This easy artichoke salad recipe is perfect for a main course vegetarian salad or served alongside grilled chicken or fish for the omnivores.
When it comes to simple, wholesome, delicious food, the Italians rise to the top. This Sicilian-style artichoke salad calls for ready-to-use artichoke hearts rather than fresh artichokes.
Early summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy this salad, as fresh tomatoes are just coming into season and arugula should be readily available. The warm weather might even call you to eat this light meal outside.
Artichokes — Use plain, not marinated artichokes. Look in the canned veggie aisle for the unadorned version. If you have trouble finding these, you can also use frozen artichoke hearts. Thaw them and measure out one and a half cups to replace the canned version.
Arugula — This spicy lettuce is the perfect backdrop for our salad. Buy organic and wash and dry well.
Cherry tomatoes — Nice and bright, they give a great burst of flavor when bitten into. Feel free to use them straight off your garden vine.
Mozzarella balls — Fresh cheese offers the best flavor and texture, and these are bite-sized and ready to enjoy. Alternatively, you could use a soft goat cheese or feta cheese, but will make a less beautiful salad, as the cheese will kind of melt and spread all over the greens. Stick with the mozzarella if appearance is important.
Balsamic vinegar — A classic Italian flavor, this sweet vinegar ties all the ingredients together. If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar is a good substitute.
How to Make Roasted Artichoke Salad
Toss the artichoke hearts with seasonings and spread out on a sheet pan; roasting helps to deepen the flavor.
Cut the tomatoes in halves with a sharp knife and slice the onions. Combine the arugula, tomatoes, onions, capers, and fresh herbs in a large serving bowl.
Let the roasted artichoke cool slightly before tossing with the salad, so the arugula doesn’t wilt.
Add mozzarella balls and fresh herbs.
Combine all dressing ingredients and shake or whisk to combine. Dress the salad and serve!
Serving this Italian Salad
This easy salad can be served chilled or at room temperature. It’s a great side dish to serve with grilled polenta or some homemade piadina (Italian flatbread). It’s also a great side salad option to go with grilled chicken or fish.
Dine alfresco with a glass of white wine and you just might feel transported to Italy.
Transfer any leftover salad to an airtight container and refrigerate to enjoy the next day. The salad will last in the fridge for several days, though the arugula will begin to get soggy with longer storage.
What is arugula and what if I don’t like it?
Arugula is a very healthy green leaf, up there with kale. It does have a strong peppery flavor, so if you find it to be too much for you, you can certainly use less. Combine arugula with baby spinach or chopped romaine hearts for a milder flavor.
What artichoke hearts should I buy?
Look for cans or jars in the canned vegetable aisle. Check the ingredients list for simply artichoke hearts and water. Do not buy the already marinated in oil type as we are roasting them ourselves. Artichoke hearts can taste similar to Brussels sprouts, making them a perfect candidate for seasoning and roasting.
Looking for more simple salad recipes for healthy eating? Try one of these!
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- ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 14- oz. can or jar plain artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, divided
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups fresh arugula
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 8- oz. small fresh Mozzarella balls, cut in half
- Sprigs of fresh herbs, for garnish
Make the salad
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Pat the artichoke hearts dry to remove excess water and transfer to a large bowl. Add one tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, and the minced garlic. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Toss to combine.
- Arrange seasoned artichokes on the prepared baking sheet in a single, uniform layer and place in the pre-heated oven to roast until tender and slightly browned around the edges, approximately 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the fresh arugula, tomatoes, red onion, capers, and fresh herbs in a large salad bowl. Set aside.
- Remove the artichokes from the oven. Cool slightly before adding to the salad. Toss to combine and top with fresh mozzarella.
- Garnish the artichoke salad with fresh herbs, if using, and serve immediately with the Italian dressing.
Make the dressing
- Combine the remaining olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and remaining Italian seasoning in a glass jar. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, tighten on the lid, and shake until emulsified. Set aside.
Not every grocery store carries canned artichokes. You can also use frozen artichoke hearts. Thaw them and measure out one and a half cups to replace the canned version. Don't use the artichoke hearts that come marinated in oil. Look in the canned veggie aisle for the unadorned version.
If desired, serve with shaved parmesan cheese, feta cheese, or black olives.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Saturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 673mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 14g
Originally published November 2019; this post has been updated.