Strawberry Arugula Salad

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Dinner plates filled with our delicious recipe of Strawberry Arugula Salad with Hemp Seeds and Brown Sugar Pecans


All of that fun goes into this fantastic salad. Hello, summer!

Making Brown Sugar Roasted Pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet

It’s just too darn hot to eat anything but salads and spring rolls these days.

Portland is experiencing a serious heat wave that’s only been intensified by our lack of air conditioning.

I’m trying to keep my oven off as much as possible, but my one exception is these brown sugar roasted pecans. They’re crispy, salty-sweet, and toast up beautifully while you prepare the rest of your salad. And trust me, you’re gonna want this salad.

Bowl of fresh strawberries surrounded by fresh arugula and hemp seeds

This recipe is simple, requiring just 30 minutes and right around 10 ingredients (give or take a hemp seed).

Despite being light and fresh, pecans add serious heartiness and healthy fats while hemp seeds provide all 20 amino acids (including all 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce) and 10 grams of protein!

Split this recipe into two for a healthy, hearty summer entree. Or, divide it four ways and serve it as a side dish to veggie burgers, pizzapasta and more.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know what you think! Leave a comment and rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Big plate of vegan Strawberry Arugula Salad with Brown Sugar Pecans and Warm Shallot Vinaigrette

Strawberry Arugula Salad

A flavorful, 30-minute arugula salad with strawberries, brown sugar pecans, hemp seeds, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette!
Author Minimalist Baker
Big plate of Strawberry Arugula Salad on a pink background
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (side salads)
Course Entrée, Salad, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh



  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil (or sub vegan butter or olive oil // melted)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar, brown sugar, or cane sugar
  • 1 pinch each sea salt, ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 2 medium shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 1 pinch each sea salt and pepper (~1/8th tsp as original recipe is written)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub other sweetener of choice)


  • 1 1/2 cups hulled quartered strawberries (organic when possible)
  • 7 ounces arugula (organic when possible)
  • 3 Tbsp hemp seeds (or sub 1/4 cup cooked quinoa)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and place pecans on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 8 minutes.
  • In the meantime, add coconut oil, coconut sugar, sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Remove toasted pecans from oven and toss with spice mixture. Spread back onto the baking sheet and toast for another 4-7 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown, being careful not to burn.
  • Once out of the oven, let cool briefly and then sample to test flavor. Toss with a touch more salt or coconut sugar as needed. Set aside to cool.
  • While the pecans are roasting, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/3 of the olive oil (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written) and all of the shallot. Sauté until soft and fragrant – 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Add shallot to blender or food processor with balsamic vinegar, remaining olive oil (2 Tbsp as original recipe is written), maple syrup and a pinch each salt and pepper. Blend until completely pureed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Add arugula, hemp seeds, strawberries and most of the roasted pecans to a large mixing bowl and top with 2-3 Tbsp dressing (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Gently toss to combine.
  • Plate salad and garnish with remaining pecans. Serve additional dressing on the side. Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side dish. Best when fresh.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1/4 of the dressing using the lesser amount of maple syrup.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 side salads Calories: 267 Carbohydrates: 14.2 g Protein: 5.6 g Fat: 22.8 g Saturated Fat: 6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.46 g Monounsaturated Fat: 8.12 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 39 mg Potassium: 381 mg Fiber: 3.9 g Sugar: 9.2 g Vitamin A: 1200 IU Vitamin C: 56.9 mg Calcium: 110 mg Iron: 2 mg

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My Rating:

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Susan. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  1. Rikki says

    The pecans are phenomenal, and I made extra… they didn’t last long! The dressing is great too, I had a high quality aged Modena balsamic and did not need to add any sweetener. Also, used goat cheese but feta would be amazing too

  2. Cindy says

    This salad is my go to when I have strawberries and arugula in the fridge, which is pretty often. If I want something quick, I do the dressing without the shallots (still delicious), and forego the pecans – it is the absolute best the original way, but my cheater recipe works in a pinch.

  3. Juliette says

    This salad was delicious! The only issue I had with the recipe was that it called for too much dressing to be made. Other than that, it was wonderful! I added in some goat cheese crumbles which put it over the top. Thanks for the recipe, will be making again!

  4. Jackie Feminella says

    Made this in an attempt to sneak in a healthier option for my family’s father’s day BBQ today, and it was a hit among even the meat-eaters! I also tossed in some quinoa to make it a bit more filling for myself. Everyone raved about the pecans – they had such a perfect sweet/peppery balance to them.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kristen! Refrigerated, yes! I would recommend keeping the dressing and salad separate and then mixing when ready to eat!

  5. lynn says

    This was absolutely delicious; I thought I’d only want it for a side salad, but it was soooo satisfying as an entree. My children will love it, but might want something to pair it with…what dishes do you recommend? thank you so much for this–I have anemia and am love the high iron and Vitamin C together your divine salad.

  6. Ruchita says

    Hi Dana, I made this salad for dinner last night and it turned out to be so so delicious and the dressing was the star of the whole salad :) also walnuts goes pretty well.
    Thanks again !

  7. Ruchita says

    Perfect timing for me to make this when I have a ton of strawberries and was looking for some creative ways to use them. Have you tried using walnuts (raw) instead of pecans ?

  8. Lucy says

    Hiya – made this salad last night and received rave reviews! One note, the ingredients list doesn’t mention shallots but the directions do. I rushed out last minute to buy shallots but thought it might be helpful to have it listed in the ingredients! Either way, delicious!!

  9. Shawn McLaughlin says

    Delicious! I made this last night, my husband & I rated as one of the best salads we’ve ever tried.
    We love to try new vegan recipes. I used blueberries in place of the strawberries, & leek in place of the shallot. I served it with the “Mouthwatering Vegan” cookbook by Mriam Sorrell “Shepard’s pie w/Parsnips” (used trader joe’s vegan ground beef ) made the night before & they were excellent together. I am thinking of bringing them to the next family gathering – hoping to intrigue some non-vegans to try more vegan food.

  10. Susan says

    Great salad and awesome dressing. Exhausted after a morning of planting potatoes and weeding, so I did not candy the pecans. Also added chickweed, cilantro, fresh lettuce from the garden, and the arugula flowers. Served with meatloaf and sweet potatoes drizzled with Ras El Hanout and olive oil, and cracked black pepper. We are really loving your ecookbook and I ordered your new cookbook last night. Can fore see a summer of culinary delights in our future!

  11. Sue says

    Made this fast and delicious salad last night, what a mid-Winter treat!!
    I will make this one again and again. I used a very high quality balsamic, would it not be as good if I used a grocery store vinegar? Did not use the hemp, as mine was a little old and I did not want to accidentally ruin the salad. But, I would highly recommend this recipe, you can always trust Dana’s recipes!!!
    Dana’s black bean brownies are a go to!!

  12. Gabby S says

    Hi there! Just wondering, if I can’t find shallots in my local store (no matter how hard I try!), can I substitute white or red onions instead? I know it wouldn’t be the same, but do you feel they would be a close enough match? Thanks!

  13. Leslie says

    Best salad recipe. Dressing is so good, that my husband was drinking it (like juice)! Thank you so much for your great recipes

  14. Charlie (@charlielbl) says

    Those roasted pecans look divine! I am definitely pinning this recipe to try this weekend! Thanks for the inspiration, beautiful pictures as always :) – Charlie

  15. Celeste @The Whole Serving says

    Such a pretty salad, I’ve been putting strawberries in just about every salad lately.

  16. Michelle says

    I love your recipes so much! I can’t wait to try out this salad. It looks so fresh and delicious! The roasted pecan recipe reminds me of the stands at the fairs I go to in the summer. Yum! xx

  17. Sydney | Modern Granola says

    Yum! I love fruit in salads. And I really like how you candied the pecans before adding them into the salad. It’s one of my favorite surprises when I think I’m getting a plain nut, only to find it’s sweet and extra crunchy! Great recipe!
    xx Sydney

  18. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says

    I really need to start adding berries to my salad more often. They are always an awesome addition!

  19. Sam @ Pancakewarriors says

    Gorgeous!! Love the combo of pecans and strawberries and all the hemp hearts!! This simple dressing sounds divine.

    • Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says

      Totally rad salad. Those brown sugar roasted pecans are rocking my world like Mic Jagger these days, not that he was here in concert this past weekend! Gotta eat more salads, that’s what the wife says for my too high cholesterol. Strawberries are pretty sweet too.