Loaded Italian Salad
This Loaded Italian Salad is great as a hearty lunch or dinner salad. It is chock full with flavor, texture and color. With ingredients like salami, pepperoni, cucumber, Kalamata olives and pepperoncini this salad is sure to make everyone smile.
This salad kind of reminds me of an Italian BMT Subway salad (which is where I got the idea). Instead of ham though, I like to use peppered turkey, dairy-free cheese and, from time to time, will mix up my choice of lettuce. For convenience, I will use a store bought dressing but, when I’m not in a hurry, I like to make my own. And if you are interested, I provide those two different dressing options below.
- Romaine Lettuce, Spring Mix or a combination of the two
- Turkey or Ham
- Dairy-free Cheese
- Bell Pepper
- Kalamata Olives
- Black Pepper
- Salad Dressing
Ingredient Notes For This Loaded Italian Salad:
- Greens – You can use romaine, spring mix or a combination of the two. Some spring mixes may also include red and green romaine though. So just watch what you get.
- Meats – I list quantities below, but do what works best for you.
- Cheese – Feel free to use your favorite dairy-free cheese. I sometimes use this Field Roast vegan cheese. For those that want a dairy option, provolone will work well too.
- Pepperoncini – I like to purchase the peppers whole and then slice them myself. I notice that the pre-sliced version isn’t as good texture wise.
- Salad Dressing – Store bought or homemade will be fine for this recipe. My recipe is very easy and quick to put together though. It is one of my go to dressings! (Feel free to add more herbs into it such as: basil, oregano and marjoram to make it even more authentic).
- Meal Prep – This make-ahead salad can be prepped a full day in advance (say on a Sunday) and you can enjoy it throughout the week.
- FYI: This Clear Glass Bowl with Lid Set of 12 from Crate & Barrel is what I use to store my ingredients in. Just be sure to store each ingredient in a separate bowl. They are so convenient and pretty too! Also, these containers are perfect for recipes like my Loaded Kiwi Chia Pudding (Dairy & Gluten-Free).
- Vinaigrette – My dressing can be prepared in advance. If you do, remove it from the fridge and let it sit out on the counter for awhile before using. This just allows it to come to room temperature, which makes it easier to mix up again.
- Pro Tip: As you prep the dressing here is something to keep in mind. Rub the herbs in between your fingers to release the oils and mellow the herbs.
- A second option is Briannas® Italian Vinaigrette but, just a heads up, it does contain dairy.
And, for more delicious recipes, please give these a try:
- Strawberry Lentil Salad with Greens
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (w/ Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette)
- Stone-Fruit Peach Caprese Salad
- Peach Cilantro Farro Salad
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If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a star rating on my blog so I know how you liked it. Thanks! Enjoy!
- And for those interested, these 9 oz Ramekins are by The Pioneer Woman, or there is this set of 8 oz Ramekins both of which are from Amazon.
- My Large White Textured Avery Ceramic Bowl is available at World Market.
Loaded Italian Salad
- 1 5 oz box Spring Mix, 2 Romaine Lettuce Heads, chopped or a combination of the two
- 2–3 oz Four Peppered Turkey or Ham, thinly sliced, cut into bite-size pieces (1 slice equals 1 oz)*
- 2–3 oz Italian Style Peppered Salami, cut into bite-size pieces (3 slices equals 1 oz)*
- 2–3 oz Sliced Pepperoni, cut into bite-size pieces (3 slices equals 1 oz)*
- 2–3 oz Dairy Free Cheese, cut into bite-size pieces (1 slice equals 1 oz)*
- 1 English Cucumber, diced
- 1 large Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup Kalamata Olives, halved
- 1/2 cup Pepperoncini, thinly sliced
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper, just a bit for topping (optional)
- Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette Dressing or Briannas® Italian Vinaigrette
- LEMON-HERB VINAIGRETTE:
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good quality)
- 1/2 large Lemon, freshly squeezed juice
- 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/4 tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1/4 tsp Dried Parsley
- Make the vinaigrette: Rub the herbs in between your fingers to release the oils and mellow the herbs. Add all the ingredients to a mason jar or a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until well combined. Set aside.
- Assemble the salad: In a large serving bowl, add the lettuce, and layer with all of the other salad ingredients, minus the dressing. Give it a nice toss. Or you can assemble the salad in four smaller bowls.
- Optional: Top the salad with just a bit of freshly ground black pepper. (I like a bit extra to finish it off).
- Serve: Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss and serve immediately.
- Meats: For the salami and pepperoni I like to use the Deitz & Watson brand.
- Cheese: Feel free to use your favorite dairy-free cheese. I sometimes use this Field Roast vegan cheese. For those that want a dairy option, provolone will work well too.
- Pepperoncini: I like to purchase the peppers whole and then slice them myself. I notice that the pre-sliced version isn’t as good texture wise.
- Vinaigrette: My dressing can be prepared in advance. If you do, remove it from the fridge and let it sit out on the counter for awhile before using. This just allows it to come to room temperature, which makes it easier to mix up again. (Feel free to add more herbs into it such as: basil, oregano and marjoram to make it even more authentic).
Share your thoughts, or ask a question!