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Spinach Salad with Smoked Chicken, Apple, Walnuts, and Bacon

Celebrate autumn's apple season with this delicious and satisfying salad. We call for the thick-sliced smoked chicken now available in the meat department of supermarkets. Of course, you can always use smoked turkey from the deli counter instead. If you like a more pronounced sweet-and-sour flavor, use another teaspoon of vinegar.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 pound sliced bacon
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2/3 pound smoked and sliced boneless chicken breast
  • 1 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed (about 9 cups)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. Heat the oven to 350°. Toast the walnuts until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  2. In a large frying pan, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and then crumble it.
  3. In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil.
  4. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the chicken. Let sit for about 5 minutes so that the chicken absorbs the dressing. Add the walnuts, bacon, spinach, onion, apple, and the remaining dressing and toss.

Serve With

Warm garlic bread, served either plain or with a little Parmesan cheese, goes well with all the flavors here.

Suggested Pairing

This substantial fall salad, with its hearty flavors, will taste great with a Beaujolais or, for something off the beaten path, a fruity Pinotage from South Africa. In either case, chill the bottle for fifteen minutes or so before serving.

Photo © David Malosh Published September 2012

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