Arugula Salad Dressing: A Flavorful Twist

Forget about boring, bland dressings that leave your palate wanting more. Whether you’re a salad aficionado or just looking to add some pizzazz to your greens, this arugula salad dressing is a game-changer. With its tangy and refreshing lemon vinaigrette, it’s the perfect way to elevate your salads to new heights.

Making your own arugula salad dressing is a breeze. With just a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a homemade dressing that surpasses anything you can find on store shelves. Plus, you can customize it to suit your preferences by adjusting the amount of lemon or adding a touch of honey for sweetness.

So why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary? Take your greens to the next level with our arugula salad dressing recipe and let your taste buds dance with delight.

Why Arugula Salad?

Arugula salad is not your average greens dish. With its zesty and peppery flavor, it stands out from the crowd of leafy greens. Known as rocket in some places, arugula adds a unique twist to salads that is sure to awaken your taste buds. When paired with a tangy lemon vinaigrette, it becomes a vibrant and refreshing choice for your spring greens.

Making an arugula salad is quick and effortless, requiring just a few minutes of prep time. Whether you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your weeknight meals or impress your dinner party guests, arugula salad fits the bill perfectly.

Arugula greens are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, offering numerous health benefits.

Bowl of arugula salad with dressing and omelette.

Tips for Making Arugula Salad Dressing

Making your own homemade lemon vinaigrette is the secret to taking your arugula salad dressing to the next level. Store-bought dressings simply can’t compete with the fresh, zesty flavors that you can create in your own kitchen. Start your journey to the perfect arugula salad dressing with these key tips:

  • Toasted Almonds: For added texture and a nutty contrast, incorporate toasted slivered almonds, which pair wonderfully with the tangy vinaigrette. While slivered almonds are recommended, regular almonds can also be used as a substitute.
  • Shallots for Flavor: Adding shallots to the vinaigrette is another way to enhance the overall flavor profile. Shallots have a milder and sweeter taste compared to other onions, and they help to create a well-balanced dressing that is not overpowering.
  • Creamier Option: For a richer texture, consider adding a tablespoon of Greek yogurt or mayonnaise to the vinaigrette.

With these tips in your culinary arsenal, you’re poised to create a dressing that bursts with vibrant flavor.

Ingredients Needed for Arugula Salad Dressing

Creating a homemade lemon vinaigrette is simple and adds a burst of fresh flavor to any salad. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Adds a bright, tangy flavor as the main acidic component.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Provides a smooth and rich base, balancing the acidity of the lemon.
  • Dijon Mustard: Gives the vinaigrette a creamy texture and a sharp, deep taste.
  • Honey: Offers a touch of sweetness to counteract the tartness of the lemon.
  • White Wine Vinegar: Enhances the vinaigrette with additional acidity and complex flavors.
  • Lemon Zest: Infuses the dressing with a fragrant, citrusy aroma and intensifies the lemon flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste, enhancing all the other ingredients in the dressing.

By combining these ingredients, you can create a delightful lemon vinaigrette that’s perfect for dressing up your arugula salad. Enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavors this dressing brings to your table!

Making the Arugula Salad Dressing

Now that you know all the ingredients required for your lemon vinaigrette, you only need a few simple steps to achieve tangy perfection. A mason jar is your secret weapon, providing the perfect vessel for effortlessly mixing the ingredients.

lemon vinaigrette in a clear glass jar, with lemons in the background.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place all the ingredients into the mason jar. Make sure the lid is on tightly to prevent any messy mishaps.
  2. Now, shake the jar vigorously to combine all the flavors. The mason jar allows for easy mixing and ensures that every ingredient melds together perfectly.
  3. If you prefer, you can also whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, but using the mason jar method adds a touch of fun and convenience to the process.

With your homemade lemon vinaigrette at the ready, it’s time to move on to the next step: assembling the arugula salad!

Assembling the Arugula Salad

Now comes the fun part – assembling the arugula salad! Follow these steps to create a beautiful and flavorful dish:

Top view of arugula salad bowl on serving board alongside spoons, tomatoes, onion, jar of dressing.
  1. Add a generous amount of fresh arugula to a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle the tangy and refreshing lemon vinaigrette over the arugula.
  3. Use tongs or salad servers to toss the arugula, ensuring every leaf is coated in the zesty dressing.
  4. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the salad.
  5. Top it off with a handful of toasted almonds for that satisfying crunch.
  6. Gently toss the salad once more to bring together all the vibrant flavors and delightful textures.

Your arugula salad is now ready to be enjoyed! The combination of peppery arugula, tangy lemon vinaigrette, savory Parmesan, and toasted almonds creates a symphony of flavors in every bite. Dig in and savor the freshness!

Related Article: To make your arugula salad more satisfying as a main dish, why not add some protein? Explore our Salmon Arugula Salad and Steak Arugula Salad recipes for a hearty and nutritious meal option.

Other Variations of Arugula Salad

While the classic arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette, Parmesan, and toasted almonds is delicious on its own, there are endless variations you can try. Get ready to rock your taste buds with these creative twists:

Nut Variations

Switch up the nutty crunch in your arugula salad by trying different variations. Replace the tamari almonds with toasted pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts for a different flavor profile.

Cheese Options

Tantalize your taste buds with tangy cheeses that pair perfectly with arugula:

  • Goat Cheese: Arugula goat cheese salad combines the peppery taste of arugula with the creamy, tangy taste of goat cheese.
  • Burrata: Arugula Burrata salad features burrata cheese, which adds a rich, creamy texture that contrasts beautifully with the crisp arugula.
Arugula salad, topped with sliced burrata cheese on a wooden serving board.

Fruit Variations

Add a hint of sweetness and freshness to your salad by incorporating different fruit variations:

  • Pear: Arugula pear salad pairs the crisp, sweet notes of pear with arugula for a delightful balance of flavors.
  • Strawberry: Strawberry arugula salad adds sweet and juicy strawberries to the mix, creating a refreshing flavor combination.
Fork lifting pieces of strawberry and arugula salad from a plate.

These variations introduce new textures and flavors to the classic arugula salad, making it adaptable for different occasions and taste preferences.


Arugula salad dressing is the secret weapon to transform your greens into a flavor-packed sensation. The combination of its zesty flavors creates a salad that is simply irresistible.

Whether you’re looking for a light side salad or a main dish bursting with taste, lemon vinaigrette is the solution. Its simplicity and versatility make it an excellent choice for any occasion. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations to suit your taste, and serve it alongside your favorite dishes for a perfect harmony of flavors.

So go ahead, embrace your inner chef, and enjoy the vibrant and refreshing zesty flavors of arugula salad dressing. Your greens will thank you for it!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Arugula Salad Dressing: A Flavorful Twist


A zesty blend of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, white wine vinegar, and lemon zest. Adds a burst of citrusy brightness to fresh arugula salads, enhancing their peppery flavor with a refreshing twist.


  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Step 1 – In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, white wine vinegar, and lemon zest until well combined.
  • Step 2 – Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking continuously to emulsify the dressing.
  • Step 3 – Season with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting the quantities as needed to suit your preferences.
  • Step 4 – Taste the dressing and adjust any ingredients to balance the flavors according to your preference. You can add more lemon juice for acidity, more honey for sweetness, or more mustard for a stronger flavor.
  • Step 5 – Once satisfied with the taste, drizzle the dressing over a bed of fresh arugula leaves and toss to coat evenly.
  • Step 6 – Serve the arugula salad immediately as a side dish or add toppings like nuts, cheese, or fruits for extra flavor and texture.


Is lemon vinaigrette suitable for a vegan diet?

Yes, lemon vinaigrette is typically vegan-friendly as it contains no animal products. However, always check the ingredients to ensure there are no non-vegan additives.

What dishes can I serve the arugula salad with?

The arugula salad pairs well with a variety of dishes. It goes great with pasta dishes like pasta with pesto sauce, creamy pasta, and red sauce pasta. It’s also a perfect side dish for pizza, quiche, sandwiches, and grilled entrees such as chicken, seafood, or grilled vegetables.

What can I add to make the arugula salad more filling?

To make the arugula salad more satisfying as a main dish, you can add protein such as tofu nuggets, grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon. For carbs, options include quinoa, barley, or crusty bread on the side.

Arugula salad topped with dried cranberries and onion, paired with grilled chicken on a plate, with a glass of beer in the background.

How can I adjust the acidity of my lemon vinaigrette?

If your lemon vinaigrette is too tart, you can balance the acidity by adding a touch of sweetness, such as honey or maple syrup. Conversely, if it’s not tangy enough, add a little more lemon juice or a splash of vinegar.

Can I make the arugula salad dressing in advance?

Yes, you can make the lemon vinaigrette up to 3 days in advance and store it in the fridge. Just give it a shake or stir before using it in your salad.

How long can I store leftover arugula salad?

Leftover arugula salad can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours, although it is best enjoyed fresh.