Bright and colorful, Mediterranean Chopped Salad has the power to convert even the pickiest eater into a salad lover with one forkful. Bursting with fresh Greek salad flavors and loaded with crunch, it’s a total game-changer.
This salad relies on Homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette to bring all the flavors together, but you can try it with Homemade French Dressing or even Asian Salad Dressing (which also doubles as a tasty marinade.) Also have a look at other fantastic DIY salad dressings, all of which are so much better than the bottle.
In fact, there’s more than enough of the good stuff for everyone, and it’s all tossed in a really wonderful 5-ingredient homemade dressing that is completely easy to shake up and have on hand when you get the urge for a giant, healthy salad. And you will.
It’s a perfect salad to bring to parties, but it’s just as good as a packed lunch when you’re determined to eat healthy and stay away from that burrito place on the corner. Mediterranean Chopped Salad, with all its bright, zippy crunch, will probably make you forget all about that burrito.
Making Mediterranean Chopped Salad for a dinner group? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Mediterranean Chopped Salad Ingredients:
- Lettuce. The crispier, the better. Hearty lettuce like Romaine would be a perfect fit.
- Cucumber. Hot house varieties, like Persian or Japanese cucumbers-- which have tiny seeds and a sweet taste, are ideal. But you can use any cucumber you like--but you might want to take out the seeds.
- Tomatoes. The bright red grape tomatoes almost always are in season and taste great.
- Chickpeas. Canned chickpeas work perfectly.
- Kalamata olives. Slice these in half, to make sure everyone gets some and that there aren’t pits lurking inside.
- Feta cheese. Any kind of hard, briny sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese will do.
Other amazing, yet entirely optional ingredients:
- Pepperoncini peppers. A little spice might be nice.
- Roasted red peppers. Got one of those little jars in your pantry? Add some!
- Sunflower seeds.
- Mint. Fresh chopped mint is glorious in this salad.
- Roasted zucchini slices.
- Hard-boiled egg. Go ahead and chop up a couple eggs.
- Israeli couscous. Tiny pearl shaped pasta, pre-cooked, add a little extra substance to this salad. Throw some in!
How to make Red Wine Vinaigrette:
You can make a few batches of the vinaigrette to store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep it in the refrigerator for a week’s worth of delicious salads.
- First, find a big bowl that will hold the salad—you can make the dressing in that.
- Then whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper just the way you like it.
- Next, just let everything sit and marinate together while you prep all the salad ingredients. A little time will make the flavors pop, especially if you're using dried ingredients.
How to make Mediterranean Chopped Salad:
Admittedly, the most time consuming part of making this salad is getting the ingredients ready, but it’s smooth sailing after that. After all, it wouldn’t be chopped salad without some chopping.
- To begin, chop the lettuce as finely as you can, then slice the olives, chop the tomatoes, and dice the onion. Next, slice the cucumbers down the middle and scoop the seeds out of them before you chop them up. Unless you’re using Persian-type cucumbers—then all you have to do is cut them up.
- Drain the chickpeas and give them a good rinse under cold running water.
- Then just toss the lettuce, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas together with the dressing. And sprinkle the olives and crumbled feta cheese over everything. Finally, dig in!
Serve Mediterranean Chopped Salad all by itself as a fabulous side dish or light and healthy main course. Certainly, it would be even better with grilled salmon, a can of good tuna, or anything fresh off the grill: chicken, steak, or pork chops.
Mediterranean Chopped Salad Recipe
For the red wine vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 1 hothouse cucumber halved lengthwise and chopped (see notes)
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 4 cups chopped lettuce
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives halved lengthwise
- 4 ounces feta cheese cubed
- In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). To the dressing, red onion and cucumber and toss to combine. Let marinate for 20 minutes.
- Add lettuce, tomatoes, and chickpeas and toss to combine. Sprinkle with olives and feta cheese.