Simple Spinach Salad

a white platter full of simple spinach salad with cheese and walnuts

Simple Spinach Salad is a healthy side salad for any meal! Made easy with baby spinach, olive oil, lemon juice, walnuts, and parmesan cheese, you will be making on a regular basis.

Spinach Side Salad

Today I am sharing this simple Spinach Salad that goes with EVERYTHING.

Pasta? Yep.

Chicken? Yep.

Casserole? Yes

Soup? YES.

Brunch??? YOU BET.

simple spinach salad on a white platter garnished with lemon wedges

It is seriously so easy and probably would be a great side salad for most meals any given night. With a limited ingredients list this salad can be made with things commonly found in the fridge and pantry.

So how simple is this Simple Spinach Salad? Lets take a look.

Simple Spinach Salad Recipe

For this side salad you will need:

  • Baby Spinach
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Romano or Parmesan Cheese
  • Diced Walnuts
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
ingredients to make a simple spinach salad

See how simple it is?

The most complicated part of this salad is deciding if you want to toast the walnuts.

I marked the toasting of walnuts optional, I highly recommend you do, plus it is really not that hard. But in a pinch you can leave them as is.

So to start you want to get the walnuts toasting. Add walnuts to a small ungreased skillet over medium heat. Let the diced walnuts warm up, stirring occasionally, until the walnuts begin to darken and become fragrant, this usually takes about 4-5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the walnuts rest on the warm skillet 2-3 more minutes to finish toasting until ready to add to the salad.

Note the walnuts will start to burn fairly quickly if left unattended.

Meanwhile the rest of the salad only takes minutes to put together while the walnuts toast.

Add the spinach to a large bowl and drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over the top.

Toss the spinach to coat in the lemon juice and olive oil. Add cheese, walnuts, and a dash of freshly cracked pepper. Toss again and serve immediately.

spinach salad on a white platter with lemon wedges, cheese, and nuts

Things to note:

  • I use baby spinach for its smaller leaves, milder taste, and ease to find at the grocery store. Other varieties of spinach could be used if you want.
  • I prefer Romano cheese in general over Parmesan, so I think it tastes better in this salad but they are interchangeable here so use what you have
  • You can buy diced walnuts at the store so you don’t have to chop them yourself. I like the convince plus the diced walnuts are great to have for baking recipes. I like the added crunch that adding walnuts to this salad brings so if you aren’t a fan of walnuts I suggest subbing out something else crunchy like a different nut or seed.
  • Lastly a note on the pepper. If you aren’t going to be grinding your own fresh black pepper leave it out, using fine pre-ground pepper will give it a slightly different taste than using a grinder. (Need grinders? I LOVE this Wooden Grinder Set that I have.)
  • And of course as simple as this salad is you can swap out the nuts for a more allergy friendly seed.
overhead view of a simple spinach salad on a white platter with gold serving utensils
close up of a piece of spinach in the simple spinach salad

Love salads? You might like one of these:

Simple Spinach Salad

Simple Spinach Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Spinach salad with a simple dressing made from lemon juice & olive oil topped with cheese, walnuts, and cracked black pepper.

Ingredients

  • 5oz baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced walnuts
  • fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

    1. Optional: To toast the walnuts*. Add walnuts to a small ungreased skillet over medium heat. Let the diced walnuts warm up, stirring occasionally until they just begin to darken and become fragrant, this usually takes about 5-6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, give the walnuts a little shake, and let the walnuts rest on the warm skillet 2-3 more minutes to finish toasting until ready to add to the salad.
    2. Meanwhile add the spinach to a large bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
    3. Toss the spinach to coat in the lemon juice and olive oil. Add cheese, walnuts, and a dash of freshly cracked pepper. Toss again and serve immediately.

Notes

*The walnuts are great toasted if you have the time, if not just use them as is!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 7mg Sodium: 178mg Carbohydrates: 3g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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