This easy spinach salad recipe is ready in under 30 minutes, with a fresh, homemade basil vinaigrette and some crispy prosciutto!
We’re suckers for a delicious-but-simple side dish, and this easy spinach and prosciutto salad fits the bill perfectly.
It’s great as a quick dinner at the height of summer (hellooooo, fresh basil!) or as a bright pop of color on your holiday table at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Serve it as is or add extra toppings (suggestions below!) to make it a little heartier!
Three steps to make this spinach salad
This spinach and prosciutto salad boils down to three main steps:
- Make the salad dressing. Blend some fresh basil with a bit of garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a food processor until smooth!
- Crisp up some prosciutto. Bake or pan-fry a few slices of prosciutto until they’re nice and crispy.
- Mix the salad! Toss a pile of fresh spinach leaves with your basil vinaigrette and crumble the crispy prosciutto over the top, then serve and enjoy!
How to make the basil dressing in advance
This easy spinach salad dressing comes together in no time in the food processor – and it’s easy to make ahead of time if you’d like to meal prep a bit!
Make the basil vinaigrette as instructed, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
The dressing may develop a slightly brown color on top after a few days in the fridge as the basil oxidizes – just stir the dressing well to return it to a vibrant green color!
What to serve with this salad
This prosciutto spinach salad is the best side dish for a cozy, colorful meal. Some of our favorite recipes to serve with this salad:
Veggie-heavy pasta dishes:
A quick burger or sandwich:
Easy chicken or seafood recipes:
Add your favorite toppings!
This is a great basic, blank-canvas salad: add whatever you have on hand to make it a little heartier for a full dinner! Some of our favorite additions:
- Hard boiled eggs (sliced or chopped)
- Sliced red onion
- Extra protein like grilled chicken, roasted salmon, or a scoop of cooked quinoa or farro
- Fresh avocado
- Fresh fruit or berries (we added blueberries in the photo below, but it’s also great with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, pears, and peaches)
- Nuts! We love adding walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or sliced almonds
- Extra veggies (we love bell peppers, tomatoes, snap peas, or grilled corn!)
- Your favorite cheese! Feta, goat cheese, and blue cheese are all good here.
This easy spinach prosciutto salad gets a pop of flavor from crispy prosciutto and a fresh basil dressing!
For the Basil Dressing:
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad:
- 3 ounces prosciutto (about 4 sandwich-sized pieces)
- 4 packed cups baby spinach leaves
For the Basil Dressing:
Put basil, garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil in a small blender or food processor. Purée until you have a smooth dressing (you may need to scrape down the sides of your blender once or twice). Dressing should look like a traditional vinaigrette or a very runny pesto.
Use dressing immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Note: This dressing makes more than you’ll need for just this salad! Keep the leftovers in a jar in the fridge and use on salads or roasted veggies during the week.
For the Salad:
Heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Place prosciutto on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat or a piece of parchment paper. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until prosciutto is crispy and slightly darkened. Prosciutto tends to crisp quickly, so keep an eye on it! Let prosciutto cool until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
Add spinach to a large mixing bowl or serving platter. Crumble crispy prosciutto over the top. Drizzle with a few teaspoons of basil dressing (recipe above). Toss to combine and serve immediately.
Substitutions. Use arugula or kale in place of some or all of the spinach if you like. Swap lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for the red wine vinegar. Use crispy bacon instead of prosciutto.
Additions. Add extra protein (chicken, salmon, hard boiled eggs), cooked grains (quinoa, farro), or extra veggies (red onion, avocado, cherry tomatoes, grilled corn, bell peppers) to this salad to make it a bit heartier. Add your favorite cheese (we love feta, goat cheese, or blue cheese), some nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios), or fruit (berries, peaches, apples) for extra color and flavor.
Prosciutto is very salty – so give your crispy prosciutto a taste before you add any extra salt to the dressing or the salad! You can always use less prosciutto as well if you’d like less salt here.
Keywords: salad, summer, side dish
The photos for this recipe were taken by Casey at The Mindful Hapa!