An easy vegan Italian-style Chopped Salad recipe with chickpeas! Tossed in a zesty homemade dressing. This is such a vibrant, healthy salad with big, bold flavors. (Gluten-free, oil-free.)
This vegan Italian Chopped Salad recipe is so flavorful!
It combines a variety of colorful, plant-based goodness and hearty chickpeas. Then it is tossed with a bold and zesty Italian-inspired dressing.
It works great as either a side dish or main dish.
Plus it is also great made ahead for meal prep, picnics, potlucks, BBQs, or take along lunches.
Ingredients for Vegan Italian Salad
For this salad portion you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Romaine lettuce
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): Or you can substitute white beans such as navy beans, cannellini beans, etc.
- Jarred artichoke hearts
- Roasted red pepper
- Red onion
- Kalamata olives: I like Kalamata best but you can use black olives if preferred.
Ingredients for Dressing
For the zesty oil-free Italian dressing you will need:
- Red wine vinegar
- Vegetable broth (or water)
- Fresh garlic cloves: Use one or two cloves depending on how much you enjoy the flavor.
- Dijon mustard
- Dried oregano: For best flavor, be sure your pantry spices are fresh (not expired and past their prime).
- Dried basil: Or substitute fresh basil for even brighter flavor.
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe. You can also whisk in black pepper if desired.
Tip: Since the dressing is oil-free, it is pretty thin. If you prefer a thicker dressing, feel free to add chia seeds or arrowroot powder to slightly thicken.
Vegetables: Chop and toss in other veggies such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pepperoncini, celery, radicchio, etc.
Vegan cheese: Try this with vegan provolone, mozzarella, or vegan parmesan cheese if desired.
Italian dressing: I prepare mine oil-free, but whisk in a tablespoon of good quality olive oil if you wish. You can also change up the herbs. Try Italian seasonings, parsley, or whatever else sounds good.
If saving for later: Store the dressing and salad separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Then combine together when you are ready to serve.
If stored separately, we find it keeps for about 3-4 days.
After dressing is mixed with entire salad, it’s best enjoyed within a day to ensure it is fresh and crisp.
Vegan Italian Chopped Salad with Zesty Dressing
- 1 large head romaine lettuce
- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
- 1 cup jarred artichoke hearts (about 8 hearts)
- 1 cup roasted red pepper (about 2 large peppers)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- Other additions: tomatoes, cucumber, vegan provolone, pepperoncini
For the oil-free Italian dressing:
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable broth or water
- 1-2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Make the dressing: In a bowl combine all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Add more salt, or pepper if desired. Set aside.
- Chop romaine and finely dice onion. Add to a large bowl.
- Remove excess liquid from artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, olives, and chop. Add to bowl.
- Shred or shave carrot. Rinse and drain beans. Add both to bowl.
- Whisk dressing again and pour desired amount over salad (we usually use the entire dressing). Toss well to combine. *However if not serving immediately, see suggestions below.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this oil-free Chopped Vegan Italian Salad recipe, also check out:
- Asian Style Chopped Salad
- BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad
- Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Southwestern Chopped Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing