Spinach Salad with Pecans, Dried Cranberries, and Feta

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Vegetarians rejoice, there’s no bacon in this wilted spinach salad. Also, this is more of a wilted spinach salad template than a recipe. If you don’t like feta, use a crumbly cheese you do like. Goat cheese is amazing in this salad and I tend to reach for it just as often as I do feta.

If you hate pecans, but love walnuts, great!

Use those. If there are no bunches of spinach at the store, use baby, as I had to. I probably wouldn’t use 2 full bags in the future as the dressing-to-stuff ratio was a little on the light side. I’d dial it back to 1.5 bags of baby spinach or increase the olive oil, vinegar, and mint (this last only by a fraction, but I’ve never been mint’s biggest fan). If you don’t like mint, you can skip it.

You can add chunks of a tart apple with the recipe as written. If you opt for goat cheese, slices of strawberry for variety or even mango would be lovely, but I personally would skip the mint if you opt for the mango.

Note, that this recipe is easily halved for side salads.

Also unless you are a huge red onion fan consider using even less than suggested. My two-year-old adores red onions; frankly, there’s just something a little strange about a toddler with onion breath. (The recipe for this spinach salad is just below the recommended thing.)

Yield: 6 Salads

Wilted Spinach Salad with Feta, Red Onion, Dried Cranberry and Pecan

Wilted Spinach Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 bunches of spinach leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sherry, rice, cider, or red wine vinegar ***
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped**
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • black pepper, freshly ground


    1. If your spinach is still somewhat attached to the bunch, cut off the lower portion of the stems so they separate.
    2. Wash it well. I like flour sack style kitchen towels for drying delicate produce.
    3. If you'd like, slice the onion and then soak it in water for 15 - 30 minutes, drain & pat dry.
    4. Heat the 6TBSP over low to medium heat in a small, skillet. The oil should be very hot, but not smoking.
    5. While the oil heats, place ALL, of the remaining ingredients (yes, the vinegar, mint, and seasoning, too) in a large bowl—I know this is tough, but persevere, I have faith.
    6. Toss the ingredients in the bowl so they are somewhat evenly distributed. Don't get fussed about this, you still have another tossing session.
    7. When the oil is hot drizzle it over the spinach. Don't do this all at once, drizzle, toss with tongs, and drizzle until you run out of oil.
    8. Give the salad a few more tosses and serve.


To toast pecans scatter them on a baking sheet and place in a 350-degree oven, toss/stir after 4 minutes and bake for an additional 3 - 5 minutes watching closely. There is a fine line between toasted and burnt.

***A quick note about vinegar and those on gluten-free diets, ensure that distilled vinegar is ok with your physician. The American Dietetic association gave distilled vinegar the green light, but the Celiac Spruce Association has not.

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11 thoughts on “Spinach Salad with Pecans, Dried Cranberries, and Feta”

  1. I do a very similar salad using mixed lettuces with bacon bits, crumbled cheese, red onion, dried cranberries, nuts and a vinaigrette dressing.

  2. Switch the feta for chevre, and we're in there!
    Yay for pecans! Walnuts are okay, but I always say, "A walnut is a Yankee's poor excuse for a pecan!" Just the decided opinion of this Texas gal! Ha!

  3. This sounds so good! I like to make something similar to this. I use field greens, feta, candied almonds, and strawberries. Top it with a raspberry vinagrette. Makes a great spring-time salad.

  4. Okay – this looks CRAZY good. I will definitely be giving it a try. Admittedly, I am a sucker for anything with feta in it…

  5. Beautiful Picture!! and the recipe sounds tasty too…. despite my dislike of spinach 🙂

    I'll have to give this a shoot soon, sounds pretty healthy too


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