Spinach Salad with Roasted Grapes and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Spinach Salad with Roasted Grapes and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

A bed of baby spinach is topped with grapes, feta, walnuts and bacon, then dressed with a warm bacon drip vinaigrette.

If there’s a way to get veggie naysayers to eat a plate of veggies, it’s to add crispy bits of bacon and some serious bacon-flavored dressing to the mix.

This salad hits all the flavor notes: sweet, salty, savory and sour. It starts with a bed of baby spinach with roasted red grapes, crumbled feta, toasted walnuts and crispy bacon.

After the bacon has cooked, a warm vinaigrette is made from the reserved bacon fat. That might sound like a lot of bacon, but the bacon’s richness is offset by the flavor of feta and roasted grapes.

This salad is great for any weather. The warm components and flavorful vinaigrette make it an ideal addition to your dining table as the season rolls into the cooler fall months.

Make it a meal

This spinach salad is a great accompaniment to grilled or baked proteins like chicken, steak, salmon or other seafood.

If you prefer to bulk up the salad to make a full meal, you can simply add additional veggies, grains and/or proteins. I suggest the following additions:

  • Thinly sliced ​​red onion
  • Raw or roasted broccoli or cauliflower florets
  • farro or barley
  • Sliced ​​hard boiled eggs
  • Red kidney beans or cannellini beans
  • Sliced ​​chicken, steak or fish

The best bacon for the bacon vinaigrette

I recommend using regular bacon in this recipe. It gives off a lot of fat when cooked, which is then used in place of oil in the vinaigrette. You can also use a smoked or flavored bacon variety. As long as it’s pork it should work.

Turkey bacon is fairly lean and doesn’t shed enough drips to make the vinaigrette. However, if you prefer the flavor or nutrition of turkey bacon, you can swap out an equal amount of extra virgin olive oil for the bacon fat in the dressing. I would recommend starting with a quarter cup of the oil and adjusting as needed.

Swaps and Substitutions

Salads are easily customizable, here are a few ideas to change things up:

Green: I find the mild flavor and texture of baby spinach to be the most palatable, but feel free to swap it out for baby cabbage, arugula, or whatever leafy greens you have on hand.

Nuts: If you don’t have walnuts on hand, you can swap them out for pecans, pine nuts, or pistachios.

Cheese: I like the flavor that the feta brings to this salad, but blue cheese or gorgonzola can be substituted.

Fruit: If you’re short on time or grapes, you can skip the roasting step and under-dried cranberries for a similar tangy-tart sweetness.

Prepare the salad just before eating

Salads are best enjoyed freshly made and this one is no exception. It is best consumed immediately after preparation, while the roasted grapes and bacon vinaigrette are still warm.

I don’t recommend planning for leftovers when tossing this salad with the vinaigrette. The spinach goes mushy, the bacon loses its crispiness, and the fat in the dressing congeals in the fridge—not exactly appetizing.

If you have more lettuce than your family can eat at once, dress only the portion of lettuce you intend to eat with vinaigrette.

Store the remaining salad in an airtight container and the remaining vinaigrette in a separate container in the refrigerator and plan to eat within 24 hours. Heat the dressing in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave before dressing the salad.

Looking for more great salad recipes? Try these!

  • Poached Egg and Bacon Salad – Lyonnaise Salad
  • Radicchio salad with citrus fruits
  • Seaweed Salad by Hetty McKinnon
  • Lentil salad with rocket and feta
  • Spring vegetable salad with asparagus, peas and radishes

Spinach salad with roasted grapes and warm bacon vinaigrette

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
20 minutes

total time
30 minutes

up to 6 servings


For the salad

  • 2 cups Seedless red grapes

  • 1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt, taste

  • Ground black pepper, taste

  • 1/2 Cup raw walnuts

  • 8th slices baconcut into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 6 cups baby spinachlong stems removed

  • 3 ounces crumbles feta

For the warm bacon vinaigrette

  • 1/4 Cup reserved bacon fat

  • 1/4 Cup shallotfine chopped

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven and prepare a baking sheet:

    Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Drizzle the grapes with oil and season:

    In a small mixing bowl, mix the grapes with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Spread the grapes on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  3. Roasted Grapes:

    Roast the grapes for 15-20 minutes or until wrinkled and blistered. Some of the grapes may burst, but try to pull the grapes out of the oven beforehand or they will lose texture.

  4. Roast walnuts:

    In a large dry skillet over medium heat add the walnuts. Stir constantly until nuts are warm and giving off flavor, about 5 minutes. Remove walnuts from pan and set aside.

  5. Prepare and cook bacon:

    Add the chopped bacon in the same pan you used to toast the walnuts. Fry over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes.

    Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon bits to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess fat. Reserve the remaining bacon in the pan.

  6. Make the vinaigrette

    Transfer 1/4 cup bacon strips to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.

    Stir in the Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and ground black pepper.

    Continue cooking until the vinaigrette begins to reduce and thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and season if necessary. When the vinaigrette covers the back of a spoon, it’s done.

    Transfer the warm vinaigrette to a small bowl or glass.

  7. Arrange and serve the salad:

    Arrange the baby spinach on a serving platter or salad bowl. Top with the roasted grapes, bacon pieces, walnuts and feta. Pour half of the warm vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette.

nutritional information (per serving)
340 calories
29g Fat
13g carbohydrates
9g protein
Previous articleHow to Dry Brine and Roast a Turkey
Next articleCheesy Baked Hot Dogs
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!