Arugula and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

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This Arugula and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans, and a Lemon Vinaigrette is full of flavor and makes a perfect healthy side dish or main course with some added chicken, shrimp, chickpeas, or tofu.

213 CAL 20g CARBS 15g FAT 4g PROTEIN

One thing to know about me is that I am always up for a challenge and my competitive streak runs pretty deep. So when my brother shared that he only likes crunchy salads, none of those wilted greens like spinach or arugula, of course, I had to make a salad that would bring him to the other side.

After a couple of failed attempts, this Arugula Apple Salad finally won him over.

Between the crunch of the apples and pecans, the peppery arugula, the creamy goat cheese, and the super lemony vinaigrette - it really is one delicious salad.

It can be served as a side dish or add your favorite protein to make it a main course.

It's also delicious with leftover cold pasta and chicken, which is how we had it the next day for lunch. Just make sure to store the dressing separately if you plan to have leftovers.

What is arugula?

Arugula is a peppery green leafy vegetable often used in salads. It is also sometimes called rocket or rucola. 

Generally speaking, the larger the arugula leaves, the more peppery and bitter the flavor. If you prefer milder lettuce or green, look for baby arugula. Baby arugula only has a mild peppery flavor. 

Recipe Ideas for Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

There are lots of ways to customize this arugula goat cheese salad and make it your own. Consider trying some of these:

  • Cheese: Instead of goat cheese, swap in feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, or blue cheese.
  • Fruit: Swap in pears, peaches, or fresh berries for the sliced apples.
  • Nuts: Try a different nut like walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, or almonds in place of the pecans.
  • Veggies: Add more veggies like bell peppers, beets, carrots, or cucumbers. 
  • Add protein: Add a protein like grilled chicken, chickpeas, salmon, tuna, or shrimp.
  • Dressing: Try out a different salad dressing! Balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, or red wine vinaigrette would all be tasty.
The Recipe
Arugula apple and goat cheese salad with pecans and lemon dressing in a bowl.

Arugula and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

213 CAL 20g CARBS 15g FAT 4g PROTEIN
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  • 4 oz. arugula
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/8 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar (more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper

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Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.


Toss together remaining ingredients with the dressing.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: about 2 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213
Calories from Fat 130
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 51mg
Total Carbohydrate 20g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 15g
Protein 4g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Arugula and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans
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December 22, 2021 - 11:28
Add a Rating:
So glad I found this recipe. It's light and healthy but absolutely delicious. I have made this many times now, and usually use a honeycrisp apple. I've made it with spinach and with arugula depending on what I had in the fridge. Total winner.
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Stephanie Lanzalotto
August 20, 2021 - 04:47
Add a Rating:
This salad is absolutely wonderful. I made it as written and I would not change a thing. I used one granny smith and one rave apple, both firm and a little tart. Delicious!
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September 22, 2019 - 09:06
Hello! Looking forward to trying this recipe. I wanted to let you know that there are onions in the pictures but they are not listed in the recipe. (You don't have to post this comment I just wasn't sure how else to let you know!)
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