This Roasted Shrimp Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette is loaded with quinoa, roasted peppers, crispy bacon and the best dressing! Perfect for weekly meal prep too!
I made a commitment this year that I would have more seafood in our diets. It’s such a great source of protein and truly, it’s so easy to prepare. Now, yes, there are some seafood items (i.e., scallops) that do take finesse but I feel once you master that you’re golden! You’ll be making them often. Often I get ask what’s the ‘easiest’ seafood to prepare and immediately I respond with is ‘shrimp!’ Plus, unlike red meat, shrimp and seafood seems to be easier to digest as they are considerably leaner.
This is one of those “Saturday” salads. Meaning it was Saturday afternoon, we were both starving and I really didn’t feel like taking too much time to make lunch. I wanted to keep it light but also something that if I made too much would be great the next day. Thus this salad was born. Now the Warm Bacon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette I’ve been making for gosh, decades. Bacon drippings is something that was just never discarded. Mom kept a coffee can of it on the counter and used it to fry up home fries, eggs and whatever else she wanted. Now I do keep my drippings but in the fridge. I know many still keep it on the counter but that to me is pushing the limits of it going bad. <eek!>
Now full disclosure, Mr. Fantabulous will almost always roll his eyes when I make us a salad as a “meal”. To him to this just wrong on so many levels. Salad is a salad and not a meal. Even if I add meats, fries, what not on it, to him it’s still a salad. So I knew when I decided to go with this I would be met with “the look“.
Now I already had cooked quinoa in the fridge but if you didn’t you could make it while you’re roasting the asparagus and shrimp as my recipe only takes 1 minute under pressure! Check out that recipe! For this salad I went with what I had on hand – asparagus, bacon, jar of roasted red peppers and spinach. You could easily mix up the veggies. Caramelized shallots, jicama and roasted broccoli would be awesome in this. I, personally, love this flavor profile the most plus the colors are just so festive. I could so see this on a Christmas buffet!
To make this just grab 2 rimmed baking trays and line them with foil. To the one add the asparagus and seasonings and roast away. To the other just prep the shrimp and, when it’s time, roast. While all that is happening, cook up the bacon and make the vinaigrette. You will notice that you will have extra so definitely store it in the fridge. This salad is perfect for 5 so whether you’re serving a family all at once OR if you want to make it part of your weekly meal prep you can. If you do the latter definitely store the vinaigrette in a small container and reheat before drizzling on your salad.
That dressing – to quote Guy Fieri, “It’s SO MONEY!”. I’ve used that dressing on so many other salads, sandwiches and even pizza as a finishing touch. It’s INSANE how awesome it is. But full disclosure, it is also fattening so definitely use it in moderation, k?
Now do you have to add quinoa to it?
Nope. You can omit it or go with cooked rice, lentils, rice cauliflower, etc. I added it as I wanted more body to the salad plus quinoa is soooooooooooo good for you! So when this was all done (in under 30 minutes) I called Mr. Fantabulous into the kitchen for lunch. Of course, as I called it, I got “The look” but told him to sit down and try it anyway. To be transparent I did have extra shrimp and asparagus off to the side on the counter in case he wanted a “real meal” to go with his salad. He did eat the salad and said it was good but for him, he still wanted that “real meal” dish. LOL
Lastly, if you do not have fresh shrimp like the recipe calls for you can use thawed, cooked shrimp. I would simply rinse off, pat dry and, if you like it cold, add it to the salad. If you want your shrimp warm, just saute in some olive oil/salt/pepper for a minute or so just to heat through. Just watch as you do not want to over cook it as the shrimp will turn rubbery.
- 25 jumbo/colossal shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 bag (12-16 oz bag) of fresh spinach, cleaned
- 20 stalks of asparagus (bottoms trimmed)
- 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, warmed
- 8 slices crispy thick cut bacon
- 2 whole roasted red peppers, rough chopped
- 3 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt. divided
- 1 tsp black pepper, divided
Warm Bacon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette (this will make extra!)
- 1/3 cup honey (can use less if you like it less sweet)
- 3 Tbl Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
- 6 slices thick cut bacon, crispy and cut into 1” pieces plus 3 Tbl of reserved bacon drippings (warmed)
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 Tbl of olive oil (if the vinaigrette it too thick)
Roast the Shrimp and Asparagus
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the asparagus in a single layer one of the pans. Drizzle with 2 Tbl olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Mix to coat evenly and bake for 15 minutes. While the asparagus is baking put the shrimp in a bowl and toss with 1 Tbl olive, 3/4 tsp of kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Place the shrimp on the other baking pan in a single layer. At the end of 15 minutes, place the shrimp pan into the oven with the asparagus and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until the shrimp is pink, firm and cooked through. The asparagus should be tender but have slight firmness to it. Remove from the oven. Chop up the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.
Prepare the dressing
- In the bacon drippings saute the shallot until translucent.
- In a bowl add the honey, Dijon mustard, vinegar and the bacon drippings and shallots. Whisk to combine.
- Stir in the chopped bacon. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
- In 5 bowls divide the spinach and then sprinkle ½ cup of quinoa over top. Next top each salad with asparagus pieces, roasted red peppers and 5 shrimp per salad. If eating right away, drizzle over the warmed bacon honey Dijon vinaigrette. If not, to serve later simply reheat the dressing in the microwave for a few seconds and then drizzle over.
Keywords: Roasted Shrimp Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, hot bacon dressing, roasted shrimp, sheet pan meals, meal prep, meal planning, quinoa