I’m about to convince you that this salad is dessert.

Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing I howsweeteats.com

I mean, I guess it could totally be dinner. But do you see the words up there? KIL-LER. Not just because it’s delicious but it’s kind of… loaded with wonderful things that your heart may not love.

Please sit back while I serve you a lovely plate of cholesterol. TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing I howsweeteats.com

Here’s the deal. This was Mother Lovett’s favorite salad of all time. Okay – minus the avocado (I don’t know if she ever got into it) – and maybe add a few mushrooms. But this was HER salad. It was the salad that she’d order every single time it was on the menu and also one that she’d ask us to pick up for her as a treat.

And you know it’s not even about the salad. This post, these photos? They have nothing to do with this pile of spinach that I threw cheese and egg and avocado on top of. Oh no.

It’s allllll about the dressing.

The bad news is that hot bacon dressing is quite possibly one of the least photogenic foods in the universe, right up there with meatloaf, gravy and all that jazz.

Apparently all things that taste fabulous look like garbage to the human eye.

It’s also one of my mom’s favorite salads, if not her very favorite. If it’s on the menu, sometimes she will order a different salad and request the hot bacon dressing.  And if I’m being real, even though I might have said back in the day that the first salad I learned to love was a Caesar, THIS was most likely the first salad I ever forked into my mouth and actually enjoyed. It’s ridiculously decadent and wonderful.

sidebar: if you don’t have a jar of bacon grease in your fridge, change that now. It can be used for all the things. I even had a weak moment on Friday when I wondered if it could be used in brownies. Fear not. I did not go there.


Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing I howsweeteats.com

While this isn’t a salad you can eat every day or, heck, even every week, it’s definitely one of those salads that can double as comfort food and impress friends at the same time.  You can add whatever you like – and remove some of the heart attack worthy elements so you feel better about your life and don’t mind eating this salad on Monday night. I’m thinking honey roasted chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes and the dressing. Maybe even some roasted garlic cloves on top. See! We can make this doable.

The key though… is that the dressing is WARM – just as the title suggests, so keep it hot until serving. I actually love when the eggs are semi freshly boiled as well and still a little warm (or better yet – do soft boiled eggs! We can be BFFs for life.), so you have cold spinach, hot bacon and warm dressing. It’s a freaking hug on a plate.

You look like you need a hug.

Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing I howsweeteats.com


Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing

Yield: serves 2, is easily multiplied

Total Time: 30 minutes


2 eggs
6 slices thick-cut bacon
8 cups of fresh baby spinach (I don't mind stems, if you do, remove them)
2 ounces gorgonzola cheese
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

hot bacon dressing
1/4 cup bacon fat
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar!)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 slices bacon, crumbled


I like to begin by boiling the eggs so they are finished by the time the dressing is ready. I do that by adding the eggs to cold water, heating them over medium heat and gradually increasing it to high heat. Once boiling, I boil the eggs for 2 minutes, then I remove them from the heat, cover the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes. I then run the eggs under cold water for a few minutes and let them soak in the cold water until ready to peel.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. I think bacon is best when cooked over medium-low heat, as it crisps up evenly. Cook the bacon until all the fat is rendered and then turn off the heat. Place the bacon on a paper towel to slightly drain and cool. Gently pour the bacon fat into a bowl or cup.

To assemble the salads, pile your spinach on a plate and cover with the sliced hard boiled eggs, avocado and gorgonzola. Crumble on two slices of bacon and season with a bit of pepper if you'd like. I find that this salad doesn't need a lot of salt since the components are so salty.

hot bacon dressing
Add the bacon grease, , minced garlic, vinegar, sugar and mustard to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the dressing slightly emulsifies. Season with the salt and pepper. Before serving, add in the crumbled bacon. You can keep this over low heat while stirring occasionally until ready to serve. I suggest reheating it in a saucepan like so. This is the combo I've come to love over the years, but you can experiment with different vinegars, more bacon fat and other spices too!

[dressing adapted from alton brown]

Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing I howsweeteats.com

pretty much to die for.

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70 Responses to “Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing.”

  1. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — May 12, 2014 @ 6:49 am

    Give me a fork and pass me a plate of cholesterol….no better way to start a week in my opinion! I want to swim in the dressing. BACON DRESSING? Mind blown. Pinned!


  2. #
    Katie — May 12, 2014 @ 6:56 am

    I have a jar of bacon grease that just gets more and more full and I never know what to do with but I knowwww I can’t get rid of it, so thank you!! I am all sorts of excited about this salad.


    • Cate — May 12th, 2014 @ 9:58 am

      Ha! I store mine in a old coffee can in the freezer (my mom always did) and mine is about full now. I think it’s time to make this dressing. It’s a similar dressing to the one I use in German potato salad. :)


  3. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 12, 2014 @ 7:07 am

    My mom used to make a spinach salad with warm dressing – this just took me back a couple decades :) pinned


  4. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — May 12, 2014 @ 7:13 am

    Oh my bacon fat is going to get a work out this week! I going to pour this dressing on everything now, and I mean EVERYTHING (desserts included, maybe)


  5. #
    Lizy Tish — May 12, 2014 @ 7:19 am

    Oh. My. Gosh. This looks so wonderful. I had a salad like this many many years ago at a restaurant and haven’t found one like it since. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough. But now I can make it myself! Can’t wait.


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — May 12, 2014 @ 7:35 am

    I’d be totally up for that soft boiled egg option! Call me odd, but I think contrasting temperatures in the same meal are the best. I’ll often drink a cold smoothie with a cup of tea at the same time, and I love warm dressings on my cold, crispy salads. There’s this one poppyseed dressing that I re-created based on one that used to be served at a restaurant in my hometown, and that on a spinach and mandarin salad…. killer. :) Beautiful photos as always – yes, even the bacon dressing one!


  7. #
    Lisa @ Simple Pairings — May 12, 2014 @ 7:40 am

    Spinach, bacon, and eggs – there doesn’t need to be much else, does there? One of the most satisfying salads, I think. Hearty and definitely not lacking in flavor!


  8. #
    momwithkids — May 12, 2014 @ 7:45 am

    Wow, this is very nice salad, I never thought about using bacon in this way, we are using some very nice salads in our women’s group and it has been causing great weight loss, we may mix in some chicken with this recipe.



  9. #
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit — May 12, 2014 @ 8:23 am

    Hot bacon dressing? HOT BACON DRESSING? How do I say YES in every language?


  10. #
    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner — May 12, 2014 @ 8:52 am

    I’m not a huge dressing person, but I’m all over this salad. Extra cheese, please.


  11. #
    Kelly @ The Pretty Bee: Cooking + Creating — May 12, 2014 @ 9:36 am

    My mother in law makes a very similar salad minus the blue cheese. Bacon fat dressing really is so so tasty! :)


  12. #
    Heather — May 12, 2014 @ 9:53 am

    I swear you read my mind sometimes. I was just talking about my favorite spinach and shrimp salad from Applebees over the weekend and how I’ve tried to recreate it, but there is no good substitute for the HOT BACON DRESSING! And then poof, you’ve provided me with exactly what I needed.


  13. #
    Melissa — May 12, 2014 @ 9:57 am

    Please make those brownies!


  14. #
    heather — May 12, 2014 @ 10:05 am

    girl, you can totally make brownies from added bacon fat. I’ve done it. Just beware that if they are not consumed within a day or so the fat begins to resurface and then it just looks… gross. And unappetizing. But bring it to a friends house or a BBQ and they will be a hit!


    • Mitchiko — May 13th, 2014 @ 11:41 am

      Heather, really? I guess I’m confused as to what the flavor would taste like. I may have to try it this weekend for the kiddos!


  15. #
    Kim in MD — May 12, 2014 @ 10:08 am

    Yum! I love the addition of the Gorgonzola in this classic spinach salad!


  16. #
    Kim S. — May 12, 2014 @ 10:20 am

    Ok- this is crazy. I was just craving spinach salad with warm bacon dressing a few days ago (preggo cravings are strange, man) because I bought a bunch of organic spinach from the farmer’s market. I couldn’t believe this recipe when I opened my e-mail this morning. It is a sign- I am meant to have this salad. Ha! Thanks!!!


  17. #
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm — May 12, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    Girl, you know have to make a totally crush-worthy salad! Craving this now!!


  18. #
    Angel Reyes — May 12, 2014 @ 11:10 am

    Thankfully, we don’t really absorb much cholesterol directly from food so we are all safe eating this! I have to say you killed it with the pictures. They maybe hard to take (of the dressing) but you did an amazing job.


  19. #
    Carrie K — May 12, 2014 @ 11:49 am

    My mom had just sent me the Alton Brown recipe that inspired this and I must say I love your addition of the Gorgonzola to it. I must make one of these (or a mix of both) soon!


  20. #
    Abbe@This is How I Cook — May 12, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

    When i was a teenager, a long time ago, my mother discovered this salad. She made it every night. My life has never been the same. Yes, this is crazy. But it is a very good kind of crazy!


  21. #
    ami@naivecookcooks — May 12, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

    This salad looks so perfect with all the greasy goodness!! lol


  22. #
    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — May 12, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

    Wow-looks fantastic….seriously, love the warm bacon dressing!!


  23. #
    bridget350@gmail.com — May 12, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

    “Please sit back while I serve you a lovely plate of cholesterol.” Haha…I love you.


  24. #
    Nora&Laura — May 12, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    looks SO SO delicious!!


  25. #
    Karen — May 12, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

    First, of COURSE I have a jar of bacon fat in my fridge. Duh! Second, GO THERE! I’ve made a chocolate cake substituting bacon fat for the butter/shortening, and garnished it with candied bacon drizzled with chocolate. The cake is crazy moist and delish, so I’m sure brownies would be as well. The chocolate bacon candy is an added plus. Do it! Your unique twist will be no doubt fantastic!


  26. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — May 12, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

    One of my favorite salads of all time; a definite oldy but goody!

    Funny; my mom always kept bacon fat in the fridge but then we also had bacon and eggs a lot as kids (and lived to tell!).

    Only in the past year have I started to save mine again; it’s is the best in dressings or as the fat to grill veggies or…well you know!


  27. #
    Kaysha Comfort — May 12, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

    I’m so obsessed with all of your recipes! You make the most simple meals into something magical! I love it!

    You’re so talented!

    That Comfort Girl


  28. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — May 12, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

    Well isn’t this just the cherry on the top! Now i am so convinced that you are a child of the 80’s! This was one of the salads we served in the restaurant I worked in , back in 1980???? at the early age before I was 25.
    2014 is certainly feeling like 30 years ago! Go Hot Bacon Dressing!


  29. #
    Rebecca — May 12, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

    Oh bacon. How I love thee. This seriously looks incredible. You convinced me…


  30. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — May 12, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

    Dying over that bacon dressing. I’m so glad I learned about this today! I had no idea hot bacon dressing was a thing.


  31. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — May 12, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

    Yup. That’s a killer salad for sure. You think if we were all spoon-fed warm bacon dressing the world would be a better place??


  32. #
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project — May 12, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

    Bacon dressing?! Wow, you definitely have my attention! I would like to give this a try!


  33. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — May 12, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

    Sign me up for this. All of it.


  34. #
    LisaG — May 12, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

    This is one of my favorite salads too! I add shrooms & red onion. I miss hearing about Mother Lovett. Bacon grease makes a mean cornbread!


  35. #
    Elizabeth — May 12, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

    That looks sooo good. since it is on spinach that makes it healthy in my book ;).



  36. #
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — May 12, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    I just watched a show on Food Network where they feature different sweets across the country and this one woman was baking up chocolate bacon fat brownies, so you may be on to something! My boyfriend would die over this salad. Back in my meat eating days I loved a warm spinach salad with bacon dressing so I can really appreciate this.


  37. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — May 12, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

    this really does look like the best salad ever. I’m officially hungry. ugh.


  38. #
    Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife} — May 12, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

    Mmm this bacon dressing looks amazing!!


  39. #
    Medeja — May 13, 2014 @ 7:04 am

    The look of this salad makes me hungry!


  40. #
    Prudy | butter, basil, and breadcrumbs — May 13, 2014 @ 8:12 am

    I could totally eat this salad every single day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner…and possibly the latenight snack! Beautiful.. :-)


  41. #
    Abbey — May 13, 2014 @ 9:39 am

    I regularly make chocolate chip cookies with bacon grease rather than butter. So so so good. Go for it with the brownies. I might this evening because I’ve never thought of it!


  42. #
    kelley @mountainmamacooks — May 13, 2014 @ 9:53 am

    Breakfast or dinner- who cares? My cholesterol thanks you.


  43. #
    Annie @Maebells — May 13, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    This is my favorite salad ever! I love the flavor combo, it works so well together!


  44. #
    Helen @ the crispy crouton — May 13, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    Bacon, spinach, blue cheese, egg – what’s not to like? I’d like to try this topped off with a soft poached egg and let the yolk mix with the bacon dressing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it :-)


  45. #
    Jennifer — May 13, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

    I have to make this! And bacon grease in chocolate chip cookies… yep, I did that. It was awesome.


  46. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — May 13, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

    this salad has Summer bbq written ALL over it, loves! tots thinking about doing a rendition with gorgonzola dolce and fried onions because I’m an animal like that.


  47. #
    Valentina — May 14, 2014 @ 1:31 am

    oh my lord!
    hahaha this looks amazing.



  48. #
    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner — May 14, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

    Okay, I made this salad last night, but instead of the bacon grease dressing (which I’m sure is delicious), I pureed the avocado with Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt, & pepper for a thick dressing. YUM!


  49. #
    ATasteOfMadness — May 14, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

    Oh boy. i’ll be dreaming about this salad for the next couple of days!


  50. #
    milkteaxx — May 15, 2014 @ 12:00 am

    how did i not come across your blog earlier?!?! it is fantastic! loving the salad posts!



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