I love pasta as much as the next person, and maybe even more than the average person, but sometimes an all-veggie salad is what you are looking for. This is where the idea for my Easy Italian Vegetarian Salad was born. This is a healthy salad loaded with all those flavors you are looking for.
What Makes This Salad So Good?
The flavors! It is a delicious combination of vegetables, cheese, and a really yummy dressing.
It is so simple to make. It takes a little time to chop everything, but really it can be done in under 10 minutes, easy.
This works well as a side dish or even a light meal. This goes well as a side dish for grilled meats, it compliments nicely. Or if you are looking for something lighter, this also works well for a light meal!
A salad like this can easily be used for your meal prep plan. This holds well in the fridge for 2-3 days, so you can munch on this for lunch for a few days if you make a big batch.
- Cucumbers- I feel like these are a must in an Italian salad. English cucumbers are my preferred choice, but use whatever you like. I like to leave the skins on mine, just rememeber to rinse well.
- Tomatoes- Grape or cherry work well in this salad. I used a campani tomato.
- Red onions- I love the flavor this adds.
- Mushrooms- We really like the mushrooms in this salad.
- Artichokes- What would an Italian salad be without them?
- Fresh mozzarella- you can use this or feta if you like. Burrata is another favorite of mine, but is more expensive.
- Other options- chickpeas, olives, celery, pepperocini peppers, fresh herbs, etc.
- Lemon oregano vinaigrette- this is included in the recipe and is very simple to make. If you don't want to make your own, just use your favorite store bought dressing for this.
How To Make
I start with the cucumbers. Rinse well, then cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds (not essential, but I like to do this), then cut in half-moon shapes about ½ inch thick.
Next, keep cutting up the other vegetables. I cut the tomatoes into wedges and quartered the artichoke hearts.
Make sure and cut the red onions into smaller pieces, you don't want the flavor to be too overwhelming.
Add all the vegetables together into a bowl. Mix your vinaigrette, then drizzle generously over the salad. Toss to coat all the vegetables in the dressing. That is it! Done. I told you it was so simple to do.
This is a really simple salad, but let me share a few tips to ensure you get a great salad every time.
The first suggestion is to make sure you are using the best in-season vegetables you can. The freshness of the vegetables will play the biggest role in how well the salad turns out, so don't compromise here.
If you are going to use this for meal prep, I would suggest not adding the dressing until you are ready to serve. The salad will get a little soggy after 24 hours, so make sure and add it before serving.
This is best eaten within 3 days. Because the veggies are all fresh and ready, it is best to eat them at their peak.
This salad is at its peak for the first 30 hours or so. It will hold well for up to 3 days though, just remember to not add the dressing until you are serving. Also, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Keep this chilled.
Yes! It is an easy swap. Leave out the cheese, or use a plant-based cheese. Then use another sweetener instead of the honey. Granulated sugar, agave, or even sucanat all work well.
You can easily make this an antipasti salad. Add in your favorite Italian cured meats and it is ready to go. This makes for a heartier salad.
Other Salad Ideas
- Ancient grain and vegetable salad
- Simple Green Goddess Salad
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- Vegetarian Couscous Salad
- Healthy Carrot Salad
Italian Vegetable Salad
- 4-6 cups vegetables I used cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, etc.
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup halved or quartered
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add all your vegetables and cheese to a bowl.
- Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and drizzle over the vegetables. Mix well.
- That is it! It is done. Sit back and enjoy!