If you’re looking for a quick, filling, and light summer meal, I’ve found you! This wilted spinach salad can be a light main dish or a side for your summer grilling. And, as always, this classic salad has plenty of things you can add or sub to make it your own. Pair it with a crisp glass of white wine and you have the perfect meal to enjoy outside on a hot summer day!

What’s in a wilted spinach salad?

A classic wilted spinach salad is made by cooking the bacon, then using the bacon fat to make a warm vinaigrette that is then tossed over the fresh spinach to lightly wilt the spinach. Hard-boiled eggs and red onions are also often added to salads.

My version of wilted spinach salad is a little different. I’ve been digging the convenience of canned beans lately, so I swapped out the usual hard-boiled egg for some cannellini beans. I also used a little garlic instead of fresh red onion, and I made my vinaigrette in the skillet instead of trying to pour the bacon grease into another container. The result is a quick, super filling yet light, and delicious meal.

What else can I add?

You probably already know that I love recipes where you can add all sorts of ingredients and create your own. This salad definitely fits into that category! Here are some other ingredients you can add to the salad below.

Hard boiled eggs
Red onion
Crispy Fried Onions
Blue cheese
Goat cheese
Boiled baby potatoes (this will be almost a cross between German potato salad and spinach salad)
Apples (instead of white beans)
Walnuts (instead of white beans)
Finely chopped radish
The chicken

How are the LEFTOVERS?

This salad is definitely best when made fresh, as you want the spinach to wilt slightly. If you reheat the salad, the spinach will wilt further and become quite flat. It will still taste great, but the texture won’t be as good as the first day.

Wilted Spinach Salad

A wilted spinach salad with bacon, white beans, and a tangy Dijon vinaigrette is a quick, easy, and light summer meal.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


6 oz bacon ($2.06)
2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
2 15 oz cannellini beans, rinsed and drained ($1.78)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ($0.18)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard ($0.12)
1 tablespoon sugar ($0.01)
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
1/8 teaspoon salt ($0.01)
8 oz fresh spinach ($1.99)


Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.
Add the chopped garlic to the pan and fry on medium heat for about a minute.
Add the rinsed and dried beans, vinegar, dijon, sugar, pepper and salt to the pan. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until the beans are heated through and a sauce forms.
Add the fresh spinach to the skillet, stirring it carefully into the hot beans until it is partially wilted. Remove the oven from the heat.
Crumble the bacon over the top and fold to fold. Taste and add salt or pepper to taste. Serve hot!

How to Make Wilted Spinach Salad – Step by Step Guide

Cook 6 oz. Fry bacon in a pan over medium heat until brown and crispy. Drain the cooked bacon on a paper towel-lined plate and leave the bacon fat in the skillet.
Add two chopped cloves of garlic to the skillet and fry in the bacon fat for about a minute.
Add two rinsed and dried 15oz. cannellini beans 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and? salt
Heat the ingredients and stir until everything is heated through and the vinaigrette ingredients are combined.
Add 8 oz. Fresh spinach and stir carefully until the heat partially wilts the spinach. Remove the oven from the heat.
Crumble the cooked bacon onto the skillet and fold in. Taste the salad and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot!

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