Anytime Arugula Salad
Of the hodgepodge of millennial acronyms and puns that I’ve picked up on social media over the years, Fri-Yay might be my favorite of all. HAPPY FRI-YAY everyone! Let’s keep it easy with a simple, delish pizza dinner and a quick, healthy side like this Anytime Arugula Salad.
This colorful blend of peppery arugula, juicy cherry tomatoes, and colorful carrot ribbons (plus giant shavings of Parmesan because it’s a YAY kind of day) is flavorful enough to be worthy of the weekend, but easy enough so I never feel too tired to throw it together, even at the end of a long week when my heart is happy but my brain is saying hi, I’m done.
This salad recipe is flexible, fast, and makes me feel both wholesome and creative at the same time. It’s the sort of salad I wish I could order at every restaurant: veggie packed and crisp, with a vibrant lemon balsamic dressing that enhances the flavors of the other ingredients without making the salad wet or soggy.
I’ve made assorted versions of this salad dozens of times over the years. It’s a back-pocket kind of recipe that gives me a quick, tasty way to add some green to our plates, and I enjoy it every time I make it.
Most recently, I served this salad when I had girlfriends over for an impromptu back porch happy hour that (as all good gatherings with gal pals and wine are apt to do) extended into dinner time. I headed into the kitchen to see what I could throw together for our hungry crew.
I had a big bunch of arugula and a few miscellaneous veggies, so this anytime arugula salad was a given. Side dish: done and done.
For the main event, we opted for frozen pizza. No shame! This healthy salad freshens up any spread. It was fast, laid back, and perfect for the occasion.
About This Arugula Salad
In the amount of time it took the pizzas to cook, I was able to pull together this arugula salad. I added carrots and tomatoes because that was what was in my refrigerator. I also tossed in some sunflower seeds for texture and some chopped fresh herbs that were threatening to expire.
Honestly though, you can serve this salad with only the arugula, lemon balsamic dressing (which tastes completely dynamite with arugula), and Parmesan. The other ingredients are yummy, but it’s this simple trio that does the heavy lifting.
Is Arugula Salad Good for You?
- Yes, when filled with healthy ingredients, arugula salad is very good for you!
- Arugula is packed with vital nutrients, and it’s low in calories, carbs, fat, and sugar.
- To make the salad even better for you, focus on adding extra healthy ingredients, like fresh vegetables.
- Use more indulgent ingredients, like nuts and cheese, in moderation. These are important to add to make the salad satisfying; just don’t go overboard.
What Goes Well with Arugula Salad?
- Pasta. Serve this arugula salad alongside a heaping plate of Chicken Pesto Pasta or Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken.
- Pizza. If you have time to make your own pizza, try serving this salad with Burrata Pizza. AMAZE.
- Salmon. Baked Salmon in Foil goes perfectly with this salad.
HAPPY FRI-YAY everyone!
Anytime Arugula Salad
FOR THE ARUGULA SALAD:
- 5 ounces arugula — about 5 cups
- 4 medium carrots — shaved into ribbons (about 8 to 10 ounces) or 1 cup grated carrots (if you’re in a hurry, you can use the pre-bagged grated carrots)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes — halved
- 1/3 cup large Parmesan cheese shavings — see pictures—don't skip this, and the better the quality of the cheese, the better the salad! I like to shave mine right off of the block with a vegetable peeler
- 3 tablespoons chopped sunflower seeds or chopped nuts of choice—toasted and chopped walnuts — pecans, and pistachios are all delicious (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped mild fresh herbs of choice — such as chives, parsley, or tarragon (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice — about 1/2 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the arugula, carrots, and tomatoes in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients: lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. (Alternatively, you can shake them all together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid). Drizzle enough over the arugula to moisten it, then toss to combine.
- Sprinkle Parmesan and any desired nuts or herbs over the top. Serve immediately with a drizzle of extra dressing as desired.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 122, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 4g
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