For arugula lovers like me, this Baby Arugula Salad with Lemon, Balsamic Vinegar, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts is always a treat!

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My favorite Baby Arugula Salad is a recipe I came up with when I noticed salads with baby arugula, lemon, and Parmesan showing up on the menu at several of my favorite restaurants. I’m a huge fan of arugula, so I happily sampled the arugula salads everywhere I saw one. Then I decided to try to actually write down a recipe, and it took a little experimenting to create this perfect arugula salad that made my tastebuds completely happy But this salad (with just a touch of white balsamic vinegar added to the lemony dressing) is the arugula salad I would eagerly eat over and over. Sometimes I’ll bring home one of those 5 oz. tubs of baby arugula, make this salad for lunch, eat half, and eat the leftovers with my dinner, it’s that good!

I try not to be an ingredients snob, but this is a recipe where using the best quality ingredients really does make a tremendous difference. Organic baby arugula may be a bit more expensive, but it has the best flavor, and I’d also use the highest quality extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese I could find. I season the dressing with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, not just regular salt and pepper. If you need to save money on one ingredient here, I think toasted slivered almonds would be a tasty replacement for the pine nuts for a less expensive variation.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
  • white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • organic baby arugula
  • coarsely grated best-quality Parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • pine nuts (or slivered almonds)

What is arugula?

Arugula is a type of dark leafy greens with a peppery flavor. It’s used a lot in leafy green mixes and can be eaten raw or cooked. I love the strong flavor of this, but it’s probably an acquired taste for most people.

Arugula Salad variations you might like:

  • Add a touch of Tahini Sauce (affiliate link) to the dressing and serve the salad topped with chickpeas and Feta cheese.
  • Add some Sugar-Free Maple Syrup (affiliate link) to the dressing and serve the salad topped with red grape halves, shaved Manchego cheese, and slivered almonds. 

More Arugula Salads to Enjoy:

Arugula, Kale, and Gorgonzola Salad
Baby Arugula Salad with Chicken, Mozzarella, and Tomatoes
Arugula Salad with Feta
Raw Summer Squash Salad with Arugula and Feta
Arugula Salad with Artichokes, Peppers, and Goat Cheese

Kalyn's Favorite Baby Arugula Salad process shots collage

How to make Kalyn’s Favorite Baby Arugula Salad:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Toast the pine nuts (or slivered almonds) in a dry pan, just until you start to see some color.
  2. Mix together the white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) and lemon juice. Whisk in 3 T of extra virgin olive oil, then taste to see if you want more oil.
  3. Season the dressing to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Please use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and get the highest quality of Parmesan you can afford.
  5. Most arugula doesn’t need to be washed, but wash or refresh by soaking in cold water in a salad spinner (affiliate link) if needed.
  6. Toss the arugula with just enough dressing to coat the greens.
  7. Then toss in the grated Parmesan and mix.
  8. Add most of the pine nuts and toss again. (I save a few pine nuts to sprinkle over each salad.)
  9. And that’s all there is to making this amazing salad combination that I absolutely never get tired of; enjoy!

Kalyn's Favorite Baby Arugula Salad with Lemon, Balsamic, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts found on

More Dark Leafy Greens Salads You Might Enjoy:

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Green Salad with Maple Vinaigrette ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spinach Salad with Glazed Beets and Blue Cheese from The Perfect Pantry
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dill from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Kalyn's Favorite Baby Arugula Salad
Yield: 4 salads

Kalyn's Favorite Baby Arugula Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

For arugula lovers like me, this Baby Arugula Salad with Lemon, Balsamic Vinegar, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts is always a treat!


Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 – 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • 10 oz. organic baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated best-quality Parmesan cheese (such as Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or slivered almonds)


  1. Put pine nuts (or almonds) into a dry pan and toast over high heat until they are just starting to color and become fragrant, watching very carefully so they don’t burn.
  2. Mix together the lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice) and balsamic vinegar; then whisk in 3 T of extra-virgin olive oil, one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Taste the dressing to see if you want to add a little more oil and if so, whisk it in.
  4. Season the dressing with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Grate the parmesan cheese (such as Parmigiano Reggiano), using medium or large side of the grater.
  6. Wash baby arugula if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towels. It usually comes pre-washed but if it's wilted I would soak in cold water in a salad spinner (affiliate link).
  7. Put arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough dressing to coat all the leaves. (You may not need all the dressing.)
  8. Add the coarsely grated Parmesan and toss a few times to combine, then add about 3/4 of the toasted pine nuts (or almonds) and toss again.
  9. Put salad into individual serving dishes and top each one with a few more toasted nuts.


Recipe created by Kalyn, inspired by many beloved arugula and lemon salads she sampled in restaurants!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 10gUnsaturated Fat: 41gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 617mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions: 
Arugula is one of the nutrient dense leafy greens we all should eat plenty of and this Baby Arugula Salad should be great for low-carb and low-glycemic eating plans, including Keto or any phase of the original South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages 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.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2011. It was last updated in 2021.

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