Italian Chopped Salad Recipe

Italian Chopped Salad is an ADDICTING CRUNCHY salad full of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions topped with a variety of ingredients and dressed with a LIGHT & TANGY homemade Italian dressing.

Serve it as a side salad or MAKE IT A MEAL!

overhead picture of an chopped salad with toppings in sections

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

I need more salads in my life so join me by starting with this enormous, colorful, and delicious Italian Chopped Salad.

What is on a chopped salad?

Think regular “run of the mill” salad but presently differently and way easier to eat! Imagine everything is bite-sized (noted *chopped*), already tossed together, and perfectly dressed.

No more trying to cram lettuce in your mouth only to have a leaf dangle out and flick dressing onto your face or clothes. Or heaven forbid, anyone eating with you!

Chopped salads are perfect for on the go eating (think no knives needed) and perfect for any work/meeting situation. If you work from home (LIKE ME) imagine no lunchtime cutting board/knife mess to clean up!

Perfect for meal preppers!

mixed Italian chopped salad in a wood bowl with wood serving spoons in it. Cheese and dressing off to the side

What is an Italian chopped salad?

An Italian chopped salad is just a regular chopped one but with Italian ingredients. Think radicchio, salami, pepperoncini peppers, and Parmesan cheese.

Are you drooling yet?

Ingredients

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Radicchio
  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Red Onion
  • Cucumbers
  • Pepperocini Peppers
  • Olives
  • Salami
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Italian Dressing
labeled picture of ingredients for Italian chopped salad

How do you make homemade chopped salad?

STEP ONE: Prepare the lettuce by slicing the romaine lengthwise a few times and then crosswise into 1/2″ ribbons.

STEP TWO: Prepare the toppings wither by chopping or draining them.

STEP THREE: Assemble the salad starting with the lettuce and adding the toppings. Toss to combine.

STEP FOUR: Dress with salad with homemade Italian dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

How do you cut lettuce for a chopped salad?

The best way to easily cut romaine lettuce without wasting any is easy!

  1. Rinse the lettuce and pat dry.
  2. Slice lengthwise a few time, leaving the root intact.
  3. Turn the head sideways and cut across the head in 1/2 inch sections.
  4. Cut down the head until you get about 1 inch from the root.
  5. Toss the root.
  6. Enjoy the lettuce in your salad.

How long does it keep?

If you are going to keep this salad fresh for a few days, then best to follow a few simple rules to get the most duration from it.

  1. Keep the salad and dressing separate. If you store the salad in the dressing everything will be wilted within hours from the vinegar.
  2. Store the greens in a zipper bag with a paper towel or this container and they will keep just fine for about 5 days.
  3. Maintain crisp salad greens from discoloring by misting them lightly with a bit of lemon juice mixed with water (about two parts water to one part lemon juice).
  4. Keep the cheese separate. If you keep the cheese in the greens, then it tends to get sort of mushy and gross.

Salad tips for no leftovers

  • Use a bagged romaine/radicchio salad mix.
  • Substitute red cabbage for the expensive radicchio.
  • Leave out the cheese to make it vegan/dairy free.
  • Substitute black olives for Kalamata
  • Prep all the ingredients and store separately to serve at a later date.
  • Leave out the salami and sub heart of palm to keep it vegetarian.
side photo of chopped salad in a wood bowl topped with basil leaves

Variations/toppings

You are certainly welcome to experiment with other veggies and toppings to add a bit more crunch or zest to your Italian salad.

Toss in a cup of chopped Giardiniera. You can also use a tablespoon of the brine solution in your vinaigrette to pick it up a bit too.

Chopped up zucchini or yellow squash. A garnish of thinly sliced carrots (use your peeler) will add a splash more color.

Try toppings from your grocery store salad bar. Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and even marinated mushrooms are perfect additions.

Use a bright, lemony, slightly sweet dressing. It balances the bitterness of the greens and the richness of the salami for a salad you won’t want to share.

This unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad is full of color and texture and hearty enough to have for dinner or alongside a delicious baked pasta dish.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

overhead image of chopped salad for pinterest with text "italian chopped salad"

Serve this salad alongside

Italian Chopped Salad Recipe

overhead picture of italian chopped salad with layered toppings in a wood bowl

Italian Chopped Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Italian Chopped Salad is an ADDICTING CRUNCHY salad full of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions topped with a variety of ingredients and dressed with a LIGHT & TANGY homemade Italian dressing.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (rinsed) ~ one 15oz can
  • 1 cup Radicchio (chopped)
  • 1 cup cucumber (halved, sliced)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 8 pepperoncini peppers (stemed, seeded, sliced)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted, halved)
  • 1 cup Salami (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shaved)
  • 10-12 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Homemade Italian Dressing

Instructions

  1. Prepare the lettuce. Slice the romaine lengthwise a few times and then crosswise into 1/2" ribbons.
  2. Assemble the salad. Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Top with the radicchio, tomato, onion, chickpeas, cucumber, olives, pepperoncinis, and salami.
  3. Dress and season. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Sprinkle with cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with basil leaves if desired.
  4. Serve and enjoy! Serve right away. If serving later, leave off dressing and keep in the refrigerator to keep chilled.

Notes

*Radicchio can be expensive and sometimes hard to find. Feel free to substitute red cabbage.

*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thanks!

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