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This 6-ingredient arugula salad is simply perfect when you need a crowd-pleasing, goes-with-everything side salad ready in no time! It’s made with a lemon vinaigrette dressing and freshly grated parmesan (or pecorino). Delicious!

Arugula salad with parmesan and lemon dressing in large bowl.

You know those times when you need a simple side salad to serve with dinner or at a dinner party, but you just don’t feel like making anything too elaborate? This classic arugula salad recipe will become your go-to option anytime you find yourself in such a situation!

It’s only 6 simple ingredients and comes together in a matter of minutes. It tastes SO good (seriously, I could gobble up a whole box of arugula this way) and it truly goes with so many meals. Think anything from seafood, chicken, steak, eggs, pizza, pasta…. you name it 😉

Want more dietitian-designed arugula salad ideas? You may love my popular roasted pear salad with arugula, this creamy arugula burrata salad, or this lemon orzo arugula salad!

Recipe ingredients in small bowls.

All you need are 6 ingredients!

  1. Baby arugula: This leafy green is the base of this salad recipe. I love the way its peppery kick pairs with the rest of the salad ingredients. I use an entire container for this recipe!
  2. Parmigiano Reggiano OR Pecorino Romano: Honestly, either cheese works perfectly here (I’ve tested both). My only tip is to purchase the block of cheese + grate it fresh – it makes a world of difference when it comes to flavour!!
  3. Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice helps to tone down any of the bitterness you might find in arugula.
  4. Olive oil: Use a high quality olive oil for the best flavour. It’s the base of the salad dressing.
  5. White wine vinegar: A touch of white wine vinegar is added to the lemon vinaigrette. If needed, you could swap with apple cider vinegar.
  6. Garlic powder: I love the way garlic powder dissolves into the lemon dressing, plus it’s quicker to use than freshly minced garlic. You may use fresh though, if preferred.

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Visual guide: how to make arugula salad

Arugula in salad bowl, with dressing poured overtop.

STEP 1: Shake the lemon dressing ingredients together in a small jar, then pour it over arugula in a large salad bowl. Gently toss together.

Arugula salad tossed in dressing.

STEP 2: Add freshly-grated parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano on top, then toss again. That’s it!

Can you make this salad in advance?

This salad does not keep well once tossed in the dressing (it simply gets too soggy!) That said, you can certainly prepare it in advance by…

  1. making the dressing + storing in a jar in the fridge
  2. grating the cheese + storing in an airtight container in the fridge

When ready to serve, simply transfer the arugula from the box/bag to a large salad bowl, then toss the leaves in the pre-made dressing and grated cheese.

What to serve with this salad?

Honestly, this salad goes with just about everything! It’s wonderful all year long and pairs beautifully with all sorts of proteins, from chicken, salmon, cod, shrimp, scallops, steak, and eggs… to main dishes like pizza, pasta, and more.

Because it’s so easy to prepare and a true crowd-pleaser, this is a go-to recipe for any dinner party!

Arugula is a nutrition powerhouse

Arugula is an incredibly nutrient-dense food and an excellent source of many micronutrients.

A 2-cup serving of arugula (40 grams) provides over:

  • 50% of your daily vitamin K needs
  • 20% of your vitamin A needs
  • 8% of your daily vitamin Cfolate, and calcium needs
A serving of arugula salad in a small bowl.

More recipes with arugula

Did you give this Simple Arugula Salad Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: 15-Minute Classic Arugula Salad

This 6-ingredient arugula salad is simply perfect when you need a crowd-pleasing, goes-with-everything side salad ready in no time! It's made with a lemon vinaigrette dressing and freshly grated parmesan (or pecorino). Delicious!
Arugula salad with parmesan and lemon dressing in large bowl.
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5 from 2 votes
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Ingredients

  • 5 ounce baby arugula (142 grams; one standard container)
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated parmigiano-reggiano (or pecorino romano)
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Lemon Dressing:

Instructions

  • Add all dressing ingredients to a small container. Cover and shake vigorously to combine. Alternatively, you may whisk the dressing together in a small bowl.
  • Place arugula in a large salad bowl. Pour salad dressing overtop and gently toss.
  • Add freshly-grated parmigiano-reggiano OR pecorino-romano and toss again.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper, as desired. Serve immediately!

Notes

*SERVINGS: recipe as written will make 2-4 servings, depending on the rest of your meal. If you’re having this as your only side dish for dinner, it will likely only be enough for 2 people! If you’re serving this among other sides, it’ll be good for about 4 people 🙂
*SERVE WITH: just about everything! This salad pairs beautifully with all sorts of proteins, from chicken, salmon, cod, shrimp, scallops, steak, and eggs… to main dishes like pizza, pasta, and more.
*MAKE AHEAD: this salad does not store well once tossed as the arugula gets too soggy. If you’d to prepare it in advance, you may:
  • make the dressing + store in a jar in the fridge
  • grate the cheese + store in an airtight container in the fridge
  • combine with arugula once ready to serve!
Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 949IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition

As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.

Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for an arugula salad recipe with lemon and parmesan.
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