Meatless Monday: 'Who-Needs-Bacon?' Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe

Are you with me on this? There is just something weird about eating warm bacon grease spooned onto a salad. I have always loved the taste and texture of barely wilted spinach in a salad, but most restaurants and recipes use hot bacon grease in the wilting liquid. It is a truly American dish, traditionally served with a warm bacon dressing, according to Supreme Food Geek Alton Brown. But, seriously, the time has come for an upgrade! Spinach is one of the healthiest things you can put into your mouth, so I say Hoo-rah for Spinach!

Don’t you just love Meatless Mondays?!

This scrumptious salad could be made into a main dish salad by adding sliced hard boiled eggs, and – never fear – it will STILL be on your table in 20 minutes or less.

I tried this vegetarian version and like it even more than the bacon version. You can use spinach or Swiss Chard – both work well here. The sesame oil gives a little smokiness and the sliced almonds make up the crunch of the bacon bits. I could eat this every single day!


1/2 of a red onion, outer peel removed
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups chopped spinach
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Thinly sliced hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Slice onion into paper-thin slices about 2 inches long. Let onions soak in ice water while preparing rest of dish.

Heat oils in a small saucepan to high heat. Mix together the mustard, vinegar, honey and salt and add to pan. Heat to a boil.

Remove stems from spinach and roughly chop into bite sized pieces. Place into a large serving bowl and the pour on hot mixture from skillet. Immediately toss spinach until all leaves are coated with hot liquid.

Serve about 1 cup of mixture on each plate and sprinkle with onions, almonds and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Other food bloggers’ vegetarian wilted spinach salads:
Wilted Spinach Salad, Kalyns Kitchen
Wilted Spinach Salad with Kamut, Whole Grain Gourmet
Wilted Spinach Salad, The Dinner Files
Wilted Spinach Salad with Sesame Marinated Mushrooms, Food for Laughter

–Posted by Donna


  1. Stacy says

    Just made this salad! Was looking for something Gluten and Dairy free as I have a lot of spinach on hand.

    Love the dressing and the toasted nuts and seeds. I’m not a huge red onion fan so I appreciate that they are added as a “topping” at the end.

    Suggested ideas for kicking this up: Sundried tomatoes or Avocado! I served mine with a side of OceanWise baked Halibut with smoked paprika.

    Thanks so much!

  2. says

    Yes I am with you. Warm bacon grease on spinach. I have had several bad reports, so I haven’t even tried it! This sounds great, though. I love almost anything with rice vinegar in it.

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