Arugula Apple Salad

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Fresh, sweet, and tangy, this simple yet satisfying arugula apple salad makes a wonderful light side and it’s fancy enough for special occasions. It’s also vegan and ready in 15 minutes.

Published April 28, 2023/updated Oct 24, 2023

Top view of a large serving plate full of arugula apple salad.

Arugula is a staple in my diet, and after my arugula pear salad, spinach arugula salad and a delicious version with cooked beets, this is the fourth arugula salad to appear on my blog.

And surely not the last!

This salad recipe with arugula is full of crunch from crisp apples, toasted pecans and it’s tossed in a zippy sweet mustard dressing.

And I’ve opted to use maple syrup instead of honey, which means that this salad is also vegan like these 15 salad recipes!

This is a quick and easy salad that packs flavor, texture and antioxidants, it uses everyday ingredients and we can eat all year round.

It makes a wonderful light meal but it also looks holiday worthy, a beautiful festive salad that is inexpensive, versatile and easy to whip up in minutes.

An arugula and apple salad that tastes as good as it looks!

List of the ingredients

  • Arugula
  • Apples
  • Toasted nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Maple syrup (or honey)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper
The ingredients to make this arugula apple salad are arranged over a white background.

How to make arugula apple salad

(Note: this a quick explanation, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Remove the core and slice the apples, keeping the pieces together as best you can. This will help to arrange them nicely when it’s time to serve.
  • Toast the nuts with a touch of olive oil and salt.
  • Arrange the arugula leaves in a salad bowl.
  • Place all the dressing ingredients into a glass jar with a lid and shake well until they look combined and emulsified. Or simply whisk it all together!
Top view of a glass jar full of salad dressing with lemon and pecans in the background.
  • Place the arugula in a salad bowl, pour about 2/3 of the dressing over and toss to combine. This way you don’t toss all the salad ingredients together.
A glass jar pouring the dressing over the arugula salad with apples.
  • How to serve it: to make a statement, spread the salad across a serving plate, fan the apple slices, scatter the chopped pecans and finish with rest of the dressing. This salad is great served with crispy breadsticks or warm focaccia. Enjoy!
Close-up of the arugula salad with apples and pecans.

Recipe notes

Arugula apple salad ingredients

Arugula (aka rocket): the convenient baby arugula is packed with great health benefits and its peppery flavor is perfect to balance the sweetness of the apples.

Apples: convenient, inexpensive and available all year round, apples make an excellent addition to this salad. Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala are my favs.

Pecans: I love to toast them with a touch of olive and salt to add so much flavor.  Hazelnuts or walnuts work just fine instead of pecans.

Dressing: extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard (not English mustard), maple syrup, salt and pepper make the dressing. You can use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar instead of lemon juice and honey instead of maple syrup. You can make the dressing a day or two in advance, if you’d like.

Fancy some add-ins?

I LOVE this apple arugula salad salad as written, but it’s flexible like my all salad recipes! Feel free to change it up to suit your tastes, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Swap the fruit: pear would work instead of apples, and you can also add sliced avocado or red grapes.
  • Cheese: shaved parmesan, crumbled goat cheese, blue cheese, pecorino, and also feta cheese all make great option, if you don’t want to keep it vegan.
  • Carbs: why not? You might skip the nuts and add instead these delicious stovetop croutons that add plenty of texture!
A white sewing plate full of arugula apple salad with toasted pecans and  a glass jar with dress gin in the background.

More arugula recipes…

If you love arugula, you might want to check out my roundup of arugula recipes that features some of my favs:

Lastly, I hope you’ll love this colourful arugula salad with apples, and if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!

Arugula Apple Salad

Fresh, sweet, and tangy, this simple yet satisfying arugula apple salad makes a wonderful light side and it's fancy enough for special occasions.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: vegan
Keyword: Arugula salad with apples
Servings: 4
Calories: 255kcal
Author: Katia


  • ½ cup (70 grams) pecans, halves or pieces
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ scant teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 red apples (Fuji, Gala…)
  • 4 oz (approx 120 gr) baby arugula leaves, washed

Salad dressing

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ heaped teaspoon fine salt
  • teaspoon black pepper


  • Place a small skillet over medium heat, add the pecans, olive oil, salt (use a bit less than ⅛ tsp), toss until coated and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-5 minutes or until the pecans look brown and fragrant. Set aside.
  • Cut the apples lenghtwise into 4 halves and remove the cores. Place the flat sides lying flat against the cutting board, cut them into thin slices (about ⅕ inch – ½ cm thick), keeping the pieces together as best you can.
  • Arrange the arugula onto a serving plate or serving bowl.

Dress and serve

  • To prepare the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar with lid and shake until emulsified or whisk them in a bowl. Taste and make sure to adjust the dressing to your liking if needed.
  • Pour about ⅔ of the dressing over the arugula leaves and toss gently to combine, then fan out your slices of apple and arrange them across the salad in sections. Sprinkle all over with the toasted pecans.
  • Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.


Storage: this arugula apple salad is best served promptly, the arugula leaves and slices of apples don’t keep well in the fridge, especially when you toss in the dressing. However, you can make the dressing and toast the nuts the day before, then it will takes minutes to assemble all the ingredients and serve.
Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are  for one portion and are based on an online nutrition calculator.  It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 772IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg

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