This chopped salad will amaze everyone around the table! Homemade Italian dressing, crisp veggies and Parmesan cheese combine into one extraordinary salad.
On the lookout for a super side salad to accessorize with all your meals? Alex and I are always looking for a great green salad. (It’s like a great pair of shoes, right?) May we present, our new very favorite one: this incredible chopped salad. It’s classy and tight. There’s our homemade Italian dressing: tangy, savory, and herby. Add to that shallots, tomatoes, cucumber, and a zing from pepperoncini. Parmesan cheese seals the deal. Are you ready to get cooking? Because this chopped salad wants to be part of your kitchen repertoire.
Related: 10 Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes
How to make a chopped salad
Last weekend we served this salad at a dinner party. Wow! What’s in this salad? was murmured around the table. That’s when you know a recipe is a keeper! It looks unassuming, but it’s one of our favorites to date. What carries this chopped salad is our homemade Italian dressing recipe. The flavor is zesty and bright, full of garlic, white wine vinegar, and balanced with a touch of maple syrup. Dried basil, thyme, and oregano bring in an earthy flair. (See our dressing tips below.)
Other than the dressing, this chopped salad is just a matter of, well, chopping up all the ingredients! Here we’ve chosen ingredients that vibe on an Italian chopped salad. You can feel free to customize the veggies in this chopped salad to your liking…but we found this combination to be just about perfect:
- Crunchy veggies: shallot, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes
- Jarred pepperoncini: add a tang and a little heat
- Green olives: add just the right salty hit.
Tip for making homemade Italian salad dressing
Making homemade salad dressing is the key to a great chopped salad! Here are a few tips to making a creamy emulsion where the oil and vinegar incorporate perfectly:
- Whisk by hand with a large whisk.
- Use a medium-sized bowl to allow for enough movement of the whisk. (Trust us, we’ve done it in small bowls before and it’s almost impossible to get the oil and vinegar to meld.)
- Add the olive oil little by little. We add it tablespoon by tablespoon and whisk in between until the oil fully incorporates.
Turn chopped salad into a main dish!
This chopped salad is so tasty, you’ll want to make it for every meal! To mix it up a bit, you could turn it into a main dish salad and eat it for dinner. We’d suggest to:
- Add protein like hard boiled eggs, seared ahi tuna, or chopped chicken.
- Serve with a side like cornbread or artisan bread.
Let us know if you try out our chopped salad in the comments below!
- Margherita Pizza
- Best Veggie Burger Recipe with Parmesan Potato Wedges (or Baked Potato Wedges)
- Baked Salmon with Chimichurri
- Tomato Basil Gnocchi Soup
- Simple Calzone Recipe
- Skillet Eggplant Marinara
- Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe
- The Best Vegan Meatballs
- Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
This chopped salad recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the Parmesan cheese. (It’s still just as tasty!)Print
This chopped salad will amaze everyone around the table! Homemade Italian dressing, veggies and Parmesan cheese combine into one extraordinary salad.
- 1 recipe Homemade Italian Dressing
- 1 Romaine heart (3 cups)
- 5 cups leafy lettuce
- 1 large shallot
- 1 English cucumber (2 cups chopped)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup ripe green olives, halved
- 1/2 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini
- 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings or shreds, plus more to serve
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Make the Homemade Italian Dressing.
- Chop romaine and lettuce. Thinly slice the shallot. Peel and chop cucumber. Slice tomatoes and olives in half.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the salad, including the dressing, and toss to combine. If making in advance, refrigerate the components separately; bring the dressing to room temperature before serving.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Italian Inspired
Keywords: Chopped Salad, Best Chopped Salad, Italian Chopped Salad, Side Salad Recipe, Salad Recipes
Looking for more salad recipes?
Outside of this chopped salad recipe, here are a few of our favorite salads on A Couple Cooks:
- The BEST Kale Salad
- Watermelon Salad with Feta & Cucumber
- Grilled Caesar Salad or Perfect Caesar Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Wedge Salad with Potato Chips
- Roasted Eggplant Salad
- Mexican Coleslaw Recipe
- Favorite Potato Salad
- Black Bean Salad
- Radish Chopped Salad Recipe
- Massaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate
- California Salad with Avocado Oil Vinaigrette
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Cabbage Salad with Apples & Walnuts
- Southwest Salad
- Easy Nicoise Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons
- Pea Salad with Lemon Dressing
- Healthy Potato Salad with Hard Boiled Egg
- Everyday Mediterranean Salad
- Beet and Apple Salad
- French Potato Salad
- German Cucumber Salad
- Easy Salad Bar Ideas
- Best Creamy Coleslaw
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.