Spinach Salad w/Walnuts & Craisins


Anybody who knows me knows how I feel about salads. I just don’t like them. NOPE, sure don’t! Every one of them will tell you that I say, “Salad is rabbit food.” Yep, well I might have to change my stance on that now, well at least for this salad anyway. Perhaps it’s the spinach instead of the traditional lettuce that I like, or maybe it’s all of the sweet & sour flavors going on. I’m not sure but there’s just something about this salad that I LOVED!

I might consider changing the name to “everything but the kitchen sink salad”, or perhaps “because I ate too much in December Salad”, or maybe “not rabbit food salad”! All quite catchy. Anywho, whatever you call it is REALLY GOOD!

I was recently sent a few of Paul Newman’s dressings to try out (yes that means I got them for Free – all about that disclosure). Again, as I’m not normally a “Salad” girl I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them. I considered marinating with them, but ultimately because well YES it’s that time of year… The “keep my resolutions” part of the year, I thought hey let’s try a salad….


I love spinach & because the regular lettuce salads never worked for me we went with that option. Then we added some fruits and nuts & seeds & veggies and emptied out the pantry (LOL j/k) & voila… It was a truly delicious & surprisingly (yes, surprisingly bc I’m not a salad girl) filling salad. You could easily make this veggietarian (yes I know I spelled it wrong, but I like saying it that way) by leaving out the chicken. Or it would be equally delicious swapping out the chicken for some shrimp or, ooh, salmon…

Who knows, maybe this salad thing will stick with me, or maybe not… chissa (who knows ; ) tee hee…


What you’ll need:
1 bag of Fresh Spinach
2 chicken breasts – sliced
1 bottle Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 pint container Cherry Tomatoes
1 small can of Pineapple tidbits – drained
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1/2 lemon – juiced
1/4 cup of Craisins
1/4 cup Walnuts – chopped
Fontina Cheese – Shaved

What to do:
Spray a grill pan with cooking spray & heat over medium heat. When hot, add your chicken & cook until done. Into a large bowl add your spinach leaves. Shake your bottle of Vinaigrette & then Drizzle on top the Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette (just enough to coat) & toss together. Add in the craisins, walnuts, pineapple & cherry tomatoes. Toss to combine. Sprinkle on the Sesame Seeds & add in lemon juice & toss again. Plate your salad, top with a few slices of the grilled chicken & a few cheese shavings.

Buon Appetito!


  1. 1
    s.anne connor /

    i am making this – but substituting grilled tofu for the chicken YUM.

  2. 2

    Spinach salad is SO much tastier than a lettuce salad. My fav in a spinach salad? Avocado and/or artichoke hearts. YUM! i’ll have to try some walnuts like you did…that looks great!
    i love the variety of recipes on your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 3

    I had my first salad, ever, last night and it was spinach with balsamic vinaigrette. It wasn’t terrible, but I might have to try this next time!

    • 3.1

      Yay Britt! Glad I’m not the only one ; ) I really did enjoy this one. Probably because of all the fruits & nuts and delicious Fontina Cheese. So many flavors & textures!

  4. 4

    I’m not a big fan of salads, either. This does sound tasty, though. I’m especially fond of craisins… yum!

    • 4.1

      Thanks Jen! I was trying to make is as “non” salad as I could ; )

  5. 5

    I love your site. Salad sound delicious!

    • 5.1

      Ciao The Teacher Cooks! Thanks a bunch! I’m happy I finally found one I could handle ; )

  6. 6

    Sounds good and easy, I love nuts in salads! I am a salad girl BTW ๐Ÿ˜€

    • 6.1

      Ciao Viviane! So glad you like it (esp since you are a salad girl ; )

  7. 7

    These kinds of salads are absolutely my favorite, mainly because they leave you satisfied for hours!

  8. 8

    Mmmmm…so many yummy goodies in this salad! I think I could eat the whole bowl…You should dream up more salads. Despite the problem of you not liking them so much, you are good at putting them together! XOXO

    • 8.1

      Ah, thanks so much Rachael! Perhaps I’ll come up with a new one, everything but the Ferrari salad ; ) Of course it would have to include pancetta * wink wink *

  9. 9

    this is so funny. We did a big salad last night and boy did we have troubles getting my 6 year old to eat it…but this looks so good I think I might just try it again!

    • 9.1

      Ciao Eden! Yes, I couldn’t get my 6 yr old to touch a normal salad but he actually tried this one and guess what LIKED it : )

  10. 10

    I like the idea of adding pineapple

  11. 11

    I also am NOT a salad lover. I avoid if I can.
    However, for a while there, I was making a straight spinach, walnut and dried cranberry salad, usually with raspberry vinegarette. And loving it. Til my spinach went slimy, that is!

  12. 12

    your pictures and recipe is just breath taking, more like in techno color its awesome!

  13. 13
    Suzanne /

    I’ve been making a version of this for years…my family calls it ‘The Really Big Salad’ (in homage to Seinfeld) Mixed greens, different veggies, whatever we feel like for cheese, some times chopped hard cooked egg, craisins or dried cherries,pepitas or candied pecans or walnuts…& of course marinated, cooked chicken that I’ve shredded up. I put the greens on a big turkey platter, line the veggies up in colorful bands on the greens & put the smaller fixins in bowls around it. Everyone helps themselves & adds their own special twist…

  14. 14

    this could be my new favorite salad and I could use my leftover steak.

    you are just the best keep em coming for my challenge meals *<*

  15. 15

    I love it… This is very healty recipe..

  16. 16

    Nice n colourful salad.

  17. 17

    Paula – Love the post and your photo is absolutely gorgeous — makes me want to dive right in and munch. Congrats on the #1 of Top 9 today! You deserve it!

    author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries

  18. 18

    Everything but the kitchen sink salads are the best! Good you captured it so it can be repeated!

  19. 19

    I enjoy salads the most when there’s a good combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy. Your recipe fits the bill!

  20. 20

    Just like you, I am not big on salads, unless it is extremely hot and I am not in the mood for a hot meal. This salad looks delicious! I hate it when salads are more lettuce than anything else. Great post.


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