This spinach salad with a hot bacon dressing and spicy roasted chickpeas is packed with iron, protein, and amazing savory flavor, as well as a kick from zesty Tabasco Sauce and extra zing from some tart dried, cranberries.
I love cooking with spinach, and I’ve got many Popeye-approved spinach recipes on my blog like creamed spinach, sautéed spinach, and the cheesiest spinach lasagna. While I sneak spinach into a variety of dishes, one of my favorite ways to enjoy this dark leafy green is in salads. And this super crave-able, hearty, savory spinach and bacon salad ticks all the boxes. Crunchy textures? Check. A salty bite? Check. Keeps me full? Check. Has a zesty, tangy dressing? Check, check.
I start with a bed of fresh spinach leaves that gets topped with the most delicious, old-school hot bacon dressing that perfumes the whole kitchen and adds just enough warmth to gently coat each delicate leaf. That all gets tossed with some spicy Parmesan Tabasco roasted chickpeas and a sprinkling of dried cranberries for a hint of tart sweetness. This salad is such a satisfying entree for lunches or dinners, but could easily work well on the side. Heck, you could even fry up an egg to put on this salad and enjoy it for breakfast or brunch!
What’s in This Spinach SaladThis salad really covers all the flavor and texture bases and features so many flavorful ingredients that you likely already have in your fridge and pantry. Here’s what you need to make it:
- Tabasco Original Red Sauce
- Dried cranberries
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil (you could also use olive oil)
How to Make This Spinach Salad
This spinach salad comes together pretty quickly if you already have your roasted chickpeas made. Here’s how to make it:
Roast Your Chickpeas
Garbanzo beans, chickpeas, whatever you call them, they’re delish, especially when tossed with spicy, tangy Tabasco Sauce and Parmesan, and roasted in the oven until crisp.
Drain, rinse, and dry. Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans, then pat dry.
Season, toss, and roast. Place the beans on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Mix the canola oil and Tabasco together and drizzle over them. Stir to coat.
Roast and season again. Roast the beans for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and season with kosher salt and the Parmesan cheese.
Make the Hot Bacon DressingWhile the chickpeas roast, make your dressing. Cook your bacon. Cook the chopped bacon in a fry pan over medium-high for about 2-4 minutes. Spoon the cooked bacon out of the grease with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Bring the heat. Add the bacon back to the pan, then slowly stir in the Tabasco, careful so it doesn’t splatter, then add the water and mix. Assemble the salad. Add the spinach, cranberries Tabasco Roasted Chickpeas, and Parmesan cheese to a large bowl and dress the salad with the Hot Tabasco dressing.
Are Spinach Salads HealthyLeafy green spinach is loaded with health benefits. It’s rich with iron, folate, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins C and E. Spinach also might promote eye health, help prevent cancer, and decrease blood pressure. While this isn’t the healthiest spinach salad you could eat, it’s far from unhealthy. Chickpeas and bacon also bring great protein to this salad.
What to Serve with Spinach SaladI often make this salad as an entire meal, since it’s quite filling. However, if you wanted to serve it before a meal, or on the side, here are some dishes it would go great with:
- The BEST Meatloaf
- Asparagus and Mushroom Frittata with Goat Cheese
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Creamy Bean Soup with Sausage
- Zucchini Casserole with Parmesan
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing and Roasted Chickpeas
For the Spinach Salad
- 8 slices bacon , chopped
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco Original Red Sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 8 cups spinach leaves
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 ½ cups Tabasco Roasted Chickpeas , (recipe below)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese , grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Toasted Chickpeas
- 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas , drained
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco Original Red Sauce
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese , finely grated
For the Spinach Salad
- Cook the chopped bacon in a fry pan over medium-high for about 2-4 minutes, or until it has reached your desired level of crispness. Spoon the cooked bacon out of the grease with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the bacon back to the pan, then slowly stir in the Tabasco, careful so it doesn’t splatter, then add the water and mix.
- Add the spinach, cranberries roasted chickpeas, and Parmesan cheese to a large bowl and dress the salad with the Hot Tabasco dressing. Serve immediately with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
For the Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Drain and rinse garbanzo beans, then pat dry. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Mix the canola oil and Tabasco together and drizzle over the garbanzo beans. Stir to coat.
- Bake the beans for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and season with kosher salt and the Parmesan cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store refrigerated up to 1 week.
More Spinach Recipes You’ll Love
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken and Avocado
- Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Sautéed Spinach with Garlic
- Chana Masala with Spinach
- Spinach Salad with Chicken, Beets and Goat Cheese
- Creamed Spinach