Warm Spinach Salad

Baby spinach tossed with warm cranberry bacon vinaigrette, roasted sweet potatoes, honied pumpkin seeds, and fresh goat cheese.

After a day of stuffing myself with turkey and other goodies, I thought it was time for something a little lighter. So, today I bring you this warm spinach salad.

Warm spinach salads use to be very popular, but you don’t see them around much anymore. I personally love them. The warm dressing that slightly wilts the spinach makes them seem more like an entrĂ©e than a salad. This salad, will all of its toppings, is definitely meal-worthy.

If you have never made a warm salad like this before, here are a couple of notes. The dressing for the salad is made in a hot skillet. The fat from the bacon mixed with the vinegar and cranberries make up the dressing. Be careful when adding the vinegar to the pan it will steam and bubble. This bubbling action is what emulsifies the fat with the liquids. The heat also slightly reduces the vinegar, making it sweeter.

To save on cleanup, I like to use one pan for roasting the veggies and the seeds. Now you can roast them individually, but this takes more time. I divide a sheet pan size piece of parchment into three strips. Place the potatoes on one strip, cranberries on another, and the seeds on the last strip. Place the potatoes on one end of the pan and begin cooking. After 10 minutes, add the cranberries. After two minutes, add the pumpkin seeds. Everything should be done at the same time. If one item isn’t ready, the other items can easily be removed and the one left to cook.

Warm Spinach Salad

Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2


Roasted Sweet Potato

  • 1 cup sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/16 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Roasted Cranberries

  • 1 cup cranberries fresh
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/16 tsp pepper

Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper


  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 2 strips bacon diced
  • 1/4 sweet onion shaved
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and place on a lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Cool and set aside.

Roasted Cranberries

  • Combine all ingredients and place on a line sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cranberries burst. Cool an set aside. Reserve 1/8 cup of the roasted cranberries for the dressing.

Pumpkin Seeds

  • Combine all ingredients and place on a lined sheet pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until toasted. Cool and set aside.


  • Place the spinach in a bowl with sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Heat a small skillet and cook off the bacon. When the bacon is crispy, add the onions. Cook until soft, then add the cranberries. Warm through then add the vinegar. Turn off the heat and add the dressing to the bowl. Toss the salad using tongs, season to taste, and divide between two plates. Garnish with goat cheese and serve.

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