This classic and simple arugula salad will elevate any meal! With only a few ingredients, it comes together quickly, and the flavors of the arugula, Parmesan Reggiano, and lemon vinaigrette really shine together.
Nothing beats a salad for a light lunch or a fresh dinner side! Strawberry avocado spinach salad, classic Caesar, and antipasto salad are a few of my favorites that you should try in your meal lineup for the week!
Parmesan Arugula Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
Arugula is one of my favorite veggies to throw in a salad. It’s honestly so underrated! If you haven’t tried it before, it has a wonderfully crisp texture and bright, peppery flavor. I love balancing the peppery flavor with fruity vinaigrettes. In today’s recipe, I’m showcasing one of my new favorites- a super easy and super delicious lemon vinaigrette! It comes together with ingredients I’m sure you have in your kitchen right now!
While the ingredients to make this classic arugula salad are fairly simple, the flavor is anything but! It’s fresh, tangy, zesty, and topped with sliced parmesan for a pop of cheesy goodness. It’s ready in 10 minutes which makes it a perfect choice for those of you who are on the go! Because this salad is so simple and versatile, it works great as a side dish as well. The lemony flavor pairs perfectly with anything from steak to salmon! Your friends and family will love it! And if you’re looking for more delicious salad recipes, you can find my full list here.
Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients
This recipe uses very basic ingredients, which in my opinion is what makes a salad great! The fresh, natural flavor of the greens and citrus dressing get to shine through. All measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
- Baby Arugula: I love using the baby variety of salad greens because it means it will have a smaller size and more delicate flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: For the best flavor, I recommend using shaved Parmesan Reggiano, but regular parmesan cheese works too.
- Kosher Salt & Cracked Black Pepper: Add both to enhance the overall flavor of the salad and vinaigrette. I always use kosher salt instead of table salt because it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Adds moisture to your veggies and helps the flavors stick.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: For a nice pop of zesty flavor! Psst- save your rinds! You can use them for a little lemon zest on top for garnish.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a hint of tanginess to the lemon vinaigrette.
- Honey: I love adding honey to vinaigrette because it counteracts any bitterness from the raw vegetables.
How to Make Classic Arugula Salad
All my busy moms rejoice! This arugula salad recipe is as easy as they come! With just a few steps of mixing, you’ll have a tasty, fresh salad ready to go.
- Whisk Vinaigrette Ingredients: In a small bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper together. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
- Toss With Greens: To a large bowl, add the arugula leaves. Pour the dressing over the arugula, and toss until coated.
- Top With Cheese: Garnish the salad with shaved parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Salad
Here are a few of my favorite tips to make sure you put the best salad possible out on the dinner table! Your guests will be amazed at how fresh and flavorful it is!
- Add Protein: I love how fresh and tasty this salad is on its own, but sometimes I’ll add some shredded chicken for a boost of protein! You can also try tofu or steak bites!
- Add Texture: For a little more texture in your arugula salad, try adding sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, or pistachios!
- Mix Gently: Arugula is delicate, so use a light hand when you toss your greens and vinaigrette together.
- Making Ahead: If you plan on making your arugula salad a few days in advance, I recommend storing your greens and lemon vinaigrette separately. If you store your salad with the vinaigrette added, your greens may wilt and become soggy by the time you’re ready to serve it. See more on storage below.
Storing Classic Arugula Salad
If you can, store your greens and lemon vinaigrette separately until ready to eat. This will ensure your arugula has the best texture possible!
- Storing Separately: Packaged arugula will last for up to 5 days. The homemade lemon vinaigrette will last for a week. Keep both refrigerated.
- Storing Dressed Salad: If you have leftover arugula salad combined with the vinaigrette, it will only stay good for a day or two in the fridge before it begins to wilt.
Note: Your lemon vinaigrette may separate as it sits in the fridge. Give it a quick stir before adding it to your greens.
Classic Arugula Salad
- 6 cups Baby Arugula
- 1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, shaved
- 1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette
- Kosher Salt & Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp Honey
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
In a small bowl, add together all of the dressing ingredients. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
To a large bowl, add the arugula. Pour the dressing over the arugula, and toss until coated.
Garnish the salad with shaved parmesan Reggiano pieces. Serve immediately.
The Recipe Critic