The ultimate Chopped Salad combines crunchy bacon, garlicky shrimp, ripe avocado, juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, and creamy cheese, along with a generous handful of fresh parsley to brighten all of the flavors. Not a fan of bleu cheese, or any “stinky” cheese? Don’t let that stop you from making this recipe.
I’ve served this salad with and without cheese, with cheddar, with goat cheese, and with bleu cheese. However you make it, this is the chopped salad of your dreams.
This chopped salad recipe is from Jessica Merchant’s new cookbook, The Pretty Dish. If you don’t already follow Jessica’s blog, How Sweet Eats, you’re missing out. Her recipes never fail to make me crave something new.
Like so many of the recipes in this cookbook, the description and the photos for the Bacon, Bleu Cheese, and Shrimp Chopped Salad were more than enough to have me craving this salad for several days before I had a chance to make it.
There are endless recipes in The Pretty Dish that I will be trying soon. Do you see all those bookmarks in the photo?? It’s almost embarrassing how difficult it was to make up my mind which recipe to share with you. Quick Sesame Ramen Noodles are actually going to be our lunch today and the Butternut Squash Queso will be happening very soon as well.
The Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits sound heavenly. And I can hardly wait for peach season this year because the Peach Panzanella Salad is screaming my name. I think I have about 18 recipes flagged to try and there are so many more that I’d love to make as well.
Chopped Salad Recipe
The key to a great chopped salad is to make every bite the same size. Also called a Chop Salad, I’ve been a fan of chopped salads for years. I’m all about having a little bit of each flavor in every bite. That’s really all there is to a chopped salad. To make a chopped salad, simply cut all the ingredients as close to the same size as possible.
For this salad, that means chopping the shrimp and slicing the bacon into bite-size pieces. Halve the tomatoes, chop the avocados, cut the lettuce into small, bite-size pieces, and then toss everything together along with the remaining ingredients. I’m willing to bet that after your first bite you’ll agree with that it is well worth the few minutes of extra effort to chop things small.
As the weather warms up here in the Valley of the Sun (a.k.a. the land of no relief from the heat for the next 5 months), I am all about the salad recipes. If you haven’t already figured out How To Eat A Salad Everyday, I’ve written this post that is filled with all kind of tips and instructions for keeping your salads interesting and craveable day after day.
This Blueberry Apple Walnut Salad, Southern Style Coleslaw, and this Spinach Pasta Salad have been on my table on repeat for the past few months. Tex-Mex Cobb Salad is another favorite and this Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad sounds perfect for summer barbecues and parties.
- 8 slices cooked bacon chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 cloves garlic
- 12 ounces butter, red leaf, or green leaf lettuce (any tender lettuce will work nicely)
- 1/2 cup grilled, roasted, or frozen and thawed roasted corn
- 2-4 ounces bleu cheese, goat cheese, or alternative cheese (optional)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 large avocado, chopped into 1/2" pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the bacon in the oven (see link above), or on the stove, until crispy and the fat has rendered. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and reserve the bacon grease.
In a large stainless skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of bacon grease over medium heat. Add the shrimp and garlic. Toss to coat and then spread across the pan in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp, or stir, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until shrimp are opaque and slightly pink.
Remove from the heat, transfer the shrimp to a cutting board, and chop into 1/2" pieces. Chop the lettuce into small, bite-size pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuce, shrimp, bacon, corn, cheese, tomatoes, avocados, and parsley. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.