“Warm” and “salad” might not be two words you’d normally associate, but we promise you that this warm spinach salad recipe has the goods!
This high-protein salad boasts colorful, nutrient-dense veggies and healthy fats. Roughly chopping the greens ensures that you get bite-sized greens in every delicious bite, and the crispy bacon, crunchy apples, and perfectly roasted butternut squash are downright delightful together.
It’s is also very versatile and customizable. Spinach salad is a classic, but any greens—baby kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, or a combination—will work here. Instead of butternut squash, substitute delicata squash or kabocha. Swap out the walnuts for pecans or pine nuts and the goat cheese for feta. Try it with ranch dressing instead of honey mustard. You can’t go wrong. Once you get the warm spinach salad experience, you’ll want to try loads of different variations.
Warm Spinach Salad
Time in the kitchen: 50 minutes
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- 5 oz. baby arugula
- 8 slices (about 6 oz) bacon
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 lb. shredded or chopped cooked chicken
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced or quartered (see hard-boiling instructions below)
- 1/4-1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard Dressing
- Optional: 1 apple, cubed
- Optional: 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
Lay your bacon out on a rimmed sheet pan and bake it in the oven until it reaches your desired crispiness. This will probably take about 20 minutes, but start checking after 15. Use tongs to remove the bacon to a towel-lined plate. When it is cool enough to handle, roughly chop the bacon and set it aside.
Meanwhile, carefully toss the cubed butternut squash in the bacon fat in the baking sheet. Arrange the butternut squash in a single layer, then place the pan back in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Flip the squash over and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the squash is golden. Place the squash in a bowl large enough to toss all the salad ingredients.
Add the chopped bacon back to the pan and place the pan back in the oven for a few minutes to get the bacon warm again. While the bacon is warming, roughly chop the baby spinach and arugula leaves in batches so they’re in bite-sized pieces.
Add the warm bacon, sliced onion, walnuts, chicken, and apple and/or cheese if you’re adding them to the bowl with the squash. Gently toss the ingredients with the Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard dressing.
Add the chopped greens and egg and gently toss so everything is combined. As you toss the salad together, the arugula and spinach will wilt slightly. Enjoy right away or save leftovers for the next day.
- You can use chopped roasted chicken breast, leftover chicken, a rotisserie chicken, or whatever protein you’d like.
- To keep it lower carb, you can use turnips or radishes in lieu of butternut squash.
- While mixing the greens in with the warm elements will slightly wilt them, you can also lightly sauté the greens prior to adding them to the mixing bowl if you’d like!
How to Hard-boil Eggs
I have a whole post on How to Cook Eggs Perfectly, Every Time. Here are the highlights:
- Fill a pot of water about half full with water and a pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil.
- Carefully add your eggs to the hot water.
- For fully cooked yolks, cook the eggs for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. Peel when they are cool enough to handle.
Check out the other post for more detailed instructions. For this warm spinach salad, you can also omit the hard-boiled eggs and top the tossed salad with poached eggs. Instructions for poaching eggs are in that same post. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts (¼ of recipe):
- Calories: 446
- Fat: 25 grams
- Total Carbs: 22 grams
- Net Carbs: 17 grams
- Protein: 35 grams