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What could be simpler and more delicious than this practically perfect Italian chopped salad recipe? Try this delicious salad as a full meal or a light side dish. It is packed with classic Italian ingredients and gets finished off with the most flavorful ever dressing to bring it all together. This Italian salad is colorful, vibrant, and oh-so-easy to make!

A chopped Italian salad bowl featuring a variety of toppings including cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, cheese balls, chickpeas, olives, red onion slices, pepperoni and salami slices, and shredded cheese on a bed of lettuce.

This salad is anything but boring! Make this tasty yet simple Italian chopped salad for an elevated salad side that everyone will love.

Enjoy full-flavored salads like this one? Try antipasto salad or this easy panzanella salad recipe. If you know and love Italian food, this tuna and white bean salad will be hot on your list. It’s one of my favorite salad recipes. Oh, and don’t forget this dill pickle pasta salad – it isn’t something you’ll forget in a hurry and might become a new fave!

A close-up of a fresh, chopped Italian salad being tossed with wooden utensils.

Why You’ll Love It

A filling and hearty salad: As light as it is, its also a full meal all on its own.
Let’s meal prep: Italian chopped salad is great for meal prep as it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for several days. Simply portion it out into individual containers for a quick and convenient grab-and-go meal.
Great for entertaining: I love serving this at gatherings. Its colorful presentation and bold flavors make it a standout dish.
Summer salad: Its fresh and light flavors will make it your new warm-weather go-to.
Versatile: It goes with everything. From pasta to grilled chicken, meat, shrimp, and fish.

A colorful chopped Italian salad in a large white bowl, with utensils and dressing on the side.

Ingredients For Italian Chopped Salad

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Salad Ingredients

Lettuce varieties: Romaine lettuce provides a crisp and hearty base for the salad, while leaf lettuce or iceberg lettuce adds texture and a yummy taste. You can use one type of lettuce or a combination of both.
Salami and pepperoni: These cured meats are rich and a little spicy.
Baby mozzarella: Baby fresh mozzarella, also known as bocconcini, is creamy and mild in flavor.
Provolone cheese: Provolone cheese adds a sharp and tangy flavor to the salad. You can use sliced provolone or dice it into cubes for easier mixing.
Chickpeas: Chickpeas provide protein and fiber, adding substance to the salad. You can use canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or cook dried chickpeas from scratch.
Olives: You can slice them or leave them whole, depending on your preference.
Pepperoncini: These mild Italian peppers add a tangy and slightly spicy kick to the salad.
Parmesan cheese: Use freshly grated parmesan for the best taste and texture.

An assortment of salad ingredients for a delightful chopped Italian salad recipe.

Italian Chopped Salad Dressing Ingredients

Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil serves as the base for the salad dressing, adding richness and flavor.
Oregano: Dried oregano adds a fragrant and earthy flavor to the salad. You can use dried oregano or fresh oregano leaves chopped finely.
Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard emulsifies the dressing and adds a tangy and slightly spicy flavor.
Red pepper flakes: Red pepper flakes add a touch of heat and smokiness to the salad dressing. You can use more or less.

A hand pouring vinaigrette dressing over a fresh chopped Italian salad on a white plate.

How To Make Italian Chopped Salad

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Combine the salad ingredients: Toss all the ingredients for the salad together in a large bowl and add some shaved parmesan cheese.
Make the dressing: In a quart-sized jar, combine all the dressing ingredients together and shake well, then drizzle over the salad.

A vibrant chopped salad classic Italian and Mediterranean ingredients. Garnished with wooden salad tongs and accompanied by salt and pepper shakers in the background.

Substitutions and Variations

Cheese: Instead of provolone cheese, you can use other Italian cheeses like mozzarella, fontina, or asiago. For a dairy-free option, leave out the cheese entirely or use a dairy-free cheese alternative.
Chickpeas: If you’re not a fan of garbanzo beans (as we call them in Italian) or don’t have them on hand, you can substitute them with other beans such as cannellini beans, kidney beans, or black beans. Alternatively, use cooked grains like quinoa or farro for extra texture and protein.
Lettuce: Try radicchio or endive are both crisp flavorful options.
Antipasto variation: Add additional antipasto ingredients like marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and marinated mushrooms for a more robust and flavorful salad.
Seafood: I love serving a stack of grilled garlicky shrimp with this Italian chopped salad.

A fresh chopped salad served on a decorative plate, accompanied by utensils and a block of cheese in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizer: This salad makes a light and tasty start to a meal.
Main: Serve it with an Italian meatloaf dish. Here are recipes for meatloaf to explore and serve with this chopped salad. It’s also delicious with Crockpot salsa fresca chicken.
Dessert: Finish off with a fruity dessert like these easy cherry cream cheese puff pastries. Another good dessert pairing would be a batch of lemon ricotta cookies.

An Italian chopped salad bowl with stacked plates and forks are in the background.

How To Store Italian Chopped Salad

Store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze: This salad doesn’t freeze well.

A fork holding a mix of salad ingredients, including lettuce, cucumber, tomato, salami, and black olive, hovers above a plate of delicious Italian-style chopped salad.

Top Tips

Variety of shapes: Add some variety by cutting the meat into matchstick-sized pieces, the cheese into cubes, and the cucumber in half-round sizes.
Homemade dressing is best: Make your own Italian dressing, or if you are in a hurry, buy a bottle of Italian dressing.
Dress the salad at the last minute: To keep it fresh.
Taste and balance: Check to see if it needs a little acid, salt, or sugar before serving it.
Preparation is everything: Get everything ready, sliced, diced, and prepared ahead of time.

A large bowl of chopped Italian salad. Wooden salad utensils are on the side.

Italian Chopped Salad FAQs

Can I make Italian chopped salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare most of the ingredients for Italian chopped salad ahead of time, such as chopping the ingredients and making the dressing. However, it’s best to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain its freshness.

Can I make Italian chopped salad vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can easily make Italian chopped salad vegetarian or vegan by leaving out the salami, pepperoni, and provolone cheese. Instead, you can add extra vegetables, such as roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, or marinated tofu, and use a vegan cheese alternative.

Can I customize Italian chopped salad with other ingredients?

Absolutely! Italian chopped salad is very versatile, and you can customize it with your favorite ingredients. Some popular additions include artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and marinated mushrooms.

A bright, colorful chopped Italian salad featuring cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, cucumber slices, salami, black olives, chickpeas, red onion, pepperoncini, shredded cheese, lettuce and parmesan.

Italian Chopped Salad Recipe

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Italian Chopped Salad

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Make this tasty yet simple Italian chopped salad for an elevated salad side that everyone will love.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 3-4 Cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 3-4 Cups leaf lettuce, or iceberg, chopped
  • 1 Pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 english cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced small
  • ¼ Pound salami, cut into strips
  • ¼ Pound pepperoni, cut into strips
  • 8 Ounces bocconcini, fresh baby mozzarella balls
  • 4 Ounces provolone cheese, cubed
  • 14 Ounces chickpeas, canned, drained and rinsed
  • 14 Ounces black olives, canned, drained and halved
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 pepperoncini, thinly sliced
  • parmesan cheese, shaved, as needed

For the Italian Dressing:

  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • ¼ Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ Teaspoon oregano, dried
  • ½ Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ Teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, crushed

Instructions 

  • Toss all the ingredients for the salad together in a large bowl and add some shaved parmesan cheese.
  • In a quart sized jar, combine all the dressing ingredients together and shake well, then drizzle over the salad.

Notes

Variety of shapes: Add some variety by cutting the meat into matchstick sized pieces, the cheese in cubes and the cucumber in half round sizes.
Homemade dressing is best: Make your own Italian dressing, or if you are in a hurry, buy a bottle of Italian dressing.
Dress the salad at the last minute: To keep it fresh.
Taste and balance: Check to see if it needs a little acid, salt or sugar before serving it.
Preparation is everything: Get everything ready, sliced, diced and prepared ahead of time.

Nutrition

Calories: 778kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 32g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1749mg | Potassium: 800mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4022IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 395mg | Iron: 5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Nothing beats a light and fresh summer salad like this one. It makes a perfect light-yet-hearty meal. I love how loaded it is with Italian classic ingredients and that it goes so well alongside tons of other recipes.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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