by Olena

Spinach Salad

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 10 votes

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Simple Spinach Salad recipe with eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, sesame seeds and a healthy salad dressing. This salad is easy enough for a weeknight dinner and adds a pop of color to any celebration table.

Along with spinach and strawberry salad, lettuce and tomato salad and no massage lemon kale salad, I promise this is one of the best salads you will ever make!

Spinach salad ingredients in a bowl drizzle with easy vinaigrette

I have the best healthy spinach salad recipe for you! Twelve years ago, when we lived in Calgary and I was a brand new mom, a friend invited us over for a weeknight dinner and made this spinach salad for us.

She tossed this baby spinach salad with the dressing in a garbage bag! Not environmentally friendly choice but every spinach leaf got coated in delicious easy spinach salad dressing. It has become my go-to salad and I use tongs for tossing because I feel bad to throw out a plastic bag after single use.

Other salad favorites on frequent rotation include cucumber tomato salad and arugula salad, for weeknights and all celebrations.

Is Spinach Salad Good for You?

Obviously, yes. Spinach is a superfood. I think it’s important to learn how to use spinach in a salad. Frankly there are not many other ways you can eat it raw. And there are health benefits to eating raw vs. cooked spinach.

  • Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium.
  • Spinach has been shown to aid in cancer prevention thanks to its antioxidants.
  • Spinach contains compounds beneficial for the eye health.
  • Spinach keeps your heart healthy.

Raw vs. cooked? It really depends on your healthy eating goals! If you need to add more greens into your ‘diet’, get some raw spinach and make this salad or even a green smoothie! If you need to add more calcium and iron into your diet, eating spinach cooked can help you absorb those nutrients better. 

Ingredients for Spinach Salad with Egg

What to add to spinach salad recipe or what are the ingredients? You will not believe how easy it is.

You can add whatever you want but here are the basics my friend used. And I do the same because I always seem to have these ingredients on hand:

  • Baby spinach

Spinach is such a versatile green vegetable! Here I use it in a salad, but it also tastes great in a cold spinach dip or hot spinach artichoke dip.

  • Grape tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Sesame seeds
  • Homemade spinach salad dressing

Keep reading below for additional add-ins and variations!

How to Make The Best Spinach Salad

  • Prep ingredients: Slice hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumbers. I love to make Instant Pot hard boiled eggs as they turn out perfectly every time!

Toasted sesame seeds: I love to quickly toast my sesame seeds in a small skillet on the stove. You can opt not to toast your seeds, but they do add another layer of flavor.

  • Place ingredients in bowl: Fill large salad bowl with spinach, then add eggs, mushrooms, cucumbers and tomatoes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds last.
  • Make dressing: In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine easy spinach salad dressing ingredients. Shake until well mixed.
  • Toss salad: Pour dressing over salad – as much or as little as you like – then toss salad gently. I like to start with a small amount and then add more as needed.
  • Serve immediately: This salad is best fresh right after you toss the spinach with the dressing.

Healthy Spinach Salad Dressing

Healthy spinach salad dressing is to die for and so easy! You shake all these pantry staples in a jar and refrigerate for up to a few weeks.

It’s my go-to homemade dressing – along with these other 10 favorite salad dressings – and I use it any time on any combination of vegetables.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Soy sauce

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Onions: Red Onions or chopped green onions for additional savory taste.
  • Cheese: Goat cheese or feta would add a touch of creaminess.
  • Avocado: Diced avocado would add healthy fats and creaminess.
  • Nuts: Add sliced almonds or toasted walnuts.
  • Other acidic ingredient: Substitute lemon juice or red wine vinegar for the apple cider vinegar.
  • Bacon: Prepared and chopped bacon would add a salty and savory addition.
  • Cracked black pepper: Could be added to the dressing or right before serving.

Another go to spinach salad that makes a regular appearance at dinner is my strawberry spinach salad!

Tips for Best Salad Results

  • Perfect hard boiled eggs: Follow Instant Pot eggs method for fool proof hard boiled eggs.
  • Cherry vs. grape tomatoes: Either works in this recipe! Grape tomatoes are ‘sturdier’ whereas cherry tomatoes have a thinner skin and ‘burst’ in your mouth. If you have cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden, those are delicious!
  • Use toasted seeds (or nuts): Really will add flavor, just saute in a hot pan quickly and then cool before adding to salad. The smaller the seed the faster it toasts!
  • Amino acids vs. soy sauce: I use amino acids in many of my recipes that call for soy sauce. Just keep in mind that soy sauce is slightly saltier!

Additional add-in tips:

  • Use block cheese: If adding cheese, skip buying the tub or pre-grated stuff. 
  • Red onion tip: If you are sensitive to red onion’s harsher taste but want to add them, soak in water first.

FAQs

How to dry spinach without a salad spinner?

I absolutely love my salad spinner. But if you don’t have one here is how you can dry spinach without a salad spinner:
1. Wash spinach in a large bowl with cold water.
2. Drain and wash again.
3. Drain as much as you can. I usually hold it with my hand. No colander.
4. Spread on a linen towel and pat dry. You might have to switch a towel for dry one. Still more environmentally friendly choice than paper towels.

Can you freeze spinach for salads?

Unfortunately not. Once you freeze fresh spinach it wilts. You can freeze spinach for a green smoothie recipe, lentil soup or spinach dip though. Works like a charm.

How to make candied pecans for spinach salad?

If you would like to “glorify” this simple salad with candied pecans, here is how to make them:
1. In a large skillet, add 1 cup pecans and toast them on medium heat for 5 minutes or until fragrant, stirring often.
2. Turn off heat and add 1 tbsp maple syrup.
3. Stir until nuts are all coated and caramelize.

Of course you can double proportions because these nuts make a delicious snack!

Do you cut up spinach for salads?

If you are using baby spinach you shouldn’t have to! Although, if your baby spinach came with long stems (it happens), you could chop it so each forkful of salad is easier to eat. If you are using ‘full leaf’ spinach, you will need to cut the larger leaves. I like to do this easily with kitchen shears!

What is a good dressing for spinach?

I love the one from this recipe! I also use any of these 10 favorite salad dressings when I want to add some variety.

How many calories are in this healthy salad?

About 170 calories if you serve it as a side dish dividing the recipe into 8 servings. You can also make it a main dish. For example, if you add grilled chicken breast. On a hot summer day…Mmmm. So good!

How much fiber is in spinach salad?

Only 1.6 grams. Ha, I thought would be more. But still this easy salad is super good for you!

spinach salad in a bowl

What to Eat with Spinach Salad?

Love healthy salads? Browse 45 healthy salad recipes for more inspiration!

Can You Make Spinach Salad Ahead of Time?

Once tossed, it is best to enjoy salad the same day. Spinach wilts extremely fast.

Make Ahead: Refrigerate all salad ingredients in a bowl covered with plastic separately from the dressing for up to 2 days. Dressing lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

What if dressing solidifies in the fridge? Olive oil hardens when refrigerated. Just place the jar with the dressing in a bowl with hot water for 10 minutes or so. Always shake dressing before adding to salad.

More Healthy Spinach Recipes

Spinach Salad

Best Ever Spinach Salad {So Easy!}

Simple Spinach Salad recipe with eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, sesame seeds and a healthy salad dressing. This salad is easy enough for a weeknight dinner and adds a pop of color to any celebration table.
5 from 10 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 158kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Spinach Salad

  • 11 oz box of organic baby spinach pre-washed
  • 4 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in halves
  • 1 long English cucumber sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds toasted

Healthy Spinach Salad Dressing

Instructions

  • In a large salad bowl, add spinach, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms and sesame seeds.
    Spinach Salad
  • In a small Mason jar, add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and soy sauce. Screw on lid tight and shake until well mixed.
    Spinach Salad
  • Pour dressing over salad before serving and toss gently. Serve immediately.
    Spinach Salad

Make Ahead: Refrigerate salad ingredients separately from the dressing covered with plastic for up to 2 days.

    Dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Olive oil hardens when refrigerated. Just place a jar with the dressing in a bowl with hot water for 1o minutes or so. Always shake the dressing before serving.

      Video

      Notes

      • How to make candied pecans for spinach salad? If you would like to “glorify” simple spinach salad with candied pecans, here is how to make them:
        1. In a large skillet, add 1 cup pecans and toast them on medium heat for 5 minutes or until fragrant, stirring often.
        2. Turn off heat and add 1 tbsp maple syrup.
        3. Stir until nuts are all coated and caramelize.
      • Cheese: Add fresh feta, goat cheese or parmesan. 
      • Onion: Add chopped red onion or green onion.
      • Lemon juice or red wine vinegar are a good substitute for apple cider vinegar.
      • Nuts: Toasted almonds or walnuts add additional crunch.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1cup | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 445mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3967IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg
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      29 comments on “Spinach Salad

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        1. When you use gluten free soy sauce, tamari or liquid or coconut aminos this is gluten free. Enjoy!

      1. 5 stars
        This is DELICIOUS!!! I didn’t have the apple cider vinegar so I substituted rice wine vinegar. Do NOT skip the sesame seeds. They make the salad! I added a little green onion to mine as well. I scaled the recipe down for 2. And NO I did not share! lol

      2. I am making this to add in my meal plan and just wondering how much the nutritional values change leaving out the mushrooms.

      3. Question: If I make the dressing with rice vinegar will it make a big difference in taste vs apple vinegar?

      4. 5 stars
        I never leave a rating but this salad is totally worth the 5 stars! I didn’t use nuts neither the eggs and served it as a side with rotisserie chicken. The dressing is amazing!!!

      5. 5 stars
        My family loved this salad and dressing. We eat salads at least 3 to 4 times a week and this one will be on our list of favorites. It was so easy and simple to make.

          1. 5 stars
            One of the best baby spinach salads I’ve had.S We had it as meal. I swear, my partner couldn’t stop eating. Amazing. Thank you Olena.?

      6. 5 stars
        Your healthy spinach recipe is Wonderful. Kindly mail me some more recipe about healthy bodies. I m doing my gym training 2 hours per day I m 40 year young man kindly mail me superb recipes for health nutrition

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