This easy Italian chopped salad is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner that requires no cooking, but is filling, healthy and loaded with vegetables! It’s great for a light and fresh lunch, and still delicious enough to serve to guests. It’s Whole30, paleo, keto/low carb, and gluten-free, and is a great way to clean all of those vegetables and deli meat out of the fridge!
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Whole30 Italian Chopped Salad Ingredients
This low carb and Whole30 chopped salad is really versatile when it comes to ingredients. You can mix and match any of the base ingredients, plus add any of your own! The main things you’ll need to make this Italian salad will be a head of romaine lettuce, deli meat (no sugar or carrageenan added for Whole30) such as sliced ham and salami or turkey, and a great Italian dressing.
The dressing I love for Italian salads, and even marinating chicken, is Primal Kitchen’s Italian. It’s Whole30 Approved, vegan, keto and contains no junky additives. It’s such a bright and fresh addition that lives up anything you put it on! It’s also made with avocado oil instead of refined seed oils like most dressings, so I love that it’s a healthy added fat for Whole30.
How to Make this Chopped Italian Salad
The thing I love most about this salad is there’s no cooking involved. It makes it really easy to “make” being it’s just a bit of chopping and it’s ready to go! The chopping is really worth it. Chopped salads are the best because each bite is always the perfect bite of all of the salad ingredients.
You’ll first start by removing the stems from the romaine. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to stack the leaves on top of each other a few at a time, roll them up from the stem to the tip, and slicing perpendicular to the roll. This chopping method is called “chiffonade”.
This is the same way you’ll slice the deli meat and basil. Then, just do a fine dice with the onion, slice the peppers, and quarter the tomatoes. You’ll add all of the Whole30 chopped salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Then you’ll add in the Italian dressing, and the key here is to really mix everything together to evenly coat the ingredients so each bite is absolutely perfect!
Substitutions or Alternatives to Use
As mentioned, this salad works with so many different options. You can add in or swap out any of the vegetables with ones like sliced hearts of palm, artichokes, green or kalamata olives, cucumbers, green pepper, or radicchio. With any of these, you’ll want to follow the same method of chopping them into small, even dices or slices.
This Whole30 chopped salad is also great with additional herbs such as chopped parsley or chives. If you’re not following Whole30 or Paleo, it’s awesome with a bit of feta or mozzarella pearls, or even some cooled pasta.
If you don’t want to use deli meat, no problem. Grill up some chicken, thinly slice or dice, and toss it in with the salad and dressing. You can skip the meat altogether and keep this vegetarian, too, which is perfect for a light side salad.
This salad doesn’t store long once the dressing is added and mixed in. If you’re going to make this for meal prep, or want to prepare it ahead of time for lunch, dinner or guests, you can add everything except for the dressing first. Store in an airtight container with a folded piece of paper towel sat on top of the salad to keep it fresh, and then just mix in the dressing right before eating.
Other Whole30 Salad Recipes You’ll LovePrint
- 1 large head romaine lettuce (or two small ones)
- 2 slices sliced uncured ham (Applegate has a Whole30 Approved deli ham)
- 3 tbsp Primal Kitchen Italian Dressing (or to taste)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3–4 basil leaves, sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- Small handful sliced pepperoncini peppers
- Optional: 3 slices sliced salami, chopped parsley, artichoke hearts, sliced hearts of palm, kalamata olives
- Chop and slice all of the salad ingredients and add them into a large mixing bowl
- Add in the Italian dressing to the mixing bowl
- Using two forks or salad tossers, combine everything well so the dressing is evenly coating the salad
- Put in a serving bowl and enjoy
- To slice the romaine, basil and deli meat, use a chiffonade type slice. To do this, roll each ingredient and slice perpendicular to the roll
- Instead of Italian dressing, you can use a homemade balsamic vinaigrette
- Once the dressing is on the salad, it doesn’t store long in the refrigerator. If prepping for later, wait until just before serving to add the dressing
Keywords: chopped salad, whole30, deli meat, italian salad, gluten free, keto, low carb, paleo, salad recipes
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