Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

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Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

I don’t know about you, but I am trying to limit my grocery trips to few and far between. So I’m stocking up on produce that will last a while (and the produce that seems to be mysteriously left on the shelves). Think celery, radicchio, cabbage, and other bitter greens. I’m also stocking up on pantry staples that pack a big flavor punch such as tuna in olive oil, kalamata olives, capers, pickled peppers and loads of beans. Because quarantine cuisine doesn’t need to be boring. When I dug around in my fridge and pantry for a quick and healthy lunch, this “Pantry Staple Chopped Salad” was born. Chopped salads are a beautiful thing. The ingredient list isn’t precious, and neither is the presentation.  

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Chopped salads are like the happy drunk cousin of a composed salad. She’s got all the healthy and sensible ingredients, but she’s bright, fun, unpretentious and very unpredictable. This salad is ready to party.

Because the chopped salad does NOT practice social distancing, you get a little of everything in each bite. So you’ve got to have balance, from taste to texture. This version gets crunch from celery, bitter from the radicchio, savory from the tuna packed in olive oil, salty and briny from the kalamata olives and capers, and a bit of tang and heat from the pepperoncini.

An Easy Dressing for a Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

A salad like this doesn’t require much in the way of dressing. I topped it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a glug of red wine vinegar, a huge pinch of dried oregano. Then sprinkled it with some freshly ground black pepper. I served it with some toasted gluten-free sourdough bread smeared with soft goat cheese. This was my husband’s idea (and a pretty darn good one too).

Because the weather was so gorgeous here in Southern California, we enjoyed our lunch al fresco. It kind of felt like a date, just the two of us eating at the picnic table that needs to be repainted, under the umbrella from last season that needs to be replaced. Things have been hard, so I’ll take these sweet moments whenever I can get them. Thankfully we have plenty of time on our hands to get that table painted too. Eventually.

Wishing you much health, delicious pantry salads, and many romantic backyard dates in your future. We’ve got this. <3

Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

Love a good salad for dinner? We’ve got you covered:

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Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

Alison Needham
Chopped salads are like the happy drunk cousin of a composed salad. She's got all the healthy and sensible ingredients, but she's bright, fun, unpretentious and unpredictable. This salad is ready to party. Feel free to substitute the beans and sturdy greens (reds in this case) with what you have on hand. It keeps well so make a big batch so you can enjoy it for lunch over several days.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 65 kcal



  • Toss radicchio, celery, beans, tuna, olives, capers and peppers in a large salad bowl.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar over the salad and toss salad to coat. If it looks a little dry, add a splash more of each. Sprinkle the salad with oregano, salt and pepper and toss again to combine.
  • Serve immediately (though it does hold up well in the fridge if there is some leftover).


Serving: 1portionCalories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 325mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 160IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
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  1. I find myself eating simpler foods now. I hadn’t thought of a chopped salad, though. It’s versatile because you can easily substitute for what you can’t find.

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