Arugula Salad – Skinnytaste

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Baby arugula salad is my go-to when I need a quick side salad recipe for fish, steak, chicken, or pork chops!

plated arugula salad

Arugula Salad

This healthy Arugula Salad with shaved parmesan requires no chopping, takes just minutes to whip up, and is so good! I make it all the time, and can’t believe I have never posted it here. It’s the perfect side dish with so many meals, or you can double the portion and add grilled shrimp, salmon, or chicken to make it a main dish. For more arugula salad recipes, try my Arugula Salmon Salad with Capers and Shaved Parmesan, or this Peach Arugula Salad.

Why You’ll Love This Arugula Salad Recipe

  • Minimal Ingredients: There are only 6 ingredients, and 3 are pantry staples (olive oil, salt, and pepper).
  • Quick and Easy: This salad is so simple you don’t really even need a recipe. And it takes just 5 minutes to whip up!
  • Versatile: Add or substitute ingredients to make this salad your own. It’s an excellent base and very customizable.
  • Healthy: Arugula is packed with vitamins and minerals, like calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, and is a good source of fiber.
  • Good For Many Dietary Restrictions: This low calorie salad is gluten-free, weight watchers friendly, and can be made dairy-free if you omit the cheese.
Arugula Salad ingredients

Arugula Salad Ingredients

  • Arugula: I prefer baby arugula since it’s more tender, but regular arugula will work, too.
  • Lemon: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the arugula to brighten the dish.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil balances the lemon’s acidity.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper season the salad.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Using freshly shaved parmesan tastes better than buying pre-shaved. Just use a vegetable peeler on a block of parmesan to create shaved pieces.

How to Make Arugula Salad

This easy peppery arugula salad recipe takes only minutes to make!

  1. Salad Ingredients: Put the arugula in a large mixing bowl and top with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss together or you can whisk the dressing before adding the salad.
  2. To serve the salad, put a cup of arugula on each plate and top with shaved parmesan cheese.
tossing arugula in a bowl


  • Greens: If you don’t like arugula, try it with mixed greens, butter lettuce, kale or spinach.
  • Acid: Swap lemon with balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Sweeten It: With a touch of honey
  • Arugula Salad Dressing: Make your favorite vinaigrette, like this Dijon vinaigrette, for this side salad.
  • Protein: To turn this simple salad into a meal, top it with hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon. Or add some white beans, toasted almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pecans or walnuts for vegetarian options.
  • Cheese: Substitute feta, blue cheese, or goat cheese.
  • Dairy-Free? Skip the cheese.
  • Vegetables: Add other veggies, like avocado, shallot, or cherry tomatoes.
  • Fruit: Toss fresh fruit into your arugula salad. Strawberries, cranberries, cherries, peaches, pears, figs, and/or watermelon would also be good.
  • Grains: Add cooked quinoa or farro.

What to Serve with Arugula Salad

I love whipping up this side salad when I need something green to round out my meal. It pairs well with most dishes and is great when you don’t have much extra time for a side dish. Here are some serving suggestions:


Green salads are best eaten the day they are made because the leftovers will get soggy. Just make the amount of salad that you will eat in one night and store the ingredients separately.

Arugula Side Salad

Arugula Salad FAQs

What is the difference between arugula and baby arugula?

Arugula and baby arugula are the same, but baby arugula is picked earlier. The taste is milder and less peppery, and the leaves are smaller.

What is the flavor of arugula?

Arugula has a strong, peppery taste which pairs great with lemon. Baby arugula has a milder pepper taste.

Do you cut arugula for salad?

There’s no need to cut arugula since it’s already bite-sized. You can cut it, though, if you prefer smaller pieces.

Arugula Salad with lemon

More Arugula Recipes You’ll Love

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Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 0 minutes

Total: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 generous cup

  • Add arugula to a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper.

  • To serve, divide 1 cup arugula on each plate and top each with 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 generous cup, Calories: 96 kcal, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 3.5 g, Fat: 8.5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Sodium: 161 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 1 g


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