Arugula Salad



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This simple arugula salad comes together in less than 10 minutes for an easy side salad! It combines peppery arugula, parmesan and toasted almonds all tossed in a delicious lemon balsamic dressing.

If you’re looking for a super simple, yet delicious side salad I’ve got you covered with this arugula salad!

It combines peppery arugula with creamy shaved Parmesan and crunchy toasted almonds, dressed in a light and tangy, slightly sweet lemon balsamic dressing. It’s a no-fuss salad recipe that’s ready in a few minutes, making it the perfect addition to any meal for some added nutrients.

Arugula salad served in a white bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Salad

  • Simple – With only 3 main ingredients and super simple dressing, this salad comes together in a matter of minutes!
  • Healthy – Arugula is loaded with nutrients! It’s high in fiber, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin B among others. One study also cites arugula as being particularly high in cancer-fighting agents (source).
  • Versatile – This salad can be enjoyed as a simple side dish for brunch or dinner or add some protein and additional toppings to make it a meal-sized salad.
Ingredients measured out to make Arugula Salad: arugula, shaved parmesan, toasted almond slices, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, honey, white balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.

Ingredients Needed

You only need a handful of simple ingredients to whip up this arugula salad! Here’s what you need:

  • arugula – the star of the show, providing a peppery flavor to this salad. Arugula is part of the mustard green family, not the lettuce family. While the peppery flavor of the arugula is what makes this salad so tasty, if you want to make it more mild swap half of the arugula with leafy green lettuce or spinach.
  • shaved parmesan cheese – adds a creamy, salty element that pairs well with the greens. For the best flavor I recommend shaving the parmesan yourself from a block with a vegetable peeler. This method works perfectly!
  • toasted almond or sunflower seeds – adds a satisfying crunch and nuttiness. I used toasted sliced almonds, but toasted sunflower seeds are also a great option.
  • extra virgin olive oil – forms the foundation of the dressing, bringing richness and depth. Since this dressing is only a few ingredients I recommend using a high quality olive oil for the best flavor.
  • lemon juice – brightens the dressing with fresh citrus.
  • white balsamic vinegar – adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the dressing that pairs perfectly with the zestiness of the arugula. If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar on hand you can use more lemon juice or regular white vinegar.
  • honey or maple syrup – adds a touch of sweetness to the dressing to balance the acidity of the vinegar and lemon.
  • salt and black pepper – enhances the overall flavor of the salad and dressing.

How to Make Arugula Salad

This salad couldn’t be any easier to make! It comes together in about 10 minutes from start to finish. Here’s how to make it:

Step 1: Whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey or maple syrup, salt and black pepper in a bowl or shake it together in a jar.

Side by side photos showing a small bowl with the ingredients for a simple lemon vinaigrette, before and after being whisked together.

Step 2: Toss the arugula with half of the dressing in a large salad bowl. Then add the shaved Parmesan and toasted nuts or seeds. Serve, adding more dressing as desired.

Photo of arugula being tossed with vinaigrette in a bowl. and a photo of the salad topped with parmesan and almonds.

Recipe Tip!

To keep the arugula fresh and prevent it from wilting, add the dressing right before serving. This keeps the leaves crisp and the nuts crunchy.

A close up image of an arugula salad topped with parmesan cheese and almonds.

Arugula Salad Recipe Variations

I love the simplicity of this salad, but feel free to add a variety of different ingredients to this salad to make it your own. Here are some ideas:

  • Add fruit: Fruit like pears, apples, strawberries or figs would be an excellent addition to this arugula salad. You can also try this fig salad or grapefruit avocado salad which both have arugula as the base.
  • Add veggies: The options are endless when it comes to adding more veggies to this salad. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, roasted beets and roasted sweet potatoes, among others would be great additions to this salad. If you’re a roasted beet fan you could try this beet salad with arugula.
  • Use another nut/seed: Swap the almonds or sunflower seeds with another nut or seed of choice like pecans, walnuts or pepitas (pumpkin seeds). For a more decadent topping add these candied pecans or candied walnuts.
  • Try a different cheese: Swap the parmesan cheese with feta cheese, goat cheese, blue cheese or another cheese of choice.
  • Add protein: Amp up this salad by adding some protein to it. Chickpeas (or another white bean) or grilled chicken would be my top choices.
  • Add grains: To make this salad more filling add a scoop of cooked quinoa or farro. Or try this farro salad with arugula.
  • Switch up the dressing: I love the simple lemon balsamic dressing, but feel free to use your favorite dressing here. Some other ideas are: white balsamic vinaigrettebalsamic vinaigretteapple cider vinaigrette and red wine vinaigrette.
Arugula salad served in a white bowl with silver serving spoons.

What Pairs Well With Arugula Salad

This is such a versatile salad that pairs well with a variety of dishes. Here are some recipes I’d suggest serving alongside this salad:

Arugula salad served in a white bowl.

How to Make Ahead And Store

  • To make ahead: Make the dressing and store it separately in the fridge for up to 1 week before you’re ready to serve this salad. When ready to serve, toss the arugula with the dressing and top with nuts and parmesan.
  • To store: To store leftovers of the dressed salad, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. The arugula will wilt and loose its crispness as it sits, but it’ll still taste delicious.

Be sure to check out all of my arugula recipes as well as the full collection of salad recipes on EBF!

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

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Arugula Salad

This simple arugula salad comes together in less than 10 minutes for an easy side salad! It combines peppery arugula, parmesan and toasted almonds all tossed in a delicious lemon balsamic dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 5 oz arugula
  • 1-2 oz shaved parmesan
  • cup toasted almond slices or sunflower seeds

Lemon Balsamic Dressing

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, or more lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together your dressing ingredients. Alternatively, you can add everything to a mason jar, cover and shake to combine.
    A woman's hand whisking the lemon balsamic dressing for the arugula salad.
  • Add arugula to a large salad bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dressing over the arugula and toss to fully coat.
    A woman's hand pouring the dressing over the arugula.
  • Top with shaved parmesan and nuts and serve immediately, adding more dressing as desired.
    Arugula salad topped with sliced almonds and shaved parmesan cheese.


Serving: 1/4 recipe | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: arugula salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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