Home > Salads > Leafy Green Salads > Italian Salad Italian Salad April 7, 2019 | 29 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Delicious and healthy Italian Salad with a perfect herb dressing and plenty of veggies is easy to customize. For a great Italian meal, pair this salad with Bruschetta and this amazing Beef Ragu. This Italian salad is my go-to choice! We eat it all the time and it pairs so well with so many different entrees — especially meat-heavy meals like this Crockpot Roast, Shepherd’s Pie, or Crockpot Chili! So, while your entree is cooking, you can toss together this simple salad. It’s very versatile and you can customize the veggies to include all your favorites. Or simplify it to include just 1-2 of your all-star add-ins. How to make Italian Salad Make the dressing: In a mini food processor, pulse all the dressing ingredients to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oil to emulsify. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl: Chopped lettuce, cucumbers, artichokes, tomatoes, olives, avocado, and pepperoncini all make great salad elements. See below for alternate salad addition ideas. Toss: Toss everything together with the dressing; add the salad toppings: croutons and Parmesan cheese! Italian Salad Tips Only add avocado, dressing, cheese, and croutons to the amount of salad that will be finished the same day you make it. The lettuce and veggie mixture doesn’t sit well with the dressing; the croutons will get soggy, and the avocado will brown. Make ahead: You can make everything for this salad ahead of time; just store everything (lettuce, salad ingredients, dressing, toppings) separately. Toss together right before serving! Good–quality olive oil: The better the olive oil you use, the better and more flavorful the dressing will be. ‘Nuff said. Homemade croutons? Even better! Try this recipe. This salad is very easy to adjust to personal preference and doesn’t take long to put together. The best part is the dressing! The dressing, adapted from Once Upon a Chef, is my favorite — so fresh tasting and flavorful. Variation ideas for this Italian Salad Replace one of the existing veggies in the salad or add in any of the following: Thinly sliced baby sweet bell peppers Chopped bell pepper (see how to cut a bell pepper here!) Thinly sliced or chopped red onion Banana peppers Grated carrots Thinly sliced celery Pitted green or black olives Sun-dried tomatoes QUICK TIP Speaking of bell peppers, do you know the difference between green, yellow, orange and red bell peppers? Green bell peppers are simply unripe versions of the more brightly colored peppers, and they’re absolutely fine to eat in their green state. The colored (ripened) bell peppers are mellower and sweeter in flavor and can contain up to twice as much Vitamin C as the green ones. You can also amp up the protein in this Italian salad by adding some meat or beans. Below are some ideas: Thinly sliced pepperoni Thinly sliced salami Drained and rinsed chickpeas Grill some chicken (grilled chicken marinade) to thinly slice and add to this salad. Grill some steak (steak marinade) to thinly slice and add to this salad. More Italian-Style Dishes One-Pan Italian Sausage and Veggies Caprese Salad with BEST basil dressing Italian Chickpea Salad Panzanella Salad FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Easy Italian Salad 5 from 14 votes - Review this recipe A delicious and healthy Italian Salad with a perfect herb dressing and plenty of veggies is an easy dinner salad that you can customize. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Easy Italian Salad 5 from 14 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe A delicious and healthy Italian Salad with a perfect herb dressing and plenty of veggies is an easy dinner salad that you can customize. Course Salad Cuisine Italian Keyword italian salad Prep Time 15 minutes Total Time 15 minutes Servings 12 servings Calories 170kcal Author Chelsea, dressing adapted from Once Upon a Chef Cost $5.60 IngredientsFor the Dressing1 cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, loosely packed, chopped (measured into 1 cup before chopping)1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves chopped1/2 teaspoon dried oregano2 cloves garlic minced1/4 cup red wine vinegar1 teaspoon white sugarFreshly cracked black pepper and fine sea salt3/4 cup extra virgin olive oilFor the Salad1 large head Romaine lettuce washed, dried and cut into bite-sized pieces3/4 cup English cucumbers halved and quartered1/2 cup artichokes drained and coarsely chopped (Note 1)1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved1/3 cup pitted black olives halved1 large avocado, chopped or thinly slicedFreshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional to top salad withCroutons store-bought or homemade, parmesan cheese, added to preferenceOptional: pepperoncini InstructionsMake the dressing: Combine the chopped parsley, chopped basil, oregano, garlic cloves, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper (to taste, I use 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt) in a food processor or blender and pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until combined. Don't overmix or the olive oil can taste metallic. Refrigerate in a Mason jar while preparing other ingredients. Shake to recombine dressing ingredients as needed before adding to the salad.Place the chopped lettuce, cucumbers, artichokes, tomatoes, olives, and optional pepperoncini in a large bowl. Right before serving, add about half of the dressing, avocado, Parmesan cheese, and toss well. Add more dressing as needed, making sure to generously coat the lettuce (you'll likely use more dressing than you think to really get the flavor perfect!). Add some more salt and pepper (to taste) to the salad and top with croutons and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.*Only add avocado, dressing, cheese, and croutons to the amount of salad that will be finished immediately. This salad doesn't sit well with the dressing. The croutons will get soggy and the avocado will brown in any leftover salad. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Often, I'll trade out artichokes for thinly sliced baby sweet bell peppers. Nutrition FactsCalories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 175mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 762IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.