Spinach Salad

Do you have a signature dish?

That one dish that when you are invited to a potluck or family dinner you are always asked to bring?

Well, today’s salad recipe is my niece Emily’s signature dish.  At Thanksgiving when Emily asked me what I wanted her to make for dinner my reply, without heistation,  was – you’re spinach salad.  It wouldn’t be a Wilkes family gathering without Emily’s spinach salad.

spinach salad

The main ingredients are pretty basic – spinach, romaine lettuce,  bacon, mushroom, swiss cheese and strawberries.

Spinach Salad

The secret to this recipe is in the sauce or rather the dressing!

Here is the secret ingredient…

….red onion!

The other secret ingredient is of course sugar.

Then there is oil of course, vinegar,  mustard and poppy seeds.

Then you top it off with red onions – the secret ingredient.

Then you shake it all up and put it in the refrigerator and let the flavors combine.   The flavor of the red onion just infuses throughout – so good!

Combine the rest of your ingredients and then top it with the secret sauce!

You will eat this salad over and over again.  I just keep a jar of the dressing in the refrigerator and use it on whatever combination of ingredients I have on hand.

What’s your signature dish?

Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad


  • 20 ounces Spinach
  • 1-2 heads Romaine Lettuce
  • 3/4 cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound Bacon pieces
  • 1/2 - 3/4 pound Swiss Cheese, grated
  • 1-2 C Strawberries, sliced
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 C White Vinegar
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 tsp Wet Mustard
  • 1 tsp Poppy Seeds


  • Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake or mix well.
  • Refrigerate for two hours or longer.
  • Mix all ingredients together and top with dressing.


  1. 1
    Michelle says:

    This looks soooooo yummy. Just a few questions – are you using regular ol’ white vinegar or is it white wine vinegar. Secondly, what type of oil are you using? I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • 1.1
      Leigh Anne says:

      I used just regular old white vinegar but you could definitely use white wine vinegar if you had it. I used canola oil.

      • 1.1.1
        Michelle says:

        Hi Leigh Anne,

        Just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe using the white wine vinegar and it was fantastic. This salad was to die for and I will definitely be making this again. It’s such a nice change from our standard salad. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. 2
    jessica says:

    Looks wonderful…! Going to get some red onions today!
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes, going to “Pin” this one now. :-)

  3. 3
    Tamara says:

    Love this salad. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 4
    Denise says:

    About how many servings would this salad make? about? I just recently found you–had a wonderful ‘brunch’ at 2sons? and it was so good, we’ll go back ! Thanks.

  5. 5
    kelly says:

    i make your spinach strawberry salad all the time. everyone loves the almonds with sugar but i’ll have to try this one!

  6. 6

    This sounds great Leigh Anne. I like the thought of putting the onion slices in for a quick marinade to infuse the dressing. Think this one is a keeper. I’ll be pinning it for future reference.
    Heather @ new house, new home, new life recently posted..How’s Your January List Coming Along?

  7. 7
    Romy Greenwood says:

    Leigh Ann,

    I am making this for the 2nd time. Super delicious! And that says a lot coming from someone who rarely enjoys a salad.

    Thank you Leigh Ann for sharing so much of yourself through your website!

  8. 8
    Adah says:

    Hi Leigh Anne,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and love all the wonderful tips and recipes you post. I had this recipe bookmarked to try since my husband is a huge fan of red onions. We tried it and loved it and I’ve made it again, but adapted it a bit to our tastes. :-) I’ve linked your recipe to my blog on of my posts. Thank you for sharing.


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