Perfect for a light lunch or dinner side salad -- or make it a meal with grilled chicken or shrimp.
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If you love Caprese salads, this easy spinach and arugula Caprese salad just might be your new favorite salad.
It's loaded with juicy grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, creamy avocado, ribbons of fresh basil, and toasted walnuts on a bed of fresh spinach and arugula.
You could easily go with all spinach or all arugula, but spinach is pretty mild and peppery arugula can be a little intense.
The combination of spinach and arugula together? Salad perfection.
I also really love arugula in a Caprese salad because the peppery flavor kind of mirrors the basil.
The homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette has just the right blend of sweet and tangy -- and it stirs together with just a few simple ingredients.
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Deliciously simple spinach and arugula salad recipe you can toss together in minutes
Easy arugula salad recipe for busy weeknights or weekend entertaining
Healthy side dish you can easily turn into a main course -- just add a grilled chicken breast or shrimp!
Caprese Salad with Arugula and Spinach
Baby spinach. Fresh baby spinach leaves are so soft and tender, you don't need to trim the stems.
Arugula. Arugula has a nice peppery bite, it's the perfect addition to a spinach salad
Grape tomatoes. Juicy grape tomatoes add sweetness. You can also use cherry tomatoes, sliced Roma tomatoes, or a chopped regular tomato (did you know those are called globe tomatoes?)
Avocado. Sliced avocado adds a creamy element and a source of healthy fats
Fresh mozzarella pearls. These little mozzarella balls are call boccancini. You can also tear or slice a large ball of fresh mozzarella.
Fresh basil. Ribbons of fresh basil add lemony peppery notes to the salad
Toasted walnuts. For crunchy texture, sprinkle the salad with toasted walnuts or candied walnuts.
Maple Balsamic Dressing Ingredients
Extra virgin olive oil. Use a good quality olive oil when making homemade salad dressings. This vinaigrette has a low oil to acid ratio, just 1:1. If you prefer more oil, go ahead and add more.
Pure maple syrup. Maple syrup adds rich sweetness to the vinaigrette.
Balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar adds that sweet, acidic tang we look for in a caprese salad
Dijon mustard. A little bit of dijon adds richness and is a great emulsifier
Minced garlic. Fresh finely minced garlic is best, but garlic powder will do in a pinch.
Recipe Substitutions & Variations
Salad greens. Swap out the spinach or arugula for crispy romaine lettuce.
Cheese. Try different cheeses like Parmesan cheese, blue cheese, creamy goat cheese, or feta cheese crumbles
Nuts and seeds. Pine nuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great on salads.
Fruit. Try adding fresh peaches, green apple slices, fresh pears, strawberries, blueberries, or pomegranate seeds
Dressing. Use your favorite homemade or store-bought vinaigrette or creamy salad dressing.
How to Make Caprese Spinach and Arugula Salad
1. Make the dressing.
Add the salad dressing ingredients to a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Whisk or shake vigorously until completely combined.
2.Toast the walnuts.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and stir frequently for 2-5 minutes, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted.
Immediately remove the nuts from the skillet and set aside.
3. Assemble the salad.
Place the spinach, arugula, halved tomatoes, and avocado slices on a large platter or in a large bowl. Gently toss to combine -- taking care not to mush the avocado.
Add the mozzarella balls, sliced basil, and toasted walnuts on top.
Toss with enough of the maple balsamic vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad. Or serve the dressing on the side.
Store undressed leftover arugula and spinach Caprese salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Store leftover dressing in a covered jar for 3-4 days.
This salad dressing is on the tangy side. If you prefer less tang, add more oil.
If you're planning on having leftovers, dress only the portion of the salad you'll be eating right away.
Store undressed leftover salad and dressing in separate containers.
A traditional Caprese salad is made from sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and olive oil. It is commonly served with a balsamic glaze.
Yes and no. While the two are both delicious in a green salad, they each bring different flavors and textures to the dinner table. Arugula is often described as peppery and can even lean toward bitter, and has a thin texture. Spinach on the other hand is quite mild, sometimes sweet, with a fuller, more substantial texture. So while you can easily exchange one for the other in a salad, it will taste quite different.
No. If you're using baby spinach for your delicious spinach Caprese salad, there is no need to remove the stems because they're quite soft and tender.
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Caprese Spinach and Arugula Salad
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the Spinach Arugula Salad
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- 2 ounces arugula
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces mini mozzarella balls or sliced or torn fresh mozzarella
- 1 small avocado, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons
- ½ cup walnuts
Make the Maple Balsamic Vinagrette
- Place the maple balsamic vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake vigorously in a sealed jar until completely combined.
Make the Caprese Spinach Arugula Salad
- Toast the walnuts. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and stir frequently for 2-5 minutes or until the walnuts are fragrant and lightly toasted. Immediately remove the nuts from the skillet.
- Place the spinach, arugula, halved tomatoes, and avocado slices on a large platter or in a large bowl. Gently toss to combine -- taking care not to mush the avocado.Add the mozzarella balls, sliced basil, and toasted walnuts on top.Toss with enough balsamic vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad, or serve the dressing on the side.