The Easiest Spinach Salad with Lemon Dressing and Parmesan

spinach salad with lemon dressing and parmesan in wooden bowl

This spinach salad with lemon dressing and parmesan is as simple as it gets, yet somehow incredibly addicting. Something about the way the grated cheese dissolves into the dressing creates a flavor/texture combination that I cannot get enough of. It was eat-it-out-of-the-serving-bowl-after-photographing good. The dressing is three ingredients plus salt, meaning you can whip this salad up with little to no forethought to go with whatever you’re making tonight.

I modeled this salad after one I’ve had at an Italian restaurant outside Chicago. The restaurant version also includes avocado and is equally delicious, but I wanted to keep this side salad as simple as possible. If you have an avocado on hand, slice it up and toss it in. You won’t regret it!

Wondering what to serve with this salad? It would be perfect with my risotto with butternut squash and sage, mustard-dill roasted salmon, or creamy white bean rosemary pasta. The flavors are simple, so this salad really will go with anything.

A note on ingredients

This salad is incredibly simple, which means using quality ingredients is paramount. If you’ve been a reader for a while you know that when I say “parmesan” I really mean Parmigiano-Reggiano. And of course, use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for this dressing. The flavor will be the star of the show, so you want to make sure it’s a good one! For more information you can see my rant post on olive oil and cheese, and how to buy.

lemon dressing in small bowl next to spinach salad

If you make this spinach salad with lemon dressing and parmesan, please let me know in the comments how it turned out for you! You can also tag me on Instagram at @a_tavola_kitchen.


Spinach Salad with Lemon Dressing and Parmesan

This spinach salad is as simple as it gets! It pairs well with almost any main and uses minimal ingredients, meaning you can whip it up to go with whatever you’re making tonight.

  • Author: A Tavola Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 side salads 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American


  • 3 cups spinach
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil¬†
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice¬†
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for topping
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Combine olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and salt in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until combined. Drizzle over spinach and top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  • This recipe makes a little extra dressing, which will keep well in the fridge for several days.

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