Healthy arugula salad is the perfect side to go with almost any main course! This flavorful accompaniment is made with bright greens, salty parmesan cheese, roasted pistachios and a homemade citrus dressing.
Not sure what to serve with dinner? This simple salad is a great go-to. It’s extremely easy and convenient because it requires minimal ingredients and comes together in only 10 minutes. I especially love making this salad in the spring and summer months, as it goes fabulously with any grilled protein, but you can absolutely enjoy it year-round!
Arugula is both tasty and super nutritious! This green is a great source of folic acid and vitamins A, C and K. If you like this recipe and want to include more arugula in your diet, be sure to check out these recipe variations: Sweet Potato Arugula Salad and Clementine Arugula Salad!
Also, I often use arugula in this Autumn Beet Orange Salad. Fun fact: this leafy green can usually be purchased year round but it’s high seasons are spring and fall.
How To Make Arugula Salad
- Arugula — A delicious dark, leafy green featuring bright and peppery flavor.
- Cheese — I prefer to shave a block of fresh parmesan by hand because it elevates flavor so much. A block of parm will last in the refrigerator for quite some time if you cloak it tightly in plastic wrap, so you can use it over and over again in your home cooking. You can use a pre shaved or shredded cheese to save a little time, but doing it by hand is totally worth the extra effort.
- Pistachios — Purchase roasted nuts from the store, or toast them yourself in the oven. Be sure to remove shells, if necessary (some come with the shell already removed).
Arugula Salad Dressing Ingredients
- Oil — Extra virgin olive oil is my go-to, though grapeseed or avocado oil would also work!
- Acid — I love using fresh lemon juice in this salad, white wine vinegar is another good option.
- Seasonings — Simple salt and black pepper taste excellent, but feel free to experiment and play with the spices in your cabinet.
- Pile arugula in a large salad bowl.
- Next, measure dressing ingredients into a mason jar or small bowl. Place a lid on the jar and shake until emulsified. If you don’t have a lid, use a whisk instead!
Assemble the salad:
- Drizzle salad dressing over arugula and toss until leaves are well coated.
- Mix in your parmesan cheese shavings (use a vegetable peeler to shave the parmesan) and roasted pistachios.
- Portion salad into serving bowls, if desired, and enjoy. Note: you can certainly add extra cheese and pistachios if you want!
Arugula Salad Recipe Tips
- You can use a store-bought vinaigrette for arugula salad, but it’s SO easy to whip up this simple home dressing. I highly recommend taking a few extra minutes to make your own and promise you won’t regret it!
- You can also replace lemon juice for balsamic vinegar.
- If you’re making this salad ahead of time, keep the dressing separate and add just before serving. Dressing can be made up to a week in advance, feel free to make extra for use in other salads!
- This recipe is so flexible. You can definitely use other greens, if desired. Spinach and arugula go very nicely together. Mix and match as you please.
- Alternate roasted nuts like pecans, pine nuts, sliced almonds, walnuts or almonds would go great in this dish. You can also use other cheeses such as goat or feta.
- Add fresh or dried fruit to this salad for a touch of sweetness, if desired. Blackberries, raisins, dried cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, pears, cherry tomatoes etc. Or you can add a little bit of honey to your dressing.
- You can also use goat cheese if you prefer. Also add some fresh herbs for garnishing.
How To Store Leftovers
Place leftover arugula salad in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. If the leaves are coated in dressing, they’ll last for 2-3 days.
Without dressing this salad can stay good for up to a week, especially if you line your container with a paper towel to absorb extra moisture!
More Cookout Sides
I love serving this arugula salad side dish at a cookout or barbeque because it goes really well with any grilled protein. If you need a few more sides for an outdoor event, I’ve got plenty of great recipes!
- Easy Broccoli Salad
- Corn Salad Recipe
- Spinach Fruit Salad
- Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Chopped Salmon Salad
- Couscous Salad
Frequently Asked Questions
Arugula has a really unique flavor profile, unlike any other leafy green! It features peppery flavor with both bright and slightly bitter undertones.
Absolutely! If you can only find raw, untoasted pistachios at the store it’s not a big deal. Simply remove shells and arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 5-10 minutes at 350°F, toss halfway through for even roasting.
Typically, an arugula salad is made with leafy greens, a homemade citrus dressing or vinaigrette, toasted nuts, shaved parmesan cheese and perhaps some different types of fruit or seeds!
Watch the Arugula Salad Web Story.
For the dressing
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
For the salad
- 6 ounces arugula about 6 cups
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
- 3 tablespoons roasted pistachios
- In a large salad bowl, add arugula.
- In a mason jar, add all the ingredients for the dressing, close the lid and whisk everything together.
- Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss until all the ingredients are coated.
- Then, garnish with parmesan cheese and pistachios.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.