This Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, Chicken, Blue Cheese & Strawberries is a fantastic warm-weather dinner or a very hearty lunch. It doesn’t pack well, so save it for a time when you can serve it fresh at the table. The tender spinach leaves, protein rich chicken, salty, umami-packed blue cheese, sweet, juicy strawberries and savory, crisp bacon combine to create a salad loaded with flavor and texture that engages all of your senses.
Please read the recipe through to understand the process as timing is important in order to have the bacon dressing hot and ready to go.
For another hearty salad, check out our Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate.
A note on blue cheese: Recent lab tests have indicated that even blue cheese that has mold developed from wheat sources can be considered gluten-free.
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, Chicken, Blue Cheese & Strawberries
This salad makes an elegant lunch or even a light dinner. I am partial to using poached chicken breasts for the added moisture they bring, but grilled chicken breasts are great, too! And if you are lucky enough to have access to low FODMAP rotisserie chicken from the store, by all means use it.
Makes 2 large or 4 smaller servings
- 4 ounces (115 g) tender spinach leaves, washed & dried, larger stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
- 8 ounces (225 g) cooked chicken breast (poached, grilled, roasted - your choice!), sliced or chopped
- 10 medium sized strawberries (140 g), hulled and sliced
- 2 ounces (55 g) blue cheese, crumbled (read labels to confirm that it is gluten-free)
Hot Bacon Dressing:
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon; use gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet
- Extra-virgin olive oil, if necessary
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the Salad: Toss together the spinach, chicken, strawberries and blue cheese in a mixing bowl; set aside.
- For the Dressing: Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp; leaving the fat in the pan, drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside. You want 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Drain any excess away or add olive oil if necessary. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, and sugar into the hot bacon fat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the dressing is still warm, pour it over the salad and toss well. Crumble the bacon over the salad and serve immediately.