Kalyn's Kitchen

Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds

I’d love this Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds for a special meal; make it with or without the pureed grape dressing. And this tasty salad has a lots of options to reduce the carbs or make it easier.

PIN Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds to try it later!

Arugula Grape Salad finished salad on serving plate

I’ve been talking with my sister Val about Thanksgiving dinner plans, so I think the countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun, and this amazing Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds is something that I’m excited to add to the menu. The slightly bitter and spicy flavor of arugula is tamed in a delicious way by the grapes and the grape-infused dressing, and the Manchego cheese and almonds add the perfect touch of savoriness to the salad. And if you don’t have time to make the grape-infused dressing this salad would still be wonderful with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.

Manchego is an amazingly delicious nutty-flavored cheese from Spain, but if it’s not in the budget or you don’t want to buy cheese just for one salad, any type of dry cheese that can be shaved with a vegetable peeler could be substituted here. I hope you’ll think of this tasty idea next time you need a special salad!

Arugula Grape Salad process shots collage

How to Make Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Soak the baby arugula in very cold water for a few minutes to crisp the leaves; then spin dry in a salad spinner. (I like to pull off the stems, especially if I’m taking pictures of the salad.)
  2. Wash two cups of red grapes, then dry and cut them in half. (You can use a lot less grapes if you want to reduce the sugar.)
  3. If you’re making the grape-infused dressing, take out about 20 grape halves and cut them in half again.
  4. Use a food processor or mini-blender to chop the grapes even more; then add the red onion, vinegar, agave, and olive oil and process to make the dressing. It will be lumpy. (If you don’t have time for this, just use a flavorful balsamic vinaigrette for the salad.)
  5. Toss the grapes with a couple of tablespoons of dressing and let them marinate a few minutes.
  6. Use a vegetable peeler to shave slices of cheese.
  7. Toast sliced almonds until a cry pan, just until the nuts start to get fragrant.
  8. Toss the crisp arugula with the marinating grapes and dressing, adding more dressing as desired.
  9. Divide the salad between four plates and toss each one with some Manchego and almonds, and enjoy!

More Holiday Salads You’ll Probably Love:

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon, Almonds, and Parmesan ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Dried Cranberries ~ That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Green Apple Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Creamy Pecan Crunch Grape Salad ~ Wishes and Dishes
Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Arugula Grape Salad finished salad on serving plate

Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds

Yield 4 salads
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

I love this Arugula Grape Salad with the pureed grape dressing, but you can use a purchased vinaigrette to make it easier or cut out some carbs.


Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. baby arugula, washed and spin dry (and stems removed if desired)
  • 2 cups red grapes, cut in half (see notes)
  • 3 T shaved Manchego cheese
  • 3 T sliced almonds, toasted

Ingredients for optional grape dressing.

  • 10 chopped grapes
  • 1 T finely diced red onion (or use a pinch of onion powder)
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T agave nectar (see notes)
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • (If you don't want to make your own dressing, use 4 T of flavorful balsamic vinaigrette.)


  1. Put the arugula in a salad spinner (affiliate link) and soak in very cold water for a few minutes to crisp the leaves.  (I like to pull off the stems before I soak it, but that is definitely optional.)
  2. Drain arugula and spin until it's very dry.  (If you don't have a salad spinner, soak arugula in a bowl and then drain and dry well with paper towels.)
  3. Wash the grapes, dry well, and cut in half.
  4. If you're making the grape-infused dressing, chop about 20 of the grape halves in half again and process in a food processor or mini-chopper. Add the finely minced onion, vinegar, and agave and blend until it's chunky, then add the olive oil and blend again.  (The dressing will be fairly thin.)
  5. Put the rest of the grapes in a bowl large enough to hold all the salad ingredients and toss with about 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
  6. Use a vegetable peeler to make thin slices of Manchego (or whatever cheese you're using.)
  7. Toast the sliced almonds in a dry pan for a minute or two (just until the nuts start to get fragrant.)
  8. Add the arugula to the bowl with the marinating grapes and toss with enough dressing to moisten the salad to your liking.
  9. Serve on individual plates, topping each salad with some Manchego slices and toasted almonds.
  10. Much of the preparation for this salad could be done in advance and stored in the fridge until later in the day.  Crisp the arugula and store in a Ziploc bag, wash and slice grapes and store in a snap-tight container, mix the vinaigrette and store in a jar.  Allow time to let the dressing come to room temperature before you mix the salad.


Reserve 10 grapes for dressing if you're making that; if you're watching your sugar you can use far less grapes and still have a good salad. Use sugar-free maple syrup in the dressing if you prefer.

This recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet/Low-Glycemic Diet/South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds has too much sugar for low-carb diet plans. Arugula, cheese, and almonds are good low-glycemic ingredients for the original South Beach Diet, but if you’re actively trying to lose weight this salad has quite a bit of sugar, so save it for special occasions!

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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    12 Comments on “Arugula Grape Salad with Manchego and Almonds”

  1. Ooh, your salad dressing sounds terrific! I don’t know why I never think of adding grapes to a salad, they’re one of my favorite fruits!!!

  2. What a great salad!! Thanks so much for linking to my grape salad! 

  3. Kelly, so glad you like it. (And forget about the T word!)

  4. Love everything about this salad — especially the grapes which are so good in a green salad. Great flavors! And I'm going to pretend you didn't mention the "T" word. Several times. 😀

  5. I love a good salad – we usually have hot vegetables for Thanksgiving, but I'm thinking a salad would be a nice change. My kids resist when I switch up our menu, so even if they don't go for it, I'm definitely making this for myself!

  6. I'm a huge fan of arugula salad and it really is perfect with a it of sweet and salty mixed in! The perfect combination of flavors!

  7. This looks so fresh and light, mmmmmmm can't wait to try, thanks!

  8. Looks like a perfect fall salad to me. I especially love grapes on my salad!

  9. What a glorious combination of flavors and textures! I love the idea of using red grapes in the salad dressing.

  10. This salad sounds fantastic! Love the grapes. I've been looking for a great salad to balance out the rest of our Thanksgiving meal, and this one sounds like a winner.