This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
You are 15 minutes away from this crowd pleasing arugula salad loaded with couscous, goat cheese, dried cherries, sliced almonds and crispy, crunchy crostini!
Why you're going to love this salad:
- The flavors are on point. This arugula salad is the best of both worlds - healthy and loaded with real, wholesome ingredients but also bursting with flavor and a variety of textures making it an ideal lunch or dinner staple.
- It has giant croutons! Okay, they're actually called crostini. But basically, they are just giant crunchy croutons topped with goat cheese and they are THE BEST. Skip the store-bought, sodium-laden croutons and toast your own! You can see how easy it is below!
- No fancy kitchen gadgets or cooking skills required. Have you made couscous before? It's easy peasy. Boil water, add couscous, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. That's the hardest part of this recipe! Well that, and keeping a close eye on your crostini while they're broiling in the oven - but that's simple too! Other than that it's just adding ingredients to a bowl and tossing. You got this!
- It's perfect for meal prep recipe when you need something quick, easy and healthy! Minimal ingredients, maximum flavors and it takes just minutes to throw together. Wait to add the dressing until just before serving and you've got a salad that's going to stay fresh for several days!
How to make this recipe:
Cook couscous according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
While the couscous is cooling, place sliced French baguette on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush the top of each slice of bread with olive oil.
Broil on high for 1-2 minutes or until the crostini are dark golden brown and crisp.
Flip slices over and brush the other side with olive oil. Broil for another minute or so until dark golden brown on top. Set aside.
Add arugula to a large mixing bowl and pour cooled couscous on top.
Pour half the dressing over the arugula and couscous.
Toss to coat evenly and transfer to serving platter. Crumble half the goat cheese over the salad.
Then add dried cherries.
And sliced almonds.
Spread remaining half of the goat cheese across several of the crostinis and add them to the salad along with a few naked crostinis.
Serve remaining dressing on the side and enjoy!
Tips for making this recipe:
- You can serve this salad warm or cold and both ways taste delish! For a warm salad, just toss the couscous with the arugula and dressing while the couscous is still warm. I typically prefer to wait until the couscous has cooled and then add it to the salad but it's great either way!
- Don't skip the crostini! I love croutons, like A LOT, but crostini are LIFE. Crispy slices of baguette slathered in olive oil - does it get any better than that? No. I'll be honest that I typically only eat salads if they are accompanied by some kind of crunchy carb. That's just how I roll.
- Feel free to switch out the arugula for another green if you'd like. Spring greens, kale, romaine or even mustard greens will taste great in this salad. Any fresh green is going to give you nearly the same result - I just enjoy the slight pepperiness of arugula. And no, pepperiness is not a word. But I'm still going to use it!
Frequently asked questions:
- Can I use something else in place of couscous?
- Sure! Quinoa is my usual go-to for salad toppings, but couscous is a nice change of pace once in a while. Brown rice, bulgur or even lentils would be a great substitute for couscous as well!
- Is there another cheese that would work well instead of goat cheese?
- Goat cheese is my FAVORITE because of it's creamy texture and tangy yet mild flavor, but I realize that it's not everyone's jam! Blue cheese, feta, brie, manchego or even queso fresco would also be great options in this salad.
- Can I make this salad ahead of time?
- Yes! Arugula holds up really well even when topped with other delicious things. However, I would wait to dress the salad until just before serving so the greens don't wilt too much. If you REALLY want to make and dress this salad ahead of time, try using fresh chopped kale in place of the arugula. Kale can handle sitting in dressing for a few days without breaking down!
- Is this a good salad for feeding a crowd?
- This salad is THE BEST for feeding a crowd! I like to serve it alongside my favorite pasta dishes (listed below) whenever we're having people over. It's a nice departure from the usual green salad that your friends might be expecting.
Make it a meal:
- 10 Minute Vegetarian Lasagna
- Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese
- 30 Minute Baked Ravioli
- Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells
- Tomato & Garlic Linguine
- Easy Wonton Ravioli
Other salad favorites you'll love:
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Homemade Dressing
- Baked Goat Cheese Salad
- Vegan Asian Kale Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Easy Cobb Salad