Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

I tried the spinach salad at Maggiano’s Little Italy and loved it! I tried to find a way to recreate the dressing to my own taste, and this is what I’ve come up with! It’s really easy to make, and definitely something you can take to your next potluck or make for yourself if you’re trying to be healthy!

BTW, I put some meat into my salad once just to try it, and it wasn’t bad! However, if I were to do it again, I would cook it as a whole steak and slice them into thin pieces with a slightly raw center next time. But it’s all up to youuuu!

INGREDIENTS: Makes 2 servings

  • Spinach (or any other kind of salad)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (virgin preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • red bell pepper (try to get one with 3 lobes because they’re sweeter than the 4 lobed ones. There are a lot more 4 lobed ones at grocery stores so you might have to dig a bit. If you don’t mind the flavor though, feel free to get whichever one you want)
  • few slices red onion chopped
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • pepper
  • pine nuts (optional. I prefer my salad without pine nuts, but I know a lot of people like them)


  1. Mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, sugar, and pepper
  2. Chop a few thin slices of red onion and add to the dressing
  3. Char the red bell pepper over the stove until completely black. Use tongs to do this until the skin is completely burnt
  4. Let the bell pepper cool for a few minutes, then peel off the black skin with your hands. Try to get as much off without having to rinse the pepper under water, because it can lose some flavor. However, if there are too many black specks on it, you can give it a quick rinse
  5. Fry your bacon and chop into small pieces. Cook them until they are slightly crunchy and brown
  6. Chop the bell pepper after hollowing out the seeds and core
  7. Assemble the spinach, pour the dressing, and top with the bell pepper chunks and bacon bits
  8. Toss
  9. **If you want to store it to take it somewhere, keep the dressing separate from the spinach, bell pepper, and bacon until ready to serve. Otherwise, the other ingredients wilt and get soaked in moisture
  10. ENJOY! And let me know how it goes 🙂

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