Arugula Salad is simple and refreshing. It is light, fresh, full of bright flavor! It’s the perfect Spring and Summer side salad and makes an amazing lunch that packs a delightful crunch.

lemon vinaigrette being poured over arugula salad
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Arugula isn’t a lettuce – it’s a member of the cabbage family! 

Arugula Salad Ingredients

  • Arugula – A peppery, leafy green that holds up beautifully to toppings and dressings. Use baby arugula for a more delicate, peppery flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese – I enjoy the simplicity of this salad, using just fresh grated dry cheese to top it like Pecorino, Asiago or Parmesan.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette – Light and refreshing, it’s the perfect compliment. You can toss it or use a spray bottle to lightly spritz it.

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • White Wine Vinegar – White wine vinegar adds a tang to the dressing and it is not as sharp or as overpowering as white vinegar. You can also make this with red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Olive Oil – Use a good quality olive oil that will add flavor and richness to this simple dressing.
  • Lemon Juice – It’s always best to use fresh lemon juice for the most vibrant flavor.
  • Black Pepper – Thick flakes of black pepper fresh from a grinder offer the most flavor and texture in this simple salad.
Arugula salad next to a bottle of lemon dressing

Tip: Wash Arugula Well

The way arugula grows, it tends to carry a lot of dirt and sand. Rinse well or use a salad spinner to thoroughly clean.

How to Store Arugula

  • Store loose or bunched arugula, wrapped in paper towels, in a plastic storage bag in your crisper drawer in the fridge. The peppery greens will keep for up to two days. Wash when ready to use.
  • Pre-packaged arugula will keep, unopened, for up to five days in the fridge. Once you open the package, use it within a few days.

Make Ahead

  1. Mix up your salad in a large bowl with a sealable lid or a single serving in a mason jar, storing dressing in a separate sealable jar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Toss with dressing and serve.
An arugula salad on a white plate, gold fork to the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Arugula Taste Like?

Arugula has a peppery, tart, fresh flavor. The leaves are tender with crisp stems, similar to the texture of spinach. But its flavor profile is way more interesting.

How Do You Wash Arugula?

If you purchase your arugula from the Farmer’s Market, fill your sink with cold water, add a touch of white vinegar, and gently wash away the residual dirt and sand. Then spin away the excess water in your salad spinner.
If you purchase baby arugula pre-packaged from the grocery store, there is no need to wash. Most pre-packaged varieties have been triple-washed already.

Does Lemon Vinaigrette Need to be Refrigerated?

Once you have made the dressing, store it in an airtight jar or bottle and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to use it. Shake before use as the ingredients may separate a little.

How Long Does Lemon Vinaigrette Last?

Homemade lemon vinaigrette keeps several days when stored refrigerated in an airtight container, perfect for weekday lunches and dinners. I often make a double batch to enjoy throughout the weeks.

Close up of the cheese on the salad

Serving Suggestions

Arugula Salad is the perfect pair with these easy recipes:

Quick and easy arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette recipe
4.95 from 60 votes
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Arugula Salad

A simple salad that packs bright, light, peppery flavor made with just a few ingredients.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
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For the dressing

  • ¼ cups white wine vinegar (can substitute red)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed or store bought
  • pepper fresh cracked

For the salad

  • 5-6 cups arugula (One 5 ounce package)
  • ½ cup parmesan fresh shavings


Lemon Vinaigrette

  • In a small bowl with a whisk or jar sealed tight, combine vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Add pepper to taste.

Arugula Salad

  • Wash and spin the arugula and add to medium mixing bowl.
    5-6 cups arugula
  • Toss with vinaigrette. Top with fresh grated parmesan.
    ½ cup parmesan

Julie’s Tips

Don’t dress the salad until you are ready to serve it. If you dress the salad too early it can cause the arugula to become soggy.


Calories: 61kcal | Fat: 6g | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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4.95 from 60 votes (41 ratings without comment)

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  1. Hi Julie, I love homemade salad dressings and the fresh flavor they add to salads! (Plus the list of additives on bottled dressings is worrisome!) Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe! Blessings, Janet

  2. Julie,
    Your photography of food is awesome, I want to reach in and take it to eat!!
    And your home is lovely and beautifully decorated.
    Thank you for sharing……………..blessings

    1. You are so very kind, Joanie! Like me, my photography is a work in progress. I’m glad you enjoy it. I hope you are having a beautiful week!

  3. I am the same way when it comes to warmer weather… I start to actually want to eat like a rabbit! This looks amazing! Oh, and I am also the same way about photos. It’s so fun to look back and see the progress 🙂

  4. i love a good lemon vinaigrette.. ive always been lazy and bought my dressing from the store, but if its this easy next time i will be creating my own! thanks for sharing!