escarole salad with bacon and breadcrumbs on platter

Escarole Salad Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

This Escarole Salad Recipe has the perfect combination of flavors and textures! Slightly bitter greens tossed with buttery croutons and salty bacon. This salad work both for a side dish or a light meal!



  • 1 head of escarole
  • 6 strips thick cut bacon, diced
  • 2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs or Panko
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings divided
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • lemon wedges and fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Separate the leaves of escarole, wash and dry (salad spinner works great for this!) and then set aside on paper towels.
  2. Add the chopped bacon to a large skillet and cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Drain the drippings from the bacon into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings back into the skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the fresh breadcrumbs in with the garlic and toss to coat in the bacon drippings. Toast the breadcrumbs, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add the bacon and the chopped parsley back into the pan with the breadcrumbs and toss together to combine. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Into the same skillet, add 4 more tablespoons of the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of garlic and the chopped shallot, cooking for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the mustard and honey to the skillet, working into the shallots and garlic. Then carefully pour in the vinegar, whisking to combine. Season with salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Pour the dressing into a bowl and let cool slightly.
  5. Assemble the salad by placing the leaves of escarole onto a platter, overlapping the leaves. Generously add the bacon and breadcrumb on top of the escarole, followed by the warm dressing.
  6. Garnish the salad with a squeeze of fresh lemon and more fresh parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes

You can add a fried egg, grilled chicken or shrimp to this salad too!

If you run out of bacon drippings you can substitute with olive oil

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American