Warm Spinach Salad with Pancetta + Goat Cheese is a steakhouse inspired spinach salad that’s great as a starter or main course! Simple to make, with a short ingredient list and still so much flavor. Hearty spinach leaves, crisp red onions, creamy goat cheese and meaty bits of pancetta tossed in a tangy, mustardy vinaigrette. Serve it alongside a steak or with a crispy fried egg for a salad that’s super satisfying and crazy delicious!
- 1 10-ounce package baby spinach, long stems removed if desired
- 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, cut into thick chunks *see note
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste, plus more freshly cracked black pepper for serving
- extra virgin olive oil, as needed **see note
- Add spinach and red onions to a large bowl.
- Place the pancetta in a medium saute pan, then place over medium heat and toss around until it starts to give up its fat. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the pancetta is browned and crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the shallots to the pan and cook until they just start to soften, about 1 minute.
- Add the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, then lower the heat and whisk until emulsified. Taste for seasoning and add more olive oil or vinegar if needed.
- pour dressing over the spinach and toss until evenly coated. Add the crumbled goat cheese and reserved pancetta, then toss until evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately with more freshly cracked black pepper on top.
- *If you prefer to use turkey bacon or a plant based vegan substitute, you will need to supplement the vinaigrette with more oil since you won’t have any rendered pork fat. This salad can still be delicious either way!
- **Depending on the pancetta or bacon you use, you may have more or less fat than what’s needed for the vinaigrette. Taste the dressing and adjust it to your liking – add more mustard and/or vinegar if you’d like it a bit sharper or drizzle in a little olive oil if you need to mellow it out.
- Try it with a poached, soft boiled or crispy fried egg on top!
Keywords: steakhouse, egg, bacon