Sometimes the simplest flavors are the best! This easy strawberry arugula salad recipes boasts sweet strawberries, peppery arugula, creamy goat cheese and toasted nuts. And it can be made in under 15 minutes.
Strawberry arugula salad is everything you want in a spring or summer salad! When you’re firing up the bbq to cook your your favorite grilling recipes and need a quick and easy side dish, this salad fits the bill.
Arugula salad – or rocket salad as it’s known in some parts of the world – has a wonderful peppery flavor that pairs well with sweet berries, tangy cheeses and toasted nuts or seeds. It’s a great alternative to more common spinach salads.
If arugula recipes aren’t a regular part of your cooking repertoire, try branching out with Farro Salad with Peas & Arugula, Turkey Panini with Apple, Cheddar & Arugula or Sweet Potato Toast with Tahini Arugula.
INGREDIENTS FOR STRAWBERRY ARUGULA SALAD RECIPE:
These are the main ingredients needed for this recipe…
- ARUGULA: Arugula can be found in the produce of most grocery stores. Look for green, perky leaves. Limp or yellowed arugula should be avoided.
- STRAWBERRIES: The more fragrant the strawberries, the sweeter the flavor. So, don’t hesitate to give the strawberries a sniff before purchasing.
- NUTS: The recipe calls for sliced almonds. Good substitutions are slivered almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews.
- CHEESE: Soft goat cheese (chevre) has a wonderful tangy flavor and creamy texture. It can be found in the deli or cheese section of most grocery stores. Feta cheese can be substituted, if desired.
- BASIL: Use fresh basil leaves.
- DRESSING: The dressing is based on my go-to homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It combines balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, agave nectar (or honey), pinch of salt and pepper.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
💙 What’s to love about this arugula strawberry salad recipe:
▪️SWEET & SAVORY: The simple flavors and ingredients combine to make something magical. Peppery arugula, sweet strawberries, tangy goat cheese and toasted nuts. Just so good!
▪️QUICK & EASY: This salad requires minimal chopping and takes less than 15 minutes to make. Perfect for busy weeknights or entertaining.
▪️MAKE AHEAD: Store the dressing and the rest of the salad separately, then toss together right before serving.
How to make strawberry arugula salad:
There’s nothing complicated here. Make the dressing, combine the ingredients and serve. Let’s talk details…
TOAST THE NUTS: I usually make a big batch of toasted nuts at the beginning of the week to include in salads throughout the week. It’s an easy way to add texture and flavor to any salad. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet set over medium heat, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on the nuts to avoid burning them.
MAKE THE DRESSING: In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper. Give the mixture a really good whisk to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
DRESS THE GREENS: In a large salad bowl, toss the arugula and basil with the dressing.
ADD THE REST: Layer the strawberries, toasted almonds and goat cheese on top of the greens.
TOSS AND SERVE: Toss everything together and serve it up!
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Like most salads, this one is very forgiving. Make substitutions to suit your taste buds or availability of ingredients. Here are a few suggestions:
For the strawberries: Use other berries, such as blackberries, blueberries or raspberries. Ripe peaches or nectarines are also good options. For the best taste, use the sweetest fruit you can find.
For the nuts: Try other nuts, such as cashews, pistachios, pecans or hazelnuts. Or try seeds, like sunflower seeds or pepitas.
For the cheese: Goat cheese has a very unique flavor and texture and is my preference for this salad. However, crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese work well, too.
Make it a dinner salad:
To transition from a side dish to a main dish, all this salad needs is some extra protein.
To keep it vegetarian, add chickpeas or white beans, such as cannellini or white kidney beans. Or mix in cooked lentils or baked tofu.
For the seafood and meat lovers, divide the salad onto dinner plates, then top with grilled chicken, sliced poached chicken, seared or grilled shrimp (try Lemon Butter Grilled Shrimp) or cooked fish, such as grilled salmon.
Can the salad be made ahead of time?
Arugula salad recipes can be made up to a day ahead of time, provided that the salad isn’t dressed. The arugula tends to wilt pretty quickly once dressed.
Store the salad and dressing separately in the fridge, then toss together right before serving. I suggest storing the salad in an airtight container (or two, if necessary) so that the strawberries don’t dry out.
How do I make this salad vegan?
There are two easy steps to make this salad vegan. First, eliminate the cheese. Second, be sure to use agave nectar rather than honey in the dressing. Honey is not considered vegan. Maple syrup is a good substitute for the agave nectar.
Arugula Strawberry Salad
- Place the arugula and basil in a large serving bowl. Toss with the dressing until the leaves are coated.
- Arrange the strawberries, toasted almonds and goat cheese on top of the arugula. Toss before serving. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper until well combined.
- If making the salad ahead of time, toss together the arugula, basil, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese. Store separately from the dressing. Toss the salad with the dressing before serving.
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