This Quick Chopped Salad recipe with a fresh, bright Lemon Basil Vinaigrette is the easiest, most delicious no cook recipe for hot summer days!
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Are you craving something healthy and delicious, but you don't want to put a lot of effort into it? Meet my Quick Chopped Salad!
These easy vegetarian chopped salad was one of the first recipes I ever shared here on Hello Little Home. It may be a few years old, but it's definitely stood the test of time.
I love this easy chopped salad recipe so much and make it anytime I need a fast, delicious meal, especially on hot summer days when I'm too lazy to cook.
The pictures in that original post were kinda sad though and I didn't have many (any?) readers back in the day. So I decided to give my Quick Chopped Salad a little makeover!
Quick Chopped Salad
This is the best chopped salad recipe ever for any busy day!
I love this Quick Chopped Salad for fast lunches and weeknight dinners, although personally, I think it makes a wonderful quick salad for a picnic or crowd, too. Just double or triple the recipe, as needed, and you're all set.
This super tasty vegetarian chopped salad recipe is packed with fresh veggies, salty olives, protein-packed chickpeas, and sharp feta cheese. And my chopped salad dressing, a zesty Lemon Basil Vinaigrette that's ready in minutes, is the perfect finishing touch!
Of course, there are just about a million ways to customize this easy chopped salad recipe to your taste. I'm sharing my tips for personalizing the salad at the end of the post, so don't forget to keep reading after you get the recipe.
How to Make a Chopped Salad
The thing I love about these chopped salad ingredients is that they're all bite-sized. No trying to gracefully fit enormous lettuce leaves in your mouth with this vegetarian chopped salad.
So of course, you'll start by do some chopping! You'll want to grab a large head of romaine lettuce, some juicy grape or cherry tomatoes, and a medium cucumber. Try to cut everything about the same size.
A few chopping / preparation tips:
- If you make a lot of salads, it's worth investing in a salad spinner. A salad spinner will remove any excess water leftover from cleaning your lettuce. There's nothing worse than making a delicious homemade salad dressing only to have it get watered down and bland. In a pinch, blot your lettuce with a paper towel instead of using a spinner.
- When cutting romaine, leave the stem attached. Then slice it vertically once, rotate it a quarter turn and slice vertically again (basically, you are slicing it in quarters vertically). Finally, slice it horizontally and your romaine will be perfectly chopped (discard the stem).
- To prep your cucumber, peel it and then slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds, then chop away.
- Slice your tomatoes in halves or quarters depending on their size. A sharp knife will make quick work of this, although I have to admit that I'm totally intrigued by this OXO Tomato Slicer! It's kind of seems like one of those crazy gadgets, but then again I do eat a ton of grape tomatoes ... ha!
Once you get all your veggies chopped, you'll combine them with the olives, chickpeas, and feta. Then, it's time to make your chopped salad dressing.
You are going to love this Lemon Basil Vinaigrette! It only takes a few ingredients to whip up, yet it's packed with flavor. Make sure to use fresh lemon juice and basil ... it will make all the difference in the finished dressing.
The vinaigrette only takes a few minutes to make, but if you want to save a little extra time, you could use a ready made Italian dressing (this Zesty Italian is my fave).
Toss that vinaigrette with your Quick Chopped Salad, and it's time to eat ... the best part!
Serve this Quick Chopped Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette any time you're busy or just want fresh, delicious meal fast!
Make this Quick Chopped Salad recipe your own!
This vegetarian chopped salad recipe is super flexible. Make it your own by switching up the ingredients.
Here are some other chopped salad ingredients to try:
- Mix in different vegetables, such as peppers, zucchini, or carrots. Veggies can be raw or roasted ... this is a great way to clean out your fridge!
- Add nuts, capers, or even giardiniera for a little kick.
- Experiment with other fresh herbs, such as rosemary or tarragon, in place of the basil.
- Swap out the feta for another cheese, like goat, blue, or aged gouda.
- Use the dressing from one of my other salad recipes in place of the Lemon Basil Vinaigrette.
- Are you vegan or serving someone who is? Check out the recipe notes to easily make this recipe vegan friendly.
Quick Chopped Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup halved kalamata olives
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 4 ounces feta, diced*
For Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup lightly packed basil leaves, chopped
- Add chickpeas, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and lettuce to a large bowl.
- Lightly toss, then top with feta.
- Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice until well combined.
- Season generously with salt and pepper; stir in basil.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad; toss well.
- Serve salad immediately. Enjoy!
Other Easy Salad Recipes to Try
Love this Quick Chopped Salad and want more easy salad ideas? Here are a few of my faves:
- Watermelon Basil Quinoa Salad (shown above)
- Kale Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon Basil Dressing
- Chinese Chopped Salad
- Mexican Kale Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette
- Tex Mex Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe
- Superfood Salad
What is your favorite quick recipe on a busy day?