This cheesy spinach salad is a family favorite in our home, all thanks to my older sister, Jackie. She started making it years ago, and we’ve had it at so many parties and gatherings that it’s now become a staple in our household.
What I love the most about this salad is that it can easily be prepared in advance, even a day or two before a barbeque or event, and then I can assemble it at the last minute. More time for grilling those burgers and mingling with guests? Yes please!
Although the dressing for this spinach salad can be made with hot sauce, I always use this mild pepper paste, which can be found in most mediterranean grocery stores. The paste is less spicy than the hot pepper paste found in regular stores, so I often use it to add just a tiny kick to dressings and soups. Of course, if you’d rather not use mild pepper paste, your favorite hot sauce will definitely give this dressing the little bit of fire it needs.
I hope you enjoy this salad with your family and friends as much as I do with mine!
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1½ tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp mild pepper paste or a dash of hot sauce, plus more to taste
- salt (optional)
- ¾ cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
- 5 oz spinach or baby spinach, rinsed, dried, and roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- Combine the mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar, and pepper paste (or hot sauce) in a small storage container. Adjust the paste to your desired spiciness. Mix in the celery, and refrigerate the dressing for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. (If in a rush, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes.)
- When the dressing is cool and you’re about to serve, put the spinach in a large bowl. Pour the dressing, add the cheese, and toss until all of the spinach is covered in dressing.
- Top with a little more cheese and serve.