Strawberry Arugula Salad with Feta and homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette is about to become your new favorite healthy go-to side salad! It’s sweet, tangy, peppery, and a perfect savory strawberry recipe. Add sliced grilled chicken or shrimp, or another protein like salmon or tofu, to make it a meal, and make it ahead of time for a potluck or party by mixing the dressing up separately.
If you’ve never enjoyed a green salad with fresh fruit before, you’re missing out. Sweet, juicy fruit pairs so well with the leafy greens and savory, salty ingredients that traditionally go in green salads.
In this case, sweet juicy strawberries are so delicious, not to mention gorgeous, against the backdrop of bright green peppery arugula. Sliced green onions add a savory punch, and a slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette adds tang. Salty crumbly feta cheese and crunchy sliced almonds round everything out to salad perfection!
Best of all, this healthy strawberry arugula salad recipe only takes 10 minutes to whip up, and it’s easy to prep everything to make it in advance.
And if you’re looking for another fun way to enjoy strawberries with a savory twist, try this strawberry bruschetta. Yum!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Baby arugula – you can use baby spinach, or another baby green, if you prefer. I find mature arugula too strong in flavor for this salad, but those who like that taste may prefer it.
- Fresh strawberries – try to get them in season for the best flavor. Other fresh fruit may be used with this recipe, such as sliced peaches or another berry.
- Crumbled feta cheese – or goat cheese, cotija cheese, diced fresh mozzarella… or another cheese that you prefer.
- Green onions – you can also use sliced red onions if you like.
- Sliced or slivered almonds – or another nut, like chopped walnuts or pecans. You can also use sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version.
- To make the homemade balsamic vinaigrette, you’ll need maple syrup, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Honey or another sweetener can be used in place of maple syrup. Feel free to use a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette or another dressing with sweet flavor, such as poppyseed. I also like using creamy maple balsamic dressing for this salad.
How to make Strawberry Arugula Salad
- First, mix the dressing in the bottom of a large bowl (or a jar/small bowl if making ahead of time).
- Then, add the arugula, strawberries, feta, onions, and almonds to the bowl.
- Finally, toss everything together and serve!
How to make it ahead of time
Just mix the dressing separately, by shaking together in a jar or whisking together in a small bowl. Then add everything else to a large bowl. Just before serving, toss the strawberry arugula salad with the dressing (if you dress it too early, it will become soggy).
You can prep the dressing up to a week in advance and the strawberry arugula salad ingredients up to 24 hours in advance.
Add protein to make it a meal
- Add sliced grilled chicken breasts or grilled shrimp on top of the mixed strawberry arugula salad.
- Toss the salad with seared tofu or hard boiled eggs, or serve with white bean patties for a vegetarian option.
- Serve as a side to roast chicken, oven-baked pork chops, or slow cooker turkey breast.
- Add any shredded cooked chicken, such as from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, slow cooker chicken breasts, poached chicken breasts, or slow cooker whole chicken.
- Fish would be great with this, on the side of poached salmon or seared salmon, or with oven-fried catfish. You can also flake any leftover fish, cold, and toss it with this salad.
Other savory salads with fresh fruit
- Watermelon Salad with Queso Fresco, Lime, and Cilantro
- Mango Quinoa Salad
- Winter Citrus Salad
- Arugula, Cantaloupe, and Prosciutto Salad
- Chicken Salad with Grapes
- Egyptian Barley Salad with Pomegranate and Feta
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Strawberry Arugula Salad with Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
For the Strawberry Arugula Salad:
- 5 oz. baby arugula (about 3 packed cups)
- 8 oz. fresh strawberries stemmed and sliced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- Whisk together all ingredients for the balsamic vinaigrette in the bottom of a large bowl (if making ahead of time, shake up in a jar or in a separate small bowl).
- Add the baby arugula (5 oz.), sliced strawberries (8 oz.), sliced green onions, crumbled feta cheese (1/4 cup), and sliced or slivered almonds (1/4 cup) to the large bowl.
- Toss together until all ingredients are covered in the dressing and serve immediately.
- Make it a meal: add grilled, sliced chicken or grilled shrimp, or seared salmon, or another protein to the salad to make it more hearty for a meal.
- Make it ahead: mix the dressing separately and add all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Refrigerate both, covered, for up to 24 hours. Toss with the dressing just before serving.
- Ingredient substitutions: goat cheese or fresh mozzarella can be substituted for feta; honey or another sweetener can be substituted for maple syrup; other nuts like chopped walnuts or pecans can be substituted for the almonds, or sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version; baby spinach or other baby greens may be substituted for arugula; sliced red onions may be substituted for the green onions.
- A store-bought balsamic vinaigrette will work just fine, as will another salad dressing with a sweet flavor such as poppy seed dressing. I also like using my homemade creamy maple balsamic dressing for this salad.