Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spinach Salad Recipe with Bacon and Feta

Spinach Salad with Bacon and Feta
I don't eat much bacon, but occasionally I splurge on something like this Spinach Salad with Bacon and Feta.

(Updated with better photos and added to Recipe Favorites in February 2012.) I think spinach salad is a beautiful thing. Not only does it taste fantastic, but according to The World's Healthiest Foods "Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach provide more nutrients than any other food."  Maybe that's why I don't feel too guilty for the tiny bit of bacon in this Spinach Salad with Bacon and Feta, even though I normally don't eat much bacon.   The salad I made above for a dinner with my niece, her husband, and a friend had just one strip of pre-cooked bacon per serving.  We crisped the bacon in a pan and then blotted as much fat as we possibly could with a paper towel. Since the pre-cooked bacon only has three grams of fat per strip to begin with, I'm sure there wasn't more than a gram of fat left in the bacon we each consumed, a number I'm not too worried about. 

Of course, the South Beach Diet doesn't encourage eating bacon because of the saturated fat, and if that's something you feel strongly about, I advise substituting Canadian Bacon in this salad, crisping it a bit in the olive oil. I've made the salad that way and it was also very good.  

Start with pre-cooked bacon and crisp it in a pan, until the fat bubbles up like this.  Then use a paper towel to blot as much fat as you can.

Turn the bacon over and crisp again on the second side.  As you can see, there is not nearly as much fat left in the bacon now, but blot again with paper towels.   Remove bacon from the pan and crumble it.

I used a 5-ounce package of organic baby spinach to make this salad for four people. 

Crumble enough feta so you have about 1 tablespoon for each salad you're making.

After you remove the bacon from the pan, wipe out the pan a little and then heat the dressing for a minute or so.  (Sorry, forget to take a photo of that!)  The toss the spinach with the hot dressing.

Toss the salad again with the crumble bacon.  Put the salad on individual plates or in a serving bowl and sprinkle the feta over.  Serve right away.

Spinach Salad Recipe with Bacon and Feta
(Recipe is for one serving, can be increased for as many servings as desired. Recipe adapted from this spinach salad found on RecipeZaar.)

Ingredients for Each Serving of Salad:
Two large handfuls fresh spinach, washed and dried
1 strip pre-cooked bacon,  (I use the pre-cooked bacon that needs refrigeration)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. garlic puree or crushed fresh garlic
1 T crumbled Feta cheese

Heat small frying pan, add bacon and cook 2-3 minutes, until bacon crisps and bacon fat bubbles up on top of bacon. Blot bacon with paper towel to remove as much fat as possible.  Turn bacon over and cook on the second side until more fat bubbles up and blot again.  Remove bacon to cool and wipe out pan with a paper towel.

Put spinach into large bowl, big enough to toss salad in. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic puree in small bowl and whisk together.

Put pan back on heat, add oil-vinegar-garlic combination and heat until just starting to bubble, then pour immediately over spinach and toss.

Arrange salad on serving plate, crumble feta over, and serve.

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South Beach Suggestions:

I hope the bacon police won't come after me if I say that cooking the bacon carefully and blotting off the fat like I did, I would happily eat this salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet. You could eat this for phase one with something like Very Greek Grilled Chicken or Sauteed Tilapia with Parmesan Crust. For phase two or three it would taste great with Baked Penne with Sausage (made with Dreamfields pasta) or Chicken with Green Chiles and Cheese.

More Spinach Salads You May Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dill from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach Salad with Warm Ginger Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Balsamic Spinach Salad with Mushrooms, Onions, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach and Sorrel Chopped Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach Salad with Chicken, Orange, and Avocado from Cookin' Canuck
Bacon, Sweet Potato, Pomegranate Spinach Salad from Family Fresh Cooking
Strawberry and Spinach Salad from Je Mange le Ville
Spinach Fig Salad from Cooking with Amy
Spinach Pomegranate Salad with Apples and Walnuts from Pinch My Salt
Warm Spinach Salad with Brown Rice and Feta from In Good Taste
(I find these recipes from other blogs from Food Blog Search.)
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More to Chew On:


  1. The salad looks great. Thanks for sharing. It seems that salmon was the fish last week :) I also posted a salmon recipe. I am bookmarking your recipe. It looks wonderful.

  2. This is either lunch or dinner, with Tilapia if dinner!
    Beautiful - you are so detailed, your site is so fantastic!! I don't see how you can make it better but you always seem to be improving!

  3. I make something very similar to this but I sweeten the vinegar and oil with a little splenda...I've not tried it with bacon or garlic but it sounds really good and I'll have to give this a try.

  4. I love spinach salads! My favorite is spinach with fresh strawberries...with a poppyseed dressing! Yum!!

  5. Yum. Sometimes I get a craving for spinach salad so strong that it seems like it must be a physiological manifestation of a need for some nutrient. (maybe iron?) It is so delicious in many forms.
    Most recently, I've been eating a toned down version of a fantastic restaurant one I had. It's got spinach, pears, arugula, crumbly blue and/or cheddar cheese, and a garlic buttermilk dressing.
    How is this in any way "toned down?" You may well ask. In addition to the dressing and cheese, the restaurant version included pears roasted in butter. (I asked) Oi .

  6. Mandira, you're right about the salmon. It's everywhere. Hope you like this recipe.

    Tanna, you are so kind. I love the idea of pairing this with tilapia, just brilliant.

    Naudee, your version sounds good too.

    Maria, strawberries and spinach, what a great combination.

    Lindy, the salad you're describing sounds fantastic. Is'nt spinach salad just such a wonderful thing. Pears roasted in butter, they sound a bit decadent, but I bet they were amazing tasting too.

  7. Simple and delicious, what more could you want?

  8. mmmmmmm...there's nothing better than spinach, bacon, and feta. One of my favorite taste combos. Looks great!

  9. I love salads and I love this one. Can't wait to try it!


  10. Hi Kalyn! My family loves any kind of salad so this would be a big hit as we like all the ingredients. Cheers!

  11. Yum. Feta and spinach can't go wrong. :)

  12. Love salads! Love balsamic vinegar! Love feta cheese!

    Sounds awesome!

  13. I love the new pic in the homepage header. You always have something good to share; thanks for this recipe too!

  14. This is the first time I've seen this recipe, and it looks simply divine. I think a simple spinach salad is definitely my favourite salad of all time: nutritious, guilt-free and delicious, what more could I want?

  15. Kim, hope you like it as much as I do!

  16. I love this salad, and I'm encouraged now to try pre-cooked bacon for the first time. I always see it in the store, but have never used it.

  17. Lydia, I only like the pre-cooked bacon that has to be refrigerated, but that's the only bacon I buy now. I like Costco brand, but there are probably other good ones too.

  18. Simple, fresh and full of flavor. I could happily eat this everyday for lunch. I don't use a lot of bacon anymore either, but it's amazing how much flavor just one strip can provide to a salad like this.

  19. Dara, so true, and thanks for the great salad bowl!

  20. This salad was so amazing that I made it two meals in a row!

    I used turkey bacon and it was good.

    I also added ARUGULA to the spinach mix and the peppery flavor was a very nice compliment to the feta and bacon.

    Thanks for such incredible eats!

  21. Nice to know that it was good with turkey bacon as well, and I love the idea of adding arugula to this!


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