Arugula Goat Cheese Salad with Brussels sprouts, farro, pecans, and a delicious honey mustard dressing. This satisfying salad is equal parts hearty and healthy, and perfect for weekday lunches. (Add shredded chicken or chickpeas for protein!)
This is the kind of salad I could eat every single day.
Between the hearty textures, rich flavors, and creamy components, it checks off every box for a satisfying salad.
I love adding shredded rotisserie chicken or canned chickpeas to punch up the protein for a more satiating meal. You can also toss in some avocado for extra heart-healthy fats.
The honey mustard dressing is naturally gluten free and dairy free, and so much tastier (and healthier!) than anything bottled. The secret ingredient to add richness AND creaminess is almond butter (inspired by this dressing by Pinch of Yum).
I strongly suggest doubling the dressing and keeping extra on hand to elevate salads and grain bowls throughout the week.
How to Make the Best Arugula Goat Cheese Salad
This salad comes together in less than 30 minutes and will surely become a lunch staple.
It's rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and protein to keep you full + fueled throughout the afternoon.
It's also super adaptable - if you're not a fan of any one of the ingredients, there are plenty of substitution ideas below.
- Arugula: Pleasantly peppery and loaded with nutrients, arugula is the main lettuce of this salad. The downside of arugula is that it wilts quickly, so if making ahead, swap it for a sturdier green, like baby kale.
- Brussels Sprouts: Shredded (or shaved) Brussels sprouts make the salad extra hearty and fibrous. Shave the sprouts on a mandoline, in a food processor, or use a sharp chef's knife.
- Pecans: Chopped pecans add richness and heart-healthy fats. Alternatively, you can use walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
- Farro: Farro is hearty and wholesome, with an amazing chewy texture and nutty flavor. If making the salad gluten free, swap it for quinoa or buckwheat.
- Goat Cheese: You need one 4-oz. log of goat cheese, which adds richness and tang to the salad. Alternatively, you can use feta or a sharp white cheddar.
- Almond Butter: One unexpected ingredient in the salad dressing is creamy almond butter. It makes the dressing thick and creamy while keeping it vegan/dairy free. You can also use a creamy cashew butter here.
- Mustard: I prefer using Dijon mustard, however a whole-grain mustard also works well.
- Honey: For the classic honey-mustard flavor profile. Look for a local/raw honey for extra nutrition benefits!
- Orange Juice: You need ¼ cup of fresh orange juice, which you should be able to get from 1 large, juicy orange. Make sure to use fresh squeezed over bottled here.
- Protein: To make this salad extra satiating, toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken or 1 can of chickpeas.
Step 1: Cook Farro
Fill a medium pot half full of salted water and bring to a boil. Add farro; reduce heat and simmer until the farro is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes for pearled farro; 20 to 30 minutes for semi-pearled farro; up to 40 minutes for whole farro.
Drain, then spread grains onto a large plate or sheet pan to cool for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare Almond Honey Mustard Dressing
Combine all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
Step 3: Combine all Salad Ingredients
In a large bowl, combine arugula, Brussels sprouts, pecans, and farro; season with a pinch of salt and give it a toss. Add dressing and toss to combine. Add goat cheese and protein of choice; toss again. Serve immediately.
This arugula goat cheese salad is endlessly versatile. Here are a few suggestions to switch it up and make it your own:
- Arugula Parmesan Salad: Swap the goat cheese for thick shards of Parmesan cheese.
- Salmon Arugula Salad: In lieu of the chicken/chickpeas, add a 6-oz. fillet of broiled (or seared) and flaked salmon.
- Arugula Apple Salad: Very finely slice your favorite apple variety and toss it in the salad.
- Spinach Arugula Salad: Swap the shaved Brussels sprouts for equal parts baby spinach.
- Arugula Avocado Salad: In lieu of the chicken/chickpeas, dice a ripe avocado and gently fold it in right before serving.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:
- Make-Ahead: The Almond Honey-Mustard Dressing can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated in a sealed jar.
- Store: The salad will keep for about 24 hours, however the arugula will start to wilt. If making the salad ahead, use a heartier green, such as lacinato or baby kale.
- You can also wait to dress the salad until right before serving to ensure the arugula stays fresh.
More Reader-Favorite Salad Recipes:
If you give this arugula goat cheese salad a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
Arugula Goat Cheese Salad with Farro and Honey Mustard
- Mixing bowls
- Small-medium saucepan
- ½ cup dry farro
- 4 packed cups arugula
- 6 oz. shredded/shaved Brussels sprouts (about 3 scant cups)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 (4-oz.) log goat cheese, crumbled (sub feta or grated sharp white cheddar)
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (or 1 can drained/rinsed chickpeas)
Almond Honey Mustard Dressing
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
- 3 Tbsp. creamy almond butter
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- A few grinds of cracked black pepper
- Cook Farro:Fill a medium pot half full of water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add farro; reduce heat and simmer until the farro is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes for pearled farro; 20 to 30 minutes for semi-pearled farro; up to 40 minutes for whole farro. Drain, then spread grains onto a large plate or sheet pan to cool for 15 minutes.
- While farro cools, prepare Almond Honey Mustard Dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and mixing until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine arugula, Brussels sprouts, pecans, and farro; season with a pinch of salt and give it a toss. Add dressing and toss to combine. Add goat cheese and chicken (or chickpeas); toss again. Serve immediately.