Enjoy this simple Italian Chopped Salad, packed with your favorite Italian flavors. Made with Kalamata olives, salami, pepperoncini, and mozzarella and topped with a tangy Italian Vinaigrette. A satisfying, easy-to-make dish ready in just 25 minutes!
Do you know how some salads just have a way of transporting you directly to the beautiful countryside in Italy? That’s exactly what this Italian Chopped Salad does! It’s like each ingredient tells a story of traditional Italian flavors. Every bite takes you on a mini vacation, making you feel the warm Italian sun and the gentle Mediterranean breezes.
I love a salad like this one that is packed with flavor. Other recipes like this you have to try are my Kale and Wild Rice Salad, 10 Minute Veggie Ribbon Salad, and Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad.
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
- Italian Chopped Salad has a vibrant mix of colors and flavors that visually and gastronomically pleases.
- The ingredients represent a genuine taste of traditional Italian cuisine.
- This recipe is versatile and perfect for a main or side dish.
- We love this Italian salad because it’s wholesome and satisfying.
- Romaine Lettuce: Crisp and mildly sweet, Romaine adds freshness and crunch, forming the salad’s base.
- Kalamata Olives: These olives add a bold, salty flavor that contrasts well with the fresh, crisp ingredients.
- Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas): Nutty and creamy, Chickpeas add protein and substance.
- Grape Tomatoes: Juicy and sweet, these tomatoes add a burst of freshness.
- Cucumber: Offering a cool, hydrating crunch, Cucumber balances the Italian chopped salad ingredients.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Crunch Factor: Add homemade croutons to the salad for an extra crunch. This enhances texture, making each bite more satisfying and delightful.
- Lettuce and Radicchio Mix: Replace the romaine lettuce with iceberg lettuce and radicchio for a varied texture and a slightly peppery flavor.
- Tomato Twist: Opt for cherry tomatoes rather than grape tomatoes to infuse the salad with a slightly sweeter and juicier flavor.
- Cheese Swap: Replace pearl mozzarella balls with provolone cheese, introducing a more tangy flavor.
- Herb and Dressing Fusion: Elevate the salad with fresh basil for an herbal aroma and refreshing taste. Enhance the Italian Vinaigrette by blending in Dijon mustard, adding a zestier, vibrant twist.
How to Make Italian Chopped Salad
Step #1: In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk them together well.
Step #2: In a large salad bowl, add the lettuce and all the toppings on top. Do not add the salad dressing until you are ready to serve.
Step #3: When ready to serve, add ½ cup of the Italian Dressing to the salad and toss everything together. Serve and enjoy!
- Dressing Mastery: Prepare the dressing ahead of time for the flavors to blend.
- Crispy Lettuce: Ensure the lettuce is dry before chopping. Too much moisture can thin out the dressing and result in a soggy salad.
- Mindful Mixing: Gently toss the salad after adding the dressing. This makes sure every part gets coated evenly, taking care not to damage the softer ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
A generous cup of salad is a hearty serving as a side, but 2-4 cups are used for a main dish.
Yes, it’s best to serve immediately after pouring on the dressing to maintain the freshness and crunch of the ingredients.
If you already have a favorite Italian dressing, you can absolutely use that for this dish.
Yes, simply omit the salami to enjoy a vegetarian version of this delicious salad.
For a Vegan Italian Chopped Salad, simply remove the salami and mozzarella and you are all set!
Storing your Italian chopped salad is easy and convenient for maintaining its freshness and flavor. It’s best to store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can stay fresh for up to 3-4 days. For optimal freshness, use a Mason jar to store the dressing separately from the salad ingredients until you’re ready to consume it. This will help in retaining the crispiness of the vegetables.
Italian Chopped Salad Recipe
- 4 cups romaine lettuce - rinsed and chopped
- 1/2 small red onion - cut into thin slices
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) - drained and rinsed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes - halved
- 1 cucumber - peeled, seeded, cut in half, and sliced
- 1/3 cup pepperoncini slices - about 5 peppers
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives - halved
- 4 oz pearl mozzarella balls
- 3 oz sliced salami
- 1/2 cup Italian Vinaigrette Dressing - recipe below
Italian Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 Tbsp Kalamata olives - minced
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese - finely grated
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk them together well.
- In a large salad bowl, add the lettuce and all the toppings on top. Do not add the salad dressing until you are ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, add ½ cup of the Italian Dressing to the salad and toss everything together. Serve and enjoy!