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Arugula Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes

posted: 03/13/24

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Arugula Salad comes together so quickly and makes the perfect side for so many dinners. With just a few ingredients, you can have the most delicious and easy side salad.

Arugula Salad with fork and spoon beside

I’m so excited to share this delicious side salad with you. This is a super simple recipe that my best friend’s husband made for me years ago when I visited to snuggle their newborn. We had it with steaks and it was the perfect side dish.

This simple salad is made with just a handful of ingredients. The lemon juice works almost as a marinade for the shallots to soften them, and the two pair perfectly with the spicy arugula. You will love pairing this easy salad with so many of your summer grilling recipes, but this is fantastic all year long.

How to Make An Arugula Salad

The key to this simple arugula salad recipe is using lemon juice to soften the shallots and then turning that into a lemon arugula salad dressing. For the full recipe including all measurements, please scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Slice the shallot very thin. You can see the thin strips in my photos. You don’t have to be meticulous, but you don’t want to bite into a large chunk of shallot.
  2. Make the dressing. Cover the shallots in a small bowl with lemon juice and wait 10 minutes. Mix in the salt and pepper along with some olive oil until well combined.
  3. Combine the dressing and arugula. Massage the dressing into the arugula in a large bowl.
Close up view of Arugula Salad

What is Arugula

Arugula is a leafy green that is also known as “rocket” and “eruca.” I love that it is known by the name, rocket because that gives such a beautiful description to the taste of the this delicious green. It has almost a peppery or spicy taste to it. It is fantastic as an addition to sandwiches, but I just love it in this perfect salad.

Fresh Lemon Juice

Since there are so few ingredients in this salad, I would really encourage you to juice your own lemons. While bottled lemon juice could be used for this salad, fresh lemon juice will give you the best results in terms of both flavor and softening the shallots.


Lemon Juicer

This citrus juicer gets the most juice from your lemons and is easy to clean.
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Pro tip!

Use clean hands to gently massage the salad after combining the dressing and the arugula. Working the dressing into the arugula leaves softens them and makes them less better, resulting in salad perfection.

Variations and Additions

This simple salad can be easily customized to your liking and to what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas of what to add to your arugula salad:

  • Make it more mild: To make the salad milder, replace half of the arugula with spinach.
  • Add cheese: This salad is delicious with goat cheese or shaved parmesan cheese. I recommend shaving cheese from a block of parmesan for the freshest and best flavor.
  • Add strawberries: I love the sweetness they add in my Strawberry Spinach Salad.
  • Try olives: I was recently at an event that had a very similar salad but they added slices of black olives. It was a fun change!
  • Add protein: Cooked chicken, steak, or shrimp would be a great way to turn this salad into a meal.
  • If you prefer some crunch, nuts such as sunflower seeds, almonds, or walnuts are a good addition. Even some Homemade Croutons would add a little something.

Making Ahead

To make this salad ahead of time, I recommend preparing the dressing up to two days in advance and storing it in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve, toss the dressing with the arugula in a large bowl.

Storing Salad

This salad is best enjoyed fresh. It can be enjoyed for up to a day after it is prepared. The arugula will wilt but still be delicious for up to a day after it is made.

Arugula Salad

What to Serve with a Simple Arugula Salad

This simple arugula salad can be paired with about any meal. From brunch to pasta to a holiday meal, it will be your new go-to easy side salad.

If you make this arugula salad recipe or any of my other recipes, please let me know by leaving a comment. I love hearing from you!

overhead view of an oval plate with an arugula salad on it
5 from 4 votes

Easy Side Salad

Serves: 2 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
This Arugula Salad Recipe comes together so quickly and makes the perfect side for so many dinners. With just a few ingredients you can have the most delicious and easy side salad.


  • 1 medium shallot sliced very thin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (the juice of about half a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups packed arugula


  • Put the thinly sliced shallots in the bottom of a small bowl, cover with lemon juice, and let sit for 10 minutes.
    1 medium shallot, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the shallots, whisking to combine. Taste the dressing and add more salt or pepper as needed. I typically go with about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Add the arugula to a larger serving bowl. Pour the shallot, lemon, and olive oil mixture over. Toss to combine. (I often use my freshly washed hands, massaging the dressing into the arugula).
    4 cups packed arugula
Serving: 1cup Calories: 83kcal (4%) Carbohydrates: 5g (2%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 7g (11%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Sodium: 159mg (7%) Potassium: 169mg (5%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 2g (2%) Vitamin C: 5.8mg (7%) Calcium: 10mg (1%) Iron: 0.2mg (1%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
overhead view of an oval plate with an arugula salad on it

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Easy Side Salad

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Kristi Lee says

    5 stars
    Delicious. We had this salad with salmon last night. The salad complimented the salmon perfectly! We going to have the same dinner on Thursday evening.

    Thank you!


  2. Mir says

    5 stars
    I love this salad! It’s so healthy and simple but refreshing!

  3. Jeanne says

    I would love to putting more recipes BUT, With all the ads trying to print the Arugula salad recipe would have taken over 20 pages. Very frustrating.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Jeanne! We have a print button in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. It is blue. If it doesn’t pop up a print window for you, that is likely an issue with your computer or device, as everything on our end seems to be working.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners