Italian Chopped Salad – Zenwise Italian Chopped Salad – Zenwise
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Italian Chopped Salad

Who wants to slave over a hot stove or turn on the oven when it’s sweltering outside? That’s why summer meals mean it’s salad season!

There’s nothing more refreshing than a crunchy salad loaded with fresh lettuce, tangy parmesan cheese, salty salami, and a tasty homemade vinaigrette. This Italian Chopped Salad is a meal in itself.

Traditional Italian Chopped Salad uses romaine lettuce or a combination of iceberg and romaine. We swapped that out for a spinach/arugula blend, which adds a bit of peppery taste and texture along with a dash of extra nutrients.

Keep in mind than customize this salad to your personal tastes. You can easily adjust the amounts of cheese and meats or add additional ingredients, like sliced kalamata olives. Or swap out the chickpeas for blanched zucchini or snap peas.

Serve the salad as a main meal with some crusty Italian bread or serve as a side to your favorite grilled chicken dish.


Why We Love These Ingredients

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are nutritional powerhouses. They are filled with essential vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and protein. In fact, the protein and fiber in chickpeas work together to slow digestion, which helps promote fullness and keep your appetite under control. 


Even better, chickpeas are heart healthy, lower cholesterol levels and keep blood sugar in check.

Forget carrots. Basil is good for your eyes, too! It contains such vision-friendly antioxidants as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene which help protect against age-related macular degeneration. It’s also a source of eugenol and limonene, compounds that support immune function and cell health.

Grape tomatoes are hearty sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E, which are essential for immune and skin health. They’re digestive superstars that promote regularity and ease constipation. Plus, their low calorie count delivers high nutrition while helping support weight loss.

Grape tomatoes also contain a potent antioxidant called lycopene, which supports your vision, colon, and skin health.

Arugula and Spinach are super foods with cancer-protective antioxidants, health-enhancing glucosinolates, and fiber. They also help your body produce digestive enzymes.


Some Pro Tips to Get You Started

A Persian cucumber is a small, tender cucumber with a smooth exterior, thin skin, and very few seeds. They're narrower than regular cucumbers and have a crisp interior and mild flavor. Cucumbers add a nice crunch and texture to this salad.

The best way to cut the basil is Chiffonade style. Chiffonade is the technique of cutting herbs into thin ribbons. To chiffonade basil, stack the leaves and roll up like a cigar. Then, make thin slices crosswise and voila! Unroll thin slices of basil. 

Make the vinaigrette first and let it sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. This dressing recipe makes more than what you’ll need for the salad. Leftover dressing stays well in the fridge for up to a week.


OK…let’s make some salad!



prep time 30 minutes 

total time 30 minutes 

servings  6 as a side, 3 as a main




  • 1 bag Arugula / baby spinach blend
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint (2 cups) grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion,  thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) chopped salami
  • 1/2 cup chopped turkey or shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 small container fresh mozzarella pearls, cut in half
  • 2/3 cup diced parmesan or provolone cheese
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced pepperoncini
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves


  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Make the dressing: Place all of the dressing ingredients in a container with a lid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and shake briskly to combine. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors blend. The longer the better.

  2. Wash and chop the lettuce. Use a salad spinner to ensure the lettuce is 100% dry before adding any other ingredients.

  3. Make the salad. Put lettuce in a large bowl. Add drained & rinsed chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, salami, chicken/turkey pieces, halved mozzarella pearls, and other ingredients. Chiffonade the basil pieces and add to salad. Toss and adjust add-ins to personal preference.

  4. Add Dressing: Remove the dressing from the fridge and shake again to recombine. Dress the salad right before serving, slowly and to taste.



Original recipe link behind paywall


Used this one instead:

Italian Chopped Salad (CPK Copycat) - Chelsea's Messy Apron (

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