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Gina's Spinach Salad with Spiced Pecans

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 5 servings
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Spiced Pecans:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup pecan halves

Spinach Salad:

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 small shallot, minced

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 5-ounce package pre-washed baby spinach

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, fried crisp

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes


  1. Pecans: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in all the spices and the pecans. Stir and toast the pecans for about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a plate to cool.
  2. Salad: Whisk together the Dijon mustard, shallots, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil in a continuous stream, whisking to emulsify. Season with a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Add the spinach to a large serving bowl. Toss the greens with the prepared dressing, the bacon, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes and spiced pecans.