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This chopped salad recipe is the BEST. It’s easy to make with crispy lettuce, some fresh and jarred ingredients, and an easy dressing (if you can even call it that!), and it’s called my everyday salad because I never get sick of this combination. I can eat this chopped salad daily, and I know you’ll love it too! Made in partnership with my friends at Little Leaf Farms!
Your New Favorite Chopped Salad Recipe
Ever go to a restaurant and they have a “house salad”? That’s this recipe, for me! It’s easy, packed with yummy and nutrient-dense ingredients, and really is that salad you just never get sick of!
Ingredients for a Great Chopped Salad
You’ll see below that everything is diced or chopped small, because I love this salad chopped! You can adjust that as you like.
- Good, Crisp Lettuce: I love how fresh and crisp Little Leaf Farms lettuce is, especially their Baby Crispy Green Leaf blend. It’s my go-to choice for my everyday chopped salad! A romaine or your favorite lettuce will work well here!
- Tomatoes: The fresher the better!
- Cucumber: In this salad, I like the cucumber peeled! This is personal preference and up to you!
- Roasted Red Peppers: You can omit this if you don’t love, but we love the flavor it adds!
- Marinated Artichokes: You can omit this if you don’t love, but we love the flavor it adds!
- Chickpeas: Rinsed and drained! Chickpeas add extra protein and adds great flavor.
- Chopped Pepperoncini: You can omit this if you don’t love, but we love the flavor it adds!
- Avocado: A pop of creaminess and healthy fat!
- Fresh Mozzarella: Honestly, your favorite cheese will work great here! We love a good fresh mozzarella in this salad because it’s mild! You can also omit the cheese altogether!
- Grilled chicken or Chopped good-quality deli turkey: If I cook up some chicken, I always save extra for this salad the next day. Since that’s not always the case, I usually opt for good-quality deli turkey (I like Applegate) and it’s DELICIOUS. Turkey in salad is so good.
- Olive Oil: This salad is so easy, partly because it just gets tossed with a little oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. But make sure it’s really great olive oil. I talk more about olive oil in this article!
- Balsamic Vinegar: Good balsamic is well… really, really good! It’s also strong, so go light and add more as desired!
- S&P: The secret to a restaurant-quality salad? Salting your greens! Trust me!
Remove any of the above, and add with ingredients to make it your go-to “house salad”!
- Diced Apples
- Diced Celery
- Chopped Nuts
- Chopped Bell Peppers
- Sliced Red Onion
- Orange Segments
- Dried Cranberries
- Shredded Carrots
- Even Quinoa!
The best lettuce for salad
Any good salad must start out with the freshest lettuce, and for a while now I’ve been loving and buying the lettuce from Little Leaf Farms. Little Leaf Farms grows truly the best-tasting baby lettuce, that is grown locally on the East Coast. Their lettuce is grown hydroponically in a modern greenhouse that prides itself on sustainable growing practices that are both good for our environment and for our bodies.
You can notice right away that their lettuce is different because on the package it doesn’t say “triple-washed”. Instead, Little Leaf Farms lettuce is “clean from the start”. Because their lettuce is grown inside of a greenhouse, without dirt (hello hydroponics!), and never comes in contact with human hands, they don’t need to use chemical washing agents or chlorine baths like most field-grown lettuce products do. This means there’s no need to wash! Just open the container and add to your salad! This means you get clean lettuce that hasn’t ever come into contact with any chemicals or pesticides.
Little Leaf Farms lettuce is harvested and shipped to your local store in one day, so it stays fresh for two weeks or more, and this might be my favorite part about this lettuce. It makes it so easy to always have a box available for fresh salads since it keeps so well! You can find Little Leaf Farms in all major grocery stores in the Northeast as well as on Amazon Fresh and Instacart. Check out their store locator to find one near you!
The Simple Salad Dressing
Let’s talk about the dressing, if you can call it that! It’s super simple, just like this salad, and no need to dirty another bowl! Just add it all into the salad ingredients: a generous drizzle of really great olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and salt and freshly cracked pepper; toss and enjoy it.
You’ll definitely want to dress your salad when tossing and before serving it. That’s a salad tip no matter what salad you make!
Why I Chop My Salad
You do not have to chop this salad, but I am the ultimate chopped salad girl. I think that’s from growing up in New York! Chopped salads are everywhere there. There’s just something about it all chopped up that makes every bite even more delicious! Trust me here. This is the salad chopper that you definitely don’t need, but kind of need, haha. I use it SO often!
How to Meal Prep a Salad
This salad is great to make for meal prep, with a few modifications. If you prefer to eat this salad with chicken or turkey, go ahead and meal prep this salad to have a separate container for the salad components and another for the chicken/turkey, that way the meat can be heated up on its own or eaten separately if desired.
And of course, with most salads, you’ll want to keep dressing separate and add right before eating.
Just be careful about what salad components you choose. Obviously, something like sliced avocado will not keep well, so don’t use something that won’t keep well if intending to make this for meal prep.
Keeping all of this in mind, this salad will keep well for 3-5 in the refrigerator.
The Easiest Way to Meal Prep This Chopped Salad Recipe
The best way to make this for on-to-go meal prep? Make it a Mason Jar Salad! Mason jar salads are not just a trendy way to serve a salad! Because of the unique way of layering the salad vertically, it preserves the freshness of the salad for longer.
It’s just about how to layer your ingredients. You want to layer your ingredients in terms of their moisture content, hardiness and density (as in–how heavy they are!).
Layer in the wettest ingredients first. And then in ascending order move all the way up factoring in how hardy an ingredient is (such as how absorbent they are) and how heavy they are.
Tip for Restaurant Quality Salads
Salt your greens! A good restaurant will add salt and pepper to the greens, not just the dressing! Don’t skimp when you salt your salads! it really helps bring out the flavor.
Kids Salad They’ll Actually Like
I love serving this chopped salad to my toddler! I serve salads to her deconstructed, or separated out a bit, that way she can pick up components, and see what she’s eating!
I think the key to serving kids salad is keeping it simple. For example, in this chopped salad recipe, I avoid the pepperoncini in her version!
Keep in mind the various ingredients, especially if they’re too crunchy for a little toddler mouth!
Have some variety in those ingredients too! My daughter is hit or miss with chickpeas (though she loves hummus!), but chickpeas with a little dressing? It’s a hit! She also really likes the dressed lettuce chopped up, making a chopped salad an even better, and easier kids salad to serve, in my opinion!
If you like this salad recipe, try some of these amazing other salads:
- My Favorite Chopped Greek Salad
- Mediterranean Turkey Salad
- Easy BBQ Chicken Salad
- Cheeseburger Salad with Mustard Dressing
Everyday Chopped Salad Recipe
- 6-8 ounces ounces crispy lettuce
- 1 medium-large tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup peeled and diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichokes
- 1/2 cup chickpeas rinse and drained
- 1/3 cup chopped pepperoncini
- 1/2 avocado chopped
- Optional: 1/2 cup chopped mozzarella
- 2 cups chopped grilled chicken or 1 cup chopped deli turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and cracked black pepper more to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Add lettuce to your bowl and salt your greens by sprinkling a little salt over the lettuce and tossing.
- Add all of your remaining ingredients.
- Top with salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. With tongs or salad utensils, toss to coat the salad ingredients well with the dressing.
- Serve immediately! Best if eaten immediately once dressed.