Big Cajun Chopped Salad ♥

Big Cajun Chopped Salad, another fresh, flexible & healthy salad ♥ Great with gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp creole, crawfish boils and more.
Don't you just love it when you find a salad calling for familiar vegetables in an unexpected combination? This is that salad! Maybe you even already have everything on hand? But don't you just get a thrill when there are surprises too? This is that salad! Surprise #1, it's all green in color, so pretty! Surprise #2? It's sprinkled with toasted almonds and salty olives that make the salad particularly satisfying. A big chopped salad is an easy side salad, for sure. But it also makes a meal, just add a protein. Or some of that crusty bread you're baking ...

Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Budget-Friendly. Great for Meal Prep & Potlucks. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

It's a Funny Time of Year, Right?

Winter is past but for seasonal eaters, spring is more about the promise of summer harvest than in-the-moment Instacart-like delivery. So by design, this is a year-round salad, one packed with common vegetables that (thank you, global food production and distribution systems!) can be picked up in almost any supermarket, at almost any time.

We first played with the idea of a big Cajun salad at Christmas a few years back, my husband orchestrating the gumbo, my nephew Matthew building the salad, choosing and chopping the vegetables with care. I've been tinkering every since ...

But for Mardi Gras, spring crawfish boils, even (dare I say?) Easter, this salad will not disappoint.

Don't skip the almonds and olives, they really turn the salad from everyday into extra-special. At a family dinner back in early February, much to my surprise, e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y opted for the olives and e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y raved. Almonds and olives are familiar ingredients, of course, but they're a small and welcome surprise here.

What Makes this Salad "Cajun"?

Lots of imagination! That said I did make sure to include:
The "holy trinity" (also called mirepoix in French) that starts so many Cajun and Creole dishes, that's onion, celery and green pepper.
Then I added the artichokes and stuffed olives from the famous New Orleans sandwich, the muffuletta. Could you throw in some tiny cubes of salami too? Yes!
And when I made the dressing, my rarely-the-same-twice My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing, instead of fresh herbs, I used Cajun seasoning. So good!

April Salads ... and Soups Too!

In the mood for more spring-y salads? I've got just the recipe collection for you right here, Seasonal Soups & Salads – April.

Big Cajun Chopped Salad, another fresh, flexible & healthy salad ♥ Great with gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp creole, crawfish boils and more.

What Makes This Salad Special?

Relies on vegetables easily found in everyday grocery stores
Calls for vegetables that keep
Every bite has great crunch & great texture contrast
So very very green! and fresh! and full of plant life!
Quick to make and keeps for days

Summer Easy, a special collection of Less Cookin' and More Livin' recipes especially for summer ♥ all summer long.
The first for this year! This big chopped salad recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long ever since 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes about 9 cups, easily scaled for less or more

All amounts are approximate, add or subtract as you see fit
4 cups chopped spinach
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped celery or chopped green cabbage
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 cup canned artichokes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley or fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onion (white and green parts both) or very finely diced red onion or Spiced Pickled Red Onions

Toasted almonds slivers or toasted sunflower seeds, on the side
Stuffed green olives, on the side
My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing or dressing of your choice

In a large bowl, collect the chopped vegetables, chopping each into small but still individually distinct pieces. Transfer to individual serving plates or bowls, sprinkle with almonds and olives, then drizzle with dressing.

MAKE-AHEAD The dressing can be made up to several days ahead of time. The salad itself can be chopped up to several hours before serving. Just keep the salad separate from the almonds, olives and dressing until just ready to serve.

MAKE IT A MEAL Just add sliced chicken, grilled shrimp, even Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs.

COLOR Appearance-wise, I love the all-green salad but really, go for the fresh vegetables you either have or like best. Do included a little bit of onion, it makes all the difference.

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I made this salad last night as our first course. I lightly steamed the broccoli because I'm not a fan of raw broccoli. Otherwise the only change I made was to leave out the green pepper because I didn't have one and I don't like them anyway. It was a delicious hearty salad that my husband and I both enjoyed. We did add the olives and the almonds and thought they added a lot. We didn't have to worry about leftovers because we ate the whole thing!

    1. Bookworks ~”We ate the whole thing!” ... now that’s a recommendation! So glad the salad works for you, including the olives and almonds. Love your idea to steam the broccoli a little. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. Stay well, Stay safe, Stay strong.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna