This Italian Chopped Salad is basically all of your favourite fresh Italian flavours, topped with delicious Parma Ham. A base of crunchy greens topped with roasted potatoes, sweet and sour orange and grapefruit, crunchy pine nuts and all brought together with a sweet balsamic dressing.
This Italian Chopped Salad really does have it all! I love the combination of the sweet and salty, as well as how much texture and crunch there is. Sometimes I have a big bowl of it as a main meal, and other times it is a side dish.
It is filling enough as a main meal if you have a big enough portion, because you have the roasted potatoes to bulk it out and the delicious ham on top for a protein boost. Make a big batch of this on a Sunday and you have an easy salad for the rest of the week.
It's so easy to adapt this recipe and use up what ever you have in your fridge. We have made it with some celery in before, used a different selection of greens and even crumbled some goats cheese on top.
Why you will love it
- A delicious and filling salad
- Easy to adapt
- Colourful and vibrant
- Stores well for food prep
- Great for serving up to guests
- Potatoes - Roasted potatoes help to bulk this salad out and make it more filling. We used baby potatoes, however you could dice a larger potato and roast that instead.
- Lettuce - This is the base of the salad and you can use your favourite salad greens. We used a mixture of romaine and rocket (arugula), as the romaine has a nice crunch to it and the rocket has a lovely peppery flavour.
- Spinach - We mixed some spinach in to the lettuce mixture, as it adds a nice iron boost to the salad.
- Pepper - Orange bell peppers not only add a nice pop of colour to this chopped salad, but it also adds some sweetness, that cuts through the saltiness of the parma ham.
- Tomatoes - We used cherry tomatoes to add colour and flavour to the salad. You could dice up a larger tomato or even use sun dried tomatoes, which would add a more intense tomato flavour.
- Orange and grapefruit - We love fruit in a salad, and find that orange and grapefruit go perfectly with the saltiness of the ham.
- Pine nuts - These add a nice crunch to the finished salad. You could swap them for chopped walnuts or even sunflower seeds.
- Sultanas - Add some extra fruit flavour with dried fruit. We used sultanas, but you could used dried cherries or cranberries instead.
- Oil - Try to use the best quality olive oil that you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
- Vinegar - We used balsamic vinegar, as it has such a lovely flavour. But you could swap it for an apple cider vinegar instead if you prefer.
- Lemon - This really lightens up the whole dressing. Freshly squeezed is always best.
- Garlic - This adds a punch of flavour to the dressing. Fresh is always best, but you could use ready chopped garlic from a jar if you prefer.
- Herbs - We used fresh basil and dried oregano, as they add a lovely Italian flavour to the salad.
- Parmesan - It's not an Italian salad without parmesan, right? If you don't like parmesan, then you could swap it for mozzarella or even a goats cheese.
- Parma Ham - These adds plenty of protein and flavour to the salad. You could use any ham, but we love the flavour and quality of parma ham. You could also use pepperoni, or chorizo.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling water and par-boil for 5-6 minutes. Drain and then put in a baking tray with a teaspoon of oil and put in a preheated oven at 200°C for 35 minutes.
Two: In a large bowl, add the rocket, spinach, romaine, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, orange, grapefruit.
Three: In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, basil and oregano.
Four: Pour the dressing over the chopped salad in the bowl and add the pine nuts and sultanas.
Five: Mix the salad well.
Six: Serve in a bowl and top with the Parmesan and Parma Ham.
What to serve it with
Thanks to the potatoes and ham, this is a hearty and filling enough salad as it is. If you are eating it as a main, then just serving it with some Homemade Flatbread or even some garlic bread would be enough. However, if you are serving it as a side, then we have some suggestions on what would go really well with it:
- BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Baked Chicken Burger
- Perfect Roast Chicken
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Honey Mustard Salmon
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
Let's talk about this Italian Salad Dressing - you are going to want to drink it straight from the mixing bowl. It's sweet, it's salty, it's creamy, and it clings to this chopped salad.
A mixture of the best quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a little lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, fresh basil and dried oregano really bring this salad together.
A salad is always a good opportunity to have lots of colours in your meals, but that doesn't guarantee that it will be healthy. We have packed lots of vegetables in to ours, but it isn't low calories because of the potatoes and also it is quite salty because of the ham. Portion control is key with this salad.
You can easily make a vegetarian version of this by leaving out the ham and swapping the parmesan for a vegetarian alternative. Add some vegetarian protein by mixing some cooked chickpeas in to the salad.
You can store this salad in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. After that it will start to get soggy.
• Add a little extra saltiness by topping this Italian Chopped Salad with some olives.
• Make a big batch of this and keep it in your fridge for easy side dishes or work lunches throughout the week.
• Finish the dish with some shaved parmesan or crumbled goats cheese.
• Try chopped the Parma Ham up and frying it to add some crispiness to the salad.
More salad recipes
Italian Chopped Salad with Parma Ham
- 50 g Rocket (arugula)
- ½ head Romain lettuce - finely chopped
- 75 g Spinach - finely chopped
- 6 New potatoes - quartered
- 1 Orange bell pepper - diced
- 10 Cherry tomatoes - halved
- ½ Orange - diced
- ½ Grapefruit - diced
- 2 tablespoon Pine nuts
- 4 tablespoon Sultanas
- 15 g Parmesan - grated
- 6 slices Parma Ham
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 3 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 Lemon - (juice only)
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- ½ bunch Fresh basil - finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dried oregano
- Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling water and par-boil for 5-6 minutes. Drain and then put in a baking tray with a teaspoon of oil and put in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for 35 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the rocket, spinach, romaine, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, orange, grapefruit.
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, basil and oregano.
- Pour the dressing over the chopped salad in the bowl and add the pine nuts and sultanas.
- Mix the salad well.
- Serve in a bowl and top with the parmesan and Parma Ham.
- Add a little extra saltiness by topping this Italian Chopped Salad with some olives.
- Make a big batch of this and keep it in your fridge for easy side dishes or work lunches throughout the week.
- Finish the dish with some shaved parmesan or crumbled goats cheese.
- Try chopped the Parma Ham up and frying it to add some crispiness to the salad.