Italian Salad is one of my favorite salad recipes. This vegetarian dish is full of fresh greens and veggies, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, tomatoes, and topped with a zesty homemade Italian dressing.
This easy salad recipe can we whipped together super fast for a quick lunch, or served as a side salad with your favorite pasta dish. I love a versatile salad.
You can mix the Italian dressing right in with the salad, or serve it in a small pitcher so people can put as much as they want on their salad.
Italian Salad Ingredients
To make this delicious Italian salad recipe, you will need the following ingredients (see the full recipe below for detailed amounts):
- Romaine: or any green lettuce
- Artichoke hearts: drained and patted dry
- More fresh vegetables: cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, and cucumber are my veggies of choice for this salad
- Mozzarella pearls: these little balls of cheese bring me such joy
- Fresh basil leaves: because we are real Italians (this is optional)
- Italian salad dressing: extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil), white wine vinegar, sugar, fresh thyme, dry mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.
How to Make Italian Salad
- Make the Dressing. Shake or whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, thyme, dry mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt and pepper until well blended. Set aside.
- Make the salad. Combine the rest of the salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Season the salad. Add more salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!
What Can I Eat with Italian Salad?
Italian salad can be used for multiple different types of dishes. My favorite way to eat this is by itself as a balanced lunch. It has the perfect blend of crunchy, tangy goodness.
You can put salami or sliced grilled chicken into the salad for a complete meal. You can also eat this as a side salad alongside your favorite fish or meat. I like to eat it with Garlic Parmesan Noodles or Bruschetta Chicken.
For a vegetarian option, you can add chickpeas or quinoa inside of this salad.
Possible Italian Salad Variations
Because the artichokes are a staple in this dish, I wouldn’t recommend removing it and replacing it with another ingredient. Instead, try these substitutions:
- Consider including sliced black or kalamata olives
- Add in pepperoncini peppers
- Cubed or sliced salami are great additions to this Italian salad
- Drizzle some balsamic over the salad
- Top off the salad with grated parmesan cheese and croutons
Can I Use Already Marinated Artichokes for this Salad?
You can use marinated artichokes for this salad. The flavors usually already compliment those used in the salad dressing, so it won’t negatively affect the salad. I recommend draining and patting the artichokes dry so that the salad isn’t being overpowered by the flavor of artichokes.
This salad is best when eaten fresh, the day that you make it. It does not keep very well overnight because the green lettuce tends to wilt quickly.
If you would like to make it ahead of time, I recommend preparing and cutting all the ingredients and storing them separately. Combine the ingredients just before you are ready to serve.
Zesty Italian Salad
For the Dressing:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper plus more to taste
For the Salad:
- 12 oz can artichoke hearts drained and quartered
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1 cup red onion diced
- ½ cucumber peeled & sliced
- 5 cups romaine lettuce rinsed, drained and chopped
- 1 cup mozzarella pearls
- 5 large fresh basil leaves optional
- Shake or whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, thyme, dry mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper until well blended. Set aside.
- Drain and pat dry artichoke hearts.
- Combine the rest of the salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Season with more salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!
The nutrition information is calculated using online nutrition calculators and may not be accurate. It is provided as a general guide only.
The recipe and photos contained herein are the property of Emily Enchanted© and may not be copied.