The College Housewife » Recipes » Salad » Italian Chopped Salad

Italian Chopped Salad

Italian Chopped Salad is a crisp, salty and cheesy salad with crunch in every bite. Tossed in a homemade red wine vinaigrette, make it to enjoy as a light lunch or side dish any night of the week or bring it to parties with friends.

Italian chopped salad in large bowl with serving utensils

Why you’ll love this chopped Italian salad recipe

Highlights an old-school Italian classic! This is going to remind you of those crisp, crunchy salads that are so quintessentially Italian American. You’ve got your usual suspects, like cheese, croutons, olive oil, lettuce and some extra special additions, like salami and chickpeas. You’re going to want to make this over and over again.

Serve it as a meal or side dish! This salad is so hearty, nourishing and satisfying, it could honestly be a meal all on its own. I sometimes just split the salad in two and enjoy it as a light dinner. But it’s so versatile, you can also serve it up with grilled lemon chicken, blue cheese burgers, broccolini white bean salad, or whatever you are craving.

Perfect for parties and BBQs, too! Nothing says summer to me more like salad and all your friends will go crazy for this one. It’s light and healthy to still feel like a salad, but also somewhat cheesy, salty and fatty to give it a bit more oomph. Keep it chilled until ready to serve, especially if you are going to be outdoors.

Ingredients

The chopped salad ingredients come in two parts – the Italian dressing and the salad. Feel free to play around with the mix-in’s to create a salad that works for you.

Italian chopped salad in large bowl

Italian Dressing

  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Salad

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Red onion
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Basil leaves
  • Salami
  • Croutons
  • Black pepper + kosher salt

Ingredient Substitutions and Notes:

  • Use either dried oregano or a store-bought Italian herb seasoning blend.
  • Use iceberg lettuce, green leaf lettuce or more adventurous options like radicchio or treviso.
  • Swap out the parmesan cheese for mozzarella, provolone or a mix of all three!
  • Optionally, soak the red onions in cool water for 10 minutes to rid of their harsh bite.
  • Swap out the salami for your favorite Italian cured meat, like soppressata, pepperoni or Proscuitto.
  • Omit the salami to make it vegetarian or swap it out for roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Garnish it with pepperoncini to give it that real Italian salad flair!

How to make

This Italian salad is ready in two easy steps and takes just a few minutes to toss together! Here’s how to do it:

four step grid preparing Italian dressing and salad

Prepare dressing: In a mason jar or small bowl, mix together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, grated parm, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper to taste. If using a mason jar, put the lid on and shake for 30-40 seconds, then chill in the fridge. If using a bowl, whisk together with a fork until dressing is emulsified. Transfer to an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.

Prepare salad: In a large salad bowl, add the romaine lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, diced red onion, parmesan cheese, basil leaves, salami, and croutons. Season with black pepper and kosher salt. Add ⅓ cup of the dressing and gently toss the salad together. Serve extra dressing on the side.

Serving suggestions

Nothing says lunch to me more than a giant salad calling my name, but this can honestly be served as a side dish to dinner too. You could try:

  • Light Lunch: Serve it as is, with crusty bread, garlic bread or foccacia nearby.
  • Side Dish: Pair it with pasta, chicken or meat to enjoy any night of the week.
  • Parties and BBQs: Make a double batch and bring it to all your summer parties, outdoor picnics and BBQs.

hand tossing chopped salad in large bowl with fork

How to store

Leftover Italian chopped salad will keep, dressed, for up to 1 day in the fridge. After that, the greens start to wilt and the croutons get soggy.

Meal Prep: Make the dressing as directed. Assemble the salad, but do not toss it with the dressing. Store each one separately in the fridge. Toss and enjoy when ready to serve.

Looking for more salad recipes? Check these out!

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Italian chopped salad in large bowl with serving utensils

Italian Chopped Salad

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Italian Chopped Salad is a crisp, salty and cheesy salad with crunch in every bite. Tossed in a homemade red wine vinaigrette, make it to enjoy as a light lunch or side dish any night of the week or bring it to parties with friends.


Ingredients

Scale

For Italian Dressing:

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp honey

3 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp kosher salt

Cracked black pepper, to taste

For Salad:

8 cups romaine lettuce, finely chopped

1 cucumber, finely diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup thinly sliced or diced red onion

⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese

10 basil leaves, thinly sliced + more for garnish, if desired

½ cup thinly sliced salami

¾ cup croutons, chopped

Cracked black pepper

Kosher salt


Instructions

  1. Prepare dressing: In a mason jar or small bowl, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey,  grated parm, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper to taste. Put the lid on the mason jar and shake for 30-40 seconds or whisk together with a fork until dressing is emulsified. Place the mason jar into the refrigerator (or transfer to an an airtight container) and chill until ready to serve.
  2. Prepare salad: In a large bowl, mix together romaine lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, diced red onion, parmesan cheese, basil leaves, salami, and croutons. Season to taste with cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Add in ⅓ cup of dressing and toss salad together. Serve remaining dressing for drizzling on the side.

Notes

Storage: Dressed salad will keep for up to 1 day, covered, in the fridge.

Keywords: cured meat, lettuce, Italian seasoning

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