Italian Chopped Salad

mains recipes Feb 13, 2023

When I shared a sneak peek of this recipe on my Instagram a couple of weeks ago, y'all seemed very excited to get your hands on it.

There's just something about a loaded chopped salad that seems to hit the spot. I've oddly been craving this tangy, crunchy and satisfying salad that reminds me of one you'd order at your favorite Italian restaurant.

The best thing is that you can add or alter any of your additions as you see fit. I threw in lots of veggie favs for variety plus all of the vinegar-y good stuff. 

Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, pepperoncini, olives, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts provide tons of vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber to keep your gut and digestive system happy.

For some additional plant-based protein and fiber, chickpeas are another wonderful addition that add great bulk to this salad.

Now, time for the fun stuff! Parmesan and mozzarella are two of my personal favorite cheeses, and they also bring a good variety of texture, saltiness and flavor.

Likewise, you can truly choose any meat you love and prefer - I personally chose salami as it's Sam's favorite. Regardless, this is a great way to incorporate a bit more protein into this recipe!

For the tanginess we all love in an Italian salad, this simple vinaigrette is it. Whisk together some pantry and fridge staples like olive oil, dijon mustard and red wine vinegar with spices like garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Toss it all together, and enjoy! This makes a large salad, so it's perfect for families, events and potlucks. Let me know if you give it a try!


Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar  
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped (yields about 5-6 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup English cucumber, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz of salami, diced (more if desired)
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella balls, halved (more if desired)
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese (more if desired)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions

1. Add all of the salad ingredients to a LARGE mixing bowl.

2. Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste.

3. Toss, serve and enjoy!

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