How To Make A Perfect Chopped Salad – HexClad Cookware
FREE SHIPPING | LIFETIME WARRANTY | UP TO 30% OFF | SHOP NOW
  • Lunch
  • Appetizers
  • Dinner
  • How to prepare

How To Make A Perfect Chopped Salad

by HexClad Cookware

How To Make A Perfect Chopped Salad

A perfect chopped salad is a thing of beauty. It combines a variety of textures, flavors, and—though not strictly necessary—colors, too (TBH we love a monochrome chop). Whether you’re wanting to build a Greek-inspired chopped salad, an Italian chopped salad that rivals your favorite restaurant, or simply make the most of what you’ve got left in your fridge, the chopped salad is always a welcome dish. When building a great chopped salad, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. 

HERE ARE OUR TOP TIPS FOR MAKING A PERFECT SALAD

There are no hard and fast rules for making a chopped salad. Approaches to assembly for chopped salad vary. Some like to toss everything together while others prefer presenting a chopped salad with all the components arranged in neat piles before tossing tableside.

START WITH THE BASE

Though many chopped salad recipes are built around lettuce or other greens, there’s no strict rule that you need greens to make a chopped salad (to wit, horiatiki—traditional Greek salad—is a chopped salad that features tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, feta, onion, and herbs). The key is figuring out an anchoring ingredient that will give the salad body and can stand up to chopping. For instance, lightweight mesclun leaves will not handle chopping very well. Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, radicchio, endive, frisée, and kale are all great places to start. Of course, you can opt to chop everything but the lettuce and serve the chopped ingredients on top.

NEXT, FIGURE OUT DRESSING

If you’re planning to lean into strong flavors while composing your chopped salad, you might consider simply dressing it with olive oil and lemon juice. Or, go for a classic Dijon vinaigrette to lend some French flair to the bowl. Blue cheese dressing is a must with a wedge-inspired salad, while a drizzle of green goddess dressing brings gorgeous color to every dish. The key is to think through how important the dressing component is, then work from there.

THEN THINK ABOUT CRUNCHY BITS

The heart of a chopped salad are the crunchy bits, which isn’t necessarily to say croutons, though those wouldn’t go amiss. Think tomatoes, cucumbers, fruit—like apples, pears, oranges, and even kiwi—bell peppers, onion, radishes, raw corn, and carrot. If you want uniform pieces, chop the ingredients into similar sizes, or, if you prefer varied texture, mix it up.

CONSIDER PROTEIN

If you’re serving a chopped salad as a main dish, you’re probably going to want to add some protein. For a vegetarian option, choose beans or legumes (chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans all work well) or cubes of tofu. If you prefer meat, go for bite-sized pieces of chicken, steak, or salmon (add salmon on top or toss at the very end so the pieces don’t break up too much). Flaked tuna is great in chopped salads, as is shrimp. For a chopped taco salad, save the ground beef for the end so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce. Hard-cooked eggs are good to add at the end, too, since you don’t want the yolk to fall away from the white.

FINALLY, FOCUS ON FLAVOR-BOOSTING INGREDIENTS

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten cheese. Few chopped salads are harmed by the addition of cheese, whether cubes of cheddar or feta, thick shavings of parm, or crumbles of cotija or queso fresco. Other flavor-boosting ingredients that take a chopped salad up a notch include olives, avocado, anchovies, marinated artichoke hearts, capers, tortilla chips, croutons, and pickles. Of course, there is no limit to what can go in a chopped salad. This is where fridge-clean outs can be your friend. Don’t be shy about trying unusual ingredients in your chopped salad - you may find a winner!

Planning to whip up a chopped salad of your own? These essential tools will help you make the best chopped salad around:

Read more