Perfectly paired with our grilled steaks, this Italian Chopped Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette was chock full of delicious flavors and textures. It was a huge hit with our friends!

When entertaining, I love a green salad on the menu. This versatile Chopped Salad Recipe can be tweaked with your favorite ingredients!

Italian Chopped Salad on a white salad plate with a red handled fork.

Why You Must Make

  • I’m not sure you’d ever find this particular salad in Italy, but it has a certain Italian flair. With roasted peppers, pine nuts, greens, and a Parmesan vinaigrette, it’s tasty and versatile!
  • I’m a sucker for a chopped salad! Where the hubby would be happy with a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and Ranch dressing, I’m more inclined to add multiple ingredients with varied textures like in this colorful Italian salad recipe.
  • You can easily personalize this salad by adding or eliminating ingredients according to your preferences.
Italian Chopped Salad ingredients in a glass salad bowl.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Red Wine Vinegar, Kosher Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese – Use real grated Parmesano Reggianno cheese, not the stuff in the green can on the store shelves.
  • Romaine and Iceberg Lettuce – Slice the Romaine into ribbons and chop the iceberg into bite-sized pieces.
  • Small Red Onion – Use half. Peel, slice into thin strips, and soak in ice water, sherry vinegar, or champagne vinegar to help remove some of the sharpness or bite.
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts – Drain. Cut into halves or quarters and remove any tough exterior leaves.
  • Hearts of Palm – Drain and slice.
  • Piquillo Peppers – Drain and chop.
  • Pine Nuts – Toasted to bring out their flavor, then cooled to room temperature.
Italian Chopped Salad on a square plate with a fork.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a Traditional Italian Salad?

A traditional Italian salad is composed of lettuce, red onions, cherry tomatoes, olives, pepperoncinis, mini Mozzarella balls, and/or grated Parmesan cheese. It’s dressed with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. This salad has some elements you would find in an Italian salad, but it is not a classic salad found in Italy.

What Entrees Work with This Italian Salad?

Serve this salad with pasta smothered in an Italian Meat SauceCreamy Chicken Marsala or even an Italian Pesto Burger.

How Can This Salad Recipe Be Tweaked?

I’m used to finding a pile of artichoke hearts or hearts of palm on the side of the picky hubby’s plate, so feel free to leave out any ingredient your family does not enjoy. You can also add any of the traditional Italian salad ingredients listed above.

If you love onions, you may not need to pickle them by soaking them in vinegar to tame down their sharpness. I like a red or yellow onion as they tend to be sweeter than white onions. Or use green onions/scallions instead.

I found some of my favorite jarred piquillo peppers and diced them up. Feel free to use roasted bell peppers or even chopped raw red bell peppers for some crunch.
Don’t like pine nuts? Sliced almonds would work well, too, or just leave them out. My husband would like the latter option. 

Feel free to use your favorite lettuces, add cucumbers, grape tomatoes, etc.
Make sure to shake the vinaigrette well before dressing the salad. Any simple vinaigrette will work with this salad though the Parmesan gives another taste of Italy!

You can prep this salad well ahead of time. Just keep all the components refrigerated and toss with the dressing right before serving so the greens don’t get bogged down from the dressing.

How Do You Make a Chopped Salad?

When you make a chopped salad, cut all the components into bite-sized pieces. A chopped salad can also be a composed salad where all the ingredients are arranged instead of tossed together. The dressing is drizzled over the salad to serve. In France, this is known as a salad composée.

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Italian Chopped Salad featured image

Italian Chopped Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings

A loaded Italian chopped salad with an easy Parmesan dressing


  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, sliced crosswise into ½-inch ribbons
  • ¼ head of iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • ½ small red onion, peeled, thinly sliced and soaked in sherry or champagne vinegar while salad is prepped
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (14 ounces), cut into quarters and tough leaves removed if needed
  • 1 jar (or can) hearts of palm, drained and sliced
  • 1 jar piquillo peppers, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted


  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup olive oil


  1. Place the lettuce in the bottom of a large salad bowl.
  2. Add the toppings.
  3. To make the dressing, whisk red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Parmesan in a large Pyrex measuring up.
  4. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
  5. To serve, rewhisk the dressing and pour over the salad ingredients. Toss until combined.  Serve immediately.
  6. May top with more Parmesan if desired.


Dressing can be made ahead of time. If you refrigerate it, it must come to room temperature before serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g


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