Need a simple arugula side salad that’s full of flavor? This easy arugula, cranberry, and sunflower seed side salad with homemade white wine vinaigrette is packed with flavor and ready in under 5 minutes.

arugula salad with cranberries and sunflower seeds in a white bowl on a marble table

Do you ever just crave a simple greens salad? Don’t get me wrong, we love elaborate dinner salads full of fresh, seasonal vegetables, but sometimes you just get to craving a simple salad you can throw together quickly and pair with your favorite pasta or simple soup.

For us that salad is this Simple Cranberry Arugula Side Salad. With just four salad ingredients and an easy-to-whip-up homemade vinaigrette, this easy arugula salad is the perfect way to add a leafy greens to your meal.

Ready to learn how to make this easy, 5-minute arugula salad? Let’s do it!


How to make Cranberry Arugula Side Salad

The first step in making this simple arugula salad recipe is to whip up a batch of homemade white wine vinaigrette.

The basic recipe for a vinaigrette is:

  • three parts olive oil to one part vinegar
  • a small amount of mustard as an emulsifier (so the oil and vinegar combine well)
  • a touch of sweetener
  • and salt and pepper or other spices to taste
arugula, sunflower seeds, cranberries, oranges, and avocado on a marble table
All the ingredients you’ll need to make this simple arugula side salad

For this white wine vinaigrette you will combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, a splash of orange juice, a small amount of dijon mustard, agave nectar, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk well until well combined. Sometimes we use a small handheld blender and pulse until dressing ingredients are combined.

After the dressing is made, it’s time to build the salad! Add the arugula, dried cranberries, roasted sunflower seeds, and sliced or diced avocado in a bowl and toss with the white wine vinaigrette.

And that’s it! A simple salad with simple ingredients that’s ready in less than five minutes.

a bowl of white wine vinaigrette salad dressing with a silver whisk on a white table
Whisk together the simple white wine vinaigrette, then toss with salad ingredients

Cranberry Arugula Side Salad: Tips, tricks, and tools

While this easy arugula salad is super simple to make, there are a few tips and tricks to streamline preparation and make the most of your ingredients.

  • Make the dressing ahead! The homemade white wine vinaigrette can be made up to five days ahead of time and tossed with the salad ingredients right before serving.
  • Don’t dress the salad until you’re ready to serve. Arugula is a leafy green vegetable this wilts easily, so don’t add the salad dressing until you’re about to serve the salad (also, don’t cut the avocado until you’re ready to eat unless you like it mushy and brown!).
  • Mix up the dried fruit and nuts. Don’t like cranberries? Try raisins, apricots, or your favorite dried fruit. Don’t have sunflower seeds? Try roasted pumpkin seeds or nuts like almonds or pecans.

Love this simple side salad recipe?

Serve it with our favorite plant-based main dishes like Simple Lemon Arugula Spicy Penne and White Bean Kale Quinoa Soup. And check out our other easy salad recipes, like this Simple Quinoa Greek Salad or Bulgur Tabbouleh, to mix up your simple dinner sides.

Did you make this Cranberry Arugula Side Salad? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Save this simple salad recipe for later by pinning to your favorite salad Pinterest board and make sure to tag me on Fork in the Road’s Instagram to show me your side salad creations!

Yield: 4 side salads

Simple Cranberry Arugula Side Salad

arugula salad with cranberries and sunflower seeds in a white bowl on a marble table

Cranberry Arugula Side Salad, an easy arugula, cranberry, and sunflower seed side salad with homemade white wine vinaigrette is packed with flavor and ready in under 5 minutes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

Arugula Salad

  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 avocado, cut into small slices or cubes

Homemade White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice (optional, but delicious)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener, like maple syrup)
  • Pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. To make vinaigrette: combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, orange juice, dijon mustard, agave nectar, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Alternatively, you can also blend in a handheld blender or food processor.
  2. To build salad: toss arugula, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and avocado with vinaigrette until well combined. Serve immediately once salad is tossed with dressing.

Notes

Recipe Notes: because arugula wilts easily, we suggest dressing the salad right before serving. If you are making this salad ahead, make and store the vinaigrette and salad separately and then toss together right before serving.

Tools Needed: handheld blender, large salad bowls

Prep Ahead: make white wine vinaigrette up to five days before and toss with salad right before serving. The arugula salad can be made ahead of time as well, however do not cut avocado until ready to serve.

Leftovers and Storage: vinaigrette can be made ahead and stored up to five days ahead of time in the refrigerator. Salad ingredients (except avocado) can be combined up to a week ahead of time.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 salad (about 1 cup)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 440mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 6g