I have a challenge for you (and me) today. I challenge us all to start making a giant fresh salad on Sundays, so we can eat salad all week long. Starting with this gigantic, colorful, dare-I-say the best Italian chopped salad.
When you have a really great salad in the fridge, you might even reach for it before you grab the bag of chips. Happened to me! I’ve enjoyed four iterations of this salad over the past couple of weeks (especially the final version you see here), and I’m still craving more.
The motivation behind this salad recipe came when I ordered an Italian chopped salad and a pricy Neapolitan pizza down the street. I requested the chopped salad without the bacon, and it was definitely missing that salty, savory, gimme-more edge without it. Crispy bacon is the only meat I ever miss.
The Best Italian Chopped Salad
I set out to create a better meatless Italian chopped salad, and here it is. You’ll find most of the usual ingredients, including crisp lettuce, radicchio, red onion, fresh tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers and provolone cheese. I tried a few other kinds of cheese, but it’s no wonder provolone is the most common—it’s the tastiest. That said, you could easily skip it for a delicious dairy-free/vegan salad.
You’ll find a few unexpected ingredients here that send this salad over the top. First up, chickpeas, which aren’t uncommon but make this salad more hearty. I also added celery for extra crunch, and sun-dried tomatoes for some extra oomph. The umami flavor in sun-dried tomatoes make up for the umami-rich pork that you usually find in Italian chopped salads.
Toss all of those ingredients in a bold, homemade Italian vinaigrette and you will have a seriously addictive salad. I’ve enjoyed smaller portions as a side or larger portions as a light meal.
Watch How to Make Italian Salad
Please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! Your feedback is so important to me.
Craving more big chopped salads? Don’t miss my Chopped Greek Salad, Colorful Chopped Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing, Mexican Green Salad with Jalapeño-Cilantro Dressing or Fattoush Salad Recipe.