Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

Put down that boring bowl of cereal and try something new for breakfast! This Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons puts a fun, fancy spin on breakfast, but is also hearty enough for lunch or dinner with the addition of crispy bacon and perfectly cooked sunny-side up eggs!

Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons - What a fun breakfast idea! So many amazing flavors and textures in this unique dish!

Mom: please forgive me for spilling the beans on your adventures in “experimental” cooking. 

When I was a kid, meal time was always interesting. My Mom did her best to please the whole family, which usually led her to prepare a different plate of food for each one of us… Dad wanted a hearty plate of meat and potatoes when he got home from work. My sister, who wouldn’t try spaghetti sauce, tacos, syrup, or salad dressing until she was probably 10, was a near-vegetarian and had a very short list of “likes.” I’d like to think I was the easy one who would eat pretty much whatever Mom put in front of me, but I’m sure she’d probably beg to differ. Point is, there were many nights she cooked three different things to please us all, and now that I have my own family of four, I think she’s BANANAS. God bless her heart.

Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons - What a fun breakfast idea! So many amazing flavors and textures in this unique dish!

But every once in awhile, Mom got tired of running a restaurant for us, and she would try “experiments with food” as she would call them. Dear lord. 

You always knew to load up on a heavy after-school snack when Mom said she was making an “experiment” for dinner, because you just never knew what you were going to get! Once was a cheeseburger pie that ended up becoming one of the few foods my little sister would eat. Other experiments didn’t fare so well, like the time she tried to serve us a chicken dish that was still totally raw or the many times she thought you could put ANYTHING in a slow cooker and make it work… some things just don’t work in a slow cooker!

Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons - What a fun breakfast idea! So many amazing flavors and textures in this unique dish!

But I will say that over the years her cooking improved more and more, and by the time we all moved out of the house, she was a pretty darn good cook! Go figure, right? She still loves to come up with crazy, strange foods, but 99% of the time now, they’re actually pretty amazing. Like insanely delicious. Way to go, Mom!

Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons - What a fun breakfast idea! So many amazing flavors and textures in this unique dish!

Take for example, this salad. She made this recipe one time when I came to visit her and my sister for a girl’s weekend, and I literally had dreams about it afterwards. SO good! I was pretty skeptical when she explained it to us (salad for breakfast? what??), but it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons - What a fun breakfast idea! So many amazing flavors and textures in this unique dish!

I know you probably think I’m crazy too, suggesting a salad for breakfast, but trust me on this one! First you drizzle a big pile of baby spinach with a delicious homemade maple vinaigrette. Then you add cinnamon sugar croutons that are ABSOLUTELY addicting. I have to restrain myself from eating the entire pan when they come out of the oven! Next comes delicious toppings like crispy crumbled bacon, tart pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans for the perfect balance of flavor and texture. The best part of salads are the toppings right?

Wrong! The crowning jewel of this amazing breakfast salad is a perfectly cooked sunny-side up egg placed on top just before serving. This MAKES the dish! The first time we tried this salad without the egg and used candied nuts, but it was just way too sweet with the cinnamon sugar croutons. When you cut open that egg yolk and let it run all over the salad, it acts as a creamy dressing that balances out all the flavors perfectly. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m telling you, do not make this salad without the egg!

Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons - What a fun breakfast idea! So many amazing flavors and textures in this unique dish!
We’ve made a few changes to the recipe since we first tried it, and now it’s become a huge family favorite that we all look forward to! This salad is a special treat for weekends and elegant enough for company, but we like to enjoy it for dinners too! I hope you love this unique recipe as much as we do!

Thanks, Mom, for one of the best experiments ever. xoxo Liz

Pomegranate Breakfast Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Cinnamon Sugar Croutons
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Cinnamon Sugar Croutons:
  • 6 cups cubed Italian bread
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

  • Maple Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

  • Pomegranate Breakfast Salad
  • 6 packed cups baby spinach
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbed
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6 eggs, cooked sunny-side up
Instructions
  1. For the Croutons:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add bread cubes to a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt and pour over bread cubes. Toss until bread is evenly coated, then spread the cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until toasted.
  2. For the Vinaigrette:
    Add all ingredients to a clean mason jar and shake until thoroughly combined.
  3. For the Salad:
    Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and add pecans in a single layer. Toast pecans in a 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes. Let cool and finely chop. Divide the spinach evenly between plates and drizzle with maple vinaigrette. Top with cinnamon sugar croutons, toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds, and crumbled bacon. Just before serving, cook eggs sunny-side up, and add on top of salads.
Notes
- Adapted from A Spicy Perspective

 

I’ve got to ask! What were meals like when you were a kid?

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Comments

  1. Love this post, Liz…such a sweet backstory! This salad looks and sounds AMAZING! I love the variety of flavors and textures, and I’m a sucker for anything that incorporates salty and sweet. YUM…thank you (and your mom!) for sharing it with the rest of us. :)

    • Liz Fourez says:

      Thank you, Samantha! I love when I can share food that means something to me. Cooking together is definitely a big part of our family! Thankfully our cooking skills have improved over time. ;) I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do!

  2. Wow, bless her heart. Patience of a saint preparing all those different meals.

    Love this ‘experiment’, super creative Liz. I could totally do this for dinner tonight, and that egg, wow, gorgeous pictures. I just want to pop the yoke and eat it now! Pinning and sharing Liz. Thanks! :)

    • Liz Fourez says:

      I really don’t know how my Mom did it. She’s the best! I think you’re going to love our little “experiment” too, Krista! That egg yolk totally makes the salad. Thanks for the pin! :)

  3. Wow, the pictures are just absolutely beautiful…

    • Liz Fourez says:

      Thank you Morgan!! I love the way these turned out! It took a couple tries to get the “perfect egg”, but it sure photographed well.

  4. Wow, Liz, I love this and I’m definitely going to make it for everyone. They all expect strange dishes from me anyway and my nephew constant says that “Aunty is experimenting on us again!”
    I love that your Mom was fearless in the kitchen. I think that’s how great dishes are born. I haven’t been this excited about trying a recipe in ages! Thanks so much.
    PS..Saw this at Show & Tell and so glad I came to visit.

  5. It sounds a little strange, but your photos and descriptions have sold me on this… I think we need to try it! :) Seriously, I’m drooling a little looking at your perfect sunnyside up egg! Pinning this!
    Visiting from Design, Dining & Diapers link party!

    • Liz Fourez says:

      I totally understand, Brynne! I thought my Mom had lost her marbles the first time she made this for us! I’m so glad I’ve piqued your interest because I think you’ll really love it! Thanks for the pin :)

  6. I’ve got to admit that I’ve never had salad for breakfast but this look amazing and your pictures are gorgeous!

    • Liz Fourez says:

      Salad for breakfast was definitely new to me too, but gosh, this one is so good! Thank you for your sweet photography compliment, Tonia… This one was a blast to photograph! I love when pretty food makes it so easy to shoot. :)

  7. I can’t remember if I commented on social media somewhere about this salad…but it’s perfection for my husband! I showed it to him and he’s begging me for it! He will put an egg on ANYTHING! But, this looks amazing!

    • Liz Fourez says:

      That is too funny, Krist!! He’s going to love this salad! The egg seriously MAKES this salad! Thanks for stopping by, sweet friend. :)

  8. As soon as I saw the fried egg on the salad greens I was hooked! Sounds fabulous! Not sure about the cinnamon sugar croutons but you’ve sold me on everything else! God Bless your mom! When my 3 were little I had to make PB & Js with 3 different types of jelly because they all had their favorites! Thanks for such a great new recipe!

    • Liz Fourez says:

      That egg on top is perfection! Once you break it open, it creates such a delicious dressing for the greens! I love the 3 different jellies story… Oh, the life of a Mom! :)

  9. I’ve been seeing breakfast salads around a lot lately and I want to jump on that bandwagon! The egg on top always looks great and I imagine they are delicious! This one sounds wonderful! I would love for you to share this at {Healthy} Tips and Tricks Tuesday! What a perfect recipe for those of us trying to live a healthy lifestyle!

    • Liz Fourez says:

      Let me tell you, it’s a fantastic bandwagon to jump on! This has become one of my favorite special meals to make, and I think you’ll really enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by, Kristin!

  10. What great memories that you have of your mom experimenting with foods! I have never had a salad for breakfast but this sounds pretty tasty!

  11. Wow, this is such a unique salad! After reading your description, I just have to try it! I featured this salad in our Feature Friday post today for “20 Delectable Salads” Here is the link, I hope you can stop by! http://returntothetable.net/recipes/20-delectable-salads/

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