Pasta salads have quickly become my go to side dish this summer. They’re usually pretty no-fuss, you can make them hours before you need them, and they’re always a crowd-pleaser.

This one isn’t your typical pasta salad since it’s more salad than pasta but hey, I’m still counting it. I made this for the 4th of July (because of the cute little star pasta!) and it was a hit with everyone. My kids won’t typically eat olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, or chickpeas but they were all over this. And I may have hidden the tiny bit we had leftover so my husband couldn’t get to it before I did.

If you have someone who claims to hate salads in your life, try this recipe on them! There’s so much good stuff going on that they won’t even realize they’re eating a salad!

One year ago: Baked S’mores
Two years ago: Baked Beans
Three years ago: Quinoa Granola

Italian Chopped Salad
Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • coarse salt and fresh black pepper to taste
For the salad:
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts
  • 3/4 cup diced plum tomatoes seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup diced cucumber seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup chopped pepperoni or salami
  • 3/4 cup diced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced or chopped black olives
  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked small pasta cooled
  • 8 cups finely chopped romaine
  • coarse salt and fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, place top on it. Shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the salad:
  1. In a large mixing bowl toss everything together except the romaine, salt, and pepper.
  2. When ready to serve toss with the romaine then mix in dressing a little at a time until everything is evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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