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Spinach Cranberry Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

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This spinach cranberry salad is served with warm bacon dressing for a delicious salad with the perfect amount of crunch, flavor, and comfort! 

With the New Year, we are working hard on including more salad in our home cooking. From watermelon feta salad to cucumber vinegar salad, we have loved the freshness as we gear up for spring! 

A spinach cranberry salad next to a bowl of warm bacon dressing and serving utensils.

I promise you, the bacon dressing makes the salad. Bacon fat, bacon crumbles, shallots, garlic, and red wine vinegar, what’s not to love?

The dressing is added to the salad hot, which will slightly wilt the leaves while coating them in bacon goodness. It’s the perfect balance of flavor! 

We serve this as a side dish for any meat, but it’s super delicious on it’s own. Whenever we have spinach to use up, my first thought is spinach cranberry salad with bacon dressing.

A spoon adding warm bacon dressing to spinach cranberry salad.

How To Make Bacon Dressing

This salad isn’t the same with warm bacon dressing, and it’s super easy to whip up! To make the bacon dressing:

  1. Chop the bacon and saute until crispy. 
  2. Save 1/4 cup of the rendered bacon fat in the pan. 
  3. Add shallot and garlic, then saute until fragrant.
  4. Add red wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve warm.

If you have leftover dressing, store it in an airtight container for your next salad. Just heat it in a saucepan over medium heat when you’re ready to serve! 

A bowl of spinach cranberry salad ready to be dressed.

Other Delicious Additions To Spinach Cranberry Salad

Spinach salad with cranberries has the perfect mix of slightly wilted spinach, crisp onions, chewy sweet dried cranberries, and lightly toasted almonds for extra crunch! We love these simple additions and substitutions as well:

  • Green onions
  • Feta cheese (my favorite thing to add)
  • Gorgonzola
  • Apples
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Shredded carrots
  • Arugula

Serving utensils tossing spinach cranberry salad and warm bacon dressing.

What About The Leftovers?

Spinach cranberry almond salad, once dressed, has to be served immediately. The hot bacon dressing will wilt the spinach leaves slightly while dressing them, creating a perfect balance. 

When serving, just dress what you’ll eat. You can always add the bacon dressing the next day!

This salad is great for meal prep, just make the salad and serve the dressing in a separate container to mix with the spinach salad when you’re ready for it. 

Try Serving These With Spinach Cranberry Salad

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Spinach Cranberry Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Bailey
This fresh salad is balanced perfectly with a delicious warm bacon dressing, crunchy red onions, fresh spinach, and sweet cranberries.
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Tried this recipe?I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and rating below!


For The Dressing

  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons honey to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar to taste

For The Salad

  • 3 cups spinach rinsed
  • 1/3 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


For The Warm Bacon Dressing

  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped bacon, and cook until crisp. Move bacon to a paper towel lined plate, reserving 1/4 cup of rendered fat in the pan. If you don't have 1/4 cup of fat, add olive oil to equal 1/4.
  • Add garlic and shallot, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add honey, red wine vinegar, pepper, and mustard powder to taste. You may enjoy with more or less sweetness and acidity.

For The Spinach Cranberry Salad

  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add warm bacon dressing, and toss to combine.


Honey and red wine vinegar amounts may need to be adjusted to personal taste. 
To add a kick, try adding 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the bacon dressing. 
Serve immediately after dressing. 
Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 308mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 2110IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg

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Salad being tossed in a serving dish with warm bacon dressing.

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