Simple Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts, Parmesan Cheese and easy homemade salad dressing. Ready in 15 minutes! This healthy spinach salad is a great addition to your family weeknight dinners.
If you want to add something healthy and easy to your weekly dinners, you HAVE to make this simple spinach salad. It goes perfectly with pasta, such as chicken pasta or shrimp pasta. It’s also a great side dish for seafood dinners. For example, serve it alongside trout recipe or with pesto shrimp.
This salad takes only 15 minutes to make. Toss fresh baby spinach with the simple dressing made with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice and coarsely ground black pepper. Dress it up with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Made with baby spinach, this is the best spinach salad to prepare on a busy weeknight! The salad itself has only 3 ingredients, and the homemade salad dressing requires only 4 (olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and cracked black pepper!). You can also use your favorite salad dressing or a store-bought dressing.
If you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, quick and easy spinach salad is what you need!
- What is a good substitute for spinach? Arugula has a mustard-like yet soft flavor and is a great substitute for spinach.
- What can you replace pine nuts with? If you don’t want to use pine nuts, use toasted slivered almonds or sliced almonds. You can also use toasted pumpkin seeds.
- What cheese can you use instead of Parmesan? You can replace Parmesan with Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese. You can also use goat cheese or feta cheese.
- Salad dressing. Use a simple dressing made with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Or, use any store-bought salad dressing of your choice.
Toppings for simple spinach salad
Add simple toppings to your salad to make it a little bit more sophisticated. Here are some suggestions:
- Vegetables. Top spinach salad with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, or diced cucumber.
- Berries. Sliced strawberries go really well in salads. You can also use blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
- Fruit. Add sliced apple, pear, mango, or grapes to your spinach salad.
- Dried fruit. Top spinach salad with raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries.
- Nuts. Add pine nuts, slivered almonds, pecans to your spinach salad. Make sure to lightly toast nuts in the preheated oven. Nuts taste better and have a better, crunchier texture after light toasting.
- Condiments. Capers, sun-dried tomatoes, or olives are all great toppings on salads.
- Cheese. Add shaved Parmesan, Pecorino Romano or Asiago. You can also use feta, goat cheese, or Gorgonzola cheese.
- Other toppings. Add diced cooked bacon, chopped eggs, or grilled chicken.
How to make a spinach salad
- First, combine baby spinach leaves in a large bowl.
- Then, add your favorite salad dressing. Toss to combine.
- Next, top the salad with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Finally, sprinkle coarsely ground black pepper over the salad.
How to toast pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spread the pine nuts in one layer over the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 5 minutes.
- Note: pine nuts get burned really quickly. Watch them closely and remove them promptly from the oven.
Spinach salad dressing
This recipe features the best salad dressing for spinach salad. Why? Because it is so simple and it requires basic ingredients found in any pantry. You only need 4 ingredients: olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and coarsely ground black pepper.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until emulsified.
Other spinach salad recipes
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Mango and Avocado
- Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Chopped Salad with Spinach, Apples, Gorgonzola Cheese
Easy Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts and Parmesan and a homemade dressing made with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and black pepper. Ready in 15 minutes! The best salad for a family weeknight dinner.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 oz spinach fresh
- 1/3 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shaved
Add dressing ingredients to a medium bowl. Whisk to emulsify.
Add spinach to a large bowl.
Toss with the salad dressing.
Top with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese. Season with extra black pepper, if desired.