Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups

5 from 2 reviews

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Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups are the perfect appetizer or salad recipe for your next gathering or dinner at home! This healthy and delicious apple and pistachio salad comes together quickly. It’s the perfect combination of salty, and sweet!

More fresh salad recipes for your: Italian Fennel, Citrus, Pomegranate and Salad, Italian Salad Pears, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola, Prosciutto Melon Arugula Salad Citrus Vinaigrette, and Easy Italian Style Pasta Salad with Arugula.

Pick up with your hands and eat as a appetizer, or serve with a meal.
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Baby Arugula– Fresh arugula leaves have a distinctive spicy kick. The flavor can be bright, tart, and even a little peppery depending on the maturity. You’ll find that baby arugula is delicate and mild, while mature arugula is much spicier. For this salad I like the baby arugula variety. 

Basil-The flavor of basil is a balance between sweet and savory, with hints of mint, anise, and pepper. While the initial flavor has tones of black pepper, this aromatic herb ultimately adds a hint of sweetness to any dish, including this salad.

Apples– I recommend using Honey Crisp or Pink Lady apples as they are sweet, slightly tart, and crunchy. This will ensure the perfect balance with the rest of the ingredients 

Pistachios– salted and crunchy pistachios add an extra element to the salad that kicks it up a notch. 

Lemon-garlic dressing– simple ingredients that come together in minutes always create the best salad dressings. Make sure to use a good quality olive oil to infuse the best flavor into the dressing. The lemon and garlic pair well with the other ingredients to highlight, and not overwhelm, the overall salad. 

Beautiful salad recipe 

These easy and fancy little salad cups add a little extra fabulous to any occasion! The fresh flavor and texture of the salad pair perfectly with the crunch of the Parmesan cups.

Make them for your next wedding or baby shower, birthday party, and your next dinner or holiday gathering.

The dressing comes together in minutes and adds the perfect citrus garlic coating to the arugula, apples, and pistachios. 

The crispy parmigiano shells act as a nest for holding the salad. It’s perfect to pick up with your hands as an appetizer, or eat with a fork and knife as a side to any meal. This is a salad to add to your entertaining repertoire.  

Variations and Substitutions 

Substitute fresh spinach for the arugula. It won’t be as peppery, but still delicious!

Vary the apples. You can use Fuji, Braeburn, Honeycrisp apple or Granny Smith. You can also chop up a few dried figs, prunes, or dates!

Use your favorite nuts in place of the pistachios: toasted walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans would all work well in this salad.

You can also use grated low-moisture mozzarella cheese to make the parmigiano cups for a different flavor! 

If you don’t have time to make the cheese cups you can easily skip the step and sprinkle the cheese on top of the prepared salad.

Either way, it is still delish! 

If you love apple recipes, you will also enjoy these Baked Apples Slices with Cinnamon and Harvest Salad with Apples and Butternut Squash!

salad-parmigiano cups-apples-pistachios
Lovely and Fresh. This salad is packed with the perfect colors and flavors

We eat with our eyes first, so why not do a little extra to make an ordinary salad a little more interesting? It’s worth it!

The light and lemony dressing is perfect for this salad!

Serving Suggestions

This salad goes well with Perfect Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Pan Fried Chicken Tenders, Baked Cod with Roasted Tomatoes, or Classic Italian Lasagna Bolognese with Bechamel Sauce. Serve with a side of homemade bread, or focaccia, and a Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl) for dessert!

This salad also makes a great side to go with homemade pizza and sauteed eggplant recipe!

💙 MADE THIS RECIPE AND LOVED IT? 💙 Please leave a ⭐️STAR rating and COMMENT below- I love connecting with you! Tag me with your creations on Instagram and find me on Pinterest.

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Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups

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5 from 2 reviews

These scrumptious and fancy little salad cups add a little extra fabulous to any occasion! The fresh flavor and texture of the salad pair perfectly with the crunch of the Parmesan cups. Make them for your next wedding or baby shower, birthday party, and your next dinner or holiday gathering.

  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale

Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small crushed clove garlic
  • crushed kosher salt and black pepper

Crispy Parmigiano Cups

  • 2 cups of Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Silpat mat is helpful, muffin / cupcake tin is necessary.


  • 1 large Honey Crisp apple (or another variety is fine), cut Julienne style (in strips)
  • 1 (5 oz) package baby arugula salad (you may also mix with Romain)
  • 1 cup pistachios, salted and shelled
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn with hands


Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Store the dressing for up to a week in a glass container or mason jar.

Crispy Parmigiano Cups

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place a silpatmat (or parchement paper) on a baking sheet.
  3. Place 6 (1/4 cup) mounds of Parmesan cheese on mat and gently tap down until each mound is flat (approximately 5 inches in diameter.)
  4. Bake until golden and bubbly (approximately 8-10 minutes.)
  5. Quickly use a thin spatula to transfer each melted parmesan mound onto the cup part of an upside down muffin tin.
  6. Gently mold parmesan cups to fit the shape of the upside down muffin tin cup (use a spatula or glass to help if needed.)
  7. Let cool until firm (approximately 5-6 minutes)
  8. Fill cups with prepared salad


  1. Gently toss apples and arugula in salad dressing
  2. Place salad mixture in prepared parmigiano cups
  3. Sprinkle each cup with pistachios
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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  1. This was delicious! I simplified it by putting parm in the salad instead of making the cups. My whole family loved it. I will be making this again.

  2. This salad is so perfect for every occasion! We keep all the ingredients on hand and the dressing in the fridge to make as a side for any meal. I don’t make the parmesan cups very often due to time, but add some parmesan to the salad instead. So good! Everyone always asks for the recipe and are always shocked how few ingredients are in it.