A delicious meal-sized salad recipe, this Italian Strawberry Arugula Salad with Chicken makes a delicious, filling meal that you can feel great about! It’s the perfect summer salad with fresh strawberries, cooked chicken and a homemade Italian-dijon dressing.
Simple Arugula Salad with Chicken Recipe
This year, I’m trying to really focus on my family’s health goals even more than before.
I’ve always prioritized healthy eating and tried to ensure that our meals had at least half a plate of vegetables, but with Ella’s busy extra-curricular schedule and my own lack of meal planning, I found myself grabbing more and more convenience foods on nights that I had less than 20 minutes to make supper and hadn’t planned anything.
This salad is perfect on those busy nights. It uses a single cooked chicken breast for two giant salads, a mix of fresh fruit and veggies that we usually have on hand, and a simple dressing that can be whipped together in less than two minutes. It’s filling, flavorful, and super healthy.
I love making my own homemade dressings – it helps me control (or avoid) sugar, sodium and other nasty ingredients that are sometimes added to store-bought dressing (including high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, etc). For this dressing, I used my homemade Italian seasoning for a zesty and fun take on a classic Italian dressing.
The salad dressing is zesty, savory and punchy, with a slight earthiness from the Italian seasoning. It really ties the whole salad together and makes it taste restaurant-worthy.
Some of my other Homemade Salad Dressing recipes include:
- Orange Poppyseed Dressing
- Lemon Olive Oil Salad Dressing
- Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Maple Walnut Dressing
- Avocado Ranch Dressing and Apple Poppyseed Dressing
Committed readers of Sugar, Spice and Glitter may notice that this recipe contains red onions, even though I just said in my homemade Greek cucumber salad recipe that I am not a fan.
So, the whole truth is – I just don’t like raw onions. But, charred red onions are perfect in this salad and give it a bit of bite and smokiness. You can also reduce the acidic bite of the onions by soaking them in water for a bit before using them. I also charred the sweet bell peppers and warmed up the cooked chicken in the skillet after cooking the vegetables, so it absorbed some of the flavor from the onions and peppers.
Of course, you don’t have to use the exact vegetables that I did. Use whatever vegetables you really like, or already have on hand.
Can I prepare this salad in advance? Yes, but I would keep the strawberries, feta and dressing separate and add just before you plan to eat. The salt in the feta cheese can cause the arugula to wilt, and strawberries will start to lose their crispness after a day.
How long does the Italian dressing last? This homemade Italian dijon dressing will last in a mason jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. The measurements below only make enough for two salads, but you can triple, quadruple or 10x the ingredients to make enough dressing for several salads.
For more delicious meal-sized salads, check out:
- Blueberry Steak Salad with Chimichurri Sauce
- Southwestern Steak Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad from the Soccer Mom Blog
- Mason Jar Cobb Salad
- Turkey Waldorf Salad
- Roasted Vegetable and Feta Salad from Ricardo
- Fresh Fall Quinoa Salad with Maple Walnut Dressing
- Classic Waldorf Salad Recipe
- Vegetarian Italian Chopped Salad from Cookie and Kate
- Healthy Taco Salad
- Copycat Chinois Salad Recipe
Chicken Arugula Salad Ingredients
For the salad:
- Baby arugula
- Sweet bell pepper, sliced
- Strawberries, sliced
- Red onion, sliced
- Feta cheese
- Cooked chicken breast, chopped, optional
For the dressing:
- Dijon mustard
- Red wine vinegar <– you can replace this with balsamic vinegar, which is essentially more aged and sweeter
- Italian seasoning <– use our recipe for homemade Italian seasoning and customize it to your personal preferences
- Sugar, optional (can use honey)
- Extra virgin olive oil
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Makes 4 side salads or 2 lunch-sized salads
Tip: you can swap out my homemade Italian-dijon dressing for your own favorite dressing. A strawberry vinaigrette or simple oil and balsamic dressing would also be delicious.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Cast Iron Skillet <– I love the versatility of a good cast-iron pan – you can make everything from eggs to dessert in them and they transition easily from the stove to the oven. This one is pre-seasoned and great for even heating
- Spatula <–I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Small bowl
- Salad Spinner or Colander
How to Make Italian Arugula Salad with Chicken
In a small bowl, combine the dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, sugar, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust to your personal preferences.
In a skillet over medium heat, place one tablespoon of olive oil.
Once the oil is hot, add your onions (and possibly your peppers, if desired).
Cook until the vegetables are slightly charred or cooked. (You can alternatively cook them on the BBQ or an indoor grill.)
You can also reheat the chicken in the skillet, if desired.
Place all of the salad ingredients (arugula, strawberries, onions, peppers and chicken) in a large bowl and crumble your feta cheese overtop.
Pour in the salad dressing and toss to coat all of the vegetables in the dressing.
Grab your free printable for our simple arugula salad with chicken and homemade Italian dressing recipe:
For the salad:
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 1 sweet bell pepper
- 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 4 Tablespoons feta cheese
- 1 cooked chicken breast, chopped, optional
For the dressing:
- 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, combine the dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, sugar, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust to your personal preferences.
- Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, place one tablespoon of olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add your onions (and possibly your peppers, if desired).
- Cook until the vegetables are slightly charred or cooked.
- You can also reheat the chicken in the skillet, if desired.
- Place all of the salad ingredients (arugula, strawberries, onions, peppers and chicken) in a large bowl and crumble your feta cheese overtop.
- Pour in the salad dressing and toss to coat all of the vegetables in the dressing.
You can alternatively cook the onions and peppers on the BBQ or an indoor grill.
Swap out the Italian-Dijon dressing for your favorite salad dressing or vinaigrette.
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Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard (8 oz Jar)
Perdue Short Cuts, Carved Chicken Breast Strips, Grilled, Fully Cooked Fresh, 9 oz
Red Bell Pepper, One Large
Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 24 Ounce
Kryssos Traditional Feta Cheese, 8 oz
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet With Assist Handle, 10.25", Black
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 433mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 24g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your family loves this filling arugula chicken salad recipe as much as mine did! It’s perfect for lunches, a healthy summer supper, or leave out the chicken for a delicious Italian side salad.