October 11, 2021

Loaded Chopped Italian Salad with a Creamy Italian Dressing

I am a huge fan of chopped salads, anyone else!? I absolutely love all of the different fix-ins and mixing and matching different ingredients with each bite. Every bite is unique, flavorful and fun!

This recipe is inspired by two of my favorite Chicago restaurants: Parlor Pizza Bar and Portillo’s. Plus, I am featuring one of my favorite jarred vegetables brands, Jeff‘s Garden. I’ve combined all of my favorite things from each one to create this Loaded Salad. If you haven’t had the chance to try either of these restaurants or this brand, stop what you’re doing and do so now because you absolutely need to!

Since it is currently summertime, the warm weather, bright shining sun and fresh air make me crave this salad all the time. It’s bright colors, healthy ingredients and light yet filling nature make it the perfect meal. Whether it be for lunch or dinner. Oh and trust me, all the flavors combined between the salad fixins and the dressing ensure that “being flavorful” is not an issue.

One of the great things about this salad is that you can customize it how you would like. There are so many good fix-ins that if you eliminate one or two such as the cheese and/or meat to make this a vegan or vegetarian dish, it will not compromise the salad at all!

Iceberg lettuce and romaine are very similar. But, I wanted to incorporate both and mix because I absolutely love chunky iceberg lettuce when it’s dressed and it holds a ton of water content, 96% to be exact, so it makes me fuller and satisfied for a longer period of time. With romaine, it is a little leafy-er and greener so I wanted that extra boost of greens, leaves and crunch. When both get mixed together it makes for the perfect combination.

Did you make this? If so, make sure to tag and follow @prettyplatebymichelle on instagram or leave a comment below and let me know what you thought! I would love to see your Pretty Plate and hear from you!

Loaded Chopped Italian Salad with a Creamy Italian Dressing

Summertime equals constant hot weather and when it‘s too hot to cook, make this Loaded Chopped Italian Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing. It will be exactly what you need. I know I’ve been living off cool salads for lunch and even dinner lately.

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For the Loaded Chopped Italian Salad:

For the Creamy Italian Dressing:

  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/3 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 TSP coarse dijon mustard (new primal brand, you can find at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/4 TSP black pepper
  • 1 TSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 TSP raw agave nectar
  1. To make the dressing: combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to your serving vessel of choice and place in the fridge to cool for at least 30+ minutes. Serve with your salad when ready.
  2. Prepare all of your ingredients and place in separate bowls: chop your lettuce into thick chunks, chop your romaine lettuce in thick chunks, slice your pepperoni in quarters, slice your salami in strips, cube your provolone cheese, slice your jalapeño stuffed olives in half and halve your tomatoes. Place all prepared items in the fridge to keep cool until ready to assemble your salad.
  3. Heat 2 separate pots of salted water over medium to high heat. Once both are boiling add your pasta to one and cook for 11 minutes or until al dente. Add your potatoes to the other and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, but not soft. NOTE: You want your potatoes to be slightly under cooked. If they are too soft, they will be too mushy in your salad.
  4. When done, strain both and run under cold water. Place both in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes to cool OR to speed up the process place in your freezer for 10-15 minutes. When the potatoes have cooled enough, cut them in quarters.
  5. To assemble your salad, measure out all of your items and place in a large or x-large bowl.
  6. Pour cooled dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Adjust the salad as needed and add as many or as little of the fixings and dressing as you would like while constructing.
  7. Serve right away. NOTE: you can save extras for leftovers. However, if you have extra ingredients, do not dress as it will get soggy. So, only dress as needed.
  8. ENJOY!
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October 19, 2021
So delicious!