Spinach salad loaded with crimini mushrooms, red onions and goat cheese and tossed with a tangy Dijon vinaigrette dressing.
We eat a lot of salad. I love eating big salads for lunch and at least 3 times a week I’ll make a salad to serve with dinner. It is just a fabulous way to get all kinds of vegetables into your diet at one time.
Because we eat so much salad, I am always looking for different ways to switch things up. A traditional green salad is great but spinach salad with homemade dressings is one of my favorites when I’m looking to jazz things up a bit.
This spinach salad is loaded with fresh baby spinach, crimini mushrooms, red onions, almonds and goat cheese. But the star of the show is the homemade dijon vinaigrette dressing.
Most traditional spinach salad recipes are served with a warm vinaigrette. This recipe is different because the homemade dijon vinaigrette dressing comes together super quickly, requires no cooking and just a few staple ingredients:
Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine. I prefer to use red wine vinegar in this recipe because it has a bold, vibrant flavor.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A high quality extra virgin olive oil can make or break a vinaigrette recipe. While I prefer Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil for it’s mellow flavor, any high quality extra virgin olive oil will work.
Garlic: I love adding fresh garlic to my dressings. That being said it can be overpowering if you use too much or do not chop it as fine. For that reason, I recommend using a garlic press or mincing the garlic very fine.
Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard has a deeper more complex flavor than yellow mustard.
This spinach salad dressing is super easy to make and comes together in a flash. You simply need to mix together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dijon, salt and pepper.
DES’ TIP: To make this dressing even easier (and easier to store leftovers) simply combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.
In addition to the dressing ingredients, you’ll need the following for the salad:
Baby Spinach: I prefer to use baby spinach in this recipe because it’s smaller, more delicate and has a milder flavor than traditional spinach.
Crimini Mushrooms: Crimini mushrooms have more flavor than their white mushroom counterparts.
Red Onion: Red onion is used in salads instead of yellow onion because it is milder when served raw.
DES’ TIP: To make red onions milder, you can soak them in cool water for about 20 minutes before serving.
Goat Cheese: Goat cheese has a tart earthy flavor.
Make sure that you use a large bowl for this salad. Because you are tossing the salad with the dressing you want to have some room to make sure everything gets coated.
I like to dress this salad a little bit before serving, maybe 15 minutes or so. Don’t dress it too far in advance or the salad will wilt.
One of the best things about this spinach salad is that it can lend itself to substitutions pretty easily.
If you don’t have any goat cheese handy, you can substitute feta. Shallots make a great substitute for red onions. Walnuts or pecans could replace the almonds. There are so many possibilities!
Some of my favorite Main Dish Recipes to serve with this Spinach Salad:
Looking for more homemade dressing recipes? You’ve got to check these out!
Note: This post was originally posted in 2009. It was updated with tips, photos and nutrition facts in 2020.