This avocado tomato arugula salad is light and refreshing and so easy to put together. Whether you're looking for a healthy side or a simple way to impress guests, this salad will get the job done!
First Published April 2012; Updated July 2020
Avocado Tomato Salad Backstory
The spring and summer weather always has me craving salads. I typically eat a salad with dinner every night and sometimes I also have one at lunch time. Somehow, I think this will offset any dessert that I eat. Besides, it always makes me feel healthier. I like to vary up the salads I eat and I get inspired by ideas from restaurants.
A while back, I was invited to sample the new spring menu offerings at Seasons 52. They served this delicious tomato and Haas avocado salad with a balsamic dressing and grilled bread. It was just one highlight of the dinner. I couldn't stop thinking of that salad and decided to create my own version.
I have been eating this arugula salad as a way to start off dinner but it would be great as an entree if I topped it with some grilled shrimp or chicken. In fact, that just might be my lunch tomorrow. This salad is especially good when it is NJ tomato season!
- When it comes to the dressing, you could substitute almost any vinaigrette and achieve the same refreshing lightness but switch up the flavor.
- If you're not a fan of arugula, baby spinach would also work well with this recipe. You could even include both if you prefer a bit of variation in your greens!
- This avocado tomato salad may also benefit from some added crunch; try topping with sunflower seeds, almonds, croutons or my homemade Parmesan Frico (cheese crisps).
- For some extra protein, chickpeas would make a delicious addition without bogging down all of the flavors.
- Top with grilled shrimp or chicken and turn this into a main course!
- Perfect tomatoes look plump and juicy, and their skins are smooth.
- The skin should be free of bump or bruises, but some cracking near the stem is perfectly normal.
- Ripe tomatoes have a lovely fragrance to them. If there’s no aroma whatsoever, this could mean the tomato was picked before it was ready and won’t ever ripen properly.
- Planning on using the tomatoes right away? Try to pick ones that are soft to the touch. But if you know you won’t need them for a couple of days, aim for tomatoes that are a bit firmer.
- Picking avocados for your avocado tomato salad depends on how long you’re going to store the avocados before preparing the dish.
- If you know you’ll be making your salad right away, look for avocados that are darker in color. Place the avocado in the palm of your hand and give it a gentle squeeze; if it has some give but doesn’t feel mushy, it’s nice and ripe!
- Are you planning to wait a couple of days before making your arugula salad? Aim for avocados that are brighter green and have a much firmer texture. At this point, it will be 4 or 5 days before they reach proper ripeness.
- If you need to speed up the ripening process, place the avocados in a paper bag with a banana or apple.
- More detailed information about avocado ripeness can be found here!
- Choose arugula that looks fresh; the leaves should have a vibrant green hue.
- Avoid leaves that are wilted or yellow, and any sliminess is an indicator that the arugula has gone bad.
- Prepackaged arugula should be inspected for excess moisture within the bag, which can promote rotting.
- Arugula is at its peak during the summer, but quality arugula can also be found in late spring and early fall if you keep your eyes peeled!
Tips for your Avocado Tomato Salad
- If you want to make this salad ahead of the day it's being served, don't make it too far in advance. Give yourself one day, maybe two. Immediately after you put the arugula salad together, store it in the fridge in an airtight container to keep out excess moisture. Add the dressing right before serving or you will have a soggy salad.
- Greens don't freeze well, so it’s not the best idea to freeze a salad and let it thaw to serve it. Salads are best enjoyed fresh, but luckily this avocado tomato salad only takes 10 minutes to put together!
Other Salad Recipes
- Spinach Salad with Grapes, Blue Cheese, and Almonds
- Simple Balsamic Glazed Caprese Salad
- Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad from Love & Lemons
- Chopped Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing from Pinch of Yum
- Sweet and Crunchy Broccoli Slaw
- Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad
Serve your Avocado Tomato Salad with these Main Dishes
- Roasted Spicy Ranch Salmon with Asparagus
- Pappardelle Pasta with Bacon, Egg, and Cheese
- Mushroom Chicken Thighs with Rosemary
- Asian Pan-Seared Scallops with Spinach
- Cumin Rubbed Steak Kabobs with Mexican Street Corn Salad
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Avocado, Tomato and Arugula Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
- 2 TBS finely chopped cilantro
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 ½ TBS Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 TBS water
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 to 3 cups baby arugula
- 1 medium size tomato chopped
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and chopped
- 2 TBS shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste if necessary
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cilantro, oil, vinegar, sugar, water, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Toss together the arugula, tomato and avocado.
- Mix together with dressing.
- Top with Parmesan cheese. Season with extra salt if necessary.