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Unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad

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This unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad is full of fresh tomatoes, basil, Romaine, Pecorino, a rich balsamic glaze…and “sprinkled” with some surprise ingredients!

Unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Ever since we returned home from our trip to Rome, I have been itching to recreate this salad we tried on our very last day there at a cute restaurant called La Prosciutteria.

Tons of you had actually recommended that we check out this place, thanks to their infamous design-your-own-cheeseboard menu — which was just as brilliant and magical as you would imagine. But surprisingly, the surprise dish that swept in and stole the show ended up being this gorgeous side salad! We added it to our order at the very last second, feeling the need for something green to balance out all of those delicious meats and cheeses. But after a few bites, we ended up wishing we had a cheeseboard-sized platter of salad too.

It was ridiculously delicious. And also — can I say — a little ridiculously random?

On the menu, it sounded like it was just going to be a simple, caprese-ish green salad, full of fresh tomatoes (mmm, those tomatoes in Italy are next-level), Pecorino cheese, fresh basil, and Romaine, drizzled with a thick balsamic glaze. But when it arrived, we took a closer look and saw that it was sprinkled with a variety of “confetti”, including lots of sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds and black pepper. Basically, everything bagel seasoning! Which is definitely not something I typically associate with Italian food. But hey, those Italians know what they’re doing. And this was absolute perfection.

So of course, I had to try recreating it the second we got home. And share it with you. 

Italian Chopped Salad Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad IngredientsThe other good news? This one is super-easy to make.

Just chop up a large head of Romaine (or whatever greens you have on hand), a pint of cherry tomatoes (hopefully they’re nice and ripe!), and lots of fresh basil (we agreed the more, the merrier). Then if you can get your hands on a big hunk of Pecorino cheese, that is unquestionably the best way to go here with all of its aged, salty, goodness. But — that said — Asiago, Manchego, Mozzarella, Provolone, or even a mild Parmesan would work well here too.

Toss everything together in a large bowl, then sprinkle with your desired nuts (the restaurant used sunflower seeds) and a few tablespoons of everything bagel seasoning. (Although as you’ll note in the photos, I didn’t put two and two together that all of these “sprinkles” were really everything seasoning until after I started typing this recipe up, and added them all separately to the salad. Much easier if you just have the blend ready to go!)

Drizzle everything with a generous pour of good-quality olive oil and a little lemon juice, and toss to combine.

Unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad Prep

Then once the salad is ready to go, dish it up on your serving plates…

Unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad with Balsamic Glaze

…and drizzle with some balsamic glaze, and maybe a few extra pinches of seeds and voila!

Salad time!!

Seriously, this one was an unforgettable part of our trip, so hope you enjoy it too! And look out — this trip was wildly, deliciously inspirational — so more Roman recipes to come!

This recipe contains affiliate links.

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Unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 20 reviews
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


This unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad is full of fresh tomatoes, basil, Romaine, Pecorino, a rich balsamic glaze…and “sprinkled” with some surprise ingredients!


  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 ounces Pecorino* cheese, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped or julienned fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • balsamic glaze, homemade or store-bought


  1. Combine Romaine, tomatoes, cheese, basil, and sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle evenly with lemon juice and olive oil, then toss to combine.  Sprinkle evenly with the everything bagel seasoning and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, and toss to combine once more.
  2. Serve immediately, drizzled with a generous pour of balsamic glaze.


*Some substitutes for Pecorino cheese could include Asiago, Manchego, Mozzarella, Provolone, or even a mild Parmesan.  In my opinion, an aged/salty cheese works best here.

Italian chopped salad

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28 comments on “Unforgettable Italian Chopped Salad”

  1. Can’t wait to try this…been waiting since I saw it on your Instagram. I bought that glaze months ago – then couldn’t remember what to do with it. Thanks for reminder!

  2. Living in Rome myself, I credit the freshness and excellent quality of Italian produce . Most coming from local markets and grown 0 kilometers. Italy takes big steps to protect it’s “Made in Italy” and as Nr 1 on the world foody scene. Everytime I return to the US, it’s a very distinctive difference in the flavor of Romaine lettuce. Flavorless compared to Italy’s.

  3. I love a good salad! I cannot wait to try this recipe. It looks so delicious. I never even would have thought to use the bagel seasoning.

  4. Fantastico!!!
    Easy to make and went great with my Tuscano Chicken and Pasta!

  5. I am thinking it may have had a touch of pumpkin seed oil in it, w/a tiny bit of sweetner? I will try it w/this & see. Thank you. I am doing an Easter Brunch & this may be one of my stars.

  6. This was delicious! So many yummy flavors together… I used baby San Marzano tomatoes & shredded the Pecorino on the large side of my cheese grater. Really loved it, will definitely make again!!

  7. This salad really does look lovely! Already put it on my to-do list.
    I just noticed that the nutritional information doesn’t work anymore – this was the case with every recipe I checked. I hope you are not planning to get rid of it entirely.
    However, I love your blog and cookbook, found some new staples and favorites thanks to you! Greetings from Germany

  8. This salad is delicious! Also very quick and easy to make, even with homemade everything spice and balsamic glaze. Thank you for a recipe that I will definitely make again.

  9. I did not make this salad yet, because I need the nutrition specs first Thank You

  10. Really really delicious. Thank you. I used a Havarti cheese and it was great.

  11. Hey Ali,
    Thank you for posting this recipe! I never thought of using the TJ’s Bagel seasoning on salads and now I’m obsessed!! LOVE THIS! Cheers

  12. What a great salad! The “Everything Bagel” seasoning really made for a pleasantly surprising flavor – don’t leave out the balsamic glaze!!!

  13. Perfect salad for a hot, Arizona, summer day! Very refreshing, yet filling salad. Another hit!

  14. Perfect Monday summer dinner!

  15. We really liked this recipe. Not average salad flavors and very easy to put together. It will definitely be making a comeback.

  16. This salad was absolutely delicious! I used Asiago cheese in 1/4” cubes but did not have basil. The lemon and olive oil when mixed with the balsamic drizzle was heavenly!!! Then the everything bagel seasoning put it over the top. I did not add extra salt or pepper because the bagel seasoning and salted sunflower seeds providedenough salt. Excellent! Can’t wait to make it again!!!

  17. Made this last week for my family – my daughter is a salad snob – no bottled dressing for her has to be more than carrots celery and iceberg. She loved this so much I’ve been asked to make it for her teams dinner!

  18. My family loved this salad and so did my friends! I even made the everything bagel seasoning using the linked recipe. Then, my daughter told me you can actually buy it at the store. It was simple to make and really enhanced the flavor of the salad.

  19. This looks amazing! How long would it last in the fridge if I wanted to meal prep it for lunches?

  20. Made this for a large family dinner last night as a side to creamy Tuscan Chicken and Tuscan roasted potatoes. The salad was VERY well received! I followed the recipe exactly except shaved the Pecorino cheese in large thin pieces instead of dicing. I served in a long shallow serving dish and it was so pretty, looks very professional and gourmet.

    The Basil is very necessary! I also don’t recommend storing the left overs (if there are any) for very long as the salad gets quite soft with the lemon juice. Best served fresh but can be thrown together quickly for a picnic. This is my new “house” salad for our family!

  21. I made this for dinner last night (too hot to cook) and this was a filling and delicious salad! I’m adding it to our regular list of dinners! Even my picky husband said it was good. Thank you!!

  22. Served it at a Pot Luck Birthday party for friends. A HIT! Everyone loved it. Ash to put together and dress at the last minute. This is a keeper.

  23. This was so delicious – I have made it weekly since the beginning of summer with the fresh garden tomatoes and basil. I have not made another type of salad since I came upon this recipe!!

  24. Delicious!!! I never would have thought to add the bagel seasoning to a salad!! And the balsamic glaze really puts it over the top!

  25. Took this to a birthday dinner a few nights ago. Biiig hit! All of it was eaten…and I don’t remember that ever happening before with one of my salads. In fact, I usually use a bagged kale salad ?. I used Asiago since it was considerably less expensive than pecorino in my store. And I used the Sunset Wild Wonders tiny tomatoes that have 5 shapes/sizes/colors. Pretty pops of color! Thanks for a stellar recipe that is now part of the family!

  26. This truly is the best salad! The fresh basil makes the salad. My husband has decided Pecorino cheese is his favorite. I now keep the ingredients needed for this on hand because we eat it so often. Great job chef!

  27. Love this easy fast salad

  28. Made this for an Italian themed Christmas dish. Made it again last night, it’s so simple yet flavor packed. My boyfriend is a huge fan of it too. He took the leftovers for lunch and continued to race about it. Ty.