Italian Chopped Salad is loaded with crunchy vegetables, salami, cheese, and beans, then tossed with flavorful homemade Italian dressing.

Warm weather is the perfect time for cold salads like Italian pasta salad, traditional Greek salad, or lettuce salad recipe.

Italian chopped salad in a bowl with dressing in measuring cup.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

This incredible Italian chopped salad is a must for summertime!

  • It’s hearty: The scrumptious combination of savory meats and cheeses with crisp, juicy vegetables drizzled with Italian salad dressing made with flavorful herbs. It is one of my favorite healthy salad recipes.
  • Quick: This Italian salad recipe is ready to eat in only 20 minutes.
  • Crowd pleaser: Everyone loves Italian food and Olive Garden. Italian chopped salad will be a favorite at any summertime get together!
  • Make it ahead: If you’re heading to a picnic or backyard barbecue, you can prep the salad ahead of time and just assemble and go.
  • Versatile: Serve Italian chopped salad on its with a slice of crusty bread, along grilled chicken breast or grilled salmon, or with any Italian dish.

Ingredients for Italian Chopped Salad

If you love salad with all the things, this Italian chopped salad recipe is for you! Plus one of the best things about chopped salad is you can leave in what you want, omit what you don’t, or even add to it.

Iceberg lettuce, salami, chickpeas, mozzarella balls, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, lemon, spices, honey, oil, vinegar, mustard.
  • Lettuce: I like the crunch of iceberg lettuce for this Italian salad. But you could mix it with Romaine lettuce or other lettuce, if you prefer.
  • Genoa salami: Adds lots of flavor and texture to the salad, not to mention some filling protein.
  • Garbanzo beans: I love using Instant Pot chickpeas but you can use canned chickpeas.
  • Fresh mozzarella pearls: You can use cubed fresh mozzarella cheese but I love the taste and size of the mini bocconcini.
  • Juicy cherry tomatoes: Add a burst of juicy sweetness to Italian chopped salad. Substitute with grape tomatoes.
  • Red onion: For additional crunch and savory zest.
  • English cucumber: Crisp and refreshing, it adds the perfect balance.
  • Pepperoncini: Feel free to use other marinated hot peppers, but I find pepperoncini is the perfect balance of hot and sweet. And not overly spicy!

Homemade Italian Dressing

This simple and delicious homemade Italian vinaigrette can be used for any salad. You can also use store-bought salad dressing, but this one is a breeze to make and tastes much better in this Italian chopped salad recipe!

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Italian seasoning and salt

How to Make Italian Chopped Salad

Here is how to make Italian chopped salad that comes together in about 20 minutes! It’s perfect for healthy lunch or a simple dinner.

Olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, water, lemon juice, Italian seasoning in a measuring cup.

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.

Whisking homemade Italian dressing in a measuring cup.

Whisk the dressing: To fully combine and emulsify the dressing, whisk it vigorously. You should have about 1 cup total. Now set it aside.

Chopped lettuce, vegetables and salami in bowls.

Prepare the vegetables and meat: Chop up the lettuce into shreds and thinly slice the salami and pepperoncini. Then cut the cucumber into small wedges or dice it. Half the cherry tomatoes and dice up the onion.

Assembled Italian chopped salad in a bowl with serving spoons and Italian dressing in measuring cup.

Assemble the salad: Now place the chopped lettuce into a large bowl and arrange the rest of the salad ingredients on top. Then drizzle the Italian dressing over the salad and toss everything together right before serving.

Tips for Best Results

Here are my top tips for the best Italian chopped salad recipe!

  • Dry lettuce thoroughly: Nothing ruins a good salad quicker than soggy lettuce. Use a salad spinner or pat dry with a paper towel before assembling the salad.
  • Evenly chopped ingredients: Be sure to cut all ingredients in same size pieces. It ensures you get a good variety in each bite!
  • Freshly ground black pepper: After tossing Italian chopped salad, make it restaurant worthy with a few shakes of freshly ground black pepper on top.

Variations

use what you have on hand and make this Italian salad recipe your own!

  • Beans: Swap out the chickpeas for a can of drained white beans.
  • Cheese: Small cubes of provolone cheese or freshly grated Parmesan cheese can be used in place of mozzarella balls.
  • Meat: Swap out the salami for chopped turkey, prosciutto or ham.
  • Additional vegetables: Sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or canned chopped artichoke hearts would be delicious additions. Kalamata olives would be great, too!
  • Crunch: Add some homemade sourdough croutons for even more crunch.
  • Fresh herbs: I love to add fresh basil or fresh parsley to salads for extra flavor and nutrition boost.

What to Serve Italian Chopped Salad with?

This Italian chopped salad is always a favorite with the family and is great to serve with chicken, seafood, pasta or big pot of soup.

How to Store Leftovers

You can store Italian chopped salad in an airtight container for about 2 days in the refrigerator. Any longer and the lettuce begins to get soggy.

Can I Make It Ahead of Time?

Yes. You can make Italian salad dressing a week in advance and keep it in the fridge in a covered container or mason jar.

Store other Italian chopped salad ingredients separately in a salad bowl covered with plastic wrap for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Then assemble and dress the salad when you’re ready to serve it.

FAQs

What is chopped salad vs. regular salad?

Chopped salad is just like regular salad with one change – all ingredients are chopped instead of being layered. That is including greens, meats, cheese and vegetables.

What is the origin of chopped salad?

The original chopped salad is said to be created by famous restaurateur Jean Leon at his upscale La Scala restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Are chopped salads healthy?

Chopped salads can be healthy if you add a lot of fiber rich, low calorie and nutrient dense vegetables. Adding a lot of vegetables to your chopped salad can help you meet recommended vegetable daily intake.

More Salad Recipes to Try

This Italian chopped salad recipe is one of my favorite salad recipes because it’s delicious, simple, and a crowd-pleaser. I hope you enjoy its amazing flavors, too!

Italian chopped salad recipe tossed together in a large serving bowl.
Italian Chopped Salad in white bowl.

Italian Chopped Salad

Italian Chopped Salad with crunchy vegetables, salami, cheese, and beans, and tossed with easy homemade Italian dressing. Ready in 20 minutes!
4.84 from 6 votes
Servings 6
Calories 422
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients  

Italian Dressing

Salad Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

  • 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: Dressing can be made 1 week in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator. 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.
  • Dressing shortcut: If you prefer to buy your favorite salad dressing from the store instead, you will need a total of 1 cup.
  • Dry lettuce thoroughly: Nothing ruins a good salad quicker than soggy lettuce. Use a salad spinner or pat dry with a paper towel before assembling the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 554mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this! But the not enough flavor from the mozzarella pearls or salami for my taste buds. I plan on making it again soon, but I am going to try chunks of white cheddar and just leave out pastrami. Maybe I’ll choose a different protein, or not. Overall it is delicious! The italian dressing is a definite keeper! I will be making it for many, many salads! Thank you!

  2. 4 stars
    Really good idea for a salad. I love the combination of ingredients. For my taste, I would reduce the amount of honey in the dressing and I didn’t care for the addition of water to the salad dressing. I felt like it made the dressing too thin. Since, I don’t find anything unhealthy, about a good quality olive oil vinaigrette, I would just omit that.

  3. 5 stars
    Ok… I’m TOTALLY confused! LOL The latest Italian Chopped Salad I found interesting only confused me when Dina Polyashov photo/blog showed up. Albeit interesting, I hope she is helping you out on/with your blog. I had to look at the browser just to make sure I was in the right blog. LOL The whole thing threw me for a moment. I’m now assuming since the recipe came from Dina P. you are giving recognition as I hope others do for you.

    1. Dina is sharing her recipes on my blog once a month. If you click on her name it shows all of them. Hope you enjoy!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Whew! Thanks for the info.. I did check it out but will still continue to go back to your site – even after I look at others I visit. I just love your site/recipes. You’re the main one I go to as I’ve made a lot of your recipes w/great success… hubby approved. We don’t eat a lot of fried foods or cook with heavy cream. And that is why I really like your site/blog. I have made recipes from other sites & made adjustments to suit our taste but pretty much go to yours first & cook mainly from your site!!
        Thank you Olena for all your hard work in putting recipes together & explaining things.

        1. You are so sweet, thank you for letting me know, Tricia. So happy to hear you and your husband are enjoying my recipes! Dina has lots of Eastern European recipes and cool treats and air fryer recipes.

        2. I have been looking at air fryer recipes as I brother told me he & his wife bought one… enjoy cooking with it!! Since he knows we don’t eat fried foods – ok, maybe a black bean burger if that counts, but since he loves his & highly recommended it I will visit again Dina’s site – after I check yours FIRST.โœ”
          And, since I use you as my “go to” for recipes, tested & re-made over time & time again I think Dina will be there with you on the list!
          Thank you for taking the time to reply!

      2. I checked Dina’s site further… she’s from the Ukraine, too & she does have some pretty interesting recipes… check out the healthy ones mostly. I will go back into her site periodically, too.

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