Full of delicious vegetables, salami, cheese, and beans, this Italian Chopped Salad is tossed with a flavorful Italian dressing. This cold salad recipe is sure to be a favorite at every meal and get-together you serve it at!
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Hi, I’m Dina from SimplyHomeCooked.com, and today, I’m sharing this incredible salad that is a must for summertime! This chopped salad is the perfect cold salad to serve because it has a little bit of everything. The scrumptious combination of savory meats and cheeses with crisp, juicy vegetables, and then the drizzle of dressing made with flavorful herbs is not to be missed.
I love serving this during the warmer months as a side or even as a light meal. It goes great with other salads with similar flavors, like tomato mozzarella salad and chickpea salad with avocado. If you’re heading to a picnic or backyard barbecue, then you can prep this Italian chopped salad recipe ahead of time and just assemble and go. If you are hosting, serve alongside this grilled lemon rosemary chicken breast. Delicious and easy!
Ingredients for Italian Chopped Salad
- Lettuce: I like the crunch of iceberg lettuce for this salad. But you could mix it with others if you prefer.
- Meat and Beans: Genoa salami and garbanzo beans add lots of flavor and texture to the salad, not to mention some filling protein.
- Cheese: You can cube mozzarella cheese or use these mozzarella pearls that are the perfect size.
- Vegetables: Juicy cherry tomatoes, red onion, English cucumber, and pepperoncini add so much flavor. You can use other varieties of these veggies, but I find these taste the best.
- Dressing: Olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, water, fresh lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and salt make a simple and delicious homemade Italian dressing that can be used for any salads. You can also use store-bought, but this is a breeze and tastes much better!
How to Make Italian Chopped Salad
- Combine dressing ingredients: In a large measuring cup, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, water, fresh lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and salt.
- Whisk the dressing: To fully combine and emulsify the dressing whisk it vigorously. You should have about 1 cup total. Now set it aside.
- Prepare the vegetables and meat: Chop up the lettuce into shreds and slice the salami and pepperoncini. Then cut the cucumber into small wedges or dice it. Half the cherry tomatoes and dice up the onion.
- Assemble the Italian chopped salad: Now place the chopped lettuce into a large serving bowl and arrange the rest of the salad ingredients on top. Then drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss everything together right before serving.
Chopped salad is a regular healthy salad recipe only with a different look – all ingredients are chopped. Its ‘must have’ ingredients are something salty and extra seasoned like cured meats, cheeses and pickled spicy veggies. All ingredients are chopped in same size pieces and mixed instead of being layered in a traditional salad.
This chopped salad recipe qualifies as healthy loaded with fresh vegetables, protein packed garbanzo beans, homemade salad dressing and a moderate amount of salami. Here at iFOODreal, when it comes to healthy eating we believe in moderation and balance.
The story might be different when it comes to chopped salad kits. If it is primarily loaded with nutrient-low lettuce, high sodium and sugar dressing and is short on fresh vegg, it is best to stick to buying fresh ingredients and making homemade salad.
Yes, you can. Substitute with 2-3 cups of fresh and firm veggies like cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini. All can be finely chopped and used raw.
What to Serve Chopped Salad With?
- Family dinners: This Italian chopped salad is always a favorite with the family. Lots of variety and it’s great with main courses like these juicy healthy turkey burgers.
- Get-togethers: Summer celebrations like picnics, barbecues, and potlucks are a great time to enjoy this cold salad with healthy grilled chicken recipe or grilled salmon or even air fryer salmon!
- Pasta nights: You can serve salad with warm pasta or 10 minute spaghetti with tomato sauce, or stick with the cold salad theme and enjoy it alongside Italian pasta salad.
Storing and Making Ahead the Salad
Store: Salad can be stored in an airtight container for about 2 days in the refrigerator. Any longer and the lettuce begins to get soggy.
Make ahead: You can make the dressing a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge in a covered container or mason jar. Separately store the other chopped ingredients for 2-3 days in the fridge, then assemble and dress the salad when you’re ready to serve it.
This Italian Chopped Salad recipe is one of my favorites because it’s delicious, simple, and a crowd-pleaser. I hope you enjoy its amazing flavors, too!
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Italian Chopped Salad Recipe
- 1 large head iceberg lettuce or 2 small
- 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup Genoa salami chopped
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls
- 1/4 cup pepperoncini sliced
- 1/2 cup English cucumber chopped
- Start off by making the dressing first. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, water, fresh lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and salt into a large measuring cup.
- Then stir vigorously using a small whisk. Once the dressing is well combined, set it aside. Tip: The dressing can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to use. If you prefer to buy your favorite salad dressing from the store instead, you will need a total of 1 cup for this recipe.
- Now chop up the lettuce into shreds, and then chop the pepperoncini and salami into slices. The cucumber can be cut into small wedges or diced into small cubes. The cherry tomatoes will only need to be sliced into halves, and the red onion will need to be diced.
- Now place the chopped lettuce into a large serving bowl and arrange the rest of the salad ingredients on top.
- Then drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss everything together right before serving.
Store: This Italian Chopped Salad can be stored in an airtight container for about 2 days in the refrigerator. Any longer and the lettuce begins to get soggy.
Make ahead: You can make the dressing a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge in a covered container or mason jar. Separately store the other chopped ingredients for 2-3 days in the fridge, then assemble and dress the salad when you're ready to serve it.
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