A simple salad becomes legendary when you add sweet and salty Hot Bacon Dressing. And it's ready in just 5 minutes!
Welcome to my All-time Favorite Salad.
I like to call it: Any salad with Hot Bacon Dressing on it.
This is my grandma's trusted recipe, and there's really nothing like it. It's sweet, it's salty, it's fast, it's easy. It's everything. (!!!!)
In addition to eating this salad throughout my life at Grandma's House, this is one of my few "pregnancy cravings" foods. I put it in quotes because I didn't have cravings, per se, but I had a lot of anti-cravings.
I basically hate all food when I'm pregnant. It's pretty tragic.
I lived on salads with Hot Bacon Dressing, though. Fresh and crispy lettuce with this hot and sweet dressing is perfect all the time, any time. Even in the face of hating food.
(Can you imagine hating food? Wait - can you imagine ME hating food? I know. It's nuts).
I love this for dinner parties, too. You can fry the bacon in advance and make the dressing at the very last minute, right before serving the salad. It's fancier than pulling out a bottle of dressing from the store, and your guests will certainly remember it. They'll probably ask for the recipe too!
Whenever I buy a package of bacon, I typically divide it into plastic bags with 2 pieces each. I have found that this works well for recipes where bacon is used as a flavoring agent such as in Slow Cooker Black Beans and Slow Cooker Pasta and Bean Soup.
I keep all the bacon bags in the freezer because bacon is so much easier to chop when it's frozen. Try it; you'll see what I mean immediately.
By the way, the egg in this picture? It's poached. I added it just for fun. It tastes great, but really, this salad is all about the dressing.
Hot Bacon Dressing
- 16 ounces bacon finely chopped
- Olive oil as needed
- 1 red onion minced
- 1/2 cup sugar or less to taste, see notes
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 16 ounces Salad greens for serving
- In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Pour rendered bacon fat into a measuring cup. Pour off all but 1/4 cup, or add olive oil to reach 1/4 cup. Return fat to skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add onion, sugar, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a very large bowl, add salad greens. Immediately pour over warm bacon dressing and toss to wilt. Portion the salad onto individual plates if desired and garnish with bacon.