Nothing too special about this spinach avocado salad – until we start talking about the blueberries. They go brilliantly with the crispy bacon and avocado. It’s hard to imagine a tastier salad with just 4 ingredients. I’d highly recommend serving it with an amazing blueberry vinaigrette. Get this delicious warm salad on the table in just 20 minutes!
Warm Spinach Avocado Salad
What’s brilliant about a warm salad is that it’s great for any time of year. Not quite cold enough for a casserole? How about a warm salad? Not quite salad days? Make it warm!
I already have some favourite warm salad recipes including this fennel orange salad with radishes, feta and pistachios, and this roasted butternut squash, chorizo and feta salad.
So what’s so great about this one?
- Make it in around 20 minutes and with just 4 main ingredients.
- It’s a colourful, healthy, comforting crowd pleaser. It mixes bacon with fruit (blueberries!), creamy avocado and a ton of healthy spinach.
- I usually make it with this simple 5-minute blueberry dressing. It’s incredible. Try it and see.
- Serve it as lunch, or as a simple but delicious side for dinner or at your next BBQ.
About the ingredients
What amazes me about this salad is how incredibly tasty it is with just 4 main ingredients in it! I say main ingredients because I also recommend serving it with the incredible blueberry vinaigrette. Skip it at your peril!
So to make the salad:
Bacon: For maximum flavour, use smoked bacon. Cook it for a few minutes on each side until cooked through and crisp. I find it easier to lay the whole slices in a big frying pan and cook the bacon that way. After it’s done, let it cool slightly before ripping it into pieces.
Spinach: Like all the best spinach salads, start with some nice fresh… spinach, of course! I like to use baby spinach. If you can find organic, great, if not wash it well. I’ll let you into a secret, though. I’ve actually made this salad with different kinds of fresh green salad and it’s always delicious.
Avocado: No real rules here but of course it’s worth waiting for a perfectly ripe one. Any type. Just peel and chop as you normally would, and throw it in the salad.
Blueberries: Maybe it sounds a bit strange to you to add blueberries, but hear me out. Bacon is pork and pork often gets paired with fruit, and blueberries are fruit … so why not?I know blueberries can be expensive (at least they can here in Australia). But surprisingly you only need one standard (fairly small) container of blueberries to make this salad, including the blueberry dressing if you’re going to make that too – and you should!
If you only have a handful of blueberries, throw them into the salad. You can use frozen blueberries for the dressing, but I’d stick to fresh for the salad.
For the dressing
For the optional blueberry vinaigrette you need: a few blueberries, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey (plus a bit of water and possibly some seasoning).
Yep, I know that’s more ingredients than the salad itself, but it takes just 5 minutes to make. Just throw everything in a food processor (a mini one is perfect) and whizz.
You can read more about this amazing 5-minute blueberry vinaigrette here. What more is there to know, you might be thinking. A-ha, you’d be surprised… 😉
How to make it
Step 1: Cook the bacon! I like to keep it whole. Simply crisp up in a pan (no oil necessary). Then tear into pieces and set aside.
Step 2: Meanwhile, wash and chop everything else.
Step 3: As it’s so colourful, I like to use a big salad platter for this salad. Layer up on the platter in this order – spinach, avocado, blueberries, bacon.
Step 4: Drizzle over your favourite dressing. My favourite for this salad is a blueberry vinaigrette, which I’ve also included in the recipe instructions. But if you like you can use something else, like honey balsamic dressing. Try 1/4 cup olive oil and a couple of tablespoons each of balsamic vinegar and honey.
Step 5: Serve immediately while the bacon is still warm. Mmm!
How to serve it
- This spinach salad extraordinaire makes a mind blowing lunch. Serve it by itself or perhaps with some of this yummy 2-minute toasted bread with olive oil and salt.
- As mentioned above, serve it drizzled with this blueberry vinaigrette or with another simple dressing of your choice. Even just a good quality olive oil would work.
- Make a dinner of it and serve with some simple grilled chicken, steak or fish.
- Not a big fan of bacon (what’s wrong with you?) Use supermarket cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken) instead.
- For a vegetarian version, why add crispy halloumi instead of bacon? Just cut the halloumi into small cubes, roll in a bit of flour and pan fry in a cm or so of oil until crisp.
More easy salads
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Spinach Avocado Salad with Bacon and Blueberries
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
For the salad
- 4 slices smoked bacon
- 2 ounces baby spinach Alternatively, use any fresh salad leaves
- ½ a large avocado sliced into chunks
- 2½ ounces blueberries
For the dressing
- toasted bread drizzled with olive oil & salt optional
- Heat a frying pan over a high heat and cook the bacon for 5 minutes or so on each side until golden and a bit crispy. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Scatter the salad leaves over a large plate or platter, then sprinkle over the avocado and blueberries. Tear the bacon over the salad, too.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor (hand-held works well) and whizz until smooth.
- Serve the salad with the dressing drizzled over and the toasted bread (if using).