This easy arugula salad is ready in just a few minutes, with a simple homemade lemon dijon dressing!
This quick arugula salad is my go-to side dish for just about any occasion.
Busy weeknight with no time to cook? Dinner party with plenty of rich dishes, but no greens? 5 minute arugula salad to the rescue.
This lemon arugula salad is the perfect way to add a pile of greens to any meal when you're in a hurry, and it's great for entertaining because it takes all of three seconds to pull together (so you can relax and chat!)
All you need for this green salad
This simple arugula salad is a perfect blank-canvas recipe! You just need a few pantry and fridge staples to get started:
- Olive oil, dijon mustard, and lemon juice (plus salt and pepper) for a quick dressing.
- Plenty of fresh arugula
- Shaved parmesan cheese
How to make the dressing
This quick lemon dressing is ready in no time with a few ingredients and a mason jar! After a few tries, you won't even need a recipe anymore.
Just add a spoonful of dijon mustard, a Tablespoon of lemon juice, and a few glugs of olive oil to a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then attach the lid and shake well.
Use the dressing immediately or keep it in the fridge for up to a week. You can also double or triple the recipe so you have extra!
No mason jar? Just whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Easy salad dressing swaps
This dressing is easy to customize! A few of our favorite riffs:
- Swap the lemon juice for another acid like balsamic vinegar, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar.
- Add fresh or dried herbs for a pop of flavor. You can also add a pinch of your favorite spices (turmeric, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and curry powder are a few of our favorites!)
- For a creamier dressing, add a spoonful of mayonnaise, greek yogurt, or sour cream.
Customize your arugula salad
One of the reasons we love this salad so much: It's the best blank canvas for just about any extra veggies or proteins you have on hand.
Use the recipe below as a jumping-off point, and then mix it up with your favorite additions! Some of our favorites:
- Fresh fruit. Sliced avocado, strawberries, pears, apples, watermelon, and peaches are all excellent in this salad: use whatever is in season around you! You can also add a handful of pomegranate arils for extra texture.
- Extra veggies. Add sliced beets, roasted butternut squash, tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, snap peas, or any other veggies you have kicking around.
- Mix up the greens. No arugula? No problem! Use fresh spinach or kale in place of some or all of the arugula here.
- Swap the parmesan cheese for a handful of crumbled feta, blue cheese, or goat cheese.
- Add your favorite protein! Add some chicken (diced, grilled, or shredded) or salmon here, or add some crispy chickpeas or hard-boiled egg slices to keep it vegetarian!
- Make it heartier with some cooked pasta, quinoa, or farro! We also love adding a handful of walnuts, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sliced almonds, or sunflower seeds.
A few FAQs
Arugula wilts pretty quickly once it's dressed; we recommend making this salad just before you want to eat it.
Yes! Shake or whisk the dressing together, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also double or triple the dressing recipe to make extra so you can use it all week long!
Yes! If you're vegan, omit the parmesan cheese and be sure to use a vegan dijon mustard. Make it a bit heartier by adding one or more of the vegan mix-ins listed above!
Video: How to make lemon arugula salad
This easy lemon arugula salad is ready in just five minutes!
For the dressing (makes ¼ cup):
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad:
- 4 heaping cups fresh arugula
- 2 ounces shaved parmesan cheese (or crumbled feta, blue, or goat)
Make the dressing:
- Combine the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Attach the lid and shake the jar until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
Note: if you don’t have a jar, whisk the dressing together in a small bowl.
Assemble the salad:
- Add arugula and parmesan cheese to a large bowl.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over the greens and toss until coated.
- Serve immediately.
Substitutions. Use balsamic vinegar, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar in place of the lemon juice in the dressing. Use goat cheese, feta, or blue cheese instead of parmesan. Swap fresh spinach or kale for some or all of the arugula here.
Mix-ins and Additions. This salad is a great blank canvas recipe! Add fruit (berries, sliced peaches, apples, or pears, tomatoes, avocado), extra veggies (roasted squash, corn, bell pepper) or protein (salmon, shrimp, chicken, bacon, beans, hard boiled egg). Add some nuts (walnuts, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) for extra texture.
Strict vegetarians should look for parmesan cheese made without rennet.
Keywords: summer, side dish, vegetarian
The photos for this recipe were taken by Casey at The Mindful Hapa!