality: Homemade dressings usually lack the stabilizers and emulsifiers found in commercial dressings.
  • Enjoyment of Cooking: Making a salad at home adds the pleasure of cooking to your meal experience.

How Can You Store Or Preserve The Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe Leftovers?

  • Separate Components: Keep the dressing separate from the greens to prevent further wilting.
  • Airtight Containers: Store the salad in airtight containers to maintain freshness.
  • Refrigeration: Keep the salad refrigerated and consume within 1-2 days.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as it can deteriorate the texture of the spinach and other ingredients.
  • Crisp Up Bacon: If bacon was used, reheat it separately to maintain its crispiness.
  • Revive with Fresh Greens: Add fresh spinach to the leftovers when serving again to rejuvenate the salad.
  • Lightly Re-dress: Add a small amount of fresh dressing before serving again.
Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment List

  • Large Salad Bowl: Combine the spinach, onions, and eggs.
  • Skillet or Frying Pan: Essential for cooking the bacon to crispiness.
  • Slotted Spoon: Useful for removing the bacon from the pan while leaving the drippings behind.
  • Paper Towels: To drain the bacon after frying.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurately measuring ingredients like vinegar, sugar, water, salt, and pepper.
  • Mixing Spoons or Salad Tongs: For tossing the salad gently with the dressing.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: For chopping the bacon, eggs, and green onions.
  • Egg Slicer: Optional, but useful for evenly slicing hard-boiled eggs.
  • Small Saucepan: If you prefer to make the dressing separately from the bacon drippings.
  • Whisk: For emulsifying the dressing ingredients together.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make Wilted Spinach Salad Vegetarian?

Yes, you can easily make this salad vegetarian. Replace the bacon with a vegetarian alternative like smoked tofu or sautéed mushrooms to mimic the smoky flavor. 

You might also consider adding more vegetables like bell peppers or artichokes for added texture and flavor.

Is This Salad Suitable For A Low-Carb Diet?

Wilted Spinach Salad can be adapted for a low-carb diet. The primary source of carbs comes from the sugar in the dressing. 

Use a sugar substitute or reduce the amount to make it more low-carb friendly.

How Can I Store Leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, it’s best eaten fresh, as the spinach will continue to wilt. 

The bacon may lose its crispiness. Store the dressing separately and add it when you’re ready to eat.

Can I Use Different Types Of Vinegar For The Dressing?

Absolutely. While the recipe typically calls for regular vinegar, you can experiment with apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or even red wine vinegar for different flavor profiles.

Is Wilted Spinach Salad Healthy?

Wilted Spinach Salad is generally healthy, particularly because the spinach is high in vitamins and minerals. 

However, the nutritional value can vary depending on the amount of dressing and bacon used. 

For a healthier version, limit these ingredients or opt for healthier alternatives.

Healthy Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe - A Versatile Recipe

Healthy Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe – A Versatile Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Salads
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Calories

120

kcal

The Wilted Spinach Salad is a classic dish that beautifully balances the tender texture of lightly wilted spinach with the savory crunch of bacon and the soft, creamy touch of hard-boiled eggs. Enhanced by a warm, tangy dressing, this salad offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures. It’s a versatile dish, perfect as a standalone meal or as a side, adaptable to various dietary preferences with simple ingredient swaps.

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups 6 Spinach (Washed, Drained Well, Torn Into Bite-Size Pieces)

  • 1⁄4 Cup 1⁄4 Green Onion (Sliced)

  • 3 3 Hard Boiled Egg (Coarsely Chopped)

  • 5 5 Bacon (Slices, Chopped)

  • 1⁄4 Cup 1⁄4 Vinegar

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Water

  • 1⁄2 Teaspoon 1⁄2 Salt

  • 1⁄4 Teaspoon 1⁄4 Pepper

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare The Salad Base
    Combine 6 cups of well-drained, torn spinach leaves in a large salad bowl with 1⁄4 cup of sliced green onions.
    Add 3 coarsely chopped hard-boiled eggs to the bowl.
  • Cook The Bacon
    Place 5 slices of chopped bacon in a skillet.
    Cook over medium heat until the bacon is crispy.
    Once done, remove the bacon from the skillet and drain it on paper towels.
  • Prepare The Dressing
    Pour off excess bacon fat from the skillet, leaving about 3 tablespoons.
    Add 1⁄4 cup of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of pepper to the remaining bacon drippings.
    Heat this mixture over medium heat until it reaches a boiling point, stirring constantly to blend the ingredients.
  • Dress The Salad
    Pour the hot dressing evenly over the spinach, onion, and egg mixture in the salad bowl.
    Toss the salad gently to ensure the spinach is evenly coated and begins to wilt slightly.
  • Add The Bacon
    Sprinkle the cooked, crispy bacon over the salad.
  • Serve Immediately
    Serve the salad immediately while the dressing is warm for the best flavor and texture experience.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • For optimal flavor, use fresh, young spinach leaves.
  • The dressing can be adjusted according to taste; more sugar for sweetness or additional vinegar for tanginess.
  • This salad is best served immediately after preparation to enjoy the contrast of warm and cool.
  • To make it a heartier meal, consider adding grilled chicken or tofu.
  • Substitute the bacon with a vegetarian alternative or omit it entirely for a healthier version.

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