This quick and easy simple spinach salad recipe takes minutes to make, and is made with baby spinach, thinly sliced red onion and cucumber, chopped walnuts, grated parmesan cheese, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette.
I love pulling this salad together to go with most any meal, but there is something about its simplicity and flavor that pairs well with summer. Anything that is bright, fresh, and quick to pull together is a win for a summertime dish.
Listen, I'm a salad gal, so anytime is a good time for a loaded up salad. But summer and salad just YES. A little pop of freshness goes a long way with an al fresco meal, something on the grill, or just when you need a little something green.
I paired this salad with this quick Lemon Vinaigrette, but you can use your favorite dressing if preferred. I just love that pop of fresh and tang from lemon juice. You can also find some other summer-inspired salads like this Balsamic Pasta Salad with Tofu or this German-Style Cauliflower Potato Salad, or my favorite last bite of the summer at the end of the season with this Summer Corn and Tomato Salad.
Ingredients You'll Need to Make This
- honey lemon vinaigrette dressing
- baby spinach
- thinly sliced red onion
- thinly sliced English cucumber
- grated parmesan cheese
- chopped walnuts
Instructions for this Spinach Salad
Start by prepping the dressing using this Honey Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing recipe. Alternatively, you can put aside 4 tablespoons of your preferred dressing.
Hint: You can make in a small mixing bowl, measuring cup, or my favorite, directly in a large mixing bowl you'll use to toss the salad if enjoying immediately
Next add 5-6 cups of baby spinach, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, 1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, and ¼ cup of chopped walnuts. Toss the salad until coated with dressing, and serve immediately.
- Lettuce - instead of baby spinach, you can also use mixed greens, or even kale. Just let the salad sit a little longer after tossing with the dressing if using kale.
- Nuts - Swap out the chopped walnuts for roasted sunflower seeds, or just omit for a nut-free option.
- Vegan- Leave out the parmesan cheese, or replace with a dairy-free parmesan cheese, and use agave or maple in the dressing to make vegan-friendly.
- Only toss the salad with the dressing when you are ready to serve to avoid it from getting too soggy. You can prep the dressing and salad separately ahead of time, or simply let guests add their own dressing instead.
- For extra flavor, toast the chopped walnuts in a dry pan for a couple minutes, or until fragrant before adding.
- Instead of parmesan, you can also use crumbled feta, goat cheese, or a cubed sharp cheddar cheese.
How long does this spinach salad keep?
If tossed with the dressing, only a few hours before it gets too soggy and wilted. If planning on storing, keep salad and dressing stored separately, and enjoy within 4 days.
Is this vegan-friendly?
As-is, no since it contains parmesan cheese and honey in the dressing. Replace the honey with maple syrup or agave in the dressing, and leave out the parmesan cheese, or use a dairy alternative to make vegan-friendly.