3 Delicious Chopped Salad Recipes

Barbara Rolek
BBQ Chicken Salad

Chopped salads, made with ingredients that have been chopped so all the pieces are relatively the same size, are hearty dishes that can even fill the role of main course. In addition to greens, common ingredients include everything from hard-cooked eggs and deli meats to bell peppers and olives. There are lots of fun variations to try when making this type of salad.

Barbecued Chicken Chopped Salad Recipe

You can make this chopped salad in two ways: with chicken that has been grilled and basted with barbecue sauce while cooking or with poached or sautéed chicken breast cubes that have been dredged in barbecue sauce after cooking. The latter method, described below, means more surface area of the chicken has been coated with sauce. Either treatment makes for a great salad. This salad is a complete meal as is but it can be served with a dinner roll or cornbread, if desired.

Ingredients for Barbecued Chicken Chopped Salad

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup good-quality barbecue sauce
  • 8 cups chopped lettuce, such as romaine
  • 2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup cubed white or yellow cheese of choice
  • 1 cup chopped red onion or sliced green onions
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed garbanzo or black beans (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels (optional)
  • Ranch dressing or dressing of choice

Instructions for Barbecued Chicken Chopped Salad

  1. In a small bowl, mix the chicken cubes with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl or clear glass serving bowl, mix the chopped lettuce, sauced chicken, halved cherry or grape tomatoes, cheese cubes, red onion or green onions, chopped strawberries and optional drained and rinsed garbanzo or black beans. Make sure the ingredients are tossed well.
  3. Drizzle the remaining barbecue sauce over the top of the salad. Serve with ranch dressing to be tossed individually at the table.

Italian Chopped Salad Recipe

Italian chopped salad

An Italian chopped salad is actually an antipasto salad. Antipasto means "before the meal" in Italian, but this chopped salad can be a main course. Most salads of this type are a combination of Italian meats, cheeses, peppers, and veggies. This recipe is meatless, but you can up the ante by adding any or all of the optional ingredients listed. Add warm, crusty Italian bread, if desired, and your meal is complete.

Ingredients for Italian Chopped Salad

Yield: 4 servings

  • 8 cups chopped lettuce, such as romaine
  • 12 large cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half
  • 1 cup small, whole basil leaves, washed and pressed dry in a paper towel
  • 1 cup black olives, drained
  • 1 pound fresh ciliegine (cherry-sized) mozzarella balls
  • Good-quality Italian dressing, if desired
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
  • 8 whole pepperoncini, if desired

Optional Ingredients for a Meat Lover's Version

  • 1 (6 1/2-ounce) jar oil-and-herb-marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces ham or prosciutto, chopped
  • 8 ounces hard salami or capicola, chopped
  • 8 slices pepperoni, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Instructions for Italian Chopped Salad

You can serve this salad by arranging individual portions on each of four plates or by combining the ingredients in a large salad bowl.

  1. If you're serving family-style, toss together the salad greens, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, black olives, and mozzarella balls in a large bowl. Otherwise, arrange these items on plates.
  2. Add any or all of the optional ingredients for a meat-based salad.
  3. Pass the Italian dressing, pepperoncini, and Parmesan cheese at the table for diners to season and garnish to their liking.

Cobb Salad Recipe

Cobb Salad

Cobb salads are an American original. R. H. Cobb, the owner of Hollywood's Brown Derby Restaurant in the 1930s, is said to have invented this recipe when hunger pangs sent him to the kitchen for a late-night snack. The ingredients can vary, but to be considered the real thing, it must include Roquefort or other blue cheese. Instead of being tossed, the ingredients are arranged in strips on a serving platter or individual plates. This main-course salad is a complete meal, but it can be served with bread or rolls, if desired.

Cobb Salad Ingredients

Yield: 4 servings

  • 8 cups salad greens (e.g., romaine)
  • 8 ounces ham, chopped
  • 8 ounces cooked chicken or turkey breast, chopped
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced or chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced, dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 4 ounces crumbled Roquefort or other blue cheese
  • Good-quality vinaigrette dressing

Cobb Salad Instructions

  1. Arrange the chopped lettuce on a serving platter or four individual plates to act as a base.
  2. Place ham, chicken or turkey, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, avocado and green onions in strips on top of the lettuce, being mindful of an attractive color scheme.
  3. Crumble the Roquefort or other blue cheese over all.
  4. Pass a good-quality vinaigrette dressing at the table and let diners toss their own salad.

Customize a Chopped Salad

The beauty of a chopped salad is there are no set rules. Everyone in the family can have it his way. Tomatoes might be heaven for some, while others prefer chow mein noodles as a topping. Having a variety of fresh ingredients and dressings available to customize a chopped salad is one way to keep peace at the dinner table and satisfy hearty appetites in a wholesome way.

3 Delicious Chopped Salad Recipes