Arugula Salad is a side salad that’s light, refreshing and easy. Arugula leaves pair perfectly with a bit of sweetness from berries and crunch from toasted nuts. This simple homemade vinaigrette is so fresh, it’ll become a staple in your fridge!
It can easily be adapted to fruits that are in season… if you can’t find berries, toss in sliced pears!
A Perfect Blend of Flavors
Arugula salad is a fresh salad with arugula leaves as the base. So, what is arugula? Arugula is sometimes called “rocket” and it’s a dark leafy green from the broccoli family. It has a unique, intense flavor that is peppery, tart and pleasantly bitter.
Because of the bitterness, this salad is best mixed with fruits, berries (or even tomatoes) to cut the bitterness. A creamy soft cheese is great too.
Arugula Salad Dressing
Once you start making your own dressings at home, you’ll never want to buy dressing again. They’re so easy to make, last a long time in the fridge and the flavor just cannot be compared.
This dressing is a favorite on any salad for us but because of the sweetness, it pairs especially well with this salad.
In a mason jar, shake up a simple combination of:
- olive oil (4 tbs)
- honey (1 1/2 tsp)
- rice vinegar (2 tbs)
- seasoning to taste
How to Make Arugula Salad
Simple arugula salad comes together in a flash, especially when using pre-washed baby arugula found at most grocery stores! Sometimes the ends of the stems are quite tough, especially on larger leaves. These should be trimmed off before mixing the salad.
- Whisk arugula salad dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Toast and roughly chop the nuts, slice the onion and pit the cherries (I use this cherry pitter, the best ever)!
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl, crumble in the feta, pour over the dressing and toss.
To Toast Nuts: Place them in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet in a preheated 350°F oven or toaster oven for about 5 minutes. Be sure to watch them carefully, as they toast quickly, and easily burn.
Variations for Arugula Salad
As mentioned, arugula has an intense taste that makes it almost more like an herb than a vegetable. I like to serve it with roasted or grilled meats like baked chicken thighs or next to a Margherita Pizza.
As with any salad, substitutions or additions are totally appropriate, and encouraged! Try adding some of these ingredients for an arugula salad that is totally your own.
- Cheese: goat cheese or shaved parmesan instead of, or in addition to the feta.
- Fruit: pears, apples, grapes, strawberries, peaches
- Nuts: toasted pine nuts or pecans
- Legumes: chickpeas or cannellini beans
- Vegetables: If you want a milder salad, you can also try mixing in some romaine or spinach leaves.
More Easy Side Salads
- Winter Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- Cucumber Onion Salad – pairs perfectly with spicy meats
- Beet Salad
- Pistachio Strawberry Salad – ready in 20 mins!
- Creamy Cucumber Tomato Salad – summer favorite!
- Asian Chopped Salad
- Tomato Avocado Salad – made with red and yellow cherry tomatoes
- Strawberry Spinach Salad – 4 ingredient dressing
- Harvest Farro Salad
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup cherries pitted
- 1 cup blackberries or strawberries/raspberries
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup red onion sliced
- 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts or pecans
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Assemble the arugula, berries, feta cheese, red onion and nuts in a medium bowl.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well.
- Pour over salad and toss.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)