Chopped Salad With Ham and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chopped Salad With Ham and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 5 mins

Total: 20 mins

Servings: 3 to 4 servings

This hearty salad is a brilliant choice for a hot summer day or evening when you want something filling but don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Cook and prep times are both super short, and the ingredients all come together in a single bowl.

This dish—with its mix of meat, cheese, legumes, nuts, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and other crisp vegetables—is similar to the classic Cobb salad. It offers a mix of flavors and textures that will make each new bite pleasingly different from the previous one.


For the salad:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or vegetable oil

  • 1 cup diced ham

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped

  • 1/3 cup diced red onion

  • 1/4 cup diced radish

  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted, or peanuts, roasted, chopped

  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

  • 2 small to medium tomatoes, diced

  • 1 cup diced havarti, Monterey Jack, or mild cheddar cheese

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • Tortilla chips, for serving, optional

For the vinaigrette: 

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, good quality

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the butter or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced ham and cook, stirring, until browned. Remove the pan and allow to cool.

  2. In a large bowl combine the cooled ham with the chopped lettuce, onion, radish, pecans, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, cheese, and parsley; toss to mix well.

  3. In a jar or container, combine the balsamic vinegar and mustard. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Arrange the salad on individual salad plates on a bed of tortilla chips, if desired, with the vinaigrette on the side.


  • To toast the pecans, place a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and cook, stirring and turning constantly, until they are aromatic and lightly browned. Take them off the heat and transfer to a plate or container to cool. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  • You can easily swap in other vegetables to make use of what you have on hand. Use a different type of nut or bean that you already have in your cupboard. Or select an alternative to parsley, such as dill or basil, that you have growing in your garden. You can also replace the ham with diced, leftover cooked pork, beef, or chicken. Or substitute fresh seared or canned tuna. 
  • Because the salad is so adaptable, feel free to opt for your favorite dressing instead.
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 663
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 52g 67%
Saturated Fat 13g 67%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 785mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 32mg 161%
Calcium 317mg 24%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 1232mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


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