You’ll forget you’re eating healthy when you dig into this simple Lemon Arugula Salad. This flavorful mix of arugula, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, radishes, and avocado is tossed in a homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing. Whip up this quick salad all year long when you’re craving something fresh.

Salad tongs toss a lemon arugula salad together.

Arugula Salad

I have been on a MAJOR salad kick recently. 

It started with this Strawberry Spinach Salad and Peach Salad. Now this Lemon Arugula Salad has been in my constant rotation.

Recently, pasta carbonara was on the menu and I wanted something a little lighter, brighter, and more nutritious to pair with it. This simple lemon arugula salad was the perfect fit.

You just can’t beat fresh lemon vinaigrette paired with spicy arugula, salty Parmesan cheese, and crunchy pecans. It has become my go-to because it pairs with practically anything, especially in the summer when I’m craving something cool and nourishing.

Throw your favorite proteins on top of this best arugula salad, or enjoy it all on its own as a light lunch. Either way, you just might forget you’re not at a fancy restaurant.

Arugula, radishes, avocado, basil, pine nuts, and lemon vinaigrette are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

The basic ingredients you need to make this simple arugula salad include:

  • Fresh Arugula. Peppery arugula has a flavorful spice that perfectly balances the sweetness of the dressing. If needed, you can sub in another leafy green, like baby spinach or even kale.
  • Basil. Thai or sweet basil can be used. Check out how to chiffonade fresh basil for a truly impressive look.
  • Parmesan. For the best results, shave or grate a block of Parmesan cheese rather than buying pre-shredded.
  • Toppings. Thinly sliced radishes, toasted pine nuts, and sliced avocado round out the flavor profile of the salad.
  • Lemon vinaigrette. You can either buy a bottle of dressing at local grocery stores or quickly whip up your own perfect lemon vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and lemon zest.

How to Make Lemon Arugula Salad

Below are the steps to follow to make this lemon arugula salad recipe at home:

Combine the Salad Ingredients

Use a cutting board and a sharp knife to thinly slice the radishes, cut the avocado, and chiffonade the basil. If you prefer, cut or rip the arugula leaves into bite-sized pieces.

In a large mixing bowl (to save on dishes, use a serving bowl), toss together the arugula, basil, shaved Parmesan cheese, radishes, and pine nuts.

If needed, you can store this covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Make the Dressing

It’s surprisingly quick and easy to make your own salad dressing. All you need is a mason jar or shaker bottle. You can also use a small bowl and a fork, if needed.

Add the oil, fresh lemon juice, sweetener of choice, lemon zest, and sea salt to the jar. Shake well to combine.

You can make the dressing a few days in advance. It will separate, so give it a good shake to mix up the ingredients again just before using.

Toss Everything Together

When you’re ready to enjoy the salad, add the sliced avocado to the bowl with the other salad ingredients.

Pour some of the dressing over the veggies and gently toss to combine. Add more dressing as preferred.

If needed, sprinkle some additional salt and black pepper.

Dressing is poured over the simple arugula salad.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can whip up the homemade salad dressing a few days in advance. Also, add all of the salad ingredients except the avocado to a mixing or serving bowl and store covered for up to 24 hours.
  • How to store: This lemony arugula salad is best enjoyed immediately, as the avocado will brown and the greens will wilt. If there are leftovers, keep them in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days.
  • How to freeze: Freezing is not recommended.

What goes well with arugula?

Some of the best flavors that pair well with arugula or citrus, like lemon juice and zest, or crisp apples. Arugula has a peppery flavor, so fresh, sweet ingredients balance it out.

Lemon arugula salad is a fresh and healthy side that is perfect all summer long.

What is arugula salad made of?

There is no one way to make arugula salad, but this recipe calls for arugula, radish, basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, avocado, and a lemon vinaigrette dressing. You can customize this salad however you like, though.

Is arugula a superfood?

Yes! Arugula is considered a superfood and has many health benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, a vital nutrient for blood clotting. It is also chock full of antioxidants, which repair and prevent cell damage.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already gluten-free and vegetarian as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Dairy-free: Skip the Parmesan, or opt for dairy-free cheese.
  • Sugar-free: You can leave out the honey or maple syrup if you prefer.
A lemon arugula salad is a healthy side dish the whole family will love.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Be choosy. Ensure the arugula or greens are fresh and not wilting.
  • DIY. Make your own homemade lemon dressing; it’s quick, easy, and healthy.
  • Be a prepper. You can cut all the veggies and have this salad ready a day early, just save the creamy avocado and dressing until serving.
  • Top it off. Serve your favorite protein on top of the salad for a complete meal. Or, add some fried goat cheese.
  • Start small. You can always add more dressing, so only pour a little on at first.

What to Serve with Lemon Arugula Salad

The versatility of this salad is what makes it such a winner. You can pair it with a variety of proteins and main dishes.

Try it alongside Air Fryer SteakChicken PiccataChicken Cordon Bleu, or Miso Glazed Salmon.

Don’t forget some Mini Cornbread Muffins or Gluten-free Cornbread.

You can change up the dressing with Ranch Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette, or any of these Healthy Salad Dressings.

More Salad Recipes

Eating salads just makes you feel good. If you’re craving some green goodness after this fresh arugula salad, try one of these recipes next.

A green salad, like Fall Harvest SaladStrawberry Spinach Salad, and Chopped Kale Salad are an excellent way to enjoy healthy food.

You can also whip up a Watermelon Feta Salad or a Cucumber Dill Salad.

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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Arugula Salad

You'll forget you're eating healthy when you dig into this Lemon Arugula Salad. This flavorful mix of arugula, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, radishes, and avocado is tossed in a homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Yield 5 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Total 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

Arugula Salad

  • 10 oz. arugula or other mixed greens
  • 3 Tbsp. basil chiffonade
  • 2 oz. Parmesan cheese shaved
  • 8-10 radishes thinly sliced
  • cup pine nuts toasted
  • 1 large avocado or 2 small, sliced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup oil avocado or olive
  • ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2-3 Tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions 

  • Add the arugula, basil, cheese, radishes, and toasted pine nuts to a large salad bowl. Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until ready to serve.
  • Combine the oil, lemon juice, sweetener, zest, and salt in a mason jar or blender. Shake or blend until well combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Just before serving, add the sliced avocado and pour the dressing over the salad until it’s coated to your preference. Toss until everything is well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

*Do not slice the avocado more than 10 minutes before serving as the slices will turn brown.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can whip up the homemade salad dressing a few days in advance. Also, add all of the salad ingredients except the avocado to a mixing bowl and store covered for up to 24 hours.
  • How to store: This lemony arugula salad is best enjoyed immediately. If there are leftovers, keep them in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days, note the avocado will brown and the greens will wilt.
  • How to freeze: Freezing is not recommended.

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 203mg, Potassium: 527mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1965IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 251mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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