We don’t believe in boring salads around here. And this salmon arugula salad is anything but. It's full of nutrients, flavor, and texture.
Better yet, it's one of those salads that makes you forget how healthy it actually is because it's so dang good. Definitely a welcome diversion from the usual weeknight salad.
For other irresistible salads that make a great dinner or lunch option, try our buffalo chicken salad or crispy chicken salad. And if you're looking for more ways to use up your goat cheese, this pear salad with goat cheese and kale salad with goat cheese are other favorites of ours.
Why This Salmon Arugula Salad Works
What makes this entree salad delicious from the first bite to the very last? We've got a few reasons:
It's light, yet filling: As the weather warms up, it’s always nice to have a yummy lighter-tasting yet filling salad we love on rotation. It's similar to our grilled peach salad in that way.
The dressing and salmon glaze is, in a word, amazing. Once you taste the yummy tahini dijon salmon glaze, you’ll never want to have your salmon any other way.
It's an easy, delicious meal that's done in 20 minutes or less. You can throw it together as one of your easy dinners on rotation, but it's so beautiful looking, you can serve it as an elegant main course for a dinner party.
Every bite is full of bold flavor. This is sure to become a go-to weeknight salmon dish or healthy lunch you can prep in bulk over the weekend.
Healthy dinner, full of protein and fatty acids. It's an entree salad chock full of healthy foods that pack a ton of protein and important omega-3s.
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this Salmon Arugula Salad. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in the grocery store. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
Salmon Arugula Salad
- Salmon: Salmon fillets are rich in omega-3s, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Not to mention it's absolutely delicious and adds a rich, buttery texture.
- Baby arugula: Arugula has a slight black pepper taste that balances out the richness of the salmon. Kale, spinach, or any mixed greens will make a good substitute if you don’t have arugula on hand.
- Sweet potatoes: A good source of complex carbs and they add a touch of sweetness.
- Quinoa: Adds an extra boost of fiber and nutrients. Cook it ahead of time and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding it to the salad.
- Goat cheese: Creamy and mild, it’s the perfect cheese addition to this already flavorful salad. If you don’t like goat cheese, feta would make a good alternative.
- Avocado: The creamy avocado is a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins B, K, and B6. Dice it up and add to taste.
- Red onion: Adds a nice crunch and a good amount of antioxidants.
Tahini Balsamic Dressing
- Extra-virgin olive oil: You can substitute it with avocado oil.
- Kosher salt: Swap out for pink Himalayan salt if needed.
- Tahini: Made from sesame seeds, tahini has a rich, nutty flavor. It makes the salmon glaze nice and thick for coating well.
- Honey: Adds just a little sweetness to balance out the balsamic vinegar. Substitute with brown sugar or agave nectar if needed.
- Garlic powder: Feel free to substitute with fresh garlic.
- Dijon mustard: Dijon has a strong, sharp flavor that balances well with the tahini. Substitute with ground mustard, yellow mustard, or spicy mustard.
- Balsamic vinegar: The balsamic thins out the glaze to create the salad dressing. Don't have balsamic? Mix one tablespoon of red wine vinegar with 2 teaspoons of honey.
How to Make Salmon Arugula Salad
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This Arugula Salmon Salad is a really simple recipe and these step-by-step instructions will make sure it turns out every time.
Video: Watch How to Make Salmon Arugula Salad
Note: You can make the salmon in an air fryer or an oven. The air fryer is my favorite technique of cooking salmon, so you'll see that in the images. However, the instructions below include baked salmon in the oven as well.
Stir all of the dressing ingredients together, except the balsamic vinegar, in a small bowl with a spoon or whisk until the mixture is completely combined. The dressing should be somewhat thick—thick enough to coat the salmon.
Pat the salmon filet dry with paper towels and spoon ⅓ of the dressing on top of the filet.
Tip: Don't place the spoon back in the dressing mixing bowl once you've touched the salmon with it. We will use the rest of the dressing to top the salad.
Place salmon skin side down in the air fryer and air fry for 10-12 minutes, or more depending on the thickness of the fillets.
If you're testing the internal temperature of the salmon, the thickest part of the salmon should read just below 135°F.
Want to bake it? Follow the steps on how long to bake salmon at 400 degrees for perfectly flaky and silky salmon.
Assemble the salad while the salmon is cooking. Place the arugula in a large bowl and top it with the rest of the salad ingredients. Add the Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the remaining salad dressing and stir well to combine.
Add the Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the remaining salad dressing and stir well to combine.
Top the salad with the cooked salmon and drizzle the dressing on top. Serve it right away.
Arugula, also known as rocket or roquette, has a peppery flavor that can be a great addition to a variety of dishes. Here are some foods that arugula pairs well with salads, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, roasted vegetables, eggs, and meat dishes.
The best greens to pair with salmon will depend on your personal taste preferences, but it's a great source of protein for several green vegetables and dark leafy greens. Try serving salmon with asparagus, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, or kale.
Yes, you can definitely eat salmon cold on a salad. Cold salmon can be a great addition to a salad as it adds flavor, texture, and nutrition. You can use leftover cooked salmon, grilled or baked salmon, or even smoked salmon to top your salad.
Arugula is high in dietary fiber, helping promote digestive health. It also includes prebiotic properties, is anti-inflammatory, and supports detoxification.
Store this arugula salad, without the dressing, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve the salmon cold on top with the dressing or air fry or bake the salmon again until heated through before serving.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Delicious Salmon Recipes
If you're looking for a full salmon entree, try these next time:
Tahini Balsamic Dressing
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ Tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salmon Arugula Salad
- 1 4-5 ounce salmon fillet
- 2-3 cups baby arugula washed
- ¼ cup roasted sweet potatoes Note 1
- ¼ cup cooked quinoa Note 2
- 1 ounce goat cheese crumbled
- ½ avocado diced
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F or the oven to 425°F. If you’re using the oven, like a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Add all of the dressing ingredients, except the balsamic vinegar, to a jar. Stir well with a spoon or whisk until the mixture is completely combined. It should be somewhat thick—thick enough to coat the salmon.
- Pat the salmon dry and spoon ⅓ of the prepared dressing on top. Be careful not to touch the spoon to the salmon and put it back in the dressing because we will use it to top the salad.
- Air fry or bake the salmon in the preheated oven or air fryer for 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the salmon reads just below 145°F, allowing for 5-10 degrees of carryover cooking.
- While the salmon is cooking, assemble the salad. Place the arugula in a bowl and top it with the rest of the salad ingredients. Add the Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the remaining salad dressing and stir well to combine.
- Top the salad with the cooked salmon and drizzle the dressing on top. Serve right away.