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This arugula feta salad is a spin off of Eastern European tomato feta salad. I leave out most of the feta cheese, add arugula and delicious balsamic vinaigrette. So good!
Salty feta coats each tomato, arugula adds a nice peppery punch, and balsamic vinegar, herbs and garlic ties all ingredients together. It adds so much character to any dish, from this tomato feta salad, to baked feta dip and spinach feta turkey burgers.
I make this healthy salad for my family, guests and bloggers’ events. Everyone raves about it and asks for the recipe. Recipe? It is so simple, I just smile quietly.
Ingredients for Arugula Feta Salad
To make arugula feta salad recipe, you will need 9 simple ingredients, including salt and pepper.
- Arugula: Arugula is sold pre-washed, packed in plastic containers, is affordable and often organic. It is my favorite leafy green!
- Tomatoes: For green salads, I prefer to use grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes because they do not leak as much as chopped regular tomatoes. They make salad less messy and pretty. But my favorite regular size tomatoes are tomatoes on the vine.
- Feta cheese: Goat feta cheese or cow’s milk feta cheese works. I prefer to buy it in a block submerged in brine and crumble myself to avoid anti-caking agents and enjoy the fresh taste. I love goat cheese feta for its taste.
- Herbs: I use fresh dill because I am Ukrainian. Fresh parsley or fresh basil will be wonderful too!
- Balsamic dressing: Garlic, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Good olive oil and balsamic vinegar is very noticeable in a salad like this arugula tomato salad. I like to pay a little extra and buy extra-virgin, cold-pressed in dark glass bottle olive oil.
How to Make Arugula Feta Salad
- Make balsamic vinaigrette first, so ingredients have time to “marry each other”.
- Arrange arugula at the bottom of a large salad bowl.
- Chop tomatoes and herbs: If using grape tomatoes, a cut in half is all you need. You can dice regular size tomatoes.
- Crumble feta with your hands if you buy blocks of feta.
- Drizzle salad with the dressing and stir gently stir with salad tongs.
Tips for Best Results
Here are my top tips for the best arugula feta salad!
- Assemble salad before serving: Arugula wilts extremely fast. I recommend to apply dressing to the salad right before you plan to enjoy it. This salad does not need marinating.
- Add tomatoes last: If serving guests, coat greens with feta in the dressing and then arrange tomatoes on top. Makes for a beautiful presentation and your guests won’t have to “dig” for veggies in the bowl.
- Crumble your own feta: Store-bought crumbled feta cheese contains anti-caking agents and doesn’t taste as fresh. Also it is nice to crumble cheese into different size pieces for beautiful presentation. Or place one large block of feta on each individual plate.
- Add nuts: For a bit of crunch and flavor, add up to 1/4 cup of toasted almonds, pine nuts or walnuts.
- Revive limpy arugula: If your container of arugula is almost past its prime time, you can quickly to revive it. Place it in a bowl with ice cold water for 15 minutes, then drain and dry in a salad spinner.
- Be gentle: Give arugula salad just a few gentle stirs, do not toss it vigorously. It will stay more crisp and look pretty this way.
What to Serve Arugula Feta Salad with?
Arugula salad makes an excellent and quick side dish to any Italian main dish, chicken or rich and flavorful protein.
- A beautiful chicken breast: Pick one of chicken marinades, then bake, grill or fry chicken. The above pictured is fajita chicken. Or serve with baked chicken breast or pan fried chicken breast.
- Meatballs: With Instant Pot meatballs or turkey meatballs.
- Meatloaf: With turkey meatloaf or Instant Pot meatloaf.
- Fish: Baked salmon in foil or lemon butter baked cod would pair nicely with this light and peppery arugula salad.
How Long Does It Last?
Here is the thing, arugula tastes best fresh and wilts pretty fast. The good news is that this arugula salad literally takes 10 minutes to make. I recommend to dress the salad right before serving and consume within 2-3 hours.
If you still have leftovers the next day, add a bit of fresh arugula and it will taste more crisp.
Do not freeze this salad.
Other vegetables that would go well in arugula salad are thinly sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers, pears, red onion and radicchio.
If you are not a fan of arugula, feel free to use baby spinach, romaine lettuce or baby kale instead.
I love feta cheese but I understand not everyone is a fan. I think arugula tomato salad will go well with Parmesan cheese, goat cheese or gorgonzola cheese.
Yes. To make arugula feta salad ahead of time, add arugula greens, feta cheese and herbs in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can also make dressing in advance and store it in airtight container. Salad and dressing stored separately will last up to 2 days in the refrigerator. You will have to warm up the dressing in a bowl with warm water for 10 minutes and combine before serving.
More Green Salad Recipes to Try
- Spinach salad recipe
- Spring mix salad
- Strawberry spinach salad
- Baby kale salad
- Italian chopped salad
- Smoked salmon salad
- Lettuce salad
- Mexican kale salad
- Butter lettuce salad
Arugula Feta Salad
For the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and whisk with a fork. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine arugula, tomatoes, dill and feta cheese.
- Pour salad dressing on top and toss gently.
- Serve immediately.
- Store: It’s best to enjoy arugula feta salad within 2-3 hours.