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Vegan Spinach Salad – Refreshing Summer Recipe

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A vegan spinach salad recipe offers a vibrant blend of fresh, leafy greens. Each bite is enriched with the earthy tones of baby spinach, complemented by crunchy cucumber slices, ripe cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado pieces.

A sprinkle of toasted nuts adds a delightful crunch, while a tangy lemon vinaigrette dressing envelops the ingredients, ensuring a harmonious blend of flavors.

WHY IT WORKS?

  • Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: Baby spinach provides a powerhouse of vitamins in every forkful.
  • Crunch and Flavor: Toasted nuts and fresh vegetables offer a satisfying texture and taste.
  • Easy Dressing: A simple lemon vinaigrette brings zesty brightness with minimal effort.
  • Quick Preparation: Assemble this healthy, delicious salad in minutes for a perfect meal.
  • Versatile: Easily customizable with your favorite vegan cheese toppings.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding the perfect meal that’s both nutritious and easy to prepare can often feel like an endless search, especially when trying to stick to a vegan diet.

I remember scouring through countless recipes, only to be met with complex ingredient lists or dishes that didn’t hit the mark taste-wise

That’s when I stumbled upon the ultimate game-changer: the Vegan Spinach Salad Recipe. This dish ticked all the boxes for health and simplicity and brought a burst of flavors I never expected from such a straightforward recipe. It became a staple in my weekly meal rotation, proving that you don’t have to compromise on taste for health.

Vegan Spinach Salad - Refreshing Summer Recipe

What Is Vegan Spinach Salad? 

A Vegan Spinach Salad is a refreshing and nutritious dish with fresh spinach leaves as its main ingredient. This salad is exclusively plant-based, avoiding all animal products, including dairy and hard-boiled eggs, making it suitable for vegans.

It’s typically enriched with various vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocados and can be garnished with nuts or seeds for added texture and nutrients.

The salad is dressed in a light, vegan-friendly dressing, often a simple mix of olive oil and lemon juice, to enhance its flavors without overwhelming the delicate taste of the spinach.

Quick Fact – Did you know spinach is a superfood? It’s packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin C and A, making it a great option for a health boost.

What Is Vegan Spinach Salad? 

Recipe Directions

Prepare Salad Ingredients

  • Begin by thoroughly washing the spinach leaves to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel, or use a salad spinner to ensure they are completely dry.
  • Chop the fresh vegetables for the delicious salads. Slice cucumbers into thin rounds, halve cherry tomatoes and cube the avocado. If using, chop nuts like almonds or walnuts for added crunch.
  • Place the chopped ingredients into a large salad bowl. Add the spinach leaves.

Whisk Dressing

  • In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. This typically includes olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and pepper. You may also add a little maple syrup for sweetness or minced garlic or garlic powder for a flavor kick.
  • Whisk the exact ingredients together until well combined. Alternatively, you can add the dressing ingredients to a jar, seal it tightly, and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified.

Toss Salad

  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl. Using salad tongs or two large spoons, gently toss the salad to ensure all the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.

Serve

  • Once the salad is well-tossed, serve immediately to enjoy the fresh flavors. This salad makes a great side dish or a light main course.

Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Variations

  • Fruit Additions: Slices of strawberries, crisp apples, oranges can be incorporated to provide a sweet contrast to the savory flavors.
  • Protein Boost: Add cooked quinoa, chickpeas, or sliced tofu for a protein-packed meal.
  • Grain Inclusion: Mix in cooked farro, barley, or couscous to add heartiness and texture.

Add-Ons

  • Cheese Alternatives: Sprinkle nutritional yeast or vegan cheese for a cheesy flavor without dairy.
  • Crunchy Elements: Include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or homemade croutons for an extra crunch.
  • Herbs for Flavor: Toss in fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or parsley to enhance the salad’s freshness.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Toppings

  • Avocado Slices: Rich in healthy fats, they add creaminess and a smooth texture.
  • Nutty Garnishes: Toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans provide a nutty flavor and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Dried Fruits: Dried cranberries or raisins offer a chewy texture and natural sweetness.

vegan spinach salad recipe

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Zucchini or Eggplant for Pasta: Use thin slices or spirals as a low-carb, gluten-free pasta alternative.
  • Cauliflower for Chicken: Roasted or battered and fried, it’s a convincing substitute in many dishes.
  • Mushrooms for Beef: Their meaty texture makes mushrooms ideal for burgers, stews, and gravies.
  • Butternut Squash for Cheese: When pureed, it offers a creamy consistency and sweet, nutty flavor for sauces.
  • Sweet Potatoes for Bread: Sliced and toasted, they’re a nutritious base for toppings.
  • Spinach or Kale for Lettuce: More nutrient-dense, they’re great in salads and sandwiches.
  • Avocado for Butter: Provides creaminess and healthy fats in spreads and baking.
  • Chickpeas for Tuna: Mashed chickpeas work well in salads for a protein-rich, fish-free option.

Quick Tip – Remember to massage kale with olive oil before adding it to salads. This softens the leaves, making them easier to digest and enhancing flavor.

vegan spinach salad recipe

Best Side Dishes

  1. Quinoa Pilaf A protein-packed grain that’s fluffy and flavorful, perfect for adding substance to your meal.
  2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes Their natural sweetness contrasts beautifully with the salad’s tangy dressing.
  3. Grilled Asparagus Offers a smoky flavor and crunchy texture that pairs well with the fresh salad.
  4. Homemade Focaccia A herbed, olive oil-rich bread ideal for dipping into the salad dressing.
  5. Stuffed Bell Peppers Filled with rice, mushrooms, and spices, they add color and variety to the plate.
  6. Crispy Tofu Marinated and baked until golden, providing a crunchy, protein-rich side.
  7. Steamed Broccoli or Green Beans Lightly seasoned, they offer a crunchy, nutritious complement.
  8. Avocado Toast Simple and rich, adding a creamy texture and healthy fats to your meal.
  9. Lentil Soup A hearty and warming addition, especially good for cooler days.

vegan spinach salad recipe

How To Serve? 

  • Use a Large, Shallow Bowl: This allows you to spread out the ingredients, showcasing the variety of colors and textures.
  • Layer Your Ingredients: Start with the spinach as a base, then add other vegetables, fruits, and toppings in sections or layers for visual appeal.
  • Dress Just Before Serving: Drizzle the dressing over the salad right before serving to keep the spinach fresh and crisp. Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side for guests to add as they like.
  • Garnish with Edible Flowers: Edible flowers like nasturtiums or violets add color and sophistication.
  • Offer a Variety of Toppings: Serve additional toppings on the side, such as nuts, seeds, or avocado slices, allowing guests to customize their salad.
  • Pair with Complementary Sides: Offer a selection of side dishes that complement the flavors of the salad, such as crusty bread or a quinoa dish.
  • Serve at Room Temperature: Ensure the salad and its components are not too cold, which can mute flavors. Room temperature brings out the best in your ingredients.
  • Use High-Quality Olive Oil in the Dressing: A good olive oil can make a big difference in the taste of your dressing, enhancing the overall flavor of the salad.
  • Consider Presentation: Arrange the salad in an aesthetically pleasing way, paying attention to the balance of colors and textures.

Quick Tip – For an extra flavor boost, lightly toast nuts or seeds before adding them to your salad. It enhances their crunchiness and brings out a rich, nutty aroma.

vegan spinach salad recipe

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: Wash spinach leaves and store them in an airtight container lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Dressing can be stored separately in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Nuts and seeds can be stored in a cool, dry place for several weeks.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare all salad ingredients except for the dressing. Store them separately in the fridge. Just before serving, toss the salad with the dressing to maintain freshness and crispness. This allows for easy meal prep, ensuring a quick and convenient vegan spinach salad whenever needed.

Quick Fact – Did you know spinach was Catherine de’ Medici’s favorite vegetable? Dishes served on a bed of spinach are called “Florentine,” honoring her birthplace, Florence.

vegan spinach salad recipe card

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Vegetables in Advance: Chop onions, carrots, and celery ahead of time and store them in the fridge for a quick start.
  2. Use a Food Processor: Quickly mince vegetables and mushrooms in a food processor to save chopping time.
  3. Canned Tomatoes: Opt for canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones for convenience and consistent flavor.
  4. Lentils as Protein: For a few grams of protein, choose pre-cooked or canned lentils, which skip soaking and cooking time.
  5. Bulk Cooking: Make a large batch of Bolognese sauce and freeze it in portions for easy future meals.
  6. One-Pot Cooking: Use a large pot to sauté vegetables, add lentils, and simmer the sauce, minimizing cleanup.
  7. Simmer Efficiently: Cover the pot while simmering the sauce to reduce cooking time and enhance flavors.
  8. Ready Pasta: Opt for fresh pasta that cooks quicker than dried, or use pre-cooked pasta to save even more time.

Vegan Spinach Salad - Refreshing Summer Recipe

Vegan Spinach Salad – Refreshing Summer Recipe

Recipe by Julia

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of nature with our Vegan Spinach Salad. Crisp spinach leaves mingle with a colorful medley of fresh vegetables tossed in a zesty vinaigrette.

Each bite bursts with nutrients and wholesome goodness, making it a delightful addition to any meal. Simple, refreshing, and entirely plant-based, it’s a feast for both the palate and the soul.

Course: Salads
0 from 0 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

0

minutes
Calories

250

kcal
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • Spinach Salad Base
  • 6 cups 6 Spinach

  • ½ cup ½ Pecans

  • ½ cup ½ Dry Cranberries

  • ¾ cup ¾ Cucumber

  • 1 medium 1 Avocado

  • ¼ cup ¼ Hemp Seeds

  • ½ cup ½ Green Onion

  • Balsamic Dressing
  • 3 Tbsp 3 Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Dijon Mustard

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Maple Syrup

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

  • Wash The Spinach
  • Begin by thoroughly washing the deep-green spinach leaves to remove dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel, or use a salad spinner to ensure they are completely dry.
  • Chop the fresh vegetables for the salad. Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds and cube the avocado. Chop ½ cups of pecans for added crunch.
  • Place the chopped ingredients into a large salad bowl. Add the spinach leaves along with ½ cup dry cranberries and ¼ cup hemp seeds.Vegan Spinach Salad
  • Whisk Dressing
  • In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients: 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until well combined. Alternatively, you can add the dressing ingredients to a jar, seal it tightly, and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified.Vegan Spinach Salad
  • Dress The Salad
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the large bowl. Using salad tongs or two large spoons, gently toss the salad to ensure all the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.Vegan-Spinach-Salad
  • Serve
  • Once the salad is well-tossed, serve immediately to enjoy the fresh flavors. This salad makes a delicious side dish or a light main course.
  • Equipments List
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Food processor
  • Large skillet or saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Can opener
  • Colander

Notes

  • Customization: Feel free to swap out or add any vegetables according to your personal preference or seasonal availability.
  • Nut Options: Almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts are great alternatives to pecans for varied textures and flavors.
  • Dressing Variation: Experiment with different vinegars or add herbs to the dressing for a unique twist.
  • Protein Boost: Add chickpeas or baked tofu for a more filling salad.
  • Storage: If making ahead, store the dressing separately and toss just before serving to keep the salad fresh.
  • Serving Tip: Chill the salad plates before serving for a refreshing touch.
  • Allergen Info: Be sure to check for nut allergies when serving guests.

Nutrition Table

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spinach Salad Filling Enough For A Meal?

Absolutely! Spinach is packed with nutrients like fiber and protein, which help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Adding other hearty ingredients like beans, nuts, or grains becomes a substantial and nutritious meal.

How Do I Make Sure My Spinach Stays Fresh In The Salad?

To ensure your spinach stays fresh, wash and thoroughly dry it before assembling your salad. You can also store the spinach separately from any dressing or wet ingredients until ready to eat. Additionally, adding acidic ingredients like citrus fruits can help prevent the spinach from wilting too quickly.

vegan spinach salad recipe

What Are Some Good Vegan Protein Options To Add To A Spinach Salad?

There are plenty of plant-based protein options to choose from! Add ingredients like tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, black beans, quinoa, or edamame to your classic spinach salad to boost its protein content and make it more satisfying.

Can I Make The Salad Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can prepare the salad’s components and assemble them before serving to prevent them from getting soggy.

Keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to eat to maintain the salad’s freshness. However, if you’re adding ingredients like avocado, it’s best to add them just before serving to prevent them from browning.

What Dressing Goes Well With A Vegan Spinach Salad?

Many delicious vegan dressing options complement the flavors of a spinach salad. Try a simple but creamy balsamic dressing, a tangy lemon tahini dressing, or a creamy avocado cilantro lime dressing. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite combination!

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HELLO AND WELCOME TO
VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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