Looking for a light, easy to prepare starter or side dish salad? Then you’ve come to the right place! This Baby Spinach Salad Recipe with Lemon Dijon Dressing is just what you need. Not only is it beautiful on the plate, it’s bright and fresh tasting, too. While many spinach salads call for bacon, this salad is made just with eggs and fresh herbs. Simple, yet still delicious. And, directions on how to make perfect hard boiled eggs (both on the stovetop and in an Instant Pot) are included, too!

Table of Contents
  1. You Will Love This Baby Spinach Salad Recipe
  2. Spinach Salad and Dressing Ingredients
  3. How to Make Lemon Dijon Dressing for Spinach Salad
  4. How to Make This Spinach Salad Recipe
  5. Spinach Salad Ingredients Variations and Substitutions
  6. How to Store Lemon Dijon Dressing for Spinach Salad
  7. When to Add Spinach Salad Dressing
  8. How to Serve Simple Spinach Salad
  9. Dressing for Spinach Salad FAQs
  10. Spinach Salad Dressing Recipe

You Will Love This Baby Spinach Salad Recipe

If, like me, you’re a fan of light, refreshing salads that effortlessly complement any meal, you’re going to adore this Baby Spinach Salad. Given to me by my late dear friend Gary Hardin, this recipe has become a treasured family favorite, inspired by his culinary expertise. Here’s why it’s sure to win you over:

  • Advance prep. With the option to prepare components like the zesty spinach salad dressing and hard-boiled eggs well in advance, this salad is a lesson in convenience. Chop your parsley, chives, and tarragon earlier in the day, and you’re all set.
  • Bright, fresh combination of flavors. The marriage of earthy spinach, tangy lemon, bold Dijon mustard, and aromatic herbs creates a symphony of complementary tastes that’s simply irresistible.
  • Elegant on the plate. While the recipe itself is humble and straightforward, this Spinach Salad is unique, with a touch of sophistication.
  • Versatile. Whether paired with grilled meats, hearty casseroles, or comforting soups, this delicious salad effortlessly enhances any dish. From a casual weeknight dinner to an elegant dinner party, it seamlessly fits into any menu.

Prepare to be delighted by the bright, fresh flavors and the effortless charm of this timeless Baby Spinach Salad. Indeed, it’s a true testament to the joy of simple, yet sensational, cuisine!

Spinach Salad and Dressing Ingredients

Here’s all you’ll need to create this easy spinach salad recipe:

  • Large eggs
  • Fresh green herbs – parsley, chives, tarragon and/or basil
  • Lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Dijon mustard
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh baby spinach
Close up of white square platter showing Baby Spinach Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

How to Make Lemon Dijon Dressing for Spinach Salad

Fresh, tangy and light, this delectable Lemon Dijon Dressing takes just minutes to prepare! Here are the easy steps:

  1. Mash together lemon zest and salt.
    In a small bowl, mash together lemon zest and salt (works best with a mortar and pestle, but use a fork if you don’t have one).
  2. Add mustard and lemon juice.
    Whisk in Dijon mustard and fresh lemon juice.
  3. Add olive oil.
    Slowly whisk in extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Adjust seasonings.
    Add additional salt, lemon juice and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate.
    Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
White square platter showing Baby Spinach Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

How to Make This Spinach Salad Recipe

There are four basic steps to making this salad – hard boiling the eggs, preparing the topping, mixing together the dressing, and tossing it all together! Here are the details:

  1. Hard boil eggs.
    Hard boil the eggs either in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop – I provide detailed directions for both methods in the recipe card below.
  2. Prepare the egg and fresh herb topping.
    Peel and chop the hard boiled eggs and fresh herbs. Mix together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare the Lemon Dijon Dressing.
    See the details above – and in the recipe card!
  4. Toss salad; sprinkle with topping.
    Toss the spinach lightly with some of the dressing. Either place the spinach on a serving platter or divide among 6 individual salad plates. Sprinkle egg and herb mixture over the top.

Spinach Salad Ingredients Variations and Substitutions

While this fresh spinach salad recipe is delicious as is, here are a few ways you can modify it to make it your own:

  • Add finely chopped red onion, green onion, or chopped bell peppers to the herb mixture.
  • Toss chopped cooked bacon in with the spinach.
  • Add or substitute other leafy greens, such as baby arugula.
  • Substitute creamy goat cheese for the hard-boiled egg.

How to Store Lemon Dijon Dressing for Spinach Salad

Place prepared dressing in a covered container (a glass jar with a lid works well) and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

When to Add Spinach Salad Dressing

Toss the spinach with the Lemon Dijon Dressing right before serving, so the spinach doesn’t wilt. You want your salad to be fresh and crispy!

How to Serve Simple Spinach Salad

overhead shot of white platter holding Spinach Salad. Photo is formatted for sharing in social media

Dressing for Spinach Salad FAQs

Which spinach is best to use in salad?

For this spinach salad, I definitely recommend using baby spinach leaves. They are lighter and more delicate, blending better with the other flavors. For wilted spinach salads, I prefer more mature spinach, as it tends to hold up – and taste – better when cooked.

How do you prepare spinach for salad?

If your baby spinach didn’t come pre-washed (it will say on the bag/plastic container), then you should wash it in cold water and then set on paper towel to dry. The leaves should be dry before tossing, allowing the dressing to adhere. I also like to remove the longer stems. They are edible, but I think the salad looks better without them!

Can you eat raw spinach in a salad?

Yes, definitely! In fact, virtually all spinach salads call for raw spinach. Even in a traditional wilted spinach salad, raw spinach is tossed with a warm or hot dressing to wilt the leaves, so even in that the of dish the spinach isn’t cooked.

What store bought dressing is good for spinach salad?

Given how easy it is to make your own salad dressings, I’m not a big fan of purchased dressing. Homemade tastes fresher, is more flavorful and better for you. However, if you’re in a pinch and have to buy one, make sure to take a look at the ingredients. Try to find one with less added sugar and salt, and avoid ones with corn syrup or artificial additives and preservatives.

Can you eat wilted spinach?

Yes, in general you can eat wilted spinach. Just make sure it isn’t wilted due to age or poor storage. If it is a greenish-brown color, wet, slimy, and/or smells funky, don’t eat it! It doesn’t look as nice as fresh spinach, so probably best to use it in a cooked dish, not a salad.

Note: This post is an update to an older one from a few years ago. I’ve taken new, better photos, added more discussion, as well as included directions on how to hard boil eggs!

Print
clockclock iconcutlerycutlery iconflagflag iconfolderfolder iconinstagraminstagram iconpinterestpinterest iconfacebookfacebook iconprintprint iconsquaressquares iconheartheart iconheart solidheart solid icon

Spinach Salad Dressing Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Prepared with eggs and fresh herbs, this Baby Spinach Salad is a light, easy to prepare starter or side dish. A tangy Lemon Dijon Dressing keeps it bright and fresh.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Egg cooling time: 2 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 large eggs
  • handful of fresh green herbs – parsley, chives, tarragon and/or basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cups fresh baby spinach, longer stems removed

Instructions

Hard-boiled eggs – Instant Pot method

  1. Place wire rack (or steamer basket) in Instant Pot along with 1 to 1 1/2 cups water.
  2. Place eggs on rack, spacing out as evenly as possible. (I cook 4-6 at a time, refrigerating the extra for another recipe.)
  3. Seal and cook on high for 7 minutes if eggs were at room temperature, 9 minutes if not. When timer goes off, release pressure, following the “quick release” method.
  4. Carefully remove eggs (they will be hot!) and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. Let rest in water until eggs are cold to the touch.

Hard-boiled eggs – traditional method

  1. In a large saucepan, place eggs in one layer and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 6 to 8 minutes (cook for longer time if at higher altitude or eggs weren’t at room temperature).
  3. Remove pan from heat and leave eggs in hot water for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Drain and run place eggs in a bowl of ice water until cooled.

Egg and Fresh Herb topping

  1. Peel and chop the hard boiled eggs and herbs; mix together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lemon Dijon Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, mash together the lemon zest and salt (works best with a mortar and pestle, but use a fork if you don’t have one).
  2. Whisk in the mustard and the lemon juice.
  3. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Add additional salt, lemon juice and fresh ground pepper to taste.

To serve

  1. Toss the spinach lightly with some of the dressing.
  2. Either place spinach on a serving platter or divide among 6 individual salad plates; sprinkle egg and herb mixture over the top.

Notes

Make ahead: Eggs can be hard boiled up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated. Dressing can be made up to 2 weeks ahead, covered and refrigerated.

  • Author: Adapted from “A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®” by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: salads, side salads, side dishes

Share This With The World

About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


Sign up for recipes, tips & more!
Join the club

Latest Posts


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star