Packed with salami, pepperoni, lots of veggies & fresh mozzarella all tossed in a simple homemade red wine vinaigrette! This loaded Italian salad is always a favorite & perfect for an easy summer dinner!
Another salad to add to your repertoire for summer! This loaded Italian salad is one of our favorites and I swear we make it at least once a week. (Or at least it feels that way sometimes…😉) It’s packed with fresh veggies and meats, is super simple to make and has an incredibly easy red wine vinaigrette to take it over the top! You can serve it for lunch or dinner – it’s the perfect entrée salad either way! (Try it with some fresh garlic bread if serving it for dinner, it’s soo tasty!)
Ingredients For Your Loaded Italian Salad
- Lettuce: Use green leaf lettuce or romaine for the best results.
- Salami: Any type of salami works for this salad. (We personally love using Italian dry salami.) You can either use pre-sliced or a hard stick and cut it into cubes.
- Pepperoni: Adds even more flavor! Use pre-sliced pepperoni to make prepping this salad even easier.
- Mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella is so good in this salad! We love using the “pearl” size because there’s no cutting involved – just simply toss them in!
- Tomatoes: Use cherry or grape tomatoes for the best results. (They have the best flavor!)
- Pepperoncini: Adds some zip to your salad! You can use pre-sliced pepperoncini or leave them whole.
- Red onion: Red onion works the best because it doesn’t have as harsh of an “onion” flavor like white or yellow onions.
- Black olives: Always use pitted black olives. You can slice them or leave them whole.
- Fresh basil: Using fresh herbs in your salad really amps up it’s flavor! Keep your basil slices decently think so you’re able to taste them.
- Red wine vinaigrette: This simple red wine vinaigrette is zesty, tangy, bold in flavor and perfectly ties your whole salad together!
How To Make A Loaded Italian Salad
- Make your dressing. Whisk your dressing ingredients together then keep it stored in the fridge while you prepare your salad.
- Chop your ingredients. Cut all your salad ingredients into bite-size pieces and add them to a large bowl.
- Mix. Pour your desired amount of dressing over the top and toss the salad until it’s fully coated.
- Serve! Serve immediately with a little freshly grated parmesan on top (if desired).
How Do You Make Homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette?
There are soo many salad dressing recipes online today – it can almost be a bit overwhelming! And while everyone has their own personal favorite when it comes to Italian salads, this red wine vinaigrette is mine. It’s zesty, tangy, super simple and full of bright bold flavors that will definitely add some pop to any salad you toss it with! (Plus it’s only 7 ingredients too!) It keeps well in the fridge so you can make a big batch and use it throughout the week!
Quick note: I love vinegary salad dressings so this vinaigrette is pretty heavy on the red wine vinegar. If you’re not a fan of vinegar forward dressings – no problem! Just add a few more tablespoons of olive oil until it’s to your liking.
- Make it vegetarian! Replace the salami and pepperoni with chickpeas for some protein!
- Add sliced avocado! Everything’s better with a little avocado! (Or maybe that’s just me…😉)
- Sprinkle shredded parmesan on top! Two cheeses are always better than one! (Plus parmesan is salty so it pairs very well with the rest of your ingredients.)
- Add croutons for some crunch! Any type of seasoned or garlic croutons would be perfect with this salad!
- Can I prep any ingredients in advance? Absolutely! All of your ingredients can be prepared the day before and stored in separate containers in the fridge. Simply toss them together when you’re ready to eat!
- My dressing solidified in the refrigerator. What do I do? No problem! Just leave it out at room temperature until the oil thaws then pour it over your salad and enjoy!
- How long with my homemade vinaigrette stay good in the fridge? It should stay good for up to 2 weeks.
Why you’ll love this loaded Italian salad recipe!
- So much flavor! Zesty, tangy, salty and so refreshing too! This salad has it all!
- Fills you up! No skimpy salads over here! This one’s packed with protein, veggies and lots of fresh mozzarella!
- A perfect main dish salad! It’s hearty enough for dinner and perfect for potlucks too! Try serving it with some garlic bread for a well-rounded meal!
More salad recipes you might like:
- Spinach Salad with Bacon & Hard Boiled Eggs
- Mexican Chopped Salad with Creamy Taco Dressing
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Tzatziki Dressing
- Kale Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons
- Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Loaded Italian Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
For the salad:
- 6 cups leafy green lettuce (romaine or green leaf)
- 4 ounces salami, quartered
- 4 ounces pepperoni, cut in half
- ¾ cup mozzarella pearls (or fresh mozzarella cut into cubes)
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup black olives, pitted & sliced
- ¼ cup pepperoncini, sliced
- ¼ cup red onion, sliced thin
- ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced thin
For the red wine vinaigrette:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil*
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 garlic cloves, miced
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt & black pepper, to taste
To make the vinaigrette:
- Whisk your vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl or shake them in a jar. Keep your dressing stored in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your salad.
To make the salad:
- Add all your salad ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle your desired amount of dressing over the top. Toss your salad until everything is fully coated and serve immediately.