Easy side dishes that don’t heat up my kitchen too much are my go-to’s in the summer. My favorite summer meal is meat on the grill (cooked by my hubby!) and two vegetable sides that do not take too long to cook. If my oven is on for longer than 30 minutes, my kitchen gets boiling hot. Yours too? Wilted bacon summer salad comes together in under 20 minutes, making it perfect for my summer dinner prep! Also, this is a one pan side dish! Fewer dirty dishes is always a win!
**Disclaimer: This recipe is not mine originally. I simply tweaked it to make it fit into my AIP/Paleo diet. Zach and Anne Gembis get all the credit for introducing me to this tasty salad!**
Let’s take a look at how to make this super easy summer salad!
First, cook the bacon in a large skillet to your desired crispiness. I like mine quite crispy, borderline burnt some would say, in fact, I see nothing wrong with burnt bacon. The black parts taste great!
Cooking Tip: Use a larger pan than you need for these few slices of bacon and green onions. That way when you add the lettuce to wilt, there will be plenty of room!
Remove the bacon when it is to your desired doneness, but leave the rendered fat in the pan! This is the foundation of the dressing for the salad! Toss in the green onions to wilt for about 30 seconds then stir in the coconut sugar until melted and onions are kind of caramelized.
When the onions and sugar have cooked for a couple minutes, pour in the apple cider vinegar and water. Stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up any wonderful bacon or onion bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Finally, add the chopped lettuce and crumbled bacon to the pan. Stir to coat the greens and allow them to wilt. I usually leave the heat on if I’m using a more sturdy lettuce, like romaine, but turn the heat off if using a more fragile lettuce. Taste and add more apple cider vinegar if necessary then serve warm!
This is a super simple side dish that comes together in a flash. And if you are looking to eat more leafy greens, look to wilted salads! A wilted salad cuts the volume way down allowing you to eat more without even noticing!
Cooking Tip: The original recipe, as given to me by my friends, would use a leafy, fragile green like butterhead or royal red lettuce. I like it that way too, but lately, I’ve been using a mix of red and green romaine with a small amount of butterhead. The ratios are about 3 parts romaine to 1 part butterhead. What I like about using romaine is it is more sturdy and holds up better as leftovers.
The perfect summer meal for me is pork chops on the grill with a side of wilted bacon summer salad and green beans. This combination is an AIP/Paleo 30 minute meal! They do exist! (However, you do need 2 cooks to accomplish this in 30 minutes: 1 on the grill and 1 in the kitchen)
Wilted bacon summer salad is a quick summer side dish that complements any meat you toss on the grill. Pair it with hamburgers, pork chops, steak, or chicken. It is delicious with any meat. The best part is you will eat tons of greens without noticing! Enjoy this yummy, warm side salad today!
Wilted Bacon Summer Salad
A warm, wilted salad perfect for those fragile (and not so fragile) lettuces that pop up in late spring and summer. Serve this delicious salad alongside any grilled meat for a quick summer meal!
- 4-5 slices bacon
- 6-8 cups lettuce, romaine or fragile chopped
- 5 green onions rough chop
- 1.5 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 Tbsp water
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook bacon until desired crispiness. Remove bacon from pan to cool on paper towel lined plate.
In the same skillet with bacon drippings, add roughly chopped green onions to cook for 30 seconds.
Add the coconut sugar to the green onions and cook stirring occasionally until sugar is melted and onions wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
Add apple cider vinegar and water to the skillet and stir to deglaze the pan.
Stir in lettuce to wilt, 1-2 minutes. While lettuce is wilting, crumble the bacon and add to the skillet. Taste for more vinegar.
When lettuce is wilted to your liking, remove from heat and serve immediately.