This Italian Chopped Salad is chock full of Italian goodies, it’s healthy AND this recipe includes a delicious, do-it-yourself Lemon Basil vinaigrette. I know, you’re saying to yourself “mio dio che sembra così buono”, and I just can’t blame ya! Some Chop chop choppin’ and this Italian Chopped Salad is ready to go. Wee! Simple, easy and healthy…just how we like it.
*That’s Italian for ‘my God that looks so good’.
I had all of the ingredients to this Italian Chopped salad in my fridge and decided I needed a nice healthy lunch. I also had just bought this lovely wooden plate from Crate and Barrel and needed something pretty to put on it!
The key to this delicious, restaurant quality Italian Chopped Salad is using really good lettuce- you want it fresh and crunchy. I use Trader Joe’s Organic Herb Salad Mix. Oh! Don’t forget to use FRESH basil in this. It makes a world of difference and really adds to the flavor.
For the dressing, which is really simple to make, you’re going to combine lemon zest, fresh chopped garlic, and fresh chopped basil. Here’s a picture to show you how finely I did this:
Mix the dressing up, pour over your salad, and toss. Badda boom badda bing! Italian chopped Salad for the whole family!
Tips to make this delicious Italian Chopped Salad:
- Like I mentioned above- use FRESH basil. The easiest way to chop fresh Basil is to roll it tightly, and slice it (this is called a ‘chiffonade’. HERE (this one from Taste of Home includes cool tutorials on chopping herbs in general!) are great tutorials to help if you need a visual!)
- I used fresh mozzarella in this Italian Chopped Salad, but you could really use any these you’d like. Big shreds of parmesan would be delicious, as would chopped provolone.
- Don’t be scared to substitute! You can really play with this Italian Chopped Salad however you like- Don’t have garbanzo beans? Add in some kidney beans! Not a fan of tomatoes? Leave them out. Add in some radishes, even some chopped red onions would be delicious in this.
- Pepperocini’s would be delicious with this, too. My husband doesn’t like them so I left them out. Ugh- the things you do for people you love!
- Need some extra protein? Top the salad with some chicken breast or some oven baked salmon. THIS Lemon Grilled Chicken would be delicious on it!
- Serve this Italian Chopped Salad with some delicious Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Bread! This is the REAL reason I eat salad. So I can have bread. It’s all about moderation.
Cheers to easy and healthy meals with an Italian twist! If you give this a try, let us know what you think! Tag us on instagram @laughingspatula or #laughingspatula. We love to see your pics and SERIOUSLY love being apart of your families life! – Rachel
Full of delicious Italian cured meats, veggies, and a homemade lemon basil vinaigrette, this simple, easy and HEALTHY salad is perfect as a main course, OR side dish!
- 5 oz Herb Salad Mix (Found at Trader Joes- Substitute spinach & arugula if you cannot find it)
- 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (drained & dried with a paper towel)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil (cut into thin strips I.E. chiffonade)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (halfed)
- 1/4 cup diced pepperoni
- 1/4 cup diced salami
- 1/2 cup canned sliced black olives
- 1 cup cooked & drained orzo (or pasta of choice, ditalini would be great)
- 1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella (or cheese of choice)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil use leftovers from above and finely chop
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine salad, and chopped ingredients.
*Tip: If you are transporting to a party, or serving later, avoid mixing the 'wet' ingredients (I.E. garbanzo beans & olives) to prevent sogginess. I also like to dry them on a paper towel to prevent extra moisture.
In a small bowl or mason jar, combine dressing ingredients. Shake well, and let sit for a few minutes to allow flavor to absorb.
Toss & serve. Enjoy with toasted garlic bread!