Whether you’re looking for a refreshing lunch or a dish to bring to a potluck, this strawberry arugula salad is for you. This recipe is easy-to-make, quick, and most importantly, tastes delicious.
This strawberry arugula is one of those simple salads that I keep coming back to. It takes a few minutes to make, doesn’t require any fancy dressings or a blender.
Just simple, high-quality, fresh ingredients. It goes well as a side or on its own. Either pair is as a side salad to a delicious entree or enjoy it on its own.
Fresh arugula is tossed with juicy sweet strawberries. The thinly sliced red onions add a little crunch and more flavor while the avocado gives it creaminess.
The toasted walnuts add crispiness and the balsamic vinaigrette just brings it all together. It’s delicious every single time!
Ingredients you’ll need
This salad is loaded with fresh seasonal produce. You’ll need the following ingredients:
Arugula: Be sure to rinse and dry the arugula well. While I don’t normally use single-use gadgets anymore, a salad spinner is one I keep handy. This allows me to quickly rinse and dry my fresh greens!
Strawberries: Peak season for strawberries is April through June so this is a great time to get the freshest and juiciest strawberries! Since strawberries are at the top of EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, be sure to rinse your strawberries well.
Red onion: Thinly sliced. Pro tip – when using raw red onions. soak them in water first. This removes that aftertaste while still preserving the onion’s flavor.
Walnuts: Either use raw walnuts or take a few minutes to toast them on the skillet at medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. This will keep them crispy and enhance the flavor of the entire salad.
Avocado: To add creaminess and flavor.
Balsamic vinaigrette: See the recipe here on how to make this quick, easy, and super delicious dressing.
How to make a strawberry arugula salad
1. Rinse the greens: If you don’t have a salad spinner, be sure to pat the greens down with a towel. Removing the excess water will help the dressing stick to the greens.
2. Prepare remaining ingredients: Rinse, dry, and slice the strawberries. Thinly slice the red onions. Toast the walnuts if you’d like (or just use raw walnuts).
3. Prepare the dressing: Meanwhile, make a batch of the balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
4. Prepare salad: When everything is ready, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, including the arugula, strawberries, red onion, and walnuts. Finally, drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette. Toss and serve.
Substitutions and variations
What I love about this salad is how customizable it is based on dietary preferences, personal taste, and what you’ve got hanging out in the kitchen. Here are some ways to make this your own:
- Use a variety of fresh greens: To make this a strawberry spinach salad, replace the arugula with fresh spinach. Spring greens or massage kale also tastes great!
- Use another dressing: such as a lemon vinaigrette instead of a balsamic vinaigrette for a tangy lemon flavor.
- Add a grain: such as quinoa, to make the flavor.
- Add another fruit: If you’re running low on strawberries, mix it up with blueberries or peaches.
- Toast the walnuts: This will not only enhance the flavor your the salad but also improve the texture of the walnuts so they stay crisp in the salad. To toast, just warm them up in a skillet for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Add a protein to make it a meal: Whether it’s chickpeas or another source of protein, adding protein will make the salad more filling.
More vegetarian salad recipes
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Italian Potato Salad
- Tomato Heirloom Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Citrus Avocado Salad
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on October 24, 2016. Since then, it’s been updated with new photos and a rewritten post. Slight changes were made to the recipe.
- 3-4 cups arugula
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- pinch of garlic powder
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Prepare the dressing by whisking the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Combine the arugula, strawberry, avocado, red onion, walnuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing.
- Adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve immediately.