Sometimes, a simple salad is all you need to complement a meal. This easy arugula salad with lemon dressing is so fresh and comes together in less than 10 minutes. It pairs really well with almost anything too!
The lemon dressing is made with only 4 basic ingredients: freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Yup, that’s it.
The fresh baby arugula is then tossed with the lemon dressing, grated parmesan, and garnished with shaved parmesan cheese and lemon zest. You’ll love how easy, vibrant, and fresh this arugula salad is!
This arugula salad with lemon dressing is my go-to side salad whenever I want something simple, fresh, and vibrant. It’s so good and easy to make!
I recently made this arugula lemon salad and paired with my skillet chicken margherita dinner. It was the perfect combination! The chicken margherita already has that summer fresh flavor profile, and the lemon arugula salad makes it taste even fresher. So good!
I’m all about vibrant and easy dinners lately, especially with the weather being so nice around here.
This arugula salad with lemon dressing recipe is super easy, and you only need like 6 ingredients. Plus, it takes 10 minutes or less to make!
Fresh and Vibrant
Everything about this arugula salad with lemon dressing is fresh and vibrant. The ingredients complement each other really well.
Here are some tips to keep the salad super fresh:
First, you need to start with fresh arugula. Get it the day before or the same day. You want it to be tender crisp, not wilted. Also, try to pick the vibrant green arugula bags. This indicates that they are very fresh. Avoid arugula that looks wilted, pale, or yellow.
Next, use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the dressing. Avoid pre-packaged lemon juice because those usually come with preservatives that don’t taste good.
Also, use lemon zest for garnish. Before you squeeze the lemon, zest it. Lemon zest adds so much great flavor, as well as a bit of color contrast.
Only 6 Ingredients Needed
Aside from only needing 10 minutes or less to make this lemon arugula salad, you’ll see that the ingredient is pretty short and simple.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baby arugula: Get vibrant green and tender crisp arugula. Avoid arugula that looks wilted, pale, or yellow.
- Parmesan cheese: Use grated parmesan cheese to toss with the salad. I also like to top the salad with shaved parmesan cheese.
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Lemon zest: Before squeezing the lemon, remember to zest it.
- Extra virgin olive oil: I use robust extra virgin olive oil for flavor intensity.
- Salt and pepper: To taste, for the dressing.
To make the salad, all you need to do is prepare the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Shake it vigorously until emulsified and until the taste is just right.
Then, toss the arugula with the lemon dressing and the grated parmesan cheese. Top it with lemon zest and more cheese.
That’s it, really! So easy, quick, and absolutely delicious!
The Lemon Dressing
The lemon dressing for this arugula salad is seriously the simplest dressing ever!
All you have to do is whisk or shake (in a mason jar or salad dressing shaker) the lemon juice and olive oil, as well as salt and pepper to taste. No need for other dressing ingredients.
I’d highly recommend using good quality olive oil. For dressings, I use robust extra virgin olive oil for flavor intensity.
I’d also recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice. The pre-packaged or bottled lemon juice comes with preservatives that alter the true taste of lemon.
What to Serve this Arugula Salad With
This arugula salad with lemon dressing pairs with almost anything!
I like how well it goes with grilled chicken or a grilled steak. I also love it with parmesan-crusted pork chops or grilled fish. Anything, really!
Here are some of my favorites:
I love this salad so much. Sometimes, simple is the best, and this arugula salad with lemon dressing is just perfect.
If arugula is not your thing, you can use mixed greens too. I often mix it up, half baby arugula and half mixed greens.
Thank you for reading. I hope you like this recipe as much as I do!
Tips for Success
- Pick a good bag or box of baby arugula. Look for tender crisp and vibrant green arugula. Avoid arugula that looks wilted or yellow.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Remember to zest the lemon before squeezing it. I know I always forget.
- Use good quality olive oil for best results.
Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing
- Zester or grater
- Mason jar or salad dressing shaker
- Vegetable peeler (to shave the cheese)
- 4 to 5 cups baby arugula
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus more to taste)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more to taste)
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus shaved parmesan for garnish
- Make the lemon dressing: In a mason jar, combine the lemon juice and olive oil. Shake vigorously and season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the flavors to taste: for more acidity, add some more lemon juice. If too acidic, add more olive oil. Note: I like my dressings less acidic, so I always use less lemon juice, so feel free to adjust to taste.
- In a bowl, toss the arugula with the prepared lemon dressing and the 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.
- Garnish with lemon zest and more parmesan cheese (I garnished it with shaved parmesan). Tip: to shave parmesan cheese, use a vegetable peeler.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Picking fresh arugula: Look for vibrant green and tender crisp arugula. Avoid arugula that looks wilted, pale green, or yellow.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. I find that bottled lemon juice tastes too artificial.
- Don’t forget to zest the lemon before squeezing it. I know I always forget, oopsies.