This Vegan Italian Chopped Salad is a riff on a Midwestern favorite – Portillo’s chopped salad. With plenty of fresh veggies, roasted chickpeas, pasta (yum), and a crowd-pleasing balsamic vinaigrette, this one is going to be a hit at your summer potlucks!
- 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp. miso paste
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ cups ditalini pasta
- 2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
- 2 romaine hearts, chopped (about 6 cups)
- 4 green onions, chopped (dark green parts only)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
For the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spill the rinsed chickpeas onto a baking sheet and blot with a few paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Whisk the miso paste and olive oil together in a small prep bowl and drizzle it over the chickpeas, tossing to coat. Roast the chickpeas for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through. When done, the chickpeas should be golden and slightly crispy.
- To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients in a prep bowl and whisk to fully combine. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.
- Cook the ditalini according to the box directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Drizzle a little bit of the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat to prevent them from sticking. Set aside until the pasta cools to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, chop the purple cabbage, romaine lettuce, green onions, and cherry tomatoes and add them to a large serving bowl. When the chickpeas are done roasting, transfer them to the salad and toss to combine.
- Once the pasta has cooled to room temperature, add it to the salad. Just before serving, give the dressing another good stir, pour it over the salad and toss.
If you want to add a smoky kick to your chopped salad, I’ve heard McCormick Bac’n Pieces and Betty Crocker Bac-Os are vegan! As always, check the label before you buy.