This Italian Chopped Salad is the perfect easy dinner recipe. Full of amazing flavors and filling, everyone will fall in love with this great salad recipe. Serve it for a light dinner, or use it as a great side dish.
We have a local restaurant that is a favorite of mine purely because of their Italian Chopped Salad. Whenever we can’t figure where to go on date night, or I want an easy option with friends, this is my go to.
In this recipe, I’m trying to replicate their delicious salad with the addition of my homemade Balsamic Dressing. I have shared this recipe with friends, and it is always a resounding hit. This is a great recipe to entertain with as a side dish, or the perfect fast dinner.
What is Chopped Salad
A chopped salad is a salad that has all of the ingredients chopped to a small similar size. The size is up to you, but I like to keep things relatively small so that when you take a bite you can get a lot of different flavors at once.
How to Make a Chopped Salad
This is a brief overview of how to make this delicious chopped salad recipe. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chop up the vegetables. The goal of any chopped salad is to have all of the vegetables a uniform size, and relatively small. Keep that in mind as you chop the Romaine lettuce as well as the other vegetables.
- Chop the salami and mozzarella. Again, we want to keep things uniform size. You can see in the photo that the cheese and the salami are in small cubes, similar in size to the garbanzo beans and chopped peppers.
- Make the dressing. We are using my balsamic dressing for this recipe, but there are a lot of other dressings that would be delicious on this as well. My Italian Dressing would be fantastic on this. You can see all the options here: Salad Dressings.
- Toss all of 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.
Cutting Romaine for Chopped Salad
In this recipe we are using to Romaine hearts. I love using Romaine because you get a great variation in texture from leafy to crisp. 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 to cut in half.)
- Now working from the top of the Romaine heart down to the stem, chop it into small pieces.
Italian Chopped Salad Dressing
You will notice that we have added a little bit of mayonnaise to this recipe. It is a small amount that you won’t be able to taste, but it will work as an emulsifier, and it will hold the dressing together so the vinegar and the oil do not separate.
Substitutions and Variations
- Switch up the dressing. Swap the balsamic for some Italian Dressing or some Creamy Garlic.
- Make it vegan. This salad will be delicious without the meat and cheese and with the garbanzo beans in there, will still be a very filling lunch.
- Leave out the olives. I love the addition of the olives in this, but if you aren’t a fan, just skip them.
- Add in more vegetables. If you want to bulk this out further, some celery, cucumbers, and chopped banana peppers would be amazing in this.
Yes! But, as with all recipes, double check your ingredients if you are serving guests with a gluten intolerance.
There is a small amount of sugar in the dressing to balance the acidity of the other ingredients.
Of course! This salad is really easy to tweak to your personal preferences.
Italian Chopped Salad
- 2 romain hearts chopped small
- 1 cup garbanzo beans
- 1 red bell pepper diced into 1/2 inch squares
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup green olives
- 4 ounces smoked mozzarella cubed
- 1/4 pound Genoa salami cubed
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey mustard
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Chop the ingredients for the salad into small and uniform pieces. Toss to combine in a large serving bowl.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and serve on the side.