Arugula Salad with Lemon & Fennel

This easy arugula salad is light and lemony with peppery arugula, marinated fennel, crisp radishes, creamy avocado, and toasted walnuts.

Arugula Salad with Lemon & Fennel

This bright arugula salad is one of my favorite simple side dishes. It’s so easy to toss together: marinate thinly shaved fennel and radishes for a few minutes before tossing them with arugula, toasted walnuts, and creamy avocado. And if you have it on hand, a dollop of pesto really takes it to the next level.

With a simple lemon dressing, this salad has the perfect balance of creamy, crunchy, bright, and bitter components. It’s an excellent choice for a weeknight, but it’s good enough to serve as a side salad for a special occasion.

Arugula Salad Recipe ingredients

Arugula Salad Recipe Variations

Like most simple salads, this one is easy to play with. You could:

  • Try using thinly shaved celery in place of the fennel.
  • Add a handful of your favorite fresh herb – mint or parsley would be excellent.
  • Substitute toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds for the walnuts.
  • Top it with a little cheese – crumbled feta or shaved Parmesan are my top picks.
  • Mix in some shaved apple (I love it this way in fall).

The most important thing is to make it to suit your preferences – be sure to taste and adjust!

Arugula Salad with Lemon & Fennel

If you love this arugula salad recipe…

Try making this spring salad, this kale salad, or this quinoa salad next!

5.0 from 2 reviews

Arugula Salad with Lemon & Fennel

Prep time
Total time
This easy arugula salad is light and lemony with peppery arugula, marinated fennel, crisp radishes, creamy avocado and toasted walnuts.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Marinated fennel & radishes
  • 1 small fennel bulb, white part, sliced paper thin*
  • 3 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the salad
  • 5 cups arugula
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • ⅓ cup toasted walnuts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • dollops of pesto or freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional
  1. Make the marinated fennel & radishes. In a medium bowl, combine the fennel, radishes, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and sea salt. Toss and set aside for 5 minutes to marinate.
  2. Make the salad. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, and pinches of salt and pepper.
  3. Assemble the salad with the arugula, marinated fennel & radishes, avocado, and walnuts. Add scoops of pesto or freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired. Season to taste and serve.
*I recommend using a mandolin to slice the fennel paper thin.

Make this vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. khadija from

    This would make a great healthy option for all the very fatty foods available on thanksgiving. the photos are just too amazing!

  2. Allyson from

    As far as I’m concerned Thanksgiving is all about the sides, and this one looks fantastic.

    • jeanine

      That’s what I think too 🙂

    • Siobhan from

      I LOVE THIS SALAD SO MUCH. I’ve never worked with fennel bulbs before, but this salad looked so refreshing and lovely, so I thought I would give it a try. It did *not* disappoint, and I cannot wait to make it again. (I’m working through several of your salad recipes this month, and this is quite possibly my favorite!)

      I made it as a full dinner salad rather than a side, and added diced Trader Joe’s goat cheese gouda, sliced apple, diced balsamic roasted chicken and substituted pistachios for the walnuts. I also added a dollop of pesto as recommended, and dang. This was so perfect, and I am so grateful for your recipes. Thank you, lovely!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.