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Chopped Salad

5 from 2 votes

posted: 03/09/23

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

This Chopped Salad is the perfect side dish. It is quick to throw together and rounds out any dinner in the best way.

Overhead photo of Chopped Salad

I have been wanting to give you this recipe for years!

Whenever I link to recipes that would make good side dishes, I always want to mention to you that a simple side salad, like this one, is my go to side dish. For so long I was reluctant to add a side salad to our dinner table. I anticipated fights with my kids and who has the energy for that at the end of the day.

But one day, when our whole family was sick, a good friend dropped off dinner for us and she included a huge fantastic chopped salad. My kids ate a ton of it. And then they asked for leftovers the next day. Since then, I regularly include a salad on our dinner table, and my kids devour it. And then I get to feel like a super hero.

How to Make a Chopped Salad

Here is a brief overview of how this chopped salad recipe comes together at home. It is as simple as chopping the vegetables and making the delicious homemade dressing! For the full recipe including all measurements and ingredients, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Chop the vegetables. The goal of any chopped salad is to have all of the vegetables relatively small and uniform in size. This applies to the romaine hearts as well as the other vegetables.
  • Whisk the vinegar and mayonnaise. This is an important step when making the dressing to prevent it from separating. See more on this below.
  • Mix the rest of the dressing ingredients. We are using my Italian Dressing recipe for this salad. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Many other homemade salad dressings would also be delicious with this chopped salad recipe, including my Balsamic Dressing. For best results make the dressing the day before.
  • Toss the salad ingredients. The salad is ready to serve! I like to serve the dressing on the side so that everyone can decide how much they’d like on their salad.
Overhead photo of a bowl of ingredients for Chopped Salad recipe. Tomatoes, salad dressing, and salad tongs are on counter beside bowl.

Italian Dressing for Chopped Salad

As mentioned above, while we are using my homemade Italian Salad Dressing in this recipe, really any dressing would be fantastic in this recipe.

Additionally, and I cannot stress this enough, you will love this dressing so much more if you make it the night before. Think about olive oil that has been infused with herbs. That is similar to what is happening here, and so it needs time to sit. In fact, I would even go so far to say that if you don’t have time to make this one the night before, pick a different salad dressing recipe.

Italian Dressing Recipe

This homemade Italian dressing comes together quickly. It is delicious on this Chopped Salad!
italian dressing in a salad dressing container in front of a big white serving bowl full of salad

How to Cut Romaine for Chopped Salad

Romaine provides a great variation in texture from leafy to crisp, making it a great lettuce to use in chopped salad recipes. To cut a Romaine heart:

  • Cut the whole heart down the middle.
  • Turn the head and make another cut up the middle so that the heart is cut into four equal parts. (If your Romaine heart is really big, the quarters may also need to be cut in half.)
  • Working from the top of the Romaine heart down to the stem, chop it into small pieces.

Using an Emulsifier in Salad Dressing

You will notice that we have added a little bit of mayonnaise to this recipe for the dressing. It is a small enough amount that you won’t be able to taste it, but it will work as an emulsifier and hold the dressing together so the vinegar and the oil do not separate. It is best when made the day before.

Overhead photo of a bowl of ingredients for Chopped Salad recipe with person's hand pouring salad dressing over ingredients.

Chopped Salad Ingredients

One of the best parts of making salads at home is being able to customize them to your taste, adding extra things you like and skipping things you don’t like. Here are a few additional Chopped Salad ingredients:

Storing Leftovers

If left undressed, chopped salad leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about three to four days. As with all recipes, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers. I do not recommend freezing this recipe. In general, raw vegetables do not freeze well.


Is this recipe vegan?

As written with the mayonnaise it is not vegan, but you could leave that out and have a vegan salad.

Is this salad gluten free?

Yes, as long as you leave out the croutons or make them with gluten-free bread. As with all recipes, double check your ingredients if you are serving guests with a gluten intolerance.

Overhead photo of Chopped Salad with salad tongs and dressing for serving.

Entree Salad Recipes

Salads that are packed with flavor and protein are perfect for serving and enjoying as an entree. Here are a few of my favorites:

If you try this chopped salad recipe or any of my others, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Overhead photo of a bowl of ingredients for Chopped Salad recipe with person's hand pouring salad dressing over ingredients.
5 from 2 votes

Chopped Salad

Serves: 13 cups
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
This Chopped Salad is the perfect side dish. It is quick to throw together and rounds out any dinner in the best way.


Salad Ingredients

  • 2 romaine hearts chopped small
  • 1 red bell pepper diced into 1/2 inch squares
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • 2 celery ribs diced small
  • 2 small carrots diced small
  • 1/2 English cucumber quartered and then diced

Italian Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon light mayonnaise optional (read more here)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash dried red pepper flakes


Italian Salad Dressing

  • This recipe is best when it is made the night before. It allows the flavors to fully combine. Whisk together the mayonnaise and vinegar until well combined.
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon light mayonnaise, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, Dash freshly ground black pepper, Dash dried red pepper flakes
  • Whisk the rest of the ingredients, so everything is fully combined.

Chopped Salad

  • Chop the Romaine hearts into fourths the long way. Then turn them and chop them small.
    2 romaine hearts
  • Chop the remaining vegetables to small, bite sized pieces. The goal here is for all the vegetables (as well as the lettuce) to be uniform in size.
    1 red bell pepper, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/2 medium red onion, 2 celery ribs, 2 small carrots, 1/2 English cucumber
  • Toss the ingredients for the salad on the side. Serve the dressing on the side.
Serving: 1cup Calories: 127kcal (6%) Carbohydrates: 4g (1%) Protein: 1g (2%) Fat: 13g (20%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 0.02mg Sodium: 191mg (8%) Potassium: 149mg (4%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 2g (2%) Vitamin A: 3441IU (69%) Vitamin C: 16mg (19%) Calcium: 18mg (2%) Iron: 1mg (6%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Overhead photo of a bowl of ingredients for Chopped Salad recipe with person's hand pouring salad dressing over ingredients.

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Chopped Salad

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners