Craving a taste of California Pizza Kitchen at home? Try this easy copycat Italian Chopped Salad recipe! This vibrant, flavorful salad is a medley of crisp lettuce, diced vegetables, and hearty Italian meats, chopped to perfection. Tossed with a homemade herb vinaigrette dressing that packs a punch of flavor, it’s the perfect salad to pair with your pizza nights or enjoy as a healthy main dish.
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What Makes the California Pizza Kitchen Italian Chopped Salad the Perfect Dinner Salad
Yes, a salad can be filling, and this recipe proves that once and for all. The Italian Chopped Salad at California Pizza Kitchen comes loaded with enough veggies, meats, and cheese to satisfy even the heartiest appetites.
Think of it as an elevated and slightly healthier version of the classic Chef Salad. It is perfectly balanced, bursting with flavor, and sure to become one of your new favorites.
Why You Should Try This Italian Chopped Salad
There are a lot of unique touches that make this salad just a little bit different from the standard salad you can find in a deli. While the garbanzo beans, scallions, and basil are welcome additions, it’s the homemade Herb Vinaigrette that really brings this salad over the top when it comes to deliciousness. Although you could use a bottled vinaigrette, you’d be missing out.
A delicious dressing alternative is homemade Italian dressing.
CPK Italian Chopped Salad Ingredients
For the Herb Vinaigrette, you’ll need:
- Dijon mustard
- Dried oregano
- Dried parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Red wine vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Grated Parmesan cheese
For the Italian salad, you’ll need:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
- Basil leaves
- Dry Italian salami
- Garbanzo beans
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Tomatoes – regular or cherry tomatoes
- Turkey breast
How to Make This Italian Chopped Salad Recipe
To prepare the herbal vinegarette:
- Add all of the ingredients in the salad dressing except for the olive oil and the Parmesan cheese to the bowl of a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, roughly cut the garlic and shallots and use a blender instead.
- Pulse the ingredients a few times to mince the garlic and shallots.
- With the food processor at low speed, slowly pour in the olive oil until the dressing is thick.
- Remove the blade from the bowl of the food processor and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
- Transfer the dressing to an airtight container and put in the fridge until needed.
To assemble the California Pizza Kitchen Chopped Salad:
- Wash, dry, and trim the iceberg and romaine. Chop both into bite-sized strips and mix them together in a large bowl.
- Finish prepping the rest of the ingredients. Slice the basil into fine strips and the dry salami into slightly thicker strips. Roughly chop the garbanzo beans. Dice the tomatoes and turkey breast into half-inch pieces, and scallions into quarter-inch long rounds.
- Toss the sliced basil, dry salami, chopped garbanzo beans, and mozzarella cheese with the lettuce. Mix well.
- At this point, you can either choose to make a composed salad or mix everything together.
- If you decide to make a composed salad, place a mound of the mixed ingredients in the center of a chilled plate and ring the salad with the chopped tomatoes. Scatter the chopped turkey and scallions on top. Serve with the Herb Vinaigrette on the side.
- If you go with the mixed salad, add the tomatoes, chopped turkey, scallions, and dressing to the bowl and toss well. Serve on a chilled plate.
A salad is incredibly easy to change to suit your taste. Here are some ideas:
- Add some chopped radicchio.
- Add more veggies such as cucumber, red peppers, or artichokes.
- Add black olives or kalamata olives.
- Swap the mozzarella with provolone cheese.
- Swap the scallions with chopped red onion.
- Top it with chopped fresh basil, oregano, or thyme.
What to Serve With an Italian Chopped Salad
Breadsticks and Garlic Twists go great with an entree-sized CPK Italian Chopped Salad. If you prefer to serve it as a side salad, pair it with a hearty bowl of Minestrone or Zuppa Toscano soup or half of a sandwich, like grilled cheese.
A few pepperoncini on the side add a spicy touch.
How to Store Leftovers?
While enjoying the salad a few minutes after mixing is best, you can keep any extra in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you want to prepare the salad in advance, to keep everything as fresh as possible, store all the components separately in airtight containers and combine them a few minutes before serving.
How Long Will the Salad Last?
A mixed salad will stay fresh for only a few hours, but individual components, when kept separate, can stay fresh for a day or two. The Herb Vinaigrette will remain good for up to three days in the fridge.
More California Pizza Kitchen Copycat Recipes
Favorite Salad Recipes
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Costco Quinoa Salad
- Frito Salad
- Panera Green Goddess Salad
- Spaghetti Salad
- Taco Salad with Doritos
- Thai Noodle Salad
- Traditional Greek Salad
- Warm Spinach Salad
For more CPK recipes, get the restaurant’s cookbook – The California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook.
California Pizza Kitchen Italian Chopped Salad
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce cleaned, trimmed, and chopped into 1/8-inch strips
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce cleaned, trimmed, and chopped into 1/8-inch strips
- 12 basil leaves chopped into 1/16-inch strips
- 2 cups dry Italian salami cut into thin strips
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup chopped chickpeas
- 4 cups ripe tomatoes diced to 1/2 inch
- 3 cups turkey breast diced to 1/2 inch
- 2 tablespoons scallions chopped to 1/4-inch
- To make the dressing, process all the ingredients except for the olive oil and Parmesan using a hand-held, propeller-blade mixer, or whisk by hand in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. When all the oil has been incorporated, add the Parmesan and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Toss the first 6 salad ingredients together with the dressing in a large mixing bowl.
- Transfer the salad to chilled salad plates. Surround each serving with a ring of diced tomatoes and top with turkey breast and scallions.