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Spinach Salad with Smoked Pecan Vinaigrette

Photo: Greg Dupree
Active time 20 mins
Total time 20 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 cup)

Adding smoked pecans to this salad is a healthier way to add bacon-like flavor to the dish because pecans are low in saturated fats, nutrient rich, and full of heart-healthy oils. You can substitute store-bought smoked almonds if you don’t have time to smoke the nuts yourself. Goat cheese is a soft, fresh cheese that adds creaminess with a tangy kick. Crumbling goat cheese can be tricky because it is so soft. A trick? Chill the log until it’s very cold, then pinch off small pieces with your fingers.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 small red onion, cut cross-wise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped Smoked and Spiced Pecans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 136
  • Fat 12.7 g
  • Satfat 2.5 g
  • Monofat 8 g
  • Polyfat 1.9 g
  • Protein 3 g
  • Carbohydrate 3 g
  • Fiber 1 g
  • Cholesterol 4 mg
  • Iron 1 mg
  • Sodium 101 mg
  • Calcium 41 mg
  • Sugars 1 g
  • Est. Added Sugars g

How to Make It

  1. Heat a grill pan over high; coat with cooking spray. Grill onion slices, turning occasionally, until charred and very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Place in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 5 minutes.

  2. Whisk together Smoked and Spiced Pecans, oil, vinegar, Dijon, and pepper in a large bowl. Add spinach and onions; toss to coat. Divide among 6 plates. Top evenly with goat cheese.