16 Arugula Recipe to Savor Its Assertive, Peppery Bite

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Closeup of salmon bean salad servied in a small white bowl.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Arugula is a versatile green prized for its assertive, peppery bite. It shines in salads when mixed with other strongly flavored greens like mizuna, endive, and radicchio, and is also a fantastic accompaniment in dishes that feature rich proteins, like carpaccio and pan-roasted salmon, where it takes on the role of an herb. Arugula’s spicy flavor is also welcome in cooked applications, whether wilted and served as a warm salad, tossed with warm pasta as it finishes cooking, combined with ricotta and stuffed in manicotti, or puréed with stock and aromatics to make a delicious soup. Below we’ve gathered over a dozen of our favorite arugula recipes, from basic salads to hearty mains.

Fingerling Potato Salad With Chorizo, Onion, and Arugula

Overehead view of Fingerling Potato Salad With Chorizo, Onion, and Arugula, served in a turquoise bowl.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Tender and creamy fingerling potatoes, smoky Spanish chorizo, onion (both pickled and sautéed), and peppery arugula all come together in this easy and hearty potato salad. It’s perfect as a side for summer cookouts or as the main event for a simple one-bowl dinner.

Spring Vegetable and Arugula Salad With Labne and Cucumbers

A serving of Spring Vegetable and Arugula Salad With Labne and Cucumbers, composed on a thick white plate.
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

For this entrée salad, labne is generously smeared on serving plates and topped with a simple dressed medley of fresh spring produce: peppery arugula, sweet peas, grassy asparagus, green fava beans, crisp snap peas, and broccolini, plus a juicy cucumber, a red onion, and some fresh mozzarella cheese.

Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Walnut Salad With Dashi “Vinaigrette”

A small white bowl holds a serving of Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Walnut Salad With Dashi
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Conventional wisdom says that salads should be dressed with vinaigrettes, which, by definition, balance an acid with a fat. Turns out you can break that rule by dropping the acid entirely. In this hearty, satisfying salad, we make a “vinaigrette” with a combination of soy sauce and dashi. Earthy sweet potatoes, bitter arugula, and crushed toasted walnuts are tossed in the dressing for an easy, deeply flavorful dish.

Easy Beef Carpaccio With Arugula

beef carpaccio garnished with tomato quarters
Serious Eats / Qi Ai

For this Italian classic, peppery baby arugula is lightly dressed with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, then scattered over paper-thin slices of ultra-fresh raw beef. The dish is finished with a handful of quartered tomatoes and a drizzle of egg yolk-enriched lemon-Dijon sauce. For a spin on this classic that eats more like an entrée, check out this steak carpaccio salad.

Arugula, Salmon, and Leek Tart

Overhead closeup of an arugula, salmon, and leek tart.
Serious Eats / Sydney Oland

For this tart, arugula is prepared in two ways. Chopped arugula is quickly cooked with leeks and folded into the filling with chunks of salmon. Then to finish, lightly dressed arugula is piled on top of the tart, adding its characteristic bright, bitter flavor to an otherwise rich, creamy dish.

Gemelli with Asparagus, Ricotta, Arugula, and Lemon Zest

Closeup of gemelli with asparagus, ricotta, arugula, and lemon zest, served on a black plate.
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Sautéed asparagus is paired with arugula and ricotta for this creamy, bright pasta dish. The gemelli is cooked using an unorthodox method that yields extra starchy pasta water. When combined with the vegetables and ricotta, the pasta water forms an especially silky sauce that coats the gemelli. For another pasta option, see our recipe that pairs arugula with bucatini, spicy shrimp, and breadcrumbs.

Arugula, Fennel, and Orange Salad

Arugula, fennel, and orange salad is served on a plate.
Serious Eats / Jennifer Segal

Spicy arugula, shaved fennel, and juicy oranges make a simple and elegant autumn salad. Each bite is peppery, tart, and sweet.

French Lentils with Sausage, Wilted Arugula, & Dijon Mustard

French Lentils with Sausage, Wilted Arugula, & Dijon Mustard, served in a white bowl.
Serious Eats / Max Falkowitz

Brown lentils du Puy studded with chunks of sausage—sure, this dish is not much of a looker, but what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in flavor. Simmering the lentils with cloves adds a sweet and spicy balance to the peppery arugula and mustard.

Spanakopita (Greek Savory Greens Pie)

Profile closeup of a slice of spanakopita, served on a speckled ceramic plate.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

For a twist on the classic, this version of Greek spanakopita uses an assortment of greens and tender herbs in addition to spinach. Any combination works, but we especially like adding peppery arugula and watercress, which plays against the sweet, vegetal flavors of spinach and chard.

Sourdough Toasts With Tomato, Pesto, and Burrata

Sourdough Toasts With Tomato, Pesto, and Burrata, served on a cutting board.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Inspired by caprese salad and pan con tomate, these crostini are topped with the concentrated flavor of grated and strained ripe tomatoes. After a quick trip to the broiler, the toasts are topped with creamy burrata and herbal basil-arugula-almond pesto.

Creamy Vegan Saag Paneer (With Tofu)

Overhead view of creamy vegan saag paneer with tofu served in a kadai alongsie rice and freshly baked naan.
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

For this vegan take on saag paneer, browned, marinated cubes of tofu are stirred into a flavorful pot of creamy spiced greens. A mix of spinach and spicy greens like arugula result in a dish with extra flavor.

Classic Italian-American Stuffed Shells With Ricotta and Spinach

Closeup of Classic Italian-American Stuffed Shells With Ricotta and Spinach, served on a plate.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Shells plump with ricotta-spinach filling and baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella are one of our go-to comfort food dishes. Replacing a portion of the spinach with arugula makes the filling much more flavorful.

Salmon Bean Salad

Closeup of salmon bean salad, served in a small white bowl.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

This easy, hearty salad combines moist, tender flakes of cold-start poached salmon with plump cranberry beans and peppery arugula. For another simple entrée salad featuring seafood, check out this salad recipe that pairs arugula with spicy shrimp and avocado.

The Un-Composed (i.e., Best) Niçoise Salad

An uncomposed Niçoise salad, served in a shallow turquoise bowl.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

A good Niçoise salad should be made like any good salad: fully dressed and tossed. Cutting everything into bite-size pieces and tossing them together with the dressing makes the fullest-flavored, easiest-to-eat salad (way better than the more traditional “composed” style of presentation). Arugula is one of our top choices for this salad, as its peppery bite holds its own against assertive olives, capers, and anchovies.

Winter Greens Salad With Flax Seeds, Shaved Beets, and Radishes

Winter Greens Salad With Flax Seeds, Shaved Beets, and Radishes, served in a small wooden bowl.
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

As a salad ingredient, one of the best features of arugula is its availability in major supermarkets in the winter months. For this winter-friendly salad recipe, bitter, spicy greens, sweet beets, savory cheese, and a tart vinaigrette contribute huge, but balanced, flavors.

Hot or Cold Creamy Lettuce Soup

Hot or Cold Creamy Lettuce Soup, served in a shallow white bowl.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Lettuce isn’t just good for salads; it makes shockingly delicious soup, too. From arugula to romaine, Boston to Bibb, oak leaf to cress, set them to simmer and they’ll be great. It’s flat-out perfect served chilled on a sweltering summer day.


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