Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries

Spinach Salad with Cranberries and baconAs anyone who is a frequent visitor to this site knows, I am always on the lookout for ideas for new salads.  Recently, while on a trip to one of those big warehouse stores, I noticed that they had a collection of prepared, easy to serve food items.  One of the things they had on display was a spinach salad.

The salad in question was a bed of spinach that was topped by neat rows of egg, sliced red onion, crumbled bacon, shredded mozzarella cheese, dried cranberries, and cherry tomatoes.   It was packaged with a container of poppy seed dressing.  Though the salad was pretty and looked tasty, the price tag for what appeared to be a one or two serving salad gave me pause.

When I got home, I kept thinking about that salad.  I realized that I had all of the ingredients to recreate the salad already in my house.  Actually, I didn’t have any poppy seed dressing, but I didn’t really think that would be a problem.  I could use something I already had, or I could make a dressing for the salad.  I decided to make the salad for our lunches. I layered spinach into the bottom of a container and then topped it with a rows of sliced red onions, shredded cheese, dried cranberries, crumbled bacon, cherry tomatoes and two hard boiled cut in half.  I packed a container of a red French dressing to top it with at work. The resultant salad was delicious.  The tartness of the red French dressing was a perfect match for the salad ingredients.

I shared it with a friend at work, and she agreed that it was very good.  The photos were taken after it traveled to work in my lunchbox and was tossed around in the break room  fridge so all of the layers aren’t visible.  After removing the hard-boiled eggs, we tossed everything else together with the dressing, so it didn’t really  matter that the pretty rows weren’t there anymore. The best thing about this salad was that I made salad for 6 for the price of one of those little containers in the warehouse store. All in all, everyone agreed that this salad is a keeper.  The recipe I’ve included is for all 6 servings to go into one large container.   If you want to prepare individual spinach salads check out the spinach salad in a jar version of this recipe.  It’s perfect to pack into a cooler and take on a picnic, or to serve as a side at a summer barbecue.

Give it a try and leave a comment to let me know how you like it.

Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries
Recipe type: Entree Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
A simple and delicious spinach salad that makes a great lunch
  • 12 oz package of fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ -1/2 cup prepared bacon pieces
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 to 14 cherry tomatoes
  1. Layer spinach in an oblong bowl.
  2. Place other ingredients, except for eggs, on top of salad in rows.
  3. Arrange egg halves around the edge of the serving bowl.

  Update:  Many people have requested information regarding the poppy seed dressing that comes in the Costco salad.  There are two very good poppy seed dressings available that are delicious on this salad.  

The first is Litehouse poppy seed dressing and dip which is good, not only on the spinach salad recipe above, but is also delicious on a mixed fruit salad or as a fruit dip.  It is in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores.  If they store carries other Litehouse dressings but not this one, ask the store manager if he can order it for your.  Dressing options for spinach saladThe second is a dressing that is available at Costco named Johnny’s Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing.  It is shelf stable, until opened, and can be found on the aisle with the other salad dressings.  Johnny's citrus poppy seed dressing is delicious on a spinach salad.
At some point, I will try and figure out how to make a delicious, home-made, poppy seed dressing.  When I do, I will share that recipe here.

Until then, thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

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