Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing.
I’m about to convince you that this salad is dessert.
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.
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.
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
- 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!
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113 Comments on “Killer Spinach Salads with Hot Bacon Dressing.”
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!
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.
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. :)
My mom used to make a spinach salad with warm dressing – this just took me back a couple decades :) pinned
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)
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.
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!
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!
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.
Hot bacon dressing? HOT BACON DRESSING? How do I say YES in every language?
I’m not a huge dressing person, but I’m all over this salad. Extra cheese, please.
My mother in law makes a very similar salad minus the blue cheese. Bacon fat dressing really is so so tasty! :)
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.
Please make those brownies!
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!
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!
Yum! I love the addition of the Gorgonzola in this classic spinach salad!
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!!!
Girl, you know have to make a totally crush-worthy salad! Craving this now!!
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.
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!
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!
This salad looks so perfect with all the greasy goodness!! lol
Wow-looks fantastic….seriously, love the warm bacon dressing!!
“Please sit back while I serve you a lovely plate of cholesterol.” Haha…I love you.
looks SO SO delicious!!
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!
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!
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
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!
Oh bacon. How I love thee. This seriously looks incredible. You convinced me…
Dying over that bacon dressing. I’m so glad I learned about this today! I had no idea hot bacon dressing was a thing.
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??
Bacon dressing?! Wow, you definitely have my attention! I would like to give this a try!
Sign me up for this. All of it.
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!
That looks sooo good. since it is on spinach that makes it healthy in my book ;).
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.
this really does look like the best salad ever. I’m officially hungry. ugh.
Mmm this bacon dressing looks amazing!!
The look of this salad makes me hungry!
I could totally eat this salad every single day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner…and possibly the latenight snack! Beautiful.. :-)
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!
Breakfast or dinner- who cares? My cholesterol thanks you.
This is my favorite salad ever! I love the flavor combo, it works so well together!
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 :-)
I have to make this! And bacon grease in chocolate chip cookies… yep, I did that. It was awesome.
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.
oh my lord!
hahaha this looks amazing.
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!
Oh boy. i’ll be dreaming about this salad for the next couple of days!
how did i not come across your blog earlier?!?! it is fantastic! loving the salad posts!