Spinach with red onion and bacon in a white ceramic bowl

Bacon, Spinach, and Red Onion Salad

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I know — a Bacon, Spinach, and Red Onion Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette seems pretty simple. It is. But oftentimes, some of the simplest, most straightforward recipes are the best!

This healthy spinach salad recipe uses just a handful of ingredients. It’s gluten free, paleo, low carb, and keto. There are multiple ways to customize this recipe, so read on for those tips!

Spinach with bacon and red onion in a white ceramic bowl

Simple ingredients for a healthy spinach salad recipe

As far as spinach salad ideas go, this one’s a classic! And you don’t have to pull many crazy ingredients together for it, either.

Simple is best for a salad like this one.

You’ll need:

  • Fresh, washed and dried spinach
  • Bacon, preferably thick cut and nitrate free
  • Red onion
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Reserved bacon fat

And that’s it!

Add some zest: how to customize bacon, spinach, and red onion salad

Need a boost of protein? Add a couple quartered hard-boiled eggs just before serving.

In search of a little sweet addition? Add 1/4 cup or so of unsweetened or apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries.

Want a bigger flavor punch? Add crumbled bleu cheese. Props if you get some really funky stuff.

Have any other suggestions? Drop them in the comments below!

Do I need to trim the spinach?

No. Unless the stems of the spinach are particularly rigid and tough, I personally don’t see much benefit to trimming the spinach.

If I were serving this bacon, spinach, and red onion salad for guests and I was really looking to coax them into eating spinach, I might reconsider. (Although the bacon definitely helps with that.)

However, generally for spinach salads I end up chopping the spinach up a bit before tossing with other ingredients. If you do this, though, you don’t have much hope for saving leftovers. But I find spinach salads easier to manage if I’m not ungracefully shoving full leaves of spinach into my mouth.

You do you, though! For the photos, I left the leaves intact because it’s prettier that way. #foodphotographerprobs

More easys summer salad recipes to try

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Spinach with red onion and bacon in a white ceramic bowl

Bacon, Spinach, and Red Onion Salad

  • Author: Chelsea Joy
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Simple and easy, this red onion, bacon, and spinach salad makes a perfect summer accompaniament to any meal! I macerate the red onions to lessen their bite — if you’ve never done it before, give it a try!




  1. Put the sliced red onions in a jar and add apple cider vinegar. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to let the onions macerate.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Chop the bacon into 1-inch pieces and add to the skillet, stirring for 8 minutes or until the pieces are browned and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces from the skillet to a plate and set aside. Reduce heat to low. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of bacon fat.
  3. Add the onion and apple cider vinegar mixture to the skillet, stirring briefly to combine. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the spinach to a large bowl, then pour in dressing and onions. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Keywords: bacon red onion spinach salad, spinach salad


I'm Chelsea, the author behind Chelsea Joy Eats! I believe life should be full of flavor. I enjoy creating recipes that are nourishing, flavorful, and satisfying. When not experimenting in the kitchen, I usually have a camera, barbell, or mug of coffee in hand. My posts may include affiliate links, which means if you click through a purchase something, I make a small commission at no cost to you. It helps me fuel my coffee habit and pay rent!

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