Chopped salad. Yeah, we know, we said salad. Not like us. But before you run off in search of more indulgent food, hear us out. Those greens like kale and cabbage that everyone is saying you should try to eat more often? You’ll find them here jumbled with creamy avocado and pungent blue cheese and sweet apples and crunchy almonds.

We also toss in some chicken and bacon—yep, bacon—for spectacularness, and then the whole shebang is tossed with a perfectly sweetened mustard vinaigrette. This is a salad we can get excited about. We’re pretty confident it’ll excite you, too.–Angie Zoobkoff

Chopped Salad FAQs

I’ve heard that I should massage my kale before using it. What’s that all about?

Raw kale can be a little stubborn–but that’s just part of its charm, we think. Baby kale is tender, but as it grows it gets a little tougher, making it terrific for using in long-cooked braises or stews. If you give the leaves a quick massage before chopping, you’ll find even the most devout kale naysayers will delight in it. A pinch of salt and a splash of lemon juice on those leaves, coupled with a little bit of massaging (seriously…just rub the leaves between your fingers) until you notice that it’s beginning to wilt is all it takes.

What are the different types of apples could I use here?

It depends on what you’re looking for. For sweet-tart and crunchy, try SweeTango (available in the fall) or Pink Lady. Is sweet and crisp more your thing? Fuji and Honeycrisp are excellent choices, and they’re the kind most kids like. And if you’re the kind of salad eater that likes it tart? Macintosh apples have a nice bite, both texturally and taste-wise. Finally, Golden Delicious is your best bet for something milder with a little less snap.

Chopped salad on a white plate, with a fork and knife, halved avocado, and dish of blue cheese, almonds, and apple on the side.

Chopped Salad

5 / 2 votes
This chopped salad is a mash-up of Waldorf and Cobb salads. It's healthy, with just enough indulgence tossed in there to keep everyone interested.
David Leite
Servings2 servings
Calories235 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • 1 cup kale leaves, stems removed, roughly chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup radicchio, roughly chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup napa cabbage, roughly chopped or thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces cooked turkey or chicken, cut into small chunks
  • 1 slice cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped apple (any kind you like!)
  • About 12 raw almonds, coarsely chopped or slivered
  • Blue cheese crumbles (optional)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons honey Dijon vinaigrette


  • In a largish bowl, toss together the kale, radicchio, and cabbage and mix well. Scatter the turkey or chicken, bacon, avocado, apple, almonds, and blue cheese, if using, over the top.
  • Drizzle with the honey Dijon vinaigrette and toss to coat. Grab a fork and have at it.
Real Food, Real Simple Cookbook

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Real Food, Real Simple

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 235 kcalCarbohydrates: 19 gProtein: 11 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8 gTrans Fat: 0.01 gCholesterol: 23 mgSodium: 239 mgPotassium: 582 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 7 gVitamin A: 3501 IUVitamin C: 43 mgCalcium: 128 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Taylor Riggs. Photo © 2017 Allison Lehman. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This chopped salad was fantastic for lunch. The crunchy greens were balanced by the creamy avocado and cheese, and although radicchio can be quite bitter, I felt that the sweetness from the apple and the vinaigrette tamed it very well. I made it the night before a busy day, with the dressing separate, and tossed it all together just before eating. It came together quickly, kept well overnight, was delicious, and kept me full all afternoon!

This chopped salad was a light and lovely lunch—a treat that serves one but it could easily be scaled up to feed more! The ingredients combine the best of two classic salads—the bacon and chicken and avocado of a Cobb salad with the apple and nuts from a Waldorf salad—and ties them all together with a lightly sweetened vinaigrette. The combined effect of all of those flavors together on one plate made me think of that famous Mae West quote, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” I used regular curly kale, the Treviso variety of radicchio, and leftover chicken from a rotisserie hen. I did use the blue cheese—a mild Danish variety.

Fresh tasting and full of flavor, this chopped salad was a hit with everyone. The combination of crunch from the almonds, creaminess from the avocado, and chewy resistance from the chicken along with the slightly sweet dressing and spicy, salty blue cheese hit every flavor note in practically every bite.

The kale, cabbage, radicchio, and apple added cool, crisp counterpoints to complement the other ingredients. I chose lacinato kale since the recipe didn’t specify which type to use. I had roasted chicken thighs on hand to add. This is a great salad that offers lots of flavors and leaves one feeling satisfied and even a little virtuous from all the healthy ingredients.

This chopped salad made a wonderful, quick dinner. These ingredients are usually on hand and come together in a jiff for a delicious, healthy, and satisfying salad. The colors are amazing, as are the textures. The crisp apple, the crunchy almonds, and the creamy avocado were some of the highlights of this dish.

The dressing was just the right amount of honey and mustard. The garlic kicked it up just right. I used less than half the dressing to dress my entire salad. The extra will be used for another chopped salad later this week or added to some homemade chicken salad. I chose to use grilled chicken.

The best thing about this chopped salad was how pretty it looked, though it certainly was a satisfying salad to eat as well. Plenty of crunch. Sweet. Bitter. Fatty. The dressing added a bit of sweetness. It was a generous salad for 1 but sufficed as a main dish. It would work as a side salad for 2 as well.

I tried this recipe because I like all the ingredients except raw kale and figured it might change my mind. I massaged the kale a bit but it still wasn’t tender enough for me. I would say it could have used twice as much apple and a few more almonds. I used Roquefort and roast chicken breast.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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