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Baby Spinach Salad with Crispy Bacon & Cheese Croutons

Updated: Mar 31, 2023


4 slices crusty sourdough bread, crusts removed

4 T. unsalted butter

1 oz. Dry Jack cheese, finely shredded

3 T. red wine vinegar

6 T. grapeseed or canola oil

1 T. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt & pepper

8 slices bacon

8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

12 cherry tomatoes, halved


Heat oven to 400°F.

Tear or cut bread into 1-inch pieces. Place bread pieces on a baking sheet and toast in oven, stirring pieces halfway through to ensure they cook evenly, 8 minutes or until they are dry and crisp. Remove from oven; keep oven on.

Melt butter in a small saucepan; drizzle the butter over croutons, tossing to coat them. Arrange butter-coated croutons close together in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese generously over croutons; return them to oven. Bake about 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and croutons are golden. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.

Place vinegar in a medium bowl. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook about 3 minutes per side or until crisp and golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss spinach leave with enough vinaigrette to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Break half the bacon into bite-size pieces and add to the salad. Divide the salad among 4 serving plates; arrange remaining bacon over salads. Garnish each with cherry tomatoes and croutons.

Also, consider adding a sliced egg and strawberries.

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