This vibrant and simple arugula salad is served with a zesty lemon vinaigrette, fresh Parmesan, and toasted almonds. It's the perfect side salad to serve with dinner and it comes together in less than 15 minutes!
It's hard to beat arugula and lemon in the spring, especially when they're tossed together into a refreshing arugula salad. This salad features arugula tossed with a lemon vinaigrette, toasted almonds, and Parmesan.
The lemon vinaigrette is relatively simple but it is absolutely bursting with flavor. If you have the time, it's 100% worth taking a few minutes to make homemade lemon vinaigrette instead of spending a few dollars on less flavorful store-bought dressing.
🍋 Recipe features
- Bright & zesty flavors: Arugula is tossed in an olive oil-based lemon vinaigrette that adds bright, zesty, and refreshing flavor to the salad.
- Quick & easy to make: Requires less than 10 main ingredients and is ready in less than 10 minutes!
- This arugula salad is the perfect way to add a serving of vegetables to weeknight meals. It's also great for dinner parties and can be double or even tripled.
The only salad that I make as often as this arugula salad is my everyday kale salad, which is just as delicious and simple to make.
- Arugula: Also known as rocket. This is a zesty spring green that has a little bit of a kick to it. If you like arugula but don't love it, I recommend using a salad blend that features arugula.
- Slivered almonds are almonds that have been peeled, split in half, then cut into tiny strips. If you can't find a bag of slivered almonds, you can use regular almonds.
- Parmesan: Fresh shredded Parmesan from a wedge of Parmesan is hard to beat. However, this arugula salad can easily be made dairy-free by using vegan Parmesan. Violife makes a dairy-free Parmesan wedge that works great in salads.
- Lemon vinaigrette: I recommend using fresh lemon juice instead of bottled lemon juice. The vinaigrette also features extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey (an equal amount of agave syrup also works), white wine vinegar, and lemon zest. This vinaigrette is based on my go-to vinaigrette recipe.
- Shallots: I add these to the lemon vinaigrette, which makes them less astringent (I also use this method in my marinated collard greens salad).
🔪 Recipe instructions
Good news: the arugula salad and lemon vinaigrette are very easy to make.
I always make vinaigrettes in mason jars so that I can shake the vinaigrette to mix them. Simply combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a mason jar, put the lid on, and shake to combine. If you're using a bowl, simply whisk the ingredients together.
Toast the slivered almonds in a cast-iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium heat until golden, just about 3-4 minutes. Toasting the almonds deepens their flavor and adds toastiness to the salad.
Put the arugula salad together by adding arugula to a large bowl. Drizzle the lemon vinaigrette, then use tongs or salad servers to combine. Add the freshly grated parmesan, toasted almonds, and enjoy!
💭 Leftover and storage tips
I don't recommend making arugula salads in advance because arugula wilts more easily than hardy greens like kale. That being said, you can prep a few of the salad elements in advance.
Toast the almonds up to 48 hours in advance, or buy already roasted almonds to cut down on prep time.
The lemon vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance. Just give it a shake or stir to re-emulsify it before tossing it with the arugula. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Leftover salad is best stored covered in the fridge and enjoyed within 24 hours.
🍽 Customization ideas
If you want to make a main salad out of this recipe, I recommend adding protein and carbs to make it more satisfying.
- Protein options: Since I'm vegetarian I add tofu nuggets, tofu cutlets, or a can of chickpeas, but many proteins work well with arugula salad.
- Carb options: Add quinoa or barley for a serving of complex carbs which balance out the salad and make it more satisfying.
- More veggies: Roasted butternut squash, roasted beets, or sliced radishes all go well.
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Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- 5 ounces arugula
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan adjust to taste
- ½ cup slivered almonds see note #1
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice from ~2 large lemons
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest from ~1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- To make toasted almonds: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add slivered almonds. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and aromatic.
- To make the vinaigrette: To a small jar or mixing bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, lemon zest, honey, Dijon mustard, salt. If using a jar, place the lid on tightly and shake to combine. If using a bowl, whisk the vinaigrette until well combined.
- Add the arugula to a large serving bowl. Drizzle the lemon vinaigrette on top, tossing with tongs or salad servers to combine. Top with the toasted almonds and freshly grated Parmesan.
- Garnish with a few cracks of black pepper. The salad is best enjoyed immediately. Enjoy!
- Slivered almonds are peeled and sliced almonds. An equal amount of regular almonds or chopped almonds works.
- Make-ahead options: The lemon vinaigrette can be made 2-3 days in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.