I love chopped salads! This Italian Chopped Salad is one of my favorites because it’s a really well-rounded salad made with a variety of ingredients, which include meat, cheese, olives, veggies, chickpeas, and so much more…all in one. And the great thing is that it still tastes fresh and light!
I also love that this Italian chopped salad requires no cooking at all, and everything can be made ahead. Everything can be prepared ahead, including the dressing.
It’s a great meal-prep option as well. You will love it!
I’m a huge fan of no-cook salads. This Italian Chopped Salad is definitely one of my favorites.
What I love about it is that it is very well-balanced. It’s got fresh veggies (lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, onions), meat (genoa salami), cheese (provolone and parmesan), chickpeas, olives, and pepperoncini peppers. Plus, it’s tossed with a delicious, quick and easy red wine vinaigrette. It’s really amazing!
This Italian chopped salad is a great option as a side salad or for the main course. I love serving it as a quick lunch, or pairing it with my one skillet lasagna.
The best part about it is that it’s a great make-ahead salad. You can chop everything and store in the fridge, and then when ready to eat, just toss with the dressing, which can be prepared ahead too!
Let’s make it!
Lots of amazing ingredients in this delicious Italian chopped salad!
Every ingredient is chopped or diced, which I love. I can just take a forkful and stuff it into my mouth!!
I love the combination of fresh veggies, deli meat, cheeses, chickpeas, olives, and pepperoncini. It’s got a little bit of everything, and it’s 100% no-cook!
I love making it when I don’t feel like cooking dinner, or when I need a more substantial salad to serve with my meal. Additionally, every ingredient can be made ahead of time, even the vinaigrette!
- Iceberg lettuce: Adds crunchiness and freshness. You can also use romaine.
- Purple radicchio: Even though I LOVE radicchio, it can also be a bit bitter, so I try not to add too much of it. Radicchio adds color, body, and crunchiness.
- Red onions: If you’re not a fan of onions, you can skip it.
- Pepperoncini peppers: Thinly sliced. It will add heat and flavor.
- Black olives: I love black olives, and they add great flavor and texture to the salad.
- Provolone cheese: Deli provolone cheese. I cut it into little rectangles.
- Genoa salami: Genoa salami is one of my favorites. It adds tons of savory flavor and substance.
- Cherry tomatoes: For freshness, texture, and flavor.
- Chickpeas: I’m a huge fan of chickpeas. Here, chickpeas add body and make this salad feel “complete” if you’re looking to eat it as a main course.
- Parmesan cheese: Shredded or grated parmesan cheese will add a lot of flavor.
- Red wine vinaigrette: More about this awesome vinaigrette below!
Make-ahead: The red wine vinaigrette can be made ahead up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. The rest of the ingredients can be chopped 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated. When ready to serve, toss the ingredients with the dressing.
The Homemade Dressing
I love how fresh-tasting the red wine vinaigrette for this Italian chopped salad is. The tanginess of the vinegar is balanced by the sweetness from honey.
I love using red wine vinaigrettes for Italian-inspired salads. I just think they go so well together!
The dressing is made of:
- Red wine vinaigrette: For acidity and tanginess.
- Olive oil: To give the dressing body.
- Dijon mustard: Mustard helps emulsify the vinegar and the olive oil. Without mustard, both would separate.
- Honey: Adds sweetness and offsets the acidity of the vinegar
- Fresh garlic: For flavor.
- Italian seasoning, salt and pepper: To season the dressing.
If you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand, lemon juice will do too!
Mix all the ingredients in a salad dressing shaker or in a mason jar (lid closed) and shake vigorously until it is emulsified and uniform.
You can make the dressing for the Italian chopped salad up to 3 days in advance. Store it in the fridge. If you’re in a pinch, you can just use your favorite store-bought dressing. I love a simple Italian dressing!
What To Serve With This Salad
There are so many things I like to serve with this salad. It just goes really well with pretty much any Italian dish, in my opinion.
Of course, I also like to have a big bowl of this Italian chopped salad on its own for lunch or dinner, but most of the time, I pair it with:
This Italian chopped salad is full of so many ingredients that I absolutely adore! I especially love the radicchio and the chickpeas. And the fact that it’s a no-cook salad makes it really convenient and easy.
The simple red wine vinaigrette is easy to make, and goes so well with this chopped salad. It’s the kind of dressing that tastes amazing but does not overpower the salad ingredients at all. It really lets the salad ingredients shine!
I also love that everything can be made ahead. Just chop everything and refrigerate. Once ready to serve, simply toss everything with the dressing, which can also be made in advance. It’s dreamy!
I hope you like this salad as much as I do!
Tips for Success
- Radicchio can be bitter, so try not to add too much of it to the salad.
- This is a great make-ahead salad. Chop or dice everything in advance and refrigerate. Once ready to serve, simply toss everything with the dressing, which can also be prepared ahead.
- If you want to keep it extra quick and simple, feel free to use your favorite store-bought dressing. I do it all the time! I like a simple Italian dressing.
Italian Chopped Salad
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- ½ small head purple radicchio, chopped - (or to taste, radicchio can taste a bit bitter)
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onions
- ½ cup pepperoncini, sliced
- ½ cup black olives, sliced
- 4 to 5 slices deli provolone cheese, sliced
- 1 cup genoa salami, sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup chickpeas, drained
- ¼ cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-3 teaspoons honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a mason jar, combine all the red wine vinaigrette ingredients. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously until emulsified or evenly combined. Set aside.
- In a large bow, toss all the salad ingredients along with the prepared red wine vinaigrette until combined. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: Mason jar for the dressing, or salad dressing shaker.
- Radicchio can be a bit bitter, so if desired, add less of it, or to taste.
- Make-ahead: chop all the salad ingredients up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate. The red wine vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. When ready to serve, toss the salad ingredients with the vinaigrette.