Make this Mediterranean Chopped Salad for a large crowd. It's full of veges, chickpeas, feta cheese and olives and tossed in an oil-free lemon herb dressing
This Mediterranean Chopped Salad recipe is sponsored by Imagine® Foods, although the content represents my own personal opinion/experience
This salad is fit for a crowd! It’s not only large enough to feed 6-8 people but its ingredients are essentially larger than life in the flavor they pack! I make my Mediterranean Chopped Salad with simple vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and onions mixed with chickpeas feta cheese and olives and toss it all in an oil-free salad dressing! Have you made an oil-free salad dressing before? You’ve gotta try it!
The way I make my oil-free dressing is by using Imagine vegetable broth. Imagine products are made with real wholesome ingredients. They’re organic, with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. And instead of simply flavoring with MSG, the flavor comes from nutrient-packed farm-grown vegetables and fresh herbs – better-tasting and better-for-you! And no need to add any olive oil at all!
Ingredients for Mediterranean chopped salad
The great thing about chopped salads is that you can pretty much chop whatever vegetables you want and throw them all together. Since this is a Mediterranean chopped salad, I’m leaning more towards ingredients typical in Mediterranean recipes.
- Romaine lettuce: Chop it finely or use other mixed greens instead.
- Tomatoes: Small juicy kinds are best, so I gravitate towards grape or cherry tomatoes and cut them in half lengthwise.
- Persian cucumbers: These are my favorite cucumbers that I essentially always have around and use in my recipes. They are small, sweet and pretty much seedless. They’re also known as the burpless cucumber because they don’t have any stomach upset issues that might be typical of other cucumbers.. The skin is so thin that it’s easier to eat and doesn’t require peeling
- Chickpeas: Canned, rinsed and drained chickpeas work well here. Chickpeas are a great plant-based protein so it actually rounds out this salad to make it a complete meal. If you’re not a fan of chickpeas, white beans work well in this salad as well.
- Kalamata olives: They give a briney salty flavor to the salad. You can also add jarred artichokes or pepperoncinis for a similar effect.
- Red onions: Chop these up the smallest compared to the other ingredients so they blend more easily into the salad and don’t give anyone a big surprise in the mouth when they bite into a large one.
- Feta: Because it’s Mediterranean!
For more added protein, feel free to add chicken or salmon or shrimp to the chopped salad.
You can absolutely just toss this Mediterranean chopped salad with olive oil and lemon juice or any store bought dressing. But the dressing I’m using in this recipe is so quick to make, has less calories than traditional dressing and is actually oil-free! The secret is in the vegetable broth! The vegetable broth has some oil, but it is a negligible amount and essentially there is no oil being added to the dressing itself.
- Vegetable Broth: I use Imagine vegetable broth because it’s made with 100% organic ingredients. It’s literally organic carrots, celery, tomatoes and onions, and infused with herbs and spices. So the broth alone contributes a huge amount to the flavor of the dressing!
- Lemon juice: This adds acidity to the dressing. You can also substitute any type of vinegar, like red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
- Dijon mustard: I use mustard to add flavor and to help emulsify the dressing.
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh herbs: Go with what you like or what you have on hand. To enhance the Mediterranean flavors, I use fresh thyme and parsley. You can also use dried herbs instead.
I love that rich golden color of the Imagine vegetable broth! And it makes this lemon herb dressing wonderful for a marinade as well.
While I love using my mini blender to make dressing, this one doesn’t require a blender as long as you press the garlic so it’s almost like a paste. Then, it’s as easy as pouring the dressing ingredients together and whisking until well blended.
All you have to do is chop all the ingredients, make the dressing and then mix everything together right before you serve it. It’s an easy salad that feeds a crowd and has them coming back for seconds. I love that the Mediterranean chopped salad comes goes so well with this oil-free dressing. That really cuts down on the fat and calories of the dressing and the salad overall!
It’s possible to keep this beautiful healthy colorful salad low-calorie without drenching it in oil-based dressings all thanks to the Imagine vegetable broth. It still comes out delicious and no one will believe that there’s no olive oil in the dressing.
More Mediterranean salads:
- Couscous Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Kale Tabbouleh
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Lebanese Fattoush Salad
- Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad
- Mediterranean Potato Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Mediterranean Chopped Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Mediterranean Chopped Salad
For the salad
- 2 heads romaine lettuce chopped, about 6 cups
- 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 cup Persian cucumbers chopped
- 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives pitted, sliced
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onions kalamata olives and feta cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the to make the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine.
- Top with parsley and enjoy!