Arugula Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

June 26, 2020 (Updated: June 29, 2020) By Aneesha |

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This colorful Arugula Salad is easy and refreshing, ready in 10-minutes, and a must for spring and summer seasons. Peppery baby arugula is tossed with fresh summer berries, crisp cucumbers, salty feta cheese, buttery walnuts and tossed in a homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette.

berry arugula salad tossed with strawberry vinaigrette in white bowl with serving spoons

Fresh and Flavorful Berry Arugula Salad

I went to my local farmer’s market the other day and I could not get over the exuberant amount of fresh berries.

Tart raspberries. Plump blueberries. Juicy blackberries. Sweet strawberries.

I knew I had some arugula in the fridge, so I decided to create a fresh and flavorful Berry Arugula Salad to highlight the summer fruits.

And since I had three different berries running throughout the salad, I took the strawberries and transformed them into the best vinaigrette you’ll ever make – Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette.

It’s a perfect light lunch or satisfying weeknight dinner with Blackened Fish, Cajun Chicken or Mediterranean Chicken. All it takes is 10 minutes and the freshest ingredients you can find for a fantastic spring and summer meal!

arugula, cucumbers, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, walnuts, feta in white bowl with two spoons

Quick and Easy Healthy 10-Minute Meal

This is one of my all-star ’10-minute meals’ – actually 15, 10 minutes to make and 5 minutes to admire how gorgeous it is! Even my hubby, who doesn’t care much for berries, goes crazy for this salad. We love it so much because:

  • It’s light and refreshing, so you won’t fall into a food coma after eating a bowl full of this!
  • Since the arugula and berries are high in fiber, it will keep you full for longer.
  • It includes an adequate amount of protein from the feta cheese and walnuts.
  • It’s completely versatile with a few simple swaps of ingredients.
  • This arugula salad further aids in my effort to include more plant-based foods in my diet, especially lunches. This salad has 7 different plant foods all on its own

30-Plant Foods a Week for Gut Health

There are numerous studies that show eating over 30 different plant foods a week has a number of health advantages to the human microbiome, including better gut health, more diverse microbiome and increased growth of helpful bacteria.

Although 30 plant foods may sound like a lot (it includes grains, seeds and nuts, too), this practice is very easy to follow when you add more salads and soups to your daily routine. (Scroll down for more similar recipes)

Ingredients – Notes & Substitutions

This salad is simple, so it’s the quality of ingredients that will make all the difference. A few notes when shopping at the Farmer’s market or grocery store:

arugula in white bowl with cucumbers, berries, feta, walnuts in separate glass bowls
  • Arugula: I love Baby Arugula. As compared to mature arugula, Baby arugula has small, petite, tender leaves that are harvested young. The smaller leaves still retain that peppery bite, although not as intense in flavor. It’s also easily available year-round in the packaged greens section of grocery stores. Baby spinach is another great option.
  • Berries: I love the abundance of berries in this arugula salad. I use a combo of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries (1 cup total for two portions). When shopping, look for berries that are bright and plump and avoid berries that are bruised, moldy or fuzzy. As always, wash just before you are going to use, as berries have a tendency to spoil quickly.
  • Strawberries: As for the strawberries, one pint from the farmer’s market (12 oz) is just the right amount to yield 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (this will amount to approximately 3/4 cup strawberry puree). If you purchase a 1-lb clamshell from the store, use 3/4 of the package and save the remainder to snack on.
  • Cheese: Feta is my go-to choice of cheese for it’s salty, briny bite. I found 3 Tablespoons to be just the right amount when combined with the sweet and sour berries, but you can add more if you’d like. Crumbled goat cheese would be another wonderful option.
  • Nuts: Whole walnuts add a layer of crunch. I left mine raw, but toasted walnuts would be just as delicious. For even more variety, slivered almonds, pecans or sunflower seeds would work, too.
fresh arugula in white bowl
Baby arugula leaves

Summer Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

The strawberry vinaigrette really takes this salad to another level. Sweet, tart and pleasantly pink, it only takes less than a minute to blend until smooth.

For best results, use one full pint or 12 ounces of fresh strawberries and keep in mind that the sweetness of strawberries will vary depending on region and season. Start with 1 Tablespoon of liquid sweetener (agave, honey or maple syrup), taste and adjust the sweetness level to your liking.

Cut strawberries, black pepper, oil and vinegar in a blender jar
Strawberries, pepper, salt, vinegar and oil in a blender jar

How to Make Arugula Salad – Step-by-Step Instructions

Even though I call this a 15-minute meal, the truth is, this salad takes half the time and effort to put together. Simply:

1. Assemble the Salad

Wash and dry the arugula and berries. In a large salad bowl, add arugula, berries, chopped cucumber, crumbled feta cheese and walnuts.

TIP: To wash the berries, fill a large bowl with cold water and add a touch of white vinegar. Place the berries in the water bath for a few seconds, then drain in a colander. Spread out into one even layer on a clean kitchen towel and allow to dry.

arugula, cucumbers, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, walnuts, feta in white bowl

2. Prepare Strawberry Vinaigrette

In a small blender, add strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper. Blend for 15-20 seconds, until smooth.

Strawberries and seasoning in a blender jar

3. Dress the Salad

Just before serving, drizzle the strawberry vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently, till everything gets coated with the dressing. Serve cold.

berry arugula salad tossed with strawberry vinaigrette in white bowl with serving spoons

Raspberry Vinaigrette Variation

Another delicious variation – raspberry vinaigrette. Unlike sweet strawberries, tart and tangy raspberries add a special, unique flavor.

One pint (12 oz) or two (6 oz) plastic containers of fresh raspberries equal 2 cups.

Simply use an equal amount (1 1/2 cups) of fresh raspberries for the dressing.

Summer Picnic, BBQ or Party Make-Ahead Recipe

This salad makes a colorful addition to spring, summer and Fourth of July parties (look at all that red, white and blue!).

Whenever I make this salad for a summer picnic or a BBQ party, it’s a huge hit. But the key to keeping this salad crisp and crunchy – toss in the dressing just before serving.

The salad ingredients and dressing can be prepped a few hours and up to a few days in advance, so it’s a great make-ahead recipe.

To prepare this simple berry arugula salad for your next party, simply:

  1. Assemble the salad in a large bowl, place a clean paper towel gently on the surface, cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
  2. Blend the dressing, pour it in a mason jar and store in the fridge.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the arugula salad and toss to combine.

When stored separately, the salad will keep well for 3-4 days. The dressing will keep for up to one week.

arugula, cucumbers, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, walnuts, feta in white bowl

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Use the freshest ingredients you can find. The quality of the ingredients makes all the difference. Purchase fresh, bright, plump berries. If possible, look for them at your local Farmer’s Market when in season.
  • Use agave, maple syrup or honey. I used agave, but any liquid sweetener will work. If the strawberries smell sweet, they will most likely taste sweet, too. Adjust to taste based on the sweetness of your strawberries.
  • Prep the salad and vinaigrette in advance. The salad and dressing will hold up well in the fridge, as long as they are stored separately. Plus, storing them in the fridge keeps the ingredients cold. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.
  • The strawberry vinaigrette will keep for up to a week. Use the amount of dressing you need to dress the salad. Store the remainder in a mason jar in the fridge.
  • Make it Dairy-Free and Vegan! Substitute the cheese for diced avocado and make sure to use agave or maple syrup in the dressing.

Commonly Asked Questions for Arugula

Is arugula a lettuce?

Yes, arugula is a cruciferous leafy green that is a part of the mustard family. There are two varietals – baby arugula and mature. It can also be known as rocket, rucola or roquette.

What does arugula taste like?

Arugula is fresh, tart, bitter and peppery, although not as bitter as mustard greens. The more mature the leaves, the more bitter they become.

What goes well with arugula?

Arugula has a peppery bite that goes well with sweet, tart, salty or tangy foods. Some common pairings include berries, pears, watermelon, feta, Proscuitto, walnuts, almonds, vinegar or lemon. This berry arugula salad offers the perfect compliment to those spicy, tender leaves.

More Salad Recipes Like This

  • Greek Salad: Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, Greek olives and Feta cheese tossed in a tangy lemon dressing
  • Kale and Mango Salad with Chickpeas: Lightly sauteed kale slaw, chickpeas and juicy mango tossed together with crunchy slivered almonds
  • Cajun Chicken Salad: Char-grilled Cajun spiced chicken on a bed of crunchy cabbage spring mix
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh: A gluten-free variation of a popular Middle Eastern vegetarian salad made with quinoa, chopped tomatoes, onion and cucumber.

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berry arugula salad tossed with strawberry vinaigrette in white bowl with serving spoons

Arugula Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

This colorful Arugula Salad is speckled with fresh summer berries, crisp cucumbers and salty feta cheese all tossed in a homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette and ready in 15 minutes.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 490kcal

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup cucumber chopped (Persian or English cucumber)
  • 3 tablespoons feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts

Strawberry Vinaigrette

Instructions

Assemble the Salad

  • Wash and dry the arugula and berries. In a large salad bowl, add arugula, berries, chopped cucumber, crumbled feta cheese and walnuts.
    arugula, cucumbers, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, walnuts, feta in white bowl

Prepare Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • In a small blender, add strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper. Blend for 15-20 seconds, until smooth.
    Cut strawberries, black pepper, oil and vinegar in a blender jar

Dress the Salad

  • Just before serving, drizzle the strawberry vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently, till everything gets coated with the dressing. Serve cold.
    berry arugula salad tossed with strawberry vinaigrette in white bowl with serving spoons

Notes & Recipe Tips

  • Use the freshest ingredients you can find. The quality of the ingredients makes all the difference. Purchase fresh, bright, plump berries. If possible, look for them at your local Farmer’s Market when in season.
  • Use agave, maple syrup or honey. I used agave, but any liquid sweetener will work. If the strawberries smell sweet, they will most likely taste sweet, too. Adjust to taste based on the sweetness of your strawberries.
  • Prep the salad and vinaigrette in advance. The salad and dressing will hold up well in the fridge, as long as they are stored separately. Plus, storing them in the fridge keeps the ingredients cold. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.
  • The strawberry vinaigrette will keep for up to a week. Use the amount of dressing you need to dress the salad. Store the remainder in a mason jar in the fridge.
  • Make it Dairy-Free and Vegan! Substitute the cheese for diced avocado and make sure to use agave or maple syrup in the dressing.
 
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 681IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: arugula recipes, arugula salad recipe, strawberry vinaigrette
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This recipe was updated in 2020 with updates process shots, tips and information.

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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