This arugula salad recipe is not only easy to make — it can be on the dinner table in 5 minutes, truly — but also has such a wonderful flavor. This is thanks in part to the naturally spicy, peppery taste of arugula. Personally, it’s our favorite salad green.
What is arugula? Arugula, also known as rocket, is actually part of the brassica family, not lettuce. It’s closest relative is mustard!
The spicy flavor from the arugula pairs beautifully with aged balsamic vinegar. It adds just the right amount of sweetness to the salad, and oh my goodness that salty, nutty grated Parmesan! It is totally and completely delicious!
5 Ingredients Only!
- Baby arugula: Peppery arugula serves as the base of the salad, with its spicy bite adding so much flavor to the recipe!
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan has a nutty flavor and tender texture. It’s what gives this salad it’s signature flavor! You can also used freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Extra virgin olive oil:
- Balsamic vinegar: A generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweetness , though honey would be a welcome addition or substitution.
- Flaky sea salt: There’s already salt coming from Parmesan cheese, but you’ve gotta season everything with flaky sea salt. Our favorite brand is Maldon sea salt.
Why Is There No Salad Dressing?
All you need is a high quality EVOO and some aged balsamic vinegar to give this arugula salad recipe all the dressing it needs.
If you want more of a vinaigrette, our Kale Salad Dressing is bright, citrusy, and vibrant! Would be delicious over arugula too!
How To Make An Arugula Salad In 5 Minutes
Making this simple arugula salad at home takes about 5 minutes flat. Place the washed and dried arugula in a large serving bowl or mixing bowl. Add lots of grated Parmesan (or Parmesan shavings), a tablespoon or two of a high quality, nutty olive oil, and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
Use tongs to give it a good toss, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt. If you have a lemon on hand, you can add lemon zest or a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, but this is totally optional. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed (you shouldn’t need to add black pepper, given the spicy notes of the arugula), then serve. Truly, this is the easiest side dish, and packs a ton of flavor.
What To Serve With Arugula Salad
This is a great side salad for pizza or pasta, or really any main dish where you’re not serving up a big tray of vegetables. We often grill up a variety of proteins (sausages, chicken thighs, salmon), then serve a big green salad on the side. This checks that box!
How Long Will This Arugula Salad Recipe Keep?
This salad is really best eaten the day of. The dressed leaves will begin to silt and soften if left too long, so toss the salad with balsamic and olive oil no more than 15 minutes before serving. It’s got the best texture on the first day. Leftovers, though wilted, will keep for up to 5 days.
- Use a different cheese! While I think this arugula salad recipe is perfect as is with grated Parmigiano Reggiano,, we always have goat cheese or feta lying around that needs to get used up. Those cheeses will change the flavor profile of the dish. To stick with a similar flavor, use grated Pecorino Romano instead.
- Add nuts for crunch! If you love an extra crunchy texture, try adding some toasted pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds. These are great salad add-ins when you’ve got extra nuts that need to be used up.
- Add tomatoes! We almost always have ripe heirloom tomatoes on the counter in the summer time, and we love adding them to salads. And now that our garden is growing again, there are endless cherry tomatoes popping up (quite literally). These are a great, sweet addition to salads, just be sure to sprinkle with Kosher salt or flaky salt about 5-10 minutes before serving.
Honestly think you are going to love love love this simple salad. Quick, affordable, and absolutely delicious! A must make!
Other Recipes Featuring Arugula
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More Salad Recipes To Try!
- Well Seasoned House Salad
- Spring Mix Salad
- Strawberry Chicken Salad With Spinach
- Butter Lettuce Salad
- Lemon Kale Caesar Salad
5-Minute Arugula Salad with Parmesan
- 2 ½ oz baby arugula
- ⅓ cup Parmesan grated
- 1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 medium lemon juiced
- ½ tsp flaky sea salt
- Make the salad. Place arugula in a large serving bowl, then sprinkle with ⅓ cup grated parmesan. Drizzle with 1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top, then sprinkle with ½ tsp flaky sea salt. Toss, if wanted. Serve immediately!
- Serves 2 as a big salad, or 4 as an appetizer.