This simple Arugula Salad recipe is so fresh and simple yet tastes fancy!

This is a quick side with lots of flavor making it really easy to put together.

top view of plated Easy Arugula Salad

What is Arugula Salad?

Arugula is a green sometimes called rocket. It has a feathery appearance with a peppery and slightly bitter taste.

This green pairs well with other strong ingredients and a bright sweet dressing. Serve it with a side of homemade focaccia bread or add some croutons.

ingredients to make Easy Arugula Salad

Ingredients and Variations

GREENS: Fresh arugula has a uniquely shaped leaf that adds to its appeal in a salad.

Its strong flavor means it doesn’t need a lot of other ingredients for flavor as iceberg or romaine do. Spinach can be added to an arugula salad for extra color and texture and to soften the flavor slightly.

VEGGIES: Fresh tart tomatoes and chopped red onions add flavor.

Choose other veggies like avocados, sliced fennel, or roasted beets. Arugula salad goes well with berries, pears, or oranges too.

CHEESE: Parmesan petals provide the right salt flavor that works with the dressing, but other salty cheeses like goat cheese and feta pair really well with arugula.

PINE NUTS: Pine nuts can be a bit pricey but just a tiny amount adds a big punch of flavor to recipes. Look for them in the bulk section so you can buy just what is needed.

If you don’t have pine nuts, toasted almonds or pecans can be added.

dressing for Easy Arugula Salad

Dressing for Arugula Salad

Since arugula is a bit bitter, you want a bold and slightly sweet dressing. The dressing below is fresh and tangy but the following homemade or storebought dressings will also work well:

How to Make Arugula Salad

Simple salads like this one make healthy dinnertime additions a snap!

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients (per the recipe below) set aside.
  2. Toss dressing with arugula & top with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

PRO TIP: Make Parmesan petals by shaving pieces off the block of Parmesan with a vegetable peeler!

pouring dressing over Easy Arugula Salad

Favorite Side Salads

What’s your favorite salad? Leave us a comment & a rating below! 

top view of plated Easy Arugula Salad
5 from 13 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Arugula Salad

Fresh, crisp, and totally flavorful, this easy arugula salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
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  • 6 cups arugula washed & dried
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ounce parmesan petals see notes
  • ¼ cup red onion finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts or toasted almonds

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sugar or to taste


  • Whisk all dressing ingredients except the oil in a medium bowl.
  • Slowly drizzle oil into the mixture while whisking. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  • Place arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with dressing. Add remaining ingredients on top.
  • Serve immediately.


Parmesan petals can be made by shaving pieces off the block of Parmesan with a vegetable peeler. 
Add spinach in place of some of the arugula to soften the flavor.
Substitute store bought dressings for homemade. Choose dressings with a sweet tangy flavor like honey mustard or poppy seed.
5 from 13 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 185 | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 951IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
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close up of Easy Arugula Salad with salad dressing and a title
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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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5 from 13 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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  1. Nice Salad! We love Arugula, & I buy a famous brand of organic Baby Arugula (which comes in a clear plastic box, every week. I dislike the long & many times tough stems. They’re a choking hazard! I find myself picking through all of the leaves & pinching off most of the stems. Time consuming & annoying