Chopped Salad

4 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Refrigerate 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

Chopped Salad is fresh, versatile, and easy to bring together with crunchy veggies and tangy, sweet dressing. Make this healthy side today!

This salad makes the perfect refreshing Side Dish to go along with your dinner. For more salad recipes, try our Cucumber Tomato Salad, Wedge Salad, or Cobb Potato Salad.

Sabrina’s Chopped Salad Recipe

This beautiful salad gets a wonderful blend of flavors from crisp veggies all chopped into small pieces and tossed together. The fresh tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, and red onion are then all tossed in a delicious and flavorful vinegar dressing. It’s an easy, healthy, and fresh dish that goes with practically any meal.

The crunchy veggies and simple dressing make this salad recipe the perfect light dish to go along with heavier main dishes. You’ll love making refreshing vegetable recipes like this one for BBQs. Recipes like Pulled Pork, Hamburgers, and Potato Salad are all wonderfully delicious, but they’re also quite filling. It’s nice to have a simple salad like this one to balance them out.


  • 6 Vine-Ripened Tomatoes: The salad ingredients in this recipe are all very simple. Fresh vegetables, like tomatoes, make up most of the bold flavors. The tomatoes are slightly sweeter than the other vegetables and they bring a nice tangy, juicy taste to the dish.
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper & 1 Red Bell Pepper: Bell peppers are more crispy than tomatoes and help to give the salad a crunchy texture. This recipe uses a combination of red bell pepper and green bell pepper. Not only does this make a more colorful salad, but it also adds more flavor variety. Red peppers have a sweeter taste, while green peppers are mildly bitter.
  • 2 Cucumbers: This is another great ingredient that adds to the crunchy base of the salad. Cucumbers have a very mild, watery flavor that helps to balance out the bold flavors in the salad. English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers would make a great choice.
  • 1 Red Onion: Onion will add a peppery, spicy flavor to the chopped salad. It won’t be too assertive though, when balanced with all the other flavors. If you are sensitive to onion you can always use less and chop ½ onion instead.
  •  ¾ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar & 1 ¼ Cups Water: Primarily the salad dressing is made with strong, tangy, and somewhat bitter flavors. Vinegar and water will form the liquid base for your dressing, perfect for adding the other flavors and seasonings.
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar: A little granulated sugar is mixed in to cut the flavor with some sweetness. The sugar granules will dissolve as you bring this dressing to a boil on the stove.
  • Seasonings: 2 teaspoons mustard seed, 2 teaspoons celery salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt are added to the dressing. It’s the perfect combination that soaks into the veggies and infuses them with flavor when you refrigerate them.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Cutting Board & Sharp Knife: Use your favorite cutting board and a sharp knife to chop the veggies into small pieces. The size is up to you, but a good starting point is to try 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Large Bowl: You’ll need a bowl large enough to hold, with room to toss all of your chopped veggies.
  • Saucepan & Whisk: A small or medium saucepan will work to boil, then simmer all of your dressing ingredients together. This process will fully combine all of the seasonings and also break down the sugar and salt.

How to Make Chopped Salad

Time needed: 8 hours and 10 minutes.

This recipe comes together quickly, and then chills in the refrigerator over night.

  1. Prep the Veggies

    Slice the veggies if they are not already pre-sliced, then add the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and onion to a large salad bowl.Chopped Salad in a bowl, not tossed

  2. Prepare the dressing

    Add water, vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery salt, garlic powder, kosher salt, and coarse ground black pepper to a saucepan on high heat. Whisk well and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium, simmer for 1 minute and set aside to cool.Chopped Salad dressing ingredients

  3. Dress the salad

    Add the homemade dressing to the vegetables and toss well.Chopped Salad with dressing being added

  4. Serve

    Refrigerate over night, then serve and enjoy!Chopped Salad, tossed and dressed

Can Chopped Salad be made ahead

Chopped Salad is, essentially, a make-ahead dish. It needs to be refrigerated over night to chill the dressing and marinate the veggies. That is how it will have the wonderful flavor you want in this side. However, you could even make it a few days ahead of time if you like, and save time the day before for making your main dish or dessert ahead of time.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Chopped Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 108 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4g
Sodium 1766mg77%
Potassium 853mg24%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 2689IU54%
Vitamin C 94mg114%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

Craft the perfect chopped salad at home by following these helpful tips:

  1. Chop veggies evenly
    • Chop all of your veggies to the same size so they will mix together well, none of them will sink to the bottom, and you will get a blend of veggies in every bite.
  2. Veggies will soften in the dressing
    • You will notice after refrigerating over night that your veggies are slightly softer than they were when you first tossed them in the dressing. Each day your veggies soak in the dressing, they will soften a bit more. Therefore, if you prefer a crunchier salad, prepare it the night before. If you like a softer crunch, make the salad a couple days ahead of time.

What to Pair With Chopped Salad

This extraordinary salad is perfect to serve as it is for a simple side dish for lunch or dinner. It works well paired with a sandwich, or simple meat dishes like Grilled Chicken or Seared Steak. It would make a great salad paired with your favorite soup to create a soup-and-salad meal. You really can combine it with so many other recipes for different ways to enjoy the fresh blend of chopped vegetables. This salad also keeps well in the refrigerator for almost a week, so you can use it over several days for sides and snacks.

How to Store 

  • Serve: To keep the Chopped Salad fresh, don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Cover the salad or put it in an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Freeze: Unfortunately, the vegetables won’t have a good texture if you freeze and thaw them.

Ideas to Serve Chopped Salad

  • Topping: You can use the chopped veggies as a topping for chicken, steak, fish, or any other meat you enjoy.
  • Dip: Serve the chopped salad up with tortilla chips, and use the tortillas to scoop up the fresh veggies like it’s a dip. You can also add some spices to the salad like red pepper flakes to add some extra flavor to the chips and vegetable combo.
  • Burrito Bowl: You could also use the Chopped Salad as part of a delicious burrito bowl. Mix together Black Beans and rice. Then add in any other burrito fillings you like and serve it all with the vegetable salad on top.
  • On the Go: Enjoy this chopped salad on-the-go by storing it in sealed plastic container or a mason jar to make a healthy meal anywhere you are.

Frequent Questions

Why does the salad dressing require boiling?

It is important to boil the salad dressing so that the sugar and salt granules fully dissolve into the liquid dressing, and the seasonings get evenly distributed throughout.

Can I substitute other vegetables in this Chopped Salad?

If you don’t like some of the veggies in this recipe, you can substitute any of them you wish. Consider subbing in other favorite veggies like green onions, Kalamata olives, fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, peas, or carrots.

Recipe Card

Chopped Salad

Chopped Salad is fresh, versatile, and easy to bring together with crunchy veggies and tangy, sweet dressing. Make this healthy side today!
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Course Sides
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 6 vine tomatoes , cored and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper , cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper , cored and diced
  • 2 cucumbers , peeled, de-seeded, and diced
  • 1 red onion , diced
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • In a large bowl add the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and onion.
  • In a saucepan on high heat add water, vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery salt, garlic powder, kosher salt, and coarse ground black pepper.
  • Whisk well, bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 1 minute then cool.
  • Add to vegetables, toss well, and refrigerate overnight.


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 1766mg | Potassium: 853mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2689IU | Vitamin C: 94mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg

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  • Protein: If you want to make this salad into a more filling dish that you could enjoy as a main dish, you could try adding some protein to the recipe. Slice up cooked Rotisserie Chicken or flavorful summer sausage to toss in the salad before serving. Add some legumes like chickpeas or garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, white beans, or any kind you enjoy.
  • Lettuce: This salad uses a mix of chopped vegetables, and doesn’t have a standard lettuce base that you’d find in a lot of salad dishes. If you want to add some crisp lettuce, you can toss in romaine lettuce, butterhead, or iceberg lettuce.
  • Vinegar: Instead of apple cider vinegar, you can try using rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.
  • Cheese: You can also add some delicious cheese to the recipe. Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, or provolone cheese over the top before serving.
  • Lemon Honey Dressing: You can exchange the vinegar dressing in this recipe for a sweet and tangy lemon dressing. To make the dressing, whisk together 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

More Tasty Salad Recipes

Chopped Salad pinterest image

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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