This vegan wilted spinach salad is the easiest warm salad you can make in just 15 minutes. Topped off with tangy tahini dressing and flavoured with a kick of fresh ginger. Irresistible!
Why You'll Love This Salad
- A warm & tangy take on spinach salad
- No fancy equipment required
- Can be made oil-free
- Topped off with a light but creamy tahini dressing
- Serve it hot or cold
- It’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and 100% plant-based
- Easy to customise with chickpea, beetroot, apple, or another veg
- So good with my fresh vegan herb twist bread
You’ll need the following ingredients for this warm vegan spinach salad.
Tahini is a condiment made from sesame and originates from the Middle East. You should be able to find it in large supermarkets worldwide near the condiments or oils section.
Spinach - this recipe works best with baby spinach.
Step by Step
Below is a quick & fun visual overview of my spinach salad recipe.
Remember to find the full recipe including exact ingredients & in-depth instructions at the bottom of this page.
- Wash your spinach. Grate your carrot and ginger. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Cut your cilantro (if using).
- Prepare the dressing by mixing tahini, lemon, water, salt & pepper in a small bowl.
- Add oil to a hot frying pan. Then add minced garlic and gently fry for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach one cup at a time.
- Keep adding spinach and gently fry on medium-high heat until the leaves get a darker green colour and start to wilt.
- Serve the wilted spinach with grated carrot, ginger, and cilantro (if desired).
- Drizzle with plenty of tahini dressing just before serving.
Easy peasy! Literally can't go wrong!
Top spinach tip - if using young/baby spinach, you don't need to cut the leaves at all - simply chuck them in the pan. If you're using (mature) spinach, cut the leaves in half first to avoid ending up with very long spinach 'strings'.
- Add dressing last
Just like with any other salad, it’s important to add dressing at the right moment.
In this case, add it just before serving. This will preserve the crunchiness.
- Tame the garlic
Even if you’re not into spicy or strong flavours, garlic can still be your friend!
You know that strong, bitter flavour that can put people off garlic sometimes? There’s a trick to make it milder!
To mellow it out, simply add a squeeze of lemon to your minced garlic, stir well and let it sit for a minute. When garlic comes in contact with the acid in the lemon, it begins to lose its strong flavour.
Don't worry if you notice it getting a slight blue hint. This is a normal part caused by the chemical reaction.
- Wilt it gently
We all know that a whole bag of spinach can suddenly turn into just a small cup when cooked.
In this recipe, it’s particularly important that you wilt the spinach gently. This means adding to the pan for a short period of time and removing it from heat as soon as it starts to wilt and become darker.
Don’t leave it in the pan for too long - this will result in shriveled, tiny pieces of spinach. Instead, we want long, deep green spinach that is wilted just slightly.
To wash or not to wash? If you're using bagged spinach, you might be wondering if you need to wash it first. The answer? It depends. The best thing you can do is read the label on the packaging.
If you see 'unwashed' or 'wash before use' written anywhere on the packaging, then this is your sign to run it under cold water. If you don't see that text anywhere, chances are good you can chuck it straight into the pan.
Simply fry the minced garlic in water instead of olive oil.
Absolutely! If you fancy a raw version, simply skip the frying part and serve it cold. This works best with young/baby spinach.
I like to press down on each clove with the side of a large knife. Then I cut off the ends and simply pull off the skin with ease. Head over to Alphafoodie for more garlic peeling techniques.
Absolutely. This salad is so easy to customise. I’ve tried it with beetroot and chickpeas, but you could also experiment with other ingredients. If you don’t like cilantro, leave it out altogether or serve with parsley instead.
I recommend enjoying this wilted vegan spinach salad fresh & straight away. However, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Filling & Serving Ideas
If you want to make this salad more filling, consider adding:
- Fried firm tofu - for some extra protein
- Veggie-friendly mock chicken - if you're a fan of meat substitutes
- Roasted chickpeas - for that ultimate crunch
- Butter beans, edamame, black beans, etc. - to load up on fiber and protein
- Sweet potato - because it works beautifully with spinach
- Butternut squash - this eathy vegetable pairs so well with spinach
- Avocado - for those healthy fats
- Nuts like almonds, cashews or pine nuts - to add extra crunch
- Seeds like sesame or hemp seeds
See below for suggestions on how to add different elements to this salad:
Fresh & sweet - add strawberries! Make sure they’re perfectly ripe and deep red.
Festive & sweet - dried cranberries will do a great job!
Heat - make it spicy by stirring cayenne powder into your tahini dressing. It works less well with chilli flakes as they sink to the bottom.
Extra greens - add some kale, parsley or peas. Avoid veggies like arugula/rocket or broccoli as they will overpower the rest.
Extra tip - want to instantly add tons of nutrients? Sprinkle microgreens on top!
Other Dressing Ideas
Not a fan of tahini? No worries, there’s plenty of ways you can still enjoy this salad.
Here are some of my alternate dressing ideas!
- A simple oil and vinegar dressing (don’t forget to add salt and black pepper to taste).
- Lemon & thyme dressing works particularly well too.
- Another creamy salad dressing like avocado, caesar, or mayo dressing.
If you’re a lover of vegan salads, why not try out my:
Or discover my full recipe section!
Vegan Wilted Spinach Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Frying pan
- Measuring cups or scales
- 6 cups spinach tightly packed (equals 150g)
- 1 small carrot
- 2 thumbs ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp oil olive oil or any other vegetable oil
- ¼ cup cilantro coriander
- ⅛ cup tahini
- 1 squeeze lemon
- 2 tbsp cold water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash your spinach (if buying unwashed). If you have one, use a salad spinner to dry the leaves. Wash and cut cilantro into small pieces.
- Grate your carrot and ginger. Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
- Prepare your dressing by mixing tahini, lemon, water, salt & pepper in a small bowl. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Add oil to a hot frying pan. Then add minced garlic and gently fry for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring (careful not to burn).
- Add spinach 2 cups at a time.
- Keep spinach on medium high heat until the leaves start to wilt - they will get smaller and darker in colour. Keep adding the spinach 2 cups at a time until you've got none left.
- Remove spinach from heat.
- Serve the wilted spinach with grated carrot, ginger, and cilantro (if desired). Top off with tahini dressing just before serving. Add more salt to taste.