This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This arugula salad recipe with fennel and Manchego cheese is ridiculously easy to make! It has a light lemon vinaigrette, and these flavors go so well together for a creative and bright salad.

I think you’ll also like my Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad.

close-up of arugula, fennel, and Manchego salad

Why you’ll love it

This is a refreshing salad that has just a handful of fresh ingredients. You can make it in no time at all, and this arugula salad pairs with practically any main dish. I find myself serving this for company often since it’s really impressive but secretly incredibly simple to throw together.

I’m a big fan of salads that are different than what I usually eat. This shaved fennel salad is actually inspired by one of my old favorite places to grab a quick bite in Vegas at the Aria. It has long closed, so I’m thrilled I could recreate this zesty salad at home and eat it anytime!

What you’ll need

  • Fennel – you can eat all parts of fennel, but we’re using the bulb and the fronds (leaves) here.
  • Baby arugula – it tastes a bit peppery and works great with cheese
  • Manchego cheese – it’s a Spanish hard cheese with a nutty, salty, creamy, and slightly sweet flavor
  • Lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper – this is all we need for the vinaigrette to let the other ingredients shine!

What does fennel taste like?

  • Fennel bulbs have a delicate anise flavor, which is kind of reminiscent of licorice. It’s also a little bit sweet, definitely not overpowering, and is fantastic in fresh dishes to brighten them up. Honestly, even people who don’t like licorice enjoy fennel. Give it a try!
  • The lacy leafy part that looks like dill is also edible and has more of that signature anise flavor. It’s a great garnish. Like other herbs, it’s good for adding texture and color when topping a dish.
glass serving bowl with arugula, fennel, and Manchego cheese salad

How to make this arugula salad

This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

  • Thinly slice the bulb of the fennel. I use this mandoline to do it. Don’t discard the stalks yet.
  • Add the arugula to a salad bowl along with the fennel. Shave the Manchego cheese. I just used a potato peeler.
  • Top with the vinaigrette ingredients and toss. Garnish with the chopped fronds, and enjoy right away!

Substitutions and variations

  • Since it’s such a simple recipe, we suggest you try it out first as written and then make changes later on.
  • That said, it’s very easy to adjust the dressing to your liking. If you’re a fan of lemon, simply add some more. Want garlic? Try adding in some minced garlic. It’s pretty flexible!
  • If you need it sweeter, add a touch of honey or a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity of the lemon.
white bowl of arugula and fennel salad on a table with dill sprig

What to serve with arugula salad

Leftovers and storage

  • Keep leftovers in the fridge in a covered container. Arugula does hold up fairly well compared to other salad greens, but as with any salad, it’ll wilt quite quickly.
  • If it’s been sitting out for more than 2 hours, I’d discard it.
  • Have extra ingredients? Keep them separate and assemble a new salad later on.
arugula and fennel salad in a bowl beside a piece of Manchego cheese

Did you enjoy this recipe? Tell me all about it in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

This baby arugula, fennel, and Manchego cheese salad comes together fast and is fresh, healthy, and full of flavor!
No ratings yet

Arugula Salad with Fennel and Cheese

This arugula salad recipe with fennel and Manchego cheese is ridiculously easy to make! It has a light lemon vinaigrette, and these flavors go so well together for a creative and bright salad.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 bulb fennel sliced thinly
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 cup Manchego cheese shaved (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or to taste)
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Thinly slice the bulb of the fennel. Chop some of the fronds (leafy part) for garnishing.
  • Add the fennel and baby arugula to a bowl along with the shaved Manchego cheese. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil on top with some salt & pepper.
  • Toss, top with the fronds, and serve immediately.


  • Serves 2-4.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 179kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 212mg, Potassium: 374mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1075IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 388mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

The Salt & Lavender cookbook is here! Order Now

Leave a comment

Please leave a recipe rating!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Cheese at Tiffany's says:

    Awesome cheese choice! I could totally see the Manchego working with the peppery arugula and anise-y fennel. This sounds really refreshing and amazingly healthy!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks! ????

  2. Natasha's Sister says:

    Are you going to re-create this for me as well?

    1. Natasha says:

      It’s possible.

  3. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    So nice and light and fresh Natasha. Adding this one to my must try list!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks, Mary Ann!! Hope you love it! Have a great week.