Spinach Salad

Okay all you leaf eaters…It’s Salad time! Time for this Amazing Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing!

Who loves a good salad? (I do, I do, I do!) I like to create or find salad recipes that are different or unusual.

It’s the perfect time of year for light cool refreshing salads! This is one of those salads! I got this recipe from my SIL long ago, and it is still one of my all time favorite salad recipes! It truly has a “twist” that will make you go “huh?”…”really?”…”She wants me to add WHAT!”

How do I know this is how you will react? Because it is how I reacted and it is exactly how my daughter reacted when she saw me add it to this salad.  I think her exact words were… “What the heck are ya doing adding that?!!” She was extremely skeptical but, in the end..the salad won! (I’d like to think it was my exceptional cooking skills that won but…it was the salad!)

Marinated Mushrooms and Onions

One unusual aspect of this salad is that you marinate red onion slices and mushrooms in the poppy seed vinaigrette dressing. I know…strange right? But, it is SO good!

This salad contains all the original favorites…lettuce, fresh spinach leaves, bacon crumbles and even grated Swiss cheese. Yum! (Bacon and Cheese! Hello!) The real twist, beyond the marinated mushrooms and onions, is that it also contains 1 cup of cottage cheese! SAY WHAT? (I did warn you!)  And it’s great in the salad! (Mind blown)

All the ingredients blend together to make it one of the very best spinach salads you will ever taste!

It’s a flavor explosion in your mouth!  You wouldn’t think so, but it’s true.  It’s unique! The dressing isn’t overpowering, but the perfect blend of tart and sweet.  The Swiss Cheese adds a strong robust flavor that only Swiss cheese can bring to a dish. The bits of cottage cheese create a creaminess to each and every bite. Then, there’s the wonderful blend of smokey bacon, marinated mushrooms and red onion that balance it all out!

This salad pairs well with just about any main dish but, particularly with grilled dishes. It’s a show stopper and I guarantee your guests will be asking for seconds. You may even find someone licking the bowl…just sayin’…

Spinach Salad with Bacon and Marinated Mushrooms


  • I usually only make half of the recipe because it is a large recipe and this is one dish that doesn’t save well because of “pre-dressing” the salad.
  • I recommend using a slotted spoon to scoop out the mushrooms and onion and then slowly adding the dressing a little bit at a time till you have the amount you want.
  • This makes a LOT of dressing and it is too much for the salad. So, add and test..add and test…till you have the perfect amount! (It’s also a legit way to taste test and get away with it! lol)

So, there you have it my leafy eaters. The best spinach salad! (In my humble opinion) It really is worth the time and extra effort to make this salad. It’s a meal all alone or a great side dish to serve with grilled steaks grilled chicken, fish, etc. Heck…really with just about anything!

You’re gonna want to print this one out…it’s right below! Just remember it makes a LOT of salad so you might want to consider cutting it in half like I do. Remember…don’t be scared to throw that cottage cheese in there…trust me. You do trust me don’t you? (don’t answer that!) 

I’m sharing this yummy salad on Meal Plan Monday. You can click right HERE to hop on over there.

I’d love to know what’s your favorite salad recipe? Please share in the comments below. I’m always looking for new ideas and yummy salad recipes!   Have a great day…thanks for stopping by!

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Yield: 8-10 servings

Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad
This unique full flavored spinach salad. The marinated mushrooms and onions add to the amazing flavor of this salad. This salad pairs well with any main course dish or as a meal all on it's own!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 package spinach leaves
  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 Cup cottage cheese
  • 3/4 pound grated Swiss Cheese
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 purple onion-thinly sliced rings cut in half
  • 3/4 lbs sliced fresh mushrooms


  • 1 1/2 TBS poppy seeds
  • 3/4 C White vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS grated onion or onion flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard


  1. In a medium bowl mix together all the dressing ingredients. Add in slice mushrooms and slice red onions. Cover and marinate for 2 hours.

  2. Assemble remaining salad ingredients. Right before serving scoop out mushrooms and onions and add to salad. Drizzle with a small amount of dressing and toss. If more dressing is needed add more dressing and toss again.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 1/2 cups

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 820 Total Fat: 66g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 48g Cholesterol: 72mg Sodium: 1067mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 23g Protein: 27g
Norine’s Nest in no way provides any warranty, express or implied, towards the content of recipes in this website. It is the reader’s responsibility to determine the value and quality of any recipe or instructions provided for food preparation and to determine the nutritional value, if any, and safety of the preparation instructions.


  1. Jennifer | 8th Jun 16

    Yumm, that looks amazing, can’t wait to try it.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 9th Jun 16

      Jennifer thanks for stopping by and visiting! I can’t wait to hear how you like the salad…Enjoy!

  2. Laura Hall | 9th Jun 16

    First of all, thank you for posting to my email. I am so excited when that happens. Now, I am drooling over that spinach salad. I can hardly wait to make it.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 9th Jun 16

      Thanks for subscribing to our email list! I really appreciate your support! Let me know how you like this salad. It really is one of my all time favorites and I know you’ll enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

  3. Susan tuckett | 9th Jun 16

    Yummmm. I love salads. This is getting added to my recipe book. Salads can be so dull, sometimes. This is a winner!! Printing it up, as I write this. Thanks for sharing.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 9th Jun 16

      Thanks for stopping by and visiting Susan! Let me know how you like the salad. You are so right…sometimes salads can be very dull but, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this one! Enjoy!

  4. Carrie | 16th Jun 16

    This looks delicious! During the summer, I make a spinach lunch for myself similar to this but plainer! Spinach, cottage cheese, croutons, hard boiled eggs, shredded cheese and the declicious poppyseed dressing. I will for sure have to try this! Thank you for sharing.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 16th Jun 16

      That sounds really good too Carrie! Thanks for sharing. The cottage cheese and spinach is such an amazing combination. I appreciate you stopping by! 🙂

  5. Laura Hall | 16th Jun 16

    This is the best spinch salad I have eaten!

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 16th Jun 16

      Thanks for your feedback Laura! I am so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 It is a favorite at our house 🙂 Makes you realize why Popeye had such an affinity for the stuff! lol

  6. Alicia Baldwin | 18th Jun 16

    Looks and sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try ?

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 20th Jun 16

      When you do let me know how you like it! I think people are always a little taken back by the cottage cheese until they try it and then they are AMAZED! 😉 Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment. I sure do appreciate it.

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