Spinach Salad with Tangy Red Wine Vinaigrette is loaded with texture and tang! Raw baby spinach paired with pecans, blue cheese, shallots, and sweet dates, then tossed with a tangy, red wine vinegar, and mustard dressing. It’s ready in just 10 minutes – serve it as a side, lunch, or light dinner.
I’m excited to share with you yet another non-boring salad! You know when it comes to green salad recipes, they need to be anything but boring around here (otherwise, what’s the point?!). The requirements include – texture, flavor, and simplicity.
Luckily for us, this spinach salad meets the mark. It’s easy to make in just about 10 minutes (yes, including the homemade dressing!) and is elegant enough to serve on holiday tables, but simple enough to toss together for weeknight dinners.
It’s also super customizable. I’m sharing substitutions below, but you have full permission to get creative! It’s also easy to make dairy-free and gluten-free – just adjust the cheese!
Spinach Salad Ingredients
As I said, this salad is super customizable, so think of this ingredient list as a *really good combination* but you can easily mix and match items as needed. As always, I am all about using what you have!
- Baby Spinach – I like using raw baby spinach because the leaves are smaller and more tender.
- Dried Dates – they’re sweet and nutritious, adding extra chew to the salad.
- Blue Cheese Crumbles – this pungent cheese pairs so well with the flavors in this salad!
- Pecans – toss in raw, chopped pecans for crunch and warmth. Jazz it up with candied pecans for extra sweetness.
- Shallot – no secret I love adding thinly sliced shallot to salads (and more) for their mild onion flavor. They’re a little less pungent than red onions, but feel free to use red onion in its place.
- Tangy Red Wine Vinaigrette – this version uses extra mustard to make it extra creamy and tangy! Feel free to reduce the mustard for a more traditional red wine dressing.
- Add fresh fruit like apples, pears, or pomegranate arils.
- Use goat cheese in place of blue cheese (or feta cheese).
- Replace pecans with walnuts, pistachios, or sunflower seeds (or just add more!).
- Replace dates with dried cranberries or cherries.
The Easiest Spinach Salad Recipe
Now, it feels kind of like a non-recipe recipe because of how easy it is! The most time-consuming part is making the dressing, which really just requires shaking up the ingredients in a jar until they’re combined.
You can whisk them together in the really-official-vinaigrette-making-way…but we’re here for efficiency with the same results.
You’ll also need to slice the shallot and dates…but that’s quick too. Really, all ready in less than 10 minutes.
With those small tasks complete, toss it all together! The beauty of making salads at home is that you can adjust the ingredients to your taste…or add more toppings!
This includes the dressing; I highly recommend starting with a little amount and adding more as needed.
What to Serve with Spinach Salad
This salad makes a perfect salad side dish in itself for hearty dinner meals. Especially on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, but it’s truly perfect year-round.
If you’re serving the salad as a main itself, I love enjoying it with a thick slice of crusty bread (like sourdough or 1-2-3 bread) and a slather of butter. Or homemade thyme biscuits. You get the idea: carbs!
It’s also excellent alongside vegetarian soups. Whether it’s a creamy soup or a brothy vegetable soup, this salad is a wonderful veggie side.
Make Ahead and Storage
You can make this salad ahead of time with one caveat: do not toss it! Make the dressing and store it in an airtight container (or jar that you shook it in!). Then, toss together the salad ingredients separately. When it’s time to serve, simply toss the two together and serve immediately.
Once tossed, the salad isn’t great leftover because the spinach will wilt. If you anticipate leftovers, only dress the amount of salad that you will use, storing the rest until later.
More Spinach Recipes
- Farmer’s Market Spinach Salad with Strawberries
- Blueberry Power Salad
- Spinach Eggs and Ricotta Toast
- Vegetarian Spinach Ricotta Lasagna
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
10-Minute Spinach Salad with Tangy Red Wine Vinaigrette
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seed, optional
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- ½ cup dried dates, sliced
- ½ cup blue cheese crumbles*
- ½ cup chopped pecans, or walnuts
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- Whisk together all ingredients except for the oil; then, while whisking, drizzle in the oil until combined. Alternatively, add all the ingredients to a jar and shake really well until emulsified. Be sure to taste test for salt levels.
- In a large bowl, toss together spinach, dates, blue cheese, pecan, shallot slices. Then toss with dressing, starting with only about half and adjusting as needed. Serve immediately.
- If serving later, store the dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and toss it with salad immediately before serving. Olive oil will solidify when cold, so let come to room temperature (5-10 mins) before tossing.
- The dressing recipe makes about 1 cup; I suggest adding dressing to taste, not all at one time.
- *Check blue cheese for vegetarian and/or gluten-free if needed.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our collection of green salad recipes. Check it out!