Friday, June 06, 2014

Recipe for Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Can Be Paleo)

Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing found on
It only takes the tiniest bit of bacon to add great flavor to this Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing!

(For Phase One Fridays I feature Phase One Recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and this flavorful salad dressing with a little chopped bacon is something I've been making for years.  The recipe has been hanging out way back in the archives on the blog since 2005 without a single photo, and I finally remembered to take some pictures to update the post!)   

Spinach salad with bacon is a culinary classic, and in the very early days of my blog I came up with this spinach salad that features a slightly creamy dressing with chopped bacon.   It only takes the tiniest amount of bacon to make this Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing really taste amazing, and I use pre-cooked bacon and then crisp it in the microwave and blot away as much fat as possible, so if you're someone who normally avoids bacon because of the saturated fat, please do not call the bacon police!  There are endless combinations of ingredients you can add to the salad besides the bacon dressing, but sliced mini-peppers, olives, sunflower seeds, and Feta like you see in this photo is probably my favorite.  And if you're not adverse to a little bacon once in a while, this bacon dressing is also fantastic drizzled over sliced tomatoes!

Cook three slices of bacon until very crisp, then use paper towels to blot away as much fat as possible.  When the bacon is super-crisp, crumble  it into small pieces.

Combine the crumbled bacon, mayo, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar), garlic powder, onion powder, Vege-Sal (or salt) and fresh ground black pepper in a food processor or mini processor and blend until it's well combined.  (It won't be smooth; there will be little chunks of bacon throughout the dressing.  (I used the bowl attachment of my Immersion Blender, which was perfect for this.)

Put the spinach in a salad spinner and soak for a few minutes in very cold water to crisp the spinach, then spin well or dry with paper towels.  (If you spinach is really fresh, you can probably skip this step.

Assemble the toppings of your choice which for me were mini-pepper rings, sliced olives, sunflower seeds, and crumbled Feta.

Toss the spinach with a small amount of the dressing, until all the leaves are lightly coated.

Arrange the dressed spinach in a salad bowl and layer on the toppings.  Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing
Makes enough dressing for at least 4 salads; recipe created by Kalyn.)

Bacon Dressing Ingredients:
3 slices very crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar will work; I'd add a little sweetener or sugar if you use white wine vinegar)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (or use slightly less regular salt)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:
fresh spinach leaves, about 3 ounces per salad
Salad toppings of your choice, such as:
sliced red or yellow mini-peppers
feta cheese
sliced olives
sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans or cashews
fresh diced mushrooms
Diced cooked egg
diced cooked asparagus
chopped red cabbage
artichoke hearts
hearts of palm

Cook bacon until it's very crisp; then blot away as much fat as possible.  (I like to use the microwave for this, stopping it several times to blot off the fat and change the paper towel that's under the bacon.)  When the bacon is very crisp, cool slightly and then crumble into very small pieces.

In a food processor (or use the bowl attachment of your Immersion Blender if you have one) combine the crumbled bacon, mayo, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar plus a tiny bit of sweetener), garlic powder, onion powder, Vege-Sal (or salt) and fresh ground black pepper.  Blend for a minute or so, until tiny bits of dressing are mixed throughout the dressing.

If the spinach isn't as crisp as you'd like it, put it in the salad spinner with very cold water and let it sit for a couple of minutes while you prep the other ingredients.  (Spin dry or dry very well with paper towels when you're ready to make the salad.)

Prepare salad toppings as desired.  Toss spinach with desired amount of dressing, until all the spinach pieces are lightly coated with dressing.  Arrange the dressed spinach in a salad bowl and layer on toppings as desired.  Enjoy!

This dressing is also delicious drizzled over sliced tomatoes.  If you have extra dressing it can be stored in the fridge, but you need to let it come to room temperature and shake well when you use it.

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South Beach Suggestions:
The South Beach Diet doesn't really recommend eating bacon because of the saturated fat, but in a dressing like this there's a very minimal amount of bacon.  If you use the suggested low-glycemic salad toppings, I would eat this for any phase of the diet as a "once-in-a-while-treat."

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Ten More Delicious Salads with Spinach:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Spinach and Kale Salad with Greek Flavors and Feta-Lemon Vinaigrette ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Goat Cheese ~ Recipe Girl
Mediterranean Spinach Salad with Garbanzos, Tomatoes, Radishes, and Sumac-Lemon Vinaigrette ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette ~ The Perfect Pantry
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dill ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Avocado-Tuna Spinach Salad ~ Aggie's Kitchen  
Thanksgiving Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing and Roasted Chickpeas ~ FoodieCrush
Wilted Spinach Salad with Edamame, Red Onion, and Black Sesame Seeds ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach Salad with Feta and Walnuts ~ Eating Richly
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. This salad sounds so good Kalyn! Love crispy spinach in salads and the bacon dressing sounds just mouthwatering!

  2. Thanks Zerrin! It really is so good; glad I finally remembered to take some photos.

  3. How much mayo goes in the dressing?

  4. Ginger, thanks for catching that. It's 1/4 cup mayo, will edit right now.

  5. Wow! Looks amazing - so fresh and delicious :)

  6. will try for sure at home.... yummy post...

  7. Redhead and classesncamps, so glad you like it.

  8. Looks delicious! I love your presentation, it looks so colorful and inviting. Bacon dressing sounds awesome too! :)

  9. Thanks June; this really is so, so good!

  10. I wonder -could you heat the dressing a bit in the microwave??

  11. Karen, I think you could but definitely only for a few seconds.


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