Do you remember wilted spinach salad? Or is that just something from my childhood?

Spinach dressed in hot bacon drippings and vinegar until it wilts and becomes surprisingly delicious?

Wilted spinach and feta salad with optional bacon | Kitchen Treaty

I remember. I loved the stuff, but because I assumed the magic was in the bacon, I’ve not given it much thought since becoming a vegetarian many moons ago.

But then, for some reason, thoughts of wilted spinach salad emerged, and I just had to come up with a vegetarian version. As it turns out, the magic isn’t in the bacon grease. In this version, freshly-sauteed red onions and crumbled feta cheese warmed with apple cider vinegar and olive oil help to wilt the spinach. Just a little bit. Just enough.

I slightly adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, using apple cider vinegar instead of the sherry vinegar they called for, and adding hard-boiled eggs to give it a little more variety of texture and overall heartiness.

Wilted spinach and feta salad with optional bacon | Kitchen Treaty

And, of course, I topped my resident carnivore’s version with bacon. I mean, it’s plenty magic without, but a little bacon finish (for those who really want it) can never hurt.

Wilted spinach and feta salad with optional bacon | Kitchen Treaty
5 from 1 vote

Wilted Spinach and Feta Salad with Optional Bacon

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 4 side salads or 2 main dish salads
This mouth-watering vegetarian wilted spinach salad boasts baby spinach tossed with sauteed red onions, melty feta, olive oil, vinegar, and hard-boiled eggs. Meat-eaters can top theirs with bacon.


  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (washed and dried)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 medium red onion (cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges with some core attached)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (diced)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher or other coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional bacon - per serving
  • 1 slice bacon (cooked, drained, cooled, and chopped)


  • Add spinach to a large bowl.
  • Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat-high. Add onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened and some bits are brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat. Pour onions over spinach. Top with egg.
  • Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to skillet and stir in the feta cheese. Stir in unheated skillet until the cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the cheese mixture over the salad. Toss thoroughly to coat and wilt the spinach slightly.
  • Divide between four plates. Top individual servings with chopped bacon if desired.

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