Sautéed Arugula with Red Bell Peppers and plenty of garlic is a tasty and easy side dish. You can have this easy and healthy recipe ready in just 15 minutes! Delicious with chicken, fish or burgers. Disclosure: Some of the wine suggested here was provided as a complimentary sample.
What makes this recipe work
Let’s talk about what makes this healthy side dish a winner!
Baby arugula is so handy to have in the fridge. It’s great in salads, and sauteed arugula can be a nice addition to a pasta dish. Arugula can also be the star of a simple side dish, as in today’s Sautéed Arugula with Bell Peppers recipe.
I tend to put most of my cooking energy into the main course, and sometimes the side dish is a bit of an after thought. I gravitate toward the same salads and simple sides.
But it can be a nice addition to give more attention to that side dish, to round out a special dinner, or spruce up a simple entree. Today’s sautéed arugula is one simple side with a lot of flavor that you can try if you haven’t already cooked up something like this in your kitchen.
Tips for making this recipe
I like to cut the red bell pepper for this recipe into long, thin slices. Sauté the pepper in a large skillet or sauté pan until it starts getting nice and soft with a bit of brown, quickly add the garlic before stirring in the arugula.
The recipe calls for baby arugula, as I tend to have it on hand a lot. But you could definitely use one bunch of fully grown arugula if you like. You still cook that until it starts to wilt, just might take another minute or two.
You can use a yellow or orange bell pepper instead of red if you like. I wouldn’t suggest using a green bell pepper.
You can add to the flavor with a sprinkling of hot red pepper flakes if you like.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Arugula has a peppery flavor profile, making it a welcomed addition to salads and other dishes. Arugula retains the peppery flavor when cooked, although it does get slightly milder. In this recipe, the peppery flavor combines with the garlic and sweet tasting sautéed peppers for a nice variety of tastes.
Like most greens, arugula cooks down a lot when you cook it. The 4 cups of loosely packed arugula quickly cooks down to 2 modest side dish servings.
Arugula is a very healthy leafy green vegetable. Arugula is nutrient dense, high in fiber and antioxidants.
Yes, arugula is the same vegetable as rocket. The term arugula is used more in the US, I have come across the term rocket more in Europeans sites.
Yes, you can use pre-packed baby arugula for this recipe. That is what I often used for this sauteed arugula recipe. If the package indicates the greens have been pre-washed, there is no need to rinse the arugula before using. Just throw the greens in the pan when you are ready for that step!
What to serve with this dish
This Sautéed Arugula with Red Bell Peppers makes a nice side dish for chicken or fish; perhaps along with some couscous to round out the meal. We also enjoyed it with burgers recently. Here are a couple of recipes that this arugula would complement:
- Baked Haddock with Pasta
- Easy Olive and Avocado Chicken
- Chicken Mushroom Bowtie Pasta
- Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Orange Soy Marinade
- Bottom Round Roast with Mushrooms
More arugula recipes
If you are looking for more arugula recipes, I have you covered! Try some of these ways to use this healthy green.
Typically I am more focused on the entrée than the side dish when coming up with the wine pairing for a meal. But this arugula recipe does bring a lot of flavor to the table, so does become a factor for picking the wine.
A crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling can cleanse the palate nicely, and could work here. Italian white wines could be a great choice here, such as the Cococciola we served with the baked haddock.
When making this recipe again recently, I was serving the arugula alongside veggie burgers and some rosemary fries. So a red wine came to mind.
I intended to open a Zinfandel, but after popping the cork noticed I had actually opened a Cab from Pedroncelli. My first association with this producer is their good Zinfandels, thus my confusion. A happy accident!
The 2017 Pedroncelli Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon ($28, 14.4% ABV) from Dry Creek Valley worked nicely with our burgers and side of arugula. Violets on the nose, cherry, camphor and rosemary on the palate (good with the fries!). Notes of graphite, and supple tannins. A pleasant Cab to sip and food friendly.Print
Sautéed Arugula with Red Bell Peppers
Arugula sautéed with red bell peppers and garlic makes an easy and tasty side dish.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups loosely pack baby arugula (about 2 to 3 ounces)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- salt to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Start the peppers: Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red bell peppers, sauté for 7 to 10 minutes, until they begin to soften and turn brown.
- Add garlic: Add the minced garlic to the skillet, and sauté for another minute.
- Stir in arugula: Gradually stir in the arugula, and cook until the arugula begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste and pinch of red pepper flakes if using. Stir in the balsamic vinegar if using.
- Serve immediately, or cover and keep warm on very low heat until the rest of the meal is ready.
- Read the arugula packaging to determine if it has already been washed or not. A lot of the bigger brands at grocery stores come pre-washed; but lately we’ve been getting arugula from local farms that need washing before using.
- We have two arugula eaters here so this quantity is perfect for us. But you could easily use a whole 4 oz container to make enough for 3 or 4 people.
Keywords: arugula, sautéed arugula, side dishes, cooked greens