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5 from 2 votes

Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula

This Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula is hearty and full of different textures & flavors. It only takes about 30 minutes to make and can be served as a main or side dish. You can swap the homemade dressing with store-bought to make it even simpler.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 262kcal
Author: Brianna May

Equipment

Ingredients

Garlic Butter Croutons*

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • 2 cups ¾ inch stale bread pieces about 3 ounces*

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette*

  • cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Salad

  • 6-7 pieces bacon*
  • 5 ounces plain goat cheese (chévre)*
  • 7 ounces arugula*
  • cup sliced strawberries*
  • ½ cup candied pecans*
  • cup dried sweetened or unsweetened cranberries
  • cup diced red onion

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet over medium low heat, melt the butter and garlic.
  • Turn the heat off. Add the bread to the skillet and toss so the bread is coated in the melted butter and it is completely absorbed.
  • Place the bread pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, tossing halfway through. Set aside to cool.
  • In a small single cup blender or food processor, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. The dressing should be thick and creamy. Set aside.
  • Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium low heat until browned. Place on a plate lined with paper towels. Once cooled, tear into large pieces. Set aside.
  • Use a fork to crumble the log of goat cheese into large pieces.
  • Assemble the salad. You can toss the arugula in dressing first and top with all of the goodies or you can just drizzle the dressing on top.

Notes

  • Croutons: Swap for store-bought.
  • Bread: I recommend baguette, sourdough, or any white French loaf. Use whatever you have on hand. 
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette: Swap for store-bought. 
  • Bacon: Substitute for pancetta or prosciutto. You can also omit the meat for a vegetarian salad. 
  • Goat Cheese: There are many varieties of goat cheese. It comes crumbled and in whole logs. It also comes in different flavors. I recommend plain or honey flavored and a whole log, instead of crumbles. The logs are creamier. You can also use feta or blue cheese. 
  • Arugula: Substitute for spring mix, spinach, or chopped romaine. 
  • Strawberries: If strawberries are not in season, use sliced honeycrisp apples instead. 
  • Candied Pecans: I buy the pecans already candied. Make your own or use salted and roasted pecans instead. You can also use walnuts or almonds. Toast raw nuts to add some flavor if you do not have roasted.
  • Use a small blender or food processor. This force helps the honey and mustard emulsify the vinaigrette. You can also whisk it vigorously or shake it in a jar. 

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 301mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g