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A plate of spinach salad with a fork

Warm Spinach Salad with Pancetta + Goat Cheese

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Method: tossed
  • Cuisine: American


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


  1. Add spinach and red onions to a large bowl.
  2. 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. 
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a bowl and set aside. 
  4. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until they just start to soften, about 1 minute.
  5. 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. 
  6. pour dressing over the spinach and toss until evenly coated. Add the crumbled goat cheese and reserved pancetta, then toss until evenly distributed.
  7. 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