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Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad

This is a delicious, zippy-dressed Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad with an Easy Lemon Dijon Dressing that will have you wanting more. It’s one of our personal favorites and one of our most popular recipes. I love the vibrant, lemony, salty flavors together. This is a fully crave-able pasta salad! I guarantee your family will love it! It’s light, bright, and just works well together. You have the peppery Arugula dancing along with lemon and Feta with a touch of thyme. This salad is so versatile. You can make ahead for meal prep and picnics. This one ticks all the boxes!

lemon arugula pasta salad in bowl

If you shop at Nordstrom and grab snacks at their Ebar, and this salad seems familiar, it’s because this is what has inspired my version of Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad. I grab it often when I’m in the mall for a quick bite. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly because I have no idea what is in their salad other than I know it has the same basic ingredients. Their version has grape tomatoes and the chicken is poached. I don’t use tomatoes so it keeps longer and I use grilled chicken. However, any type of chicken will work; baked, roasted, poached, or grilled. I make this and other salads for meal prep during the week for my husband and myself as a healthier option. I make this Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad often. It’s truly one of our very favorites and of my friends as well.

Lemon arugula pasta salad for meal prep

How to make this delicious Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad

So here goes. Cook your pasta al dente, rinse, and let cool. I often add a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking.

Once the pasta is cooled, add the chopped chicken, feta, arugula, dried thyme, and Easy Lemon Dijon Dressing. (And if you love Lemons the way I do, check out this post on all things Lemon) Toss and done and done. Super easy, travels well, and is a great fridge staple for hungry husbands and kids.

Lemon Arugula pasta salad in bowl with fork

Substitutions and tips for making Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad

Can I use another type of dressing?

Yes! Store-bought Italian Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Creamy Italian even Caesar dressing! (non-creamy type is best). But to get that Nordstrom salad flavor, my Easy Lemon Dijon Dressing is perfect.

What can I use instead of Arugula?

You can use Baby Kale, Spinach, or baby lettuce. A tip for using all of these:
-Baby Kale will last the longest in the pasta salad. Very similar to Arugula, it’s pretty sturdy if you will.
-Spinach will also keep well.
-Baby lettuces or spring greens work beautifully, but add these types of greens when you serve the salad.

Can I substitute Feta?

Of course! Chunks of Parmesan work wells, Romano cheese or any sharp cheese will do.

Can I use gluten-free pasta?

Yes. Two tips with gluten-free pasta. One, it absorbs a lot of liquid. I recommend tossing pasta in olive oil before dressing it. Also, if you are meal prepping, add the dressing before you eat it. This will prevent from full absorption of the dressing into the pasta and leave you with a dry pasta salad.
Second tip is to undercook the pasta by 1 – 2 minutes. This prevents too much breakage. Gluten-free pasta tends to break easily, especially the longer it sits in the fridge.

Can I use another shape of pasta?

Yes! All shapes will work however the best shapes are those that can keep some dressing in the nooks and crannies. Rotini, Bowtie (Farfalle), and Shells are good pasta shapes for this and other pasta salads.

Inspired by this recipe? Make sure to mention us or tag us on Instagram or Pin this recipe for later.  All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

lemon arugula pasta salad in bowl

Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad

Ana P @ Claudia’s Table
March 8, 2019
This is a delicious, zippy dressed Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad with an Easy Lemon Dijon Dressing that will have you wanting more. It's one of our personal favorites and one of our most popular recipes.
4.71 from 55 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 372 kcal



  • 1/2 pound Farfalle/Bowtie pasta cooked to package directions
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 ounces grilled chicken chopped (you can add more chicken if you wish)
  • 2 cups Arugula loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme dried


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  extra virgin
  • 1 tsp mustard Dijon
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey see notes on use of honey or agave syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt kosher
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper fresh cracked


  • Cook pasta to package directions. Once drained, toss is olive oil and allow to cool.
  • Place salad dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake or blend until fully combined.
  • Add grilled chicken, arugula, feta, and thyme to the pasta, and toss until pasta is fully coated with dressing.
  • Chill for about 20 minutes before serving.


If you are substituting honey or agave syrup,  start with 1/2 tsp as it tends to be sweeter.


Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 372kcal

Nutritional information is calculated online and should be used as a guide.

Keyword arugula pasta salad, bowtie pasta salad, Nordstrom pasta salad, pasta salad, picnic, SALAD, SIDE

All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

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If you love this pasta salad, try our Mediterranean Pasta Salad, our most popular salad on Pinterest.

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4.71 from 55 votes (53 ratings without comment)

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