This arugula salad is made with white beans, tomatoes, red onion, shaved parmesan cheese and pine nuts, all tossed in a lemon dressing. A bright and vibrant salad that makes the perfect side dish or lighter main course.

I eat a salad almost every day for lunch, I typically make Tuscan kale salad, brussels sprout salad or this refreshing arugula salad. Arugula salad takes just minutes to make and is full of different flavors and textures.

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Arugula salad made with white beans, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and pine nuts.

Green salads are a welcome addition to any meal, and this arugula salad has quickly become a favorite in my house. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables, protein packed beans and savory cheese, all in a simple dressing. Arugula salad pairs perfectly with chicken, fish, beef and pork dishes like grilled chicken tenders, brown sugar pork chops or miso salmon.

How do you make arugula salad?

This salad starts with a bowl of arugula, which is combined with cherry tomatoes, white beans, shaved parmesan cheese, thinly sliced red onion and toasted pine nuts. A quick and easy lemon dressing goes over the top, then everything is tossed together. Serve your arugula salad immediately and enjoy!

Arugula in a bowl with tomatoes, pine nuts, red onion and shaved parmesan cheese.

Can you eat raw arugula?

You can absolutely eat raw arugula. Raw arugula is perfect for salads, sandwich and pizza toppings, and you can even make pesto out of it! You can also cook arugula if you prefer and serve it as a side dish or in pasta.

Tips for arugula salad

  • I use a mandoline to get super thin slices of red onion.
  • You can buy a tub of parmesan cheese shavings, but I find that it tastes best when you buy a wedge of parmesan cheese and make your own shavings with a vegetable peeler.
  • To toast your pine nuts, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and let them cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch them carefully as they can burn quickly!
  • The dressing for this salad lasts for a week in the fridge, I often make a double batch so that I always have extra dressing on hand.
  • This salad is best served immediately because the arugula will eventually start to wilt in the dressing.

White beans, tomatoes, pine nuts, parmesan and red onion with salad dressing being poured over the top.

Arugula salad variations

There are so many different ways to customize this salad to your preferences. You can even turn it into a hearty main course when you add extra toppings!

  • Protein: Add grilled chicken, shrimp or steak to turn this salad into a meal.
  • Beans: Try a different type of bean such as chickpeas or Great Northern beans.
  • Vegetables: Add other vegetables to the mix such as thinly sliced fennel, cucumbers or carrots.
  • Cheese: Try feta or goat cheese instead of parmesan.
  • Avocado: Add one diced avocado to the salad.

A bowl of arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, red onion and shaved cheese.

Is arugula healthy?

Arugula is very healthy and is low in calories and carbs, yet high in fiber. Arugula contains many vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin K, Vitamin B, folate, calcium, Vitamin A and antioxidants.

Tongs serving up a portion of arugula salad.

This salad tastes like something you’d order at a restaurant, but you can instead enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. It’s a great way to get in your greens!

More satisfying salad recipes

5 from 19 votes

Arugula Salad

AuthorSara Welch
Arugula salad made with white beans, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
This arugula salad is made with white beans, tomatoes, red onion, shaved parmesan cheese and pine nuts, all tossed in a lemon dressing. A bright and vibrant salad that makes the perfect side dish or lighter main course.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time16 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Serves 4


For the salad

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shaved
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the dressing

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place the arugula, cherry tomatoes, beans, onion, parmesan cheese and pine nuts in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 15.1mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 2mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We are quarantined in our home..and this time has given us the opportunity to experiment with new recipes. We love your blog and recipes. The salad was fantastic! I used a can of mixed sized/kind of beans as that is what we had in our pantry – and being as we’re garlicholics I added a small clove of minced garlic to the dressing…it was just enough NOT to overpower the taste of fresh lemon juice. We are grateful we found DINNER AT THE ZOO!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this salad. It has ingredients in it that I like. And it is so eaay and flavorful at the same time.

  3. 5 stars
    This is the perfect salad for summer. So easy to put together and very refreshing. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for new salad ideas. It’s one of my favorite go to summer meals. And this one is going to be dinner one night this week. Looks sooo good.

  5. 5 stars
    This salad is so colorful and creative! I love all of the various flavors and textures! I think that is necessary for a great lunch or dinner salad!

  6. 5 stars
    This looks incredibly delicious! This looks absolutely delicious! Yummy!

  7. 5 stars
    This was such a light and refreshing salad for dinner last night! Perfect for summer; I will be enjoying this all season long and then some!

  8. 5 stars
    This salad looks perfect for a light summer dinner. I’m always looking for new salads to make. I’ll have to give your salad a try!

  9. I love the peppery bite of arugula! Adding the beans is so smart. I also love that you kept the dressing simple.