This arugula goat cheese salad recipe is great as a side salad or a main dish when topped with shrimp, chicken or salmon. 

My love for fresh goat cheese

I LOVE goat cheese!! I am not sure that I tasted it until I was in college. I remember the Brixx Pizza house salad with goat cheese was where I fell in love with it when I was at Davidson. 

While occasionally I will buy crumbly goat cheese, a fresh log crumbled yourself tastes so much better! For more ideas on what to do with fresh cheese, out these bedazzled goat cheese logs, this pumpkin goat cheese lasagna or Anne’s goat cheese frittata.

This perfect spring salad is both loaded with healthy nutrients and packed with fresh flavor!

The perfect spring salad

This arugula salad brings together the fresh goat cheese with spring strawberries, peppery arugula, toasted walnuts, and an orangey dressing. I added shrimp that I sautéed in some Cajun seasoning on top for an easy lunch. 

Arugula Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • Fresh arugula – you can sub in any tender salad green that you like
  • Goat cheese – goat cheese is the star, but if you really don’t love it, use feta instead
  • Walnuts – Toasted
  • Fresh strawberries – Sliced
  • Shrimp – tossed in Cajun seasoning (optional)

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed is best!)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch garlic powder (or a clove if you like)
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 3 grinds pepper

Instructions

Rinse fresh produce

Wash and slice the strawberries and arugula. Wash and slice the orange for the dressing. Crumble the goat cheese. 

Make the dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Toast walnuts

Chop walnuts if using whole ones, and toast in a toaster oven for 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Stand there and watch so you don’t burn them!

Cook protein (if adding)

If you’re using shrimp, season both sides with Cajun seasoning and sauté in a pan for a few minutes per side, until shrimp are cooked through. 

Assemble

In a large bowl (shout out to my grandmother’s vintage bowl!), toss arugula with dressing. Then mix in berries and walnuts. Gently toss in crumbled goat cheese. Finally, top with shrimp. 

Similar salad servers

Tips For How To Make Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

Mix up your goat cheese

As I mentioned, a log of goat cheese is much more creamy and flavorful than the pre-crumbled kind. There are also lots of delicious flavored herb goat cheeses out there that you can use to boost the salad up a notch. 

Swap in spiced nuts

Spiced pecans, candied walnuts, or truffle almonds would also be great to swap in here! 

Mix up your proteins

Chicken or salmon would be great here too. Fresh lima beans or white cannellini beans would be good for vegetarians. Or a No Bull Burger! Use whatever proteins you have on hand. 

More dressing ideas

I have an e-book full of homemade dressings, and this post shares more about it. Also check out the post on DIY Salad Dressing for tips on creating your own! If you don’t have an orange, lemon juice works too, but add a little honey for sweetness.

Store in the fridge for a few days

We ate this salad for both lunch with shrimp and as a side salad with dinner. It will keep in the fridge undressed for a day or so. 

Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

This arugula goat cheese salad recipe is great as a side salad or a main dish when topped with shrimp, chicken or salmon. 

Keyword arugula, goat cheese, strawberries, walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 container arugula
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 5 large strawberries
  • 8 large shrimp

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice freshly squeezed is best!
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 3 grinds pepper

Instructions

  • Wash and slice the strawberries and arugula. Wash and slice the orange for the dressing. Crumble the goat cheese.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Chop walnuts if using whole ones, and toast in a toaster oven for 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Stand there and watch so you don’t burn them!

  • If you’re using shrimp, season both sides with cajon seasoning and saute in a pan for a few minutes per side, until shrimp are cooked through.

  • In a large bowl, toss arugula with dressing. Then mix it berries and walnuts. Gently toss in crumbled goat cheese. Finally, top with shrimp.

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