This simple arugula citrus salad with goat cheese and homemade blood orange vinaigrette will be the star of your holiday table. With sweet citrus, peppery arugula, and creamy goat cheese, the flavors of this salad are beyond compare.
Let’s be honest. Salad is almost never the star of the holiday table. When you’re competing with classic comfort food like sour cream mashed potatoes, creamy mac and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, and tender turkey, it’s hard for a humble salad to get a second glance. Well, this beautiful winter citrus salad with arugula and goat cheese is here to change all that!
This colorful salad has thin slices of juicy citrus, tart pomegranate arils, and salty pepitas atop a bed of spicy arugula. Topped with a homemade blood orange vinaigrette dressing, this easy citrus salad is every bit as delicious as it is beautiful. This salad is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas – it’s fresh and healthy, easy to throw together, and fancy enough for company.
You Will Love This
- This easy citrus arugula salad is the perfect winter salad – peppery arugula, tangy citrus fruits and pomegranate are all easy to find this time of year.
- This is a beautiful salad for your holiday table. It’s easy to make, but colorful and elevated.
- The homemade citrus vinaigrette is the perfect addition to this salad. It’s juicy, sweet, and comes together in just minutes.
To make this citrus salad you need the following simple ingredients (full ingredients list with exact measurements is included in the recipe card below).
- Greens: I used a mix of baby arugula and baby spinach. I love the peppery flavor of arugula paired with the sweet citrus and creamy goat cheese in this salad, but if arugula is too spicy for you, try a simple store-bought spring mix instead!
- Dressing: This salad is delicious with a homemade blood orange vinaigrette dressing. It’s very simple to whisk up, with blood oranges, dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon and honey. You could substitute a store-bought citrus dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, or even a creamy poppyseed dressing if you prefer.
- Citrus: I used a combination of blood oranges and clementines to garnish this salad. Navel oranges or cara cara oranges would work well too!
- Goat cheese: For me, the creamy goat cheese adds the perfect balance to this salad, and I would not personally make this salad without it. I used a honey goat cheese and it was divine! If you can’t find or don’t like goat cheese, I think crumbled feta cheese would be a good choice.
- Onion: I used red onion for extra color in the salad. Thinly sliced shallot would also work well!
- Olive Oil: I use high quality extra-virgin olive oil for salad dressings, for the best flavor.
Switch up the toppings of this salad to make it your own! Here are a few ideas:
- Add creamy avocado slices
- Swap the pomegranate for sliced strawberries or raspberries
- Try pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds instead of pepitas
- Add a little protein like some sliced grilled chicken to take this salad from side dish to main!
- I garnished my salad with some fresh thyme, but fresh mint would be lovely too!
Step One: Prepare the ingredients. Peel the oranges and slice them into thin slices. Slice the red onion into thin slices.
Top Tip: Use a sharp knife with a serrated edge to cut the peels off the oranges and slice them. Make sure to cut close to the flesh of the orange to remove as much white pith as possible.
Step Two: Add a bed of arugula and spinach to a large platter. Lay thin slices of red onion, blood orange and mandarin orange on top of the arugula.
Step Three: Garnish the salad with pomegranate arils, roasted pepitas, and crumbled goat cheese. Grind fresh black pepper over the top of the salad, if desired.
Step Four: To make the dressing, add the blood orange juice, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey and salt to a small bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine. Using a metal whisk, whisk the dressing while streaming in the olive oil little by little. Whisk until all the olive oil is incorporated into the dressing, and the dressing reaches a glossy creamy consistency.
Top Tip: Alternatively, you can add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar with a lid, and shake until they are well combined.
Step Five: Pour as much dressing as you like over the salad, garnish with fresh herbs if desired, and enjoy!
This salad is best eaten right away! If you anticipate you will have leftovers, serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, with the dressing separate. When ready to serve, give the salad dressing a quick whisk to reincorporate it before adding it to the salad.
Arugula Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese
For the Salad
- 3 ounces baby arugula
- 2 ounces baby spinach
- 1/2 large red onion sliced
- 1 blood orange sliced
- 1 mandarin orange sliced
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons roasted salted pepitas
- 4 ounces goat cheese (I used honey flavor)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Blood Orange Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Prepare the ingredients. Peel the oranges and slice them into thin slices. Slice the red onion into thin slices.
- Add the arugula and spinach to a large platter. Lay thin slices of red onion, blood orange and mandarin orange on top of the greens.
- Garnish the salad with pomegranate arils, roasted pepitas, and crumbled goat cheese. Grind fresh black pepper over the top of the salad, if desired.
- Add the blood orange juice, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey and salt to a small bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Using a metal whisk, whisk the dressing while streaming in the olive oil little by little. Whisk until all the olive oil is incorporated into the dressing, and the dressing reaches a glossy creamy consistency.
- Pour as much dressing as you like over the salad, and enjoy!