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You have got to try this fresh and crunchy chopped Italian sandwich with zesty red wine vinaigrette! This chopped salad sandwich is a super versatile lunch packed with fresh veggies and herbs.

chopped Italian salad sandwich in a pita
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This recipe is based on the viral chopped Italian salad sandwich, and it’s so satisfying! You chop up veggies, tofu, and chickpeas, then toss it with Italian seasoning, vegan Parmesan, and this super flavorful Italian dressing and stuff it into a sandwich. The tofu in this recipe gives feta vibes, but you don’t have to prepare the vegan feta in advance, because the tofu is going to absorb the flavors of the dressing as you chop and mix, which will give it a tangy, deep flavor.

tossing the chopped Italian salad together with the dressing

If you’re making this for one or two people, you can save time by chopping up all of the ingredients together on the cutting board and mixing it up with the dressing right there, too. For larger batches, you are better off chopping one or two ingredients at a time, then mixing in a large bowl. 

Whichever way you make it, it is a really delicious, fresh salad sandwich packed with that delicious Italian dressing made from lots of herbs, red vine vinegar, lemon, black pepper, garlic and olive oil. The dressing pairs really well with the crunchy lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, onion, and tomatoes. If you don’t have all of those veggies, you can use whichever ones you have on hand. It’s a super flexible recipe. You can adjust the dressing to your preference, too!

close-up of the chopped Italian salad in the mixing bowl

Why You’ll Love a Chopped Italian Sandwich

  • easy and versatile 15-minute lunch
  • High protein with chickpeas and tofu and delicious
  • crunchy veggies in creamy Italian dressing
  • no mayo needed, if you prefer! The dressing gets its creaminess from vegan yogurt.
  • one-bowl recipe
  • Nut-free, gluten-free option , easy soy-free option
close-up of chopped Italian salad sandwich in a pita

What to Serve with this Sandwich

  • Serve in a warm pita, sourdough, ciabatta, baguette, or your bread of choice. You can also stuff this into lettuce wraps.
  • potato salad
  • pasta salad
  • chips or fries

Chopped Italian Sandwich

5 from 1 vote
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 3
Course: lunch
Cuisine: Italian
You have got to try this fresh and crunchy chopped Italian sandwich with zesty red wine vinaigrette! It’s a super versatile lunch packed with fresh veggies and herbs.
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Ingredients 
 

For the Italian Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomato, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt, or vegan mayo or other creamy additions to make this dressing creamy.

For the Salad

  • 4 ounces romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium cucumber, partly peeled , edges chopped off
  • 1/4 red onion, or about 1/4 cup chopped
  • 1/2 rib celery
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ounces firm or extra firm tofu, , drained
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, canned or homemade, drained
  • 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or other fresh Italian herbs, for garnish
  • 2 pita pockets, or bread of choice or use lettuce wraps

Instructions 

  • Mix all of the Italian dressing ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  • There are two ways to make the salad part of this Italian sandwich. The first method: pile the lettuce, cucumber, onion, celery, and bell pepper onto the cutting board, and chop all of them up really well. Then, add in the tofu, chickpeas, cheese, and tomatoes and continue chopping to chop some of the chickpeas and chop the tofu into chunky pieces. Add all of this to the bowl with the dressing, and toss well to coat. Taste and adjust the flavor, adding more salt, non-dairy yogurt, or seasonings, if needed. You can also add in a little bit of lemon zest, if you'd like, for an extra tangy salad. Then, garnish with fresh herbs and stuff into warm pita bread, between two bread slices, or serve it in lettuce wraps.
  • The second method: Chop each of the veggies separately into even pieces and add to the bowl with the dressing. Crumble in the tofu and add the whole chickpeas to the dressing bowl, then toss well so everything is well coated in the dressing. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

Video

Notes

This recipe is gluten-free and nut-free.
For soy-free, omit the tofu and use more chickpeas instead. Also make sure that the non-dairy yogurt and vegan Parmesan are soy-free and/or nut-free, if needed.
Nutritional information is calculated without using pita bread.
This recipe is very flexible. Use other beans and veggies, if you like, instead of chickpeas, and you can use beans , chickpea tofu ,cooked vegan chicken instead of tofu

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 541mg, Potassium: 725mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 4345IU, Vitamin C: 57mg, Calcium: 162mg, Iron: 3mg

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

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!
chopped Italian salad sandwich ingredients on the kitchen counter

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • olive oil – For the dressing.
  • sun-dried tomatoes – Drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes bring umami and tang to the dressing.
  • red wine vinegar and lemon – For flavor.
  • spices – Season the dressing with oregano, red and black pepper flakes, and fresh, minced garlic.
  • maple syrup – A little sweetness brings out the other flavors in this dressing.
  • non-dairy yogurt – You can use other creamy additions, like vegan mayo or cashew cream, if you prefer, to make the dressing creamy.
  • crunchy veggies – I am using romaine lettuce, cucumber, onion, celery, and bell pepper, but feel free to mix and match to use what you have.
  • cherry tomatoes – Adds juicy umami to the salad.
  • firm or extra firm tofu – Adds protein and acts as a non-dairy feta when mixed with the dressing. You can use extra chickpeas, if you don’t want to use tofu.
  • chickpeas – Adds protein and texture to the Italian salad sandwich.
  • vegan parmesan – Adds umami and creaminess to the salad.
  • fresh herbs – For garnish.
  • bread – Stuff this into pita or pile onto sliced bread, ciabatta, baguette, etc. Or serve as lettuce wraps.
minced garlic and sun dried tomato on a cutting board

💡 Tips

  • If you’re making this for one or two people, use the first method to chop everything up. For more servings, it’s easier to chop each ingredients on its own.
  • For tangier dressing, you can add in a little fresh lemon zest.

How to Make Chopped Italian Salad Sandwich

Mix all of the Italian dressing ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

adding Italian dressing ingredients to a bowl
Italian dressing in the bowl, after mixing

There are two ways to make the salad part of this Italian sandwich.
The first method: pile the lettuce, cucumber, onion, celery, and bell pepper onto the cutting board, and chop all of them up really well.

Then, add in the tofu, chickpeas, cheese, and tomatoes and continue chopping to chop some of the chickpeas and chop the tofu into chunky pieces.

chopping the crunch veggies
chopping the tofu, chickpeas, and vegan Parmesan
slicing the tomato
tossing the chopped Italian salad together with the dressing

Add all of this to the bowl with the dressing, and toss well to coat. Taste and adjust the flavor, adding more salt, non-dairy yogurt, or seasonings, if needed. You can also add in a little bit of lemon zest, if you’d like, for an extra tangy salad. Then, garnish with fresh herbs and stuff into warm pita bread, between two bread slices, or serve it in lettuce wraps.

chopped Italian salad sandwich in a pita

The second method: Chop each of the veggies separately into even pieces and add to the bowl of dressing. Crumble in the tofu and add the whole chickpeas to the dressing bowl, then toss well so everything is well coated in the dressing. Garnish and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this recipe allergy friendly?

This recipe is gluten-free and nut-free. For soy-free, omit the tofu and use more chickpeas instead. Also make sure that the non-dairy yogurt and vegan Parmesan are soy-free and/or nut-free, if needed.

What can I use instead of chickpeas and tofu?

Use other beans instead of chickpeas, such as white beans or butter beans. Use more chickpeas beans or cooked or grilled vegan chicken instead of tofu.

How do I store this salad?

This salad is best not stored for too long as the veggies will start to lose their crunch. Assemble the ingredients and chop and store in the refrigerator without dressing, mix with the dressing before serving.

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 1 vote

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2 Comments

  1. Colleen says:

    5 stars
    Excellent! I did oil free and it was still great!

    1. Richa says:

      Yay