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Spinach Pomegranate Salad

This Spinach Pomegranate Salad is a crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving salad—and it ages wonderfully into a perfect Christmas salad. It’s the perfect mix of salty and sweet, and guaranteed to bring some festive cheer whenever you serve it. Serving in the spring or summer? I have lots of great substitutions for pomegranate.

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Top view of pomegranate salad with spinach, onion, air fryer bacon, feta cheese, pecans, and balsamic glaze drizzled on top all on a white and red plate

Spinach Pomegranate Salad

I love all the stunning flavors of winter featured in this spinach pomegranate salad. This spinach salad features tender baby spinach, sweet and vibrant pomegranate arils, tangy feta cheese, crunchy candied pecans, salty bacon, and sweet and savory balsamic glaze that ties it all together.

It’s perfect for Thanksgiving salad or a Christmas salad. When pomegranates are out of season, you can substitute strawberries and it’s a perfect Easter salad recipe as well!

Ingredients for Spinach Pomegranate Salad: 

For the salad:

  • 5 oz fresh baby spinach (half of an average-sized 10oz bag)
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugared pecans (recipe below)
  • Balsamic glaze, for serving

For the sugared pecans:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pecans (whole and/or chopped in pieces)
Close up of pomegranate salad with spinach, onion, air fryer bacon, feta cheese, and pecans all on a white and red plate

What is balsamic glaze?

Balsamic glaze is not the liquid vinegar in your pantry. Rather, it’s a thick, viscous glaze with a syrupy consistency. You can purchase it in the oil and vinegar aisle at most grocery stores. It is sweet, savory, and perfect to use in caprese salad, bruschetta, salads, and sandwiches. 

Pro tip: when looking for a good balsamic glaze, check the ingredients list to see if it has grape must. That’s essentially condensed grape, and it’s what’s going to give the glaze a really rich flavor! You want a glaze that’s mostly balsamic vinegar and grape must. 

Less expensive balsamic glazes combine balsamic vinegar with some thickeners and sugar (things like glucose syrup) and they’re also great, but won’t have as much depth of flavor.

Can I make Spinach salad ahead of time? 

I don’t recommend making this salad ahead of time because the spinach will wilt and get soggy. Because of the moisture in the salad, the candied pecans can also “melt.” In general, things will just start to mix and get messy. 

I recommend assembling this salad immediately before serving. If you want to assemble the salad slightly ahead of time, bear in mind that it will last at room temperature no longer than 30 minutes. No matter what, do not drizzle the glaze onto the salad until you’re ready to eat.

If you’re pressed for time, feel free to assemble the ingredients ahead of time and store them separately. Be sure to store the candied pecans in a dry environment so that they don’t melt!

Top close up view of pomegranate salad with spinach, onion, air fryer bacon, feta cheese, pecans, and balsamic glaze drizzled on top all on a white plate and teal cloth

How long does Spinach salad last? 

This recipe is best assembled and served the same day—each step preferably within a few minutes of the other. I have tried saving some leftovers for the next day, but the pecans and spinach are wilted and a bit soggy.

If you’re not sure what to do with the leftover salad, try frying it into a grilled cheese or a frittata! The salty-sweet flavors of the candied pecans and chopped bacon make a tantalizing compliment to a rich grilled cheese or a savory frittata.

If you want to save some extra salad for lunch tomorrow, try setting aside some extra ingredients in small plastic baggies—feta, onion, and pecans will definitely need their own containers, as these are the ingredients that tend to age the worst. To pack this salad as a lunch, put each of the individual ingredient bags together and lightly toss them the moment of.

Easy Substitutions and Variations 

The wonderful thing about spinach salad is that it pairs with so many things, so easily. Here are a few ways that you can make this salad to fit your taste:

  • Substitute the feta cheese for goat cheese, and bam: you’ve created spinach pomegranate goat cheese salad.
  • Use an arugula-spinach mix, or even an all arugula mix.
  • Instead of making candied pecans, make candied walnuts instead (use the same process).
  • Can’t find pomegranates for your spinach salad? Replace them with strawberries, apples, pears, or mandarin oranges. All of these pair perfectly with spinach salad, balsamic glaze, and feta cheese.
  • Add avocado to your spinach salad. It’s so delicious with the pomegranates—and with strawberries, too!
  • If you don’t care for balsamic vinegar, try using pomegranate molasses, a light balsamic vinaigrette, bacon dressing, or poppyseed dressing.
Five air fryer bacon strips fully cooked in air fryer
I air fry my bacon at 400º for 5-9 minutes, depending on the thickness (flip halfway through cooking).

How to make Spinach Pomegranate Salad

Step 1: Prep

Crisp and chop the bacon (I use my air fryer to make bacon), wash the spinach, extract the pomegranate arils, and candy the pecans. Give the pecans a few minutes to harden after candying. 

Step 2: Assemble

Arrange the washed spinach in a bowl, then top with the condiments. Drizzle with balsamic glaze immediately before serving.

How to make Candied Pecans

Making candied pecans using this method is probably the easiest way to do it, since there’s not baking and only 2 ingredients. It does take a little patience and maybe a try or two, but I promise it’s worth it!

Pecans rolled in sugar on green and brown cutting mat
  1. Place a medium frying pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar and pecans evenly in the pan.
  3. Leave the sugar and pecans without stirring until the sugar starts to melt. If it ever starts to look like it is burning, turn the heat down to medium low.
  4. Once the sugar starts to melt, use a heat-proof silicone spatula (I only use these) and mix the sugar into the pecans. It may seem lumpy at first, which is ok. Stir constantly and the sugar will melt evenly over the pecans. This takes about 10 minutes.
  5. If the sugar gets too clumpy and isn’t melting, increase the heat slightly or add 2 tablespoons of water (careful! It may spit a little and hot sugar is extremely painful!)
  6. When the pecans are coated, remove from the heat and spread onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle the hot nuts with about a tablespoon of additional sugar.
  7. If you prefer, you can also add a shake of cinnamon to the sugar before melting.

About Lisa

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Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-

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What to serve with Spinach Pomegranate Salad

Graphic of Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Easy Candied Nuts with one picture of spinach pomegranate salad.
Spinach Pomegranate Salad

Spinach Pomegranate Salad

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Assembly Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

Spinach Pomegranate Salad is a crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving salad—and it ages wonderfully into a perfect Christmas salad. It’s the perfect mix of salty and sweet, and guaranteed to bring some festive cheer whenever you serve it.

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 5 oz fresh baby spinach (half of an average-sized 10oz bag)
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugared pecans (recipe below)
  • Balsamic glaze, for serving

Sugared Pecans

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar divided
  • 1 cup pecans (whole and/or chopped in pieces)

Instructions

  1. On a serving tray or bowl, arrange the spinach.
  2. Top with crumbled bacon, pomegranates arils, red onion, feta cheese, and sugared pecans (recipe below).
  3. Drizzle balsamic glaze to taste right before serving.


Pecans

  1. Place a medium frying pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar and pecans evenly in the pan.
  3. Leave the sugar and pecans without stirring until the sugar starts to melt. If it ever starts to look like it is burning, turn the heat down to medium low.
  4. Once the sugar starts to melt, use a heat-proof silicone spatula (I only use these) and mix the sugar into the pecans. It may seem lumpy at first, which is ok. Stir constantly and the sugar will melt evenly over the pecans. This takes about 10 minutes.
  5. If the sugar gets too clumpy and isn't melting, increase the heat slightly or add 2 tablespoons of water (careful! It may spit a little and hot sugar is extremely painful!)
  6. When the pecans are coated, remove from the heat and spread onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle the hot nuts with about a tablespoon of additional sugar.
  7. If you prefer, you can also add a shake of cinnamon to the sugar before melting.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 286mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g

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