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Arugula Quinoa Salad

I love making salads with arugula! And my recipe for arugula quinoa salad combines peppery arugula, crispy quinoa with Italian seasoning, and simple toppings to make a deliciously easy salad you’ll want to pair with everything.

Arugula Quinoa Salad in a serving bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Gather simple ingredients from your pantry or fridge to make this easy arugula quinoa salad recipe.
  • Eat the green salad as it is with your favorite protein, or serve it as a healthy side dish
  • The healthy salad is easy to make ahead and perfect for meal prep.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Quinoa: Crispy protein-packed quinoa is a perfect addition to the salad. Feel free to use any color quinoa, such as white quinoa, red quinoa, or tri-color quinoa.
  • Olive Oil: Use extra-virgin olive oil to make the quinoa crispy and to flavor the greens for the salad. 
  • Spices: Finish the nutty quinoa with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Arugula: Peppery green arugula is the base for the salad, but you can replace it with other leafy greens like baby spinach or kale. 
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest are a bright addition to the greens.
  • Tomatoes: Top the arugula quinoa salad with juicy cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. 
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese has a gritty texture and nutty flavor that tastes delicious when grated over salad, soup, pasta, and risotto

Additions and Substitutions

  • Cheese: Replace shaved parmesan cheese with goat cheese or feta cheese.
  • Salad Dressing: Finish the salad with olive oil and lemon juice as I do, or try sherry shallot dressing, Caesar dressing, or a bright lemon vinaigrette.

How to Make Arugula Quinoa Salad

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375℉ (191℃). Prepare uncooked quinoa in a saute pan according to the package. Then, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Quinoa cooking in a pan.

Step 2: Add olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine, then spread the quinoa in a single layer over the parchment paper.

Quinoa spread onto a baking sheet.

Step 3: Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the quinoa is golden brown and crispy.

Quinoa baking in the oven.

Step 4: Meanwhile, add the arugula to a mixing bowl and add one tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Massage the greens with your hands and transfer them to a serving dish or large salad bowl.

Arugula massaged with oil.

Step 5: Remove the quinoa from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle the quinoa over the arugula. Finish the salad with tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese to serve.

Arugula Quinoa Salad in a serving bowl.

Expert Tips

  • Spread the quinoa onto the parchment paper in a single layer so they become nice and crispy. 
  • Massage the arugula before using it in the salad for the best results. 

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Arugula Quinoa Salad in a serving bowl.

What to Serve with Quinoa and Arugula Salad

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate – Store the leftover salad in an airtight container for 3-4 days.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you cut arugula for salad?

For smaller bites, tear the arugula into pieces before massaging it with oil, or use baby arugula. However, preparing the arugula with oil and lemon juice beforehand makes the pieces soft and manageable.

Is quinoa salad served hot or cold?

Depending on how long you leave the crispy quinoa to cool, it may lend itself to a warmer quinoa salad. However, once you refrigerate the leftovers, the salad will cool and taste just as good.

Can I add a protein to this salad?

Arugula quinoa salad can easily be transformed into a hearty, protein-packed meal by adding more vegetables and other proteins. Ingredients such as chickpeas, tuna, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, or hard-boiled eggs complement quinoa’s texture and lend protein to complete the meal.

More Salad Recipes:

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Arugula Quinoa Salad in a serving bowl.

Arugula Quinoa Salad

Tressa Jamil
Arugula quinoa salad combines peppery arugula, crispy quinoa, and simple toppings to make an easy salad you'll want to pair with everything.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 188 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 1 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, (Plus 1 teaspoon of lemon zest)
  • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 375℉ (191℃). Prepare uncooked quinoa in a saute pan according to the package. Then, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine, then spread the quinoa in a single layer over the parchment paper.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the quinoa is golden brown and crispy.
  • Meanwhile, add the arugula to a mixing bowl and add one tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Massage the greens with your hands and transfer them to a serving dish or large salad bowl.
  • Remove the quinoa from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle the quinoa over the arugula. Finish the salad with tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese to serve.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • Spread the quinoa onto the parchment paper in a single layer so they become nice and crispy. 
  • Massage the arugula before using it in the salad for the best results. 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 188 kcal | Carbohydrates: 20 g | Protein: 8 g | Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Cholesterol: 6 mg | Sodium: 336 mg | Potassium: 281 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 611 IU | Vitamin C: 6 mg | Calcium: 152 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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