Today’s Chopped Steakhouse Style Salad with Ranch-Style Dressing is a beautiful complete meal. You can add any vegetables, cheeses, and meats that you like, making this a delightful cool meal all summer long.
When I was a kid, just like most children, I hated vegetables and didn’t particularly care for salads. If it wasn’t iceberg lettuce with sweet French dressing, I wouldn’t touch it. And I sure wouldn’t eat any vegetables or tomatoes my mom always added – they were at the bottom of the bowl when I was done.
Everything changed when I was in high school, after having major abdominal surgery, I wasn’t allowed to eat solid foods for nearly two weeks. When I got home, the only thing I wanted was salad, bowl after bowl. And I haven’t stopped eating them since.
After college when I started working and lived on my own, I started branching out, adding more ingredients. These days I love all kinds of salads, filled with fruits, vegetables and different types of greens. The contents are often driven by what I find at the farmer’s market, using seasonal vegetables, celebrating the week’s harvest.
Today’s recipe is part of the Food Network’s Sensational Sides seasonal recipe collection. The theme for this week is Greens – anything we want made with green leafy vegetables. I chose on of my favorites for you, the old-fashioned chopped salad. This salad is commonly found in steakhouse restaurants and is a traditional addition to a huge steak dinner. Each chef has their own version, incorporating their favorite ingredients. That is the beauty of a chopped salad; it can be completely different each time you make it!
A chopped salad is basically a salad where everything is pre-cut into bite-sized pieces. You should never need a knife when eating this type of salad. It makes it the perfect choice for young children, the elderly, or anyone who has difficulty using a knife. When everything is the same size, it makes it much easier to toss, so you usually wind up using less dressing too. Bonus!
While I typically think of main-course salads as dinner during the hot weather months, this is good any time of the year. You can include any fresh seasonal vegetables, steaming or microwaving briefly any that are hard to eat when they are raw such as carrots. In the winter, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage are wonderful additions. During the summer when heirloom tomatoes are in season, by all means include them – I would never miss an opportunity to enjoy their incredible flavor.
This salad is one of the best ways to clean out your refrigerator … only have a couple of carrots left? Toss them in the bowl. One lonely stalk of celery? Toss it in the bowl. Odds and ends from other recipes? Toss them in the bowl. You can even add leftovers from yesterday’s dinner that aren’t enough for another full serving, like left-over cooked steak, pork, or chicken. Combine them with a few other ingredients and you can feed your whole family!
You can start with any lettuce greens and vegetables you like. From there it is totally up to you. I typically include chunks of cheese, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and any leftover meats I might have, including deli meats. The more the merrier in my house! 🙂
You can certainly use any dressing that you like, but I prefer a heartier, creamy dressing, something that will stand up to the strong flavors of the salad. You can use the recipe I created below, I love it!
Tonight’s version of our salad included cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, sunflower seeds, salami, fried pancetta, celery, carrots, green onions and toasted sliced almonds. Topped with the creamy ranch-style dressing, it was filling, healthy, gluten-free, and a one-dish meal. I love this chopped steakhouse salad and appreciate the quick and easy clean up!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Ingredients needed for Chopped Steakhouse Style Salad:
- Dressing: buttermilk, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, dry mustard, thyme, dill, salt and pepper
- Salad: (any combination); lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, salami, bacon, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, green onions, thyme, dill, salt and pepper, sliced almonds
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time chopping ingredients, you can stop at the salad bar in your grocery store and find everything there. Beware though, this much more expensive because you are paying for someone else to do the work for you.
How to make Chopped Steakhouse Style Salad:
- Make the Dressing: Mix together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and lemon juice, whisking until smooth; add remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper, whisking until smooth and blended
- Cover dressing and refrigerate at least 2 hours, then add the salt and pepper and taste, adjusting seasonings as needed; refrigerate until ready to serve, can be made a day ahead
- Assemble the Salad: Prep all the ingredients you will be using and place them in a large mixing bowl, tossing to combine; add 3 to 4 tbsp of the dressing, tossing to be sure everything is evenly coated
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed then transfer to a large salad bowl and sprinkle the top with the almonds (if using); pass remaining dressing at the table
To save money, buy one good knife (I recommend a chef’s knife), keep it sharp, and learn how to use it to chop your own vegetables (here’s another video for more extensive information). It makes any kitchen chopping enjoyable and downright fun!
Once you are more comfortable with your knife, take a look at this video to learn different ways to use the knife to make specialty cuts, and if your goal is to become a cook in a restaurant, here is a great example of the basic skills you will need to get in the door!
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife
- Citrus reamer
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowls
- Salad bowl
- Salad servers
- Small pitcher
If you are using a store-bought dressing and are serving someone who is gluten-free, be very careful to check the label. Don’t forget that soy sauce is a hidden source of wheat and is a common ingredient in many processed foods. Also avoid malt ingredients which are usually made from barley, often a source of sweetening in many foods. You need to be careful about the meats that you use – Boar’s Head is a great brand and nearly all their products are gluten free. Always read the labels for ingredients to be sure!
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp very finely minced fresh garlic
- 2 tsp minced chives or very finely minced green onions
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1-1/2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp dill weed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salad (any combination of the following)
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large head green leaf lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped finely
- 2 cucumbers, peeled, cut lengthwise, seeds removed, sliced thinly
- 1 cup small cubes of salami, optional
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped and fried until crisp; drained on paper towels, optional
- 1 cup small cubes of cheddar cheese, optional
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (stripped off the stems)
- 1/2 tsp finely chopped dill
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, or nut of your choice, optional
- Make the Dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Whisk again until everything is evenly distributed.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to give flavors a chance to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings and add the salt and pepper. Return to the refrigerator until ready to serve. Make a day ahead for the best flavor.
- Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, combine the lettuces, vegetables, salami, cooked bacon, cheese, sunflower seeds, green onions, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add 3 to 4 tbsp dressing, tossing well to be sure everything is blended and evenly coated, adding more dressing if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Transfer salad to a large bowl and sprinkle the top with the almonds. Let your guests serve themselves. Pass remaining dressing at the table.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
If you are using a store-bought dressing and are serving someone who is gluten-free, be very careful to check the label. Don't forget that soy sauce is a hidden source of wheat and is a common ingredient in many processed foods. Also avoid malt ingredients which are usually made from barley, often a source of sweetening in many foods. You need to be careful about the meats that you use – Boar’s Head is a great brand and nearly all their products are gluten free. Always read the labels for ingredients to be sure!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 1143mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is calculated by online tools and is merely an estimate.
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Create a New Tradition Today!
This recipe is part of Food Network’s weekly Sensational Sides celebration. See the links below for inspiration and great recipes and check out our Pinterest page for even more!
- Creative Culinary: Mixed Greens with Smoked Mozzarella and a Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing
- The Cultural Dish: Three Quick and Easy Salad Recipes
- Napa Farmhouse 1885: Salad Greens with Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
- Red or Green: Salad Greens with Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette
- The Heritage Cook: Chopped Steakhouse-Style Salad (Gluten-Free) (you are here)
- Weelicious: Southwestern Salad
- Taste with the Eyes: Teacher Appreciation Farmers Market Salad
- Swing Eats: Kale Salad with Lemon, Pecorino Romano, and Toasted Walnuts
- Virtually Homemade: Spinach and Bacon Salad
- Domesticate Me: 8 Gorgeous Green Salads for Spring
- Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Arugula and Grapefruit Salad
- Dishin & Dishes: Tangle Thai Rainbow Salad
- Homemade Delish: Grilled Pineapple Spinach Salad
- FN Dish: Why Side Salads Are the Best Salads