Drizzle this delicious homemade balsamic vinaigrette over any salad and instantly elevate it from drab to fab!
A Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing is THE salad for people who don’t love salad! The olive oil and sweet balsamic glaze over your choice of tasty toppings turns a spinach salad from simply nutritious to downright delicious!
A Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe for Any Salad!
There is no “one right way” to make a great salad. But this balsamic vinaigrette dressing and fresh baby spinach are the foundation for various amazing, healthy salads!
Personally, I love the classic combination of blueberries, feta, candied pecans, and sliced red onion – so fresh and full of flavor! The berries and pecans add sweetness to the peppery vinaigrette dressing.
The beauty of a spinach salad is that almost any combination of fruits, veggies, nuts, and cheese will be yummy! Think strawberries, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and avocado. Or grilled chicken, pine nuts, peppers, and parmesan with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Don’t forget boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, and crunchy green onion.
You are only limited by your imagination!
Other Recipes to Serve with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- This Pear and Gorgonzola Spinach Salad is another creative salad that works beautifully with the balsamic vinaigrette.
- What completes a salad better than warm, Homemade Cheese Bread? Nothing! This cheese bread recipe is fantastic!
Salad: Baby spinach makes the best salad foundation, but of course, you could use regular spinach, iceberg lettuce, romaine, and spring mix…it’s up to you!
Salad Toppings: Your choice of fruits, veggies, nuts, meats, or cheese. The balsamic vinaigrette pulls it all together – you almost can’t go wrong!
Balsamic Dressing: To make this vinaigrette, you’ll need balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, a Tbsp of chopped purple onion, brown sugar, and salt & pepper. That’s it – smooth and simple!
How to Make Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
STEP ONE: Start by making the salad dressing. Whisk the balsamic vinegar, EVOO, onion, brown sugar, salt & pepper.
STEP TWO: Pour the dressing into an airtight container and place it in the fridge until ready to use.
STEP THREE: Chop any ingredients you plan to add to your salad. Everything should be bite-sized or smaller. Place baby spinach leaves into a bowl or onto a plate. Top with your desired salad fixings.
STEP FOUR: Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the Balsamic vinaigrette and serve!
Tips for Success
- Fresh-made balsamic vinaigrette dressing can be eaten right away, but it gets more flavorful after resting for a few hours as the oil absorbs the flavor of the onion.
- A spinach salad makes a delicious, healthy side for almost any dinner. You can add a protein – like grilled chicken, boiled eggs, turkey, ham, grilled tuna, or salmon – and you’ll have a complete, easy, and nutrient-dense meal!
- If you are introducing your kids to balsamic vinaigrette for the first time, try mincing the onion extra fine and doubling the brown sugar.
What’s the Difference between Balsamic Vinegar and Balsamic Vinaigrette?
Balsamic vinegar is just a type of pure vinegar! It has a dark color and intense flavor – it would be overwhelming alone on a salad! On the other hand, Balsamic Vinaigrette is a mixture of balsamic vinegar with olive oil, sugar, salt, and other spices and makes a wonderful salad dressing or marinade.
Does Balsamic Vinaigrette need to be Refrigerated?
While balsamic vinegar alone can last a long time in your pantry, it will need to be chilled once you make it into a vinaigrette. This mix will last 2-3 weeks in your fridge.
Other Succulent Salad Recipes:
- Winter Spinach Salad
- Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Bacon Dressing
- Strawberry Feta Salad
- Easy Wedge Salad
- Grilled Romaine Salad with Pesto Chicken
- Chopped Spinach Pomegranate Salad
- Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash
- Chipotle Tomato Wedge Salad
*This post was originally posted on 01/07/2013.
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 2 red bell peppers seeded and chopped
- ¾ red onion peeled and diced
- 8 hard-boiled eggs
- 6 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 8 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
- 4 ounces candied pecans chopped
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a medium mixing bow or mason jar. Whisk together until combined, or cover the jar and shake to mix.
- For the salad, add some spinach to a bowl. Top with bell pepper, red onion, eggs, crumbled bacon, and candied pecans.
- Drizzle on some balsamic vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- Nutritional information includes 2 tablespoons of dressing per salad.
- You’ll need 1 red onion to make the dressing and the salad.
- Store any leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge.