Strawberry Arugula Salad Recipe

There's nothing like biting into a fresh crunchy salad to remind you that plants are amazing. Plus, if you throw a few extra goodies in and finish it off with a tangy vinaigrette, you'll want to eat your greens at every meal. Tasting Table recipe developer Molly Madigan Pisula brings us this strawberry arugula salad recipe and it's every bit as delicious as it sounds. 

She shares, "What I love most about this salad is the combination of flavors and textures: fruity strawberries, sweet dates, creamy goat cheese, peppery arugula, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and a balsamic vinaigrette that ties it all together." Pisula adds, "Also, it just screams spring with those beautiful strawberries and arugula!" Every element adds a new flavor and texture, yet they all complement each other seamlessly. Not to mention, you can easily use this salad as a template and mix and match ingredients if you're out of something. You'll surely come up with enough salad variations to feed you all summer. 

Gather the ingredients for this strawberry arugula salad

For the salad, you'll need pumpkin seeds (pepitas), fresh strawberries, a seedless English cucumber, pitted dates, arugula, and crumbled goat cheese. Our recipe developer points out that "The dates in this recipe provide an additional layer of sweetness that is lovely with the strawberries and also with the tangy vinaigrette. Plus, they are high in fiber and antioxidants."

This salad is super versatile, and Pisula suggests alternatives such as replacing "pumpkin seeds with nuts like pecans, almonds, or walnuts," "goat cheese with feta cheese or blue cheese," and "English cucumber with any seedless cucumber, including the mini cucumbers you can find now in many grocery stores." You'll want to peel regular cucumbers though since the skin can be quite bitter. If you're not so fond of spicy arugula, she notes that "Baby spinach works as a substitute."

‌For the vinaigrette, you'll need a small shallot, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Toast the pumpkin seeds

Toasting pumpkin seeds is an easy step that enhances their flavor and really sets this salad apart from any ordinary bowl of greens. Preheat the oven to 375 F and spread the seeds onto a baking sheet. Once the oven is hot, bake them for 8 to 10 minutes until they are lightly toasted. 

"You will start to smell the toasted pumpkin seeds when they are ready — remove them quickly at that point, so that they don't burn," Pisula warns. If you are using another type of seed or nut, she notes that you can toast them using the same method.

Prep the ingredients and make the vinaigrette

Rinse the strawberries and gently dry them off with a tea towel or paper towel. Then, hull and cut them into two or four depending on their size. Next, chop the cucumber into small pieces you can easily eat. Cut the dates into six or eight little bits so that they are well distributed throughout the salad. Finally, peel the shallot and mince it to add to the vinaigrette. 

In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard until the mixture is smooth. Then, pour in the olive oil while you slowly whisk the dressing. Lastly, mix in the shallots, salt, and pepper. Go ahead and taste the dressing to check the seasoning. Pisula explains, "The sweetness of the strawberries and dates matched with the sharp balsamic vinaigrette gives this dish great balance. But if you find the dressing to be too tart for your liking, you can add a teaspoon or two of honey or maple syrup to it."

If you want to get a headstart on this salad, "You can definitely make the vinaigrette in advance — just whisk well before using," Pisula advises and adds, "I like to store it in a jar, then just shake it well before adding to the salad."

Toss the arugula leaves

Once all the elements are prepared, it's time to start assembling the salad. "If you want to make the salad in advance, prep all the ingredients but keep them separate until serving," Pisula recommends to avoid ending up with soggy greens.

Transfer the arugula to a large bowl then drizzle half of the dressing on top and toss. Pisula explains, "Tossing the arugula gently, both when adding the vinaigrette and then when adding the rest of the salad ingredients, helps make sure the delicate arugula greens aren't bruised."

Add the remaining elements and serve

Add the sliced strawberries, cucumbers, and dates, carefully mixing everything to distribute the goodies evenly. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl if desired and garnish it with toasted pumpkin seeds and crumbled goat cheese. Dish out the portions and serve the rest of the balsamic vinaigrette on the side for anyone who wants more. If you don't get through it all, "it will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week in a jar or other airtight container," Pisula says.

"This salad is a delicious vegetarian meal, but you can also add more protein to it if you're a meat eater," Pisula points out and raves, "It's delicious with a grilled chicken breast or grilled shrimp." We're pretty sure you'll want to make this easy strawberry arugula salad over and over again.

Strawberry Arugula Salad Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
Brighten up your lunch with this strawberry arugula salad featuring dates, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Prep Time
Cook Time
strawberry arugula salad in bowl
Total time: 25 minutes
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 seedless English cucumber
  • ½ cup pitted dates (about 12 medium-sized)
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Scatter the pumpkin seeds onto a baking sheet and transfer it to the oven.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the seeds are lightly toasted, then set aside to cool.
  4. Rinse the strawberries and pat them dry.
  5. Hull the strawberries, then cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size.
  6. Cut the cucumber into small bite-sized pieces and cut each date into 6 or 8 small pieces.
  7. Peel and mince the shallot.
  8. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard together until well-combined, then slowly whisk in the olive oil.
  9. Stir in the minced shallots, salt, and pepper.
  10. Put the arugula in a large bowl and toss it gently with half of the balsamic dressing.
  11. Add the strawberries, cucumbers, and dates, and toss gently to combine.
  12. Transfer the salad to a large serving bowl, then garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and crumbled goat cheese.
  13. Serve the remaining balsamic vinaigrette on the side.
Calories per Serving 456
Total Fat 31.9 g
Saturated Fat 6.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 6.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.8 g
Dietary Fiber 6.5 g
Total Sugars 28.5 g
Sodium 331.3 mg
Protein 10.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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