Easy Arugula Salad

By Updated on

This easy Arugula Salad is packed with goat cheese, walnuts, red onions, and a delicious lemon balsamic vinaigrette. It makes a delicious side dish or meal with chicken or shrimp.

160 CAL 15g CARBS 11g FAT 4g PROTEIN
Leave a Comment

This easy Arugula Salad is made with ingredients like pears, toasted walnuts, and goat cheese all tossed in a vibrant homemade dressing. Serve this healthy salad alongside your protein of choice and rice or potatoes for the ultimate lunch or dinner.

Between the sharp, fresh flavor and the amazing way it holds up against other ingredients, arugula has got to be one of my favorite greens. It makes the perfect base for this flavor-packed salad. This is one of those salads that covers all your bases. We have tangy flavors from the goat cheese, sweet flavors from the sliced pears, nutty flavors from the walnuts, and peppery flavors from the arugula. 

With a blissful combination of sweet and savory, this incredible Arugula Salad provides a full spectrum of flavors in every bite. Upon tasting it, none of your friends or family would ever guess how easy it is to make. It makes for the ideal dish to serve at fancy dinner parties and casual family meals alike, especially when paired with our super easy homemade vinaigrette dressing.

My favorite way to serve this mouthwatering salad is alongside a grilled protein like chicken breast or steak and a grain or starch like rice or potatoes. If I’m in the mood for Italian, I love pairing it with a dish like my Healthy Zucchini Lasagna or Sausage and Pepper Pasta Shells.

Alright, now my mouth is watering just thinking about one of those setups on my dinner table. Whether you’re looking for healthy salad recipes for quick lunches or delicious appetizer recipes for social gatherings, look no further than this vibrant Arugula and Pear Salad. It’s easy, healthy, and ultra-delicious. You’re gonna love it!

Ingredients for arugula salad including pears, walnuts, goat cheese, fresh arugula, red onion, and vinaigrette.

Essential Ingredients

To make this tasty summer salad, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Arugula: This nutrient-dense peppery green holds up wonderfully against the vibrant flavors of the rest of our ingredients.
  • Pear: The crunchy texture, subtle acidity, and mildly sweet flavors balance out the sharpness of the goat cheese perfectly, making for a dreamy combination.
  • Goat cheese: This flavorful, tangy cheese perfectly complements the sweet pears and peppery greens.
  • Walnuts: I like to use toasted walnuts for this dish, but you can swap these out for toasted almonds or pecans if needed.
  • Red onion: The sharpness in flavor and crunchy texture of the red onion add the perfect touches to round out this salad.

Health Benefits of Arugula

Arugula is a fresh-tasting peppery green used often in salads, bowls, and sandwiches. Not only is it a delicious addition to recipes like this one, but it’s incredibly nutrient-dense as well. Arugula is loaded with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that come with a wide array of health benefits.

According to Healthline, these are some of the top health benefits of arugula:

  • Supports bone health
  • Helps to reduce inflammation in the body
  • Protects against cognitive decline
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Promotes heart health
  • Helps to detoxify the body
  • Aids in weight loss

Customize Your Arugula Salad

Here are some of my favorite ways to switch up this recipe:

  • Instead of arugula, try using another leafy green like spinach, kale, or mixed greens.
  • Instead of goat cheese, you can swap it out for blue cheese, feta cheese, parmesan cheese, gouda, or pecorino cheese. It's also great with gorgonzola, like in the this Apple Gorgonzola Salad.
  • Instead of walnuts, try toasting sliced almonds or pecans.
  • Instead of red onions, try using sliced green onions.
  • Instead of pears, you can use thinly sliced apples like Gala or Golden Delicious.
  • Add a protein like grilled chicken breast, steak, shrimp, or any flaky white fish.
  • Change up the dressing. You can use your favorite store-bought dressing or make any kind you like, but I recommend keeping it light so it doesn’t overpower the salad ingredients. For example, you could try my Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing.

Arugula and pear salad with goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and red onions in a large bowl with vinaigrette.

Main Dishes to Serve with this Arugula and Pear Salad

I typically like to serve this salad with some type of lean protein and whole grains or as a side salad for pasta. The options are endless, but here are some of my favorite dishes to pair with this recipe to get you started:

How to Store Salad in the Fridge

When storing this dish, you should store the dressing separately from the salad if possible. If they are already mixed, the salad can be stored overnight for up to 24 hours. However, arugula does wilt quickly so it is best consumed immediately after adding the dressing.

When stored separately, the dressing should be stored in an airtight container or glass jar and will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days. The salad, on the other hand, should be stored in an airtight container and can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing either of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish:

What kind of pears should I use in this salad?

This is entirely based on personal preference, so go with the variety of pear that you like the best. My favorite types of pears to use in this dish are Bartlett, Comice, and Anjou pears.

Is arugula salad good for you?

Absolutely! Arugula is one of the most nutrient-dense greens you can find, making it the perfect salad base. We also use ingredients like pears and walnuts, both of which are loaded with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

What should I pair with arugula salad?

You can go in a few different directions with this. Sometimes I like to pair this salad with an Italian pasta dish like a healthy lasagna, and other times I grill up some chicken or steak to go with it. Dishes like pasta, rice, grilled meats, fish, and potatoes all pair really well with this recipe.

Arugula goat cheese salad with sliced pears, red onions, and walnuts with vinaigrette being poured on top.

More Tasty Salad Recipes

If you loved this recipe, try these next:

The Recipe
Arugula salad with sliced pears, toasted walnuts, red onions, goat cheese, and vinaigrette tossed in a ceramic bowl.

Easy Arugula Salad

160 CAL 15g CARBS 11g FAT 4g PROTEIN
  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 5 oz arugula
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced (or apple)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (or pecans, optional)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice (dressing)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (dressing)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (dressing)
  • 1 tbsp honey (dressing)
  • 1 Salt and pepper to taste (dressing)

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


Make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.

Balsamic vinaigrette with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil in a glass bowl.

Toss together the arugula, pear, red onion, walnuts, and goat cheese.. Drizzle with dressing when ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Arugula salad with sliced pears, goat cheese, and red onion tossed with vinaigrette in a white bowl.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
Calories from Fat 95
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 53mg
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 10g
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.

user image
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 Easy Arugula Salad
user image
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.