Italian chopped salad is filled with fresh greens and flavorful toppings like mozzarella, salami, pepperoncini, and sun-dried tomatoes. This recipe makes 6 or more side salads, or 4 large lunch salads.
This Italian chopped salad makes the perfect side dish when paired with pizza, spaghetti, or grilled chicken. Or, enjoy all week long as a light lunch!
Fresh greens are topped with chickpeas, salami, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, pepperoncini, red onion, and fresh cherry tomatoes. Tons of toppings = tons of flavor!
If you're trying to add more fresh produce to your meals, this salad will point you in the right direction. It's light, yet filling, and jam-packed with flavorful ingredients. The perfect salad for spring and summer lunches!
Ingredients and substitutions
Any leafy greens will work in this recipe - iceberg or leaf lettuce make good substitutes.
Salami can be substituted with diced ham or pepperoni.
Sliced pepperoncini can be found in jars near the pickles at your local grocer. Or, they can be substituted with sliced banana peppers.
Fresh mozzarella pearls can be substituted with provolone, parmesan cheese, feta cheese, or your favorite cheese you have on hand.
Salad dressing ingredients
For this recipe, you'll be making a simple vinaigrette dressing. You'll only need a few, easy-to-find ingredients that you may already have on hand.
Olive oil can be substituted with canola oil, grapeseed oil, or any neutral oil you have on hand.
Italian seasoning can be substituted with a combination of any of these dried herbs you have on hand: oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme.
Make ahead and leftovers
This salad is easy to make ahead of an event or party, but is best served within 24 hours.
To make this salad ahead of time, prepare your salad ingredients in a large bowl, then cover and store in the refrigerator. Store the dressing separately from the salad. Add your dressing and toss to coat just before serving.
What to serve with salad
Chopped salad can be split into four big servings and enjoyed as a light meal. Or, serve as a side salad with a hearty main course or additional sides. Here are a few pairing ideas:
- Italian Sloppy Joes
- Grilled chicken
- Baked Ziti with Spinach
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Freezer Garlic Bread
Italian Chopped Salad
- 2 large romaine lettuce hearts
- ½ red onion thin sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 ounces sliced pepperoncini
- 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes julienned
- 15 ounces canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 4 ounces salami thin sliced
- 4 ounces mozzarella pearls
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Wash and dry your lettuce, then chop into bite size pieces. Add to a large bowl along with your remaining salad ingredients: red onion, cherry tomatoes, pepperoncini, sun-dried tomatoes, chickepeas, salami, and mozzarella pearls. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Store salad and dressing in the refrigerator, separately, until ready to serve. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss until evenly coated. Or, toss salad ingredients and serve with dressing to the side.
- Recipe will make 6 or more side salads, or 4 large lunch salads.
- Dressed salad does not keep well. Only add dressing to salad you plan on serving immediately. Store leftover salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator.
- Leftover salad (without dressing) will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Salami can be substituted with chopped ham or pepperoni.
- Romaine can be substituted with any fresh greens you have on hand.