Warm Sesame Spinach Salad is an Easy, Flavorful, Healthy Side


This Sesame Spinach Salad makes a beautiful and naturally dairy-free side dish for entertaining. But it’s easy and healthy enough to enjoy any night. Overall, it’s quite light, but has a nice pop of Asian-style flavor. You can pair it with chicken, salmon, or tofu for a nutritious meal.

Sesame Spinach Salad Recipe - a healthy, light, plant-based side that's also allergy-friendly

Warm Sesame Spinach Salad is an Easy, Flavorful, Healthy Side

We often overlook spinach because of it’s hearty distant cousin, kale. But spinach has many nutritious merits that are well-preserved when it is eaten raw or just lightly steamed, like in this sesame spinach salad recipe. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, and many more micro-nutrients. Many researchers have also boasted the anti-inflammatory benefits of spinach. Some in dairy-free circles condemn spinach, since it has low bioavailability of calcium. But, it’s loaded with vitamin K, which is just as important for bone health.

I also like that spinach is a little lighter in taste and texture. It’s much easier to eat than hearty greens like kale, which tend to have a more pronounced taste and rugged bite.

Sesame Spinach Salad Recipe - a healthy, light, plant-based side that's also allergy-friendly

Special Diet Notes: Sesame Spinach Salad

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Sesame Spinach Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is adapted from one I found long ago on food.com. We love it as a side dish or layered on bowls for lunch. But the instructions also include "proper" presentation should you be serving it for a dinner party.
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1½ pounds spinach, stemmed and rinsed well
  • ¼ cup mirin rice wine (can sub dry white wine or sake)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoon honey (sub maple syrup for strictly vegan)
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Steam the spinach until wilted. Gently squeeze any excess water out.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mirin, soy sauce or tamari, honey, and sesame oil. Add the spinach and stir to combine. This can optionally be chilled for up to 4 hours.
  3. Serve topped with the sesame seeds, or form them into bundles for a more formal presentation. To do this, divide the spinach into six cylindrical bundles and squeeze each tightly to compact the leaves. Arrange them individually in six small shallow bowls. Spoon a little of the dressing left in the bowl over each bundle, and sprinkle each bundle with about 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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