This Simple Spinach Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing is your gateway to getting salad on the dinner table tonight. We all have a breaking point where making a salad from scratch seems exhausting, and we decide to buy the pre-packaged salad kit or forgo a salad altogether. The Faux Martha’s How to Put a Dinner Salad on the Table Every Night simplifies this; no chopping or grating and stick to four components: leafy greens, crumbly cheese, crunchy sprinkles, and a house dressing. Her method is genius, and I take it one step further by making it seasonal in this recipe.
This simple spinach salad is fresh, crisp, colorful, and beautiful. It shows how having the right combination and amount of ingredients makes a simple salad go from meeting your vegetable quota for the day to memorable and crave-worthy. The goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberry combination create a sweet-salty-creamy situation, where every ingredient compliments the next. The honey-lemon dressing has 3 pantry-staple ingredients that have the perfect ratio of acid to oil to sweet and highlights the bold flavors of the other ingredients. There is no hero in this salad; all ingredients are equally important.
Radishes are the black horse in this recipe. While considered an “extra” if you have time, they add a subtly spicy, densely crunchy component that elevates the salad. Soaking the radishes in ice water tempers the characteristic bite and leaves the radishes mild and crisp. You will never look at a radish the same way again. I promise.
Possible Substitutions for this Simple Spinach Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing
GOAT CHEESE. Feel free to substitute feta cheese or blue cheese for goat cheese.
CRANBERRIES. Dried cherries are an excellent substitute for cranberries.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS. Try walnuts, pecans, or almonds in place of sunflower seeds.
Before you start: Helpful Tips
The honey-lemon dressing is extremely versatile, and I encourage you to make a large batch for the week. After all, the ultimate goal is not just to get a salad on the table tonight, but every night.
More Spring-Inspired Recipes to Try
- Stovetop Asparagus with Pistachios and Herbs
- Spring Grilled Cheese with Charred Scallions
- Decadent Rhubarb Frangipane Shortbread Bars
Simple Spinach Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing
This Simple Spinach Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing is full of dried cranberries, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds, with a touch of radish. It’s fast and easy, making it the perfect gateway to getting a salad on the table tonight.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: American
For the Salad:
- 3 radishes, scrubbed, tops trimmed off, thinly sliced, optional
- 4 cups (4 ounces) spinach, washed and dried well
- 1/4 cup (40g) dried cranberries*
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz) goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons salted and roasted sunflower seeds
- kosher salt, to taste
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup (53g) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Sprinkle of kosher salt
- Soak the radishes. Cover the radishes in a small bowl with ice water.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Add the lemon juice, honey, and salt to a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Whisk in the olive oil until creamy and emulsified, about 2 minutes.
- Assemble the salad. Place the spinach and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Add the honey-lemon dressing and toss well to distribute. Season with salt and toss again. Adjust with more dressing or salt to taste.
- Serve. After 15 minutes, drain the radishes and pat dry. Toss the radishes, sunflower seeds, and goat cheese into the salad and serve immediately.
CRANBERRIES. Apple juice-sweetened or sugar-sweetened cranberries both work well.
STORAGE. This salad is best eaten immediately after adding the dressing and goat cheese.
MAKE AHEAD. In an air-tight, clean glass jar, store the dressing for up to a week in the refrigerator. Refrigerate the spinach, dried cranberry, and sunflower seed mixture undressed in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 191 calories
- Sugar: 9.4g
- Sodium: 226mg
- Fat: 15.8g
- Saturated Fat: 3.9g
- Carbohydrates: 10.8g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 3.6g
- Cholesterol: 7mg
Keywords: spinach salad, spinach goat cheese, simple spinach salad, honey lemon dressing