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Delicious and delicate fried lemons in an arugula and fennel salad with a creamy lemon dressing! Totally vegan! #vegan #salad #friedlemons


Fried lemons are the star of this salad! They’re slightly sweet, tangy, and crispy. The lemons, paired with the peppery arugula, anise flavored fennel, and the creamy lemon dressing make this salad a food lover’s dream.
Course Entree, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword arugula, fried lemons, Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 465 kcal
Author Linda Meyer


For the Lemons:

  • 2 large lemons Use unwaxed lemons with a thin skin. Meyer lemons work well.
  • ½ cup almond or any unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • Juice from one lemon approximately 3 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
  • For the Salad:
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 cup fennel thinly shaved


For the lemons

  1. Wash and dry the lemons. Thinly slice and remove the seeds if needed. We used a mandoline to get perfectly even and thin slices.
  2. Whisk the cup of breadcrumbs with the 2 tbsp of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper until combined and spread evenly on a plate. Dip a lemon slice into the ½ cup of milk and then dredge each side in the breadcrumb mixture and gently shake to remove excess crumbs.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet on high heat and add the ¼ cup of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot (test by adding a small piece of lemon, if it sizzles, it’s ready), Add the lemons to the oil in batches (use tongs so you don’t burn yourself. Fry the lemons for approximately 1 to 2 minutes, or until both sides (flip once) are a light golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

For the Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, mix the 1 cup of vegan sour cream, the juice from one lemon, the 2 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar, the 1 tsp of ground thyme, and the ½ tsp sea salt and ¼ tsp black pepper (or to taste), and stir until completely combined. If you want a thinner dressing, add a bit of water until you get the consistency desired.

For the Salad

  1. In a large salad bowl, toss the dressing with the arugula and fennel and plate. Put the lemons on top of the salad.
  2. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • This makes four small salads.


  • The Nutrition Facts are an estimate only.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 465 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Sodium 813mg35%
Potassium 370mg11%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 430IU9%
Vitamin C 33.5mg41%
Calcium 145mg15%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.