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Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

This easy arugula salad will be your new go-to for healthy eating!

It’s a simple mix of fresh arugula, shaved Parmesan, cherry tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts. All tossed with a bright homemade lemon dressing.

Arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, arugula and roasted pine nuts drizzled with lemon dressing garnished with shaved parmesan cheese on a white plate.
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Ready in 15 minutes, it’s quick and effortless! It’s the perfect side dish for any entree!

Why You’ll Love This Arugula Salad Recipe 

This arugula salad is a staple in my weekly routine. It’s about to become one in yours, too!

  • It’s easy to make. You can throw together this salad and the homemade dressing in a flash. It’s a breeze to make with minimal prep and zero stress.
  • It’s healthy and delicious. Nutrient-dense and flavor-packed, you get the best of both worlds. It’s delicious food that’s actually good for you.
  • It’s customizable. Want to add a protein or more chopped veggies? Go for it! This simple salad is completely customizable. So add any mix-ins you desire. 
Arugula salad tossed in a glass bowl with lemon dressing.


Simplicity is the secret to this salad recipe. It focuses on a few fresh ingredients, letting their natural flavors shine.

Here’s what makes it complete:

  • Olive Oil – Every good dressing deserves quality oil. So use a decent extra virgin olive oil.
  • Lemon Juice – For brightness and acidity.
  • Honey – To balance the lemon and sweeten the dressing.
  • Salt and Cracked Pepper – Add it to the dressing to taste. 
  • Pine Nuts – Freshly toasted pine nuts elevate this salad. They add a delightfully nutty crunch.
  • Arugula – The star! It has a unique peppery flavor that’s unlike your other leafy greens.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – For a juicy burst of flavor. 
  • Red Onion (Optional) – Raw red onion adds a complementary bite.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly shaved Parmesan is the way to go. It adds a lovely salty, nutty flavor.

How to Make Arugula Salad 

From the dressing to the plating, this arugula salad is ready in just 15 minutes. Yes, it’s that quick! 

Here are the simple steps:

1. Make the dressing. Whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. 

2. Bake the pine nuts. Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes, tossing halfway.

3. Assemble the salad. Combine the arugula, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss.

4. Garnish. Top with shaved Parmesan and pine nuts. Serve.

Arugula salad served on a white plate with cherry tomatoes, nuts and fresh arugula drizzled with lemon dressing.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Arugula salad is so simple and quick, there’s nothing to it! 

That said, there are some other variations I really think you’ll like. I also included some tips to ensure the best outcome. 

  • Put your vegetable peeler to work. Instead of slicing, shave the Parmesan with a vegetable peeler. It helps achieve the ideal consistency. You could also use a cheese slicer.
  • Dial down the dressing. Use more or less salt and pepper to taste. You can also make it creamier with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
  • Dry the arugula. Wet arugula will equal a soggy salad. So after washing the arugula, be sure to dry it well. A salad spinner can help!
  • Store the dressing separately. Prepping this salad in advance? Store the dressing in a separate container and add before serving. That way, the arugula doesn’t wilt.
  • Power up with protein. If you want to make this salad more substantial, add a protein. Leftover rotisserie chicken, garlic shrimp, flank steak, salmon, take your pick.

What to Serve with Arugula Salad 

What I love about this salad is that it’s universal. It pairs well with so many things! 

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You could top it with a poached egg for a breakfast salad. Or whip it up for a light lunch, or serve it as a side for pizza night.

For some inspiration, here are my favorite serving ideas:

Arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, arugula and roasted pine nuts drizzled with lemon dressing garnished with shaved parmesan cheese.

More Easy Salad Recipes 

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

Creamy Broccoli Salad

1905 Salad

Olive Garden Salad

Best Caprese Salad

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Course: Salad, Side DishCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





This classic arugula salad is light, flavorful, and refreshing! It’s mixed with pine nuts, shaved Parmesan, and cherry tomatoes and tossed in a lemon dressing.


  • For the Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • For the Salad
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds)

  • 5 ounces fresh arugula, washed and dried (about 5 cups)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, optional

  • 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Or add all the ingredients to a Mason jar, secure the lid, and shake until blended. Place the dressing in the fridge to chill.
  • Arrange the nuts in a single layer on the prepared tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant, tossing them halfway through. Remove from the oven and transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the arugula, cherry tomatoes, and red onion (if using). Whisk or shake the chilled dressing and drizzle it over the salad. Toss until all the ingredients are well coated.
  • Serve immediately with shaved Parmesan and cooled nuts, and enjoy.
Arugula salad.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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