This warm arugula salad is topped with seasoned chickpeas, crispy almonds, salty feta, and sweet apricots for a simple, delicious meal!

I wanted to try something a bit different than a standard arugula salad, and after loving this warm kale salad, I decided to try a wilted arugula salad. I loved the results! Seasoning the chickpeas with the dressing and lightly toasting the almonds helps amplify the flavors. Lightly wilting the arugula makes this salad perfect for a winter side dish.

Warm Arugula Salad ingredients

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Olive oil– Use a high-quality olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Lemon juice– Fresh squeezed lemon juice is best, but bottled lemon juice will work just fine.
  • Dijon mustard– This adds a tangy, sharp flavor.
  • Smoked paprika– This adds a smoky, slightly spicy flavor.
  • Arugula– This peppery green has a lightly spicy flavor, and it wilts nicely. In a pinch, you could substitute spinach in place of the arugula.
  • Chickpeas– This adds fiber and protein to the recipe making it more filling. You can substitute with cannellini beans, if desired.
  • Almonds– I prefer slivered almonds for the best texture but if you don’t have slivered almonds, you can use roasted almonds, roughly chopped.
  • Apricots– Dried apricots add a nice sweetness to this salad. You could substitute with dried cranberries or dried cherries.
  • Feta– I prefer a block of feta cheese, crumbled, rather than buying pre-crumbled cheese. (Pre-crumbled cheese has anti-caking agents that can create a dusty texture.) You could also substitute with goat cheese.

Benefits of Arugula

Arugula has a distinct, pungent flavor that is often described as nutty, earthy, and slightly bitter. The taste can be compared to a combination of mustard greens and radicchio. It has a strong, assertive flavor that adds a bold, spicy taste to salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. Wilting the arugula tames the flavor a little bit. Arugula is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and potassium. It’s also high in fiber, which can aid in digestion.

How to Keep Arugula Fresh

Place arugula in a plastic bag or container with a damp paper towel to help maintain its moisture. Seal the bag or container tightly and store in the refrigerator. Arugula is a delicate green that will wilt and lose its flavor within a few days. To get the most out of your arugula, use it soon after purchasing. Excess moisture can cause it to spoil quickly, so wait until you’re ready to use the arugula before washing it.

How to Make Warm Arugula Salad

Tips for the Perfect Salad

  • Be sure to remove the pot from the heat before adding the arugula. You don’t want to wilt the arugula too much.
  • You can add your favorite protein to this salad if you’d like to turn it into a main dish.
  • I don’t recommend storing leftovers, so you can divide this recipe in half to make a smaller portion, if you like.
  • 5oz of arugula is a standard-sized clam shell container of arugula. It’s roughly 6-7 gently packed cups of arugula.

What to Serve with Arugula Salad

Not sure what to pair with this salad? You can enjoy this as a main dish and serve it with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread. I like to keep a loaf of Wildgrain bread in my freezer, so I always have it on hand. Or you could enjoy this as a side dish with a bowl of this white bean soup.

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Warm Arugula Salad

Warm Arugula Salad

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Units Scale

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper

For the salad

  • 5oz arugula (a standard-sized clamshell container, or about 6-7 loosely packed cups)
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add half the vinaigrette to a large Dutch oven and heat over medium heat for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chickpeas and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the almonds and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from heat, then add the arugula, apricots, and remaining vinaigrette.
  6. Cover and let sit for 1 minute, then add the feta, stir, and serve.

Keywords: warm arugula salad