This La Scala-inspired chopped salad has gone viral. Here’s why – and how to do it.

La Scala Viral Chopped Salad has just a few key ingredients that make it a crunchy and flavorful salad. (Getty Images) (ALLEKO via Getty Images)

It’s not every day that something as innocuous as a salad goes viral, but here we are. La Scala salad, which is essentially a chopped Italian salad made with lettuce, salami, mozzarella and chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), is all over social media, with nutritionists and foodies sharing how to make this easy dish . Although this type of salad is more popular than ever (Google Trends recently reported that searches for “chopped salad” are at an all-time high), it has been around for decades. La Scala Chopped Salad reportedly comes from a Beverly Hills restaurant of the same name that introduced it in the 1950s (and it’s still on the restaurant’s menu), while some attribute the salad’s recent rise in popularity to the Kardashians and other celebrities who are fans. tasty meal.

So, what is it about this salad that makes some people salivate? And how do you do it? Here’s what you need to know.

Why is this chopped salad popular?

“As with many things in today’s world, we can thank a celebrity and social media, in this case, the Kardashians, for the popularity of this salad,” Keri Gans, registered dietitian, nutritionist and author of The diet of small changes, tells Yahoo Life. But beyond the celebrity factor, Gans says that when a salad is chopped and tossed, “it combines all the ingredients, adding more flavor to every bite.”

Julie Pace, founder and dietitian of Core Nutrition + Wellness, agrees, telling Yahoo Life, “Chopped salads have become popular because they are versatile, colorful, and so easy to prepare. With fresh ingredients cut into bite-sized pieces, they’re visually appealing and a convenient way to enjoy a variety of flavors and textures in every bite.

In making a delicious salad, Pace says dressing plays “an important role,” but notes that “various textures and flavors, such as crunchy nuts, crunchy vegetables, creamy avocado or tangy cheese, can enhance the taste profile some salad. Overall, the dressing should complement and enhance the flavors of the salad ingredients without overpowering them.

Is it healthy?

Overall, the La Scala salad includes many healthy ingredients such as chickpeas, lettuce and olive oil, says Gans. Vanessa Rissetto, registered dietitian and CEO of Culina Health, cites the salad’s fiber-rich chickpeas in particular, adding that they are also a “good source of protein.”

However, Gans notes that salad “may also be higher in sodium because of the salami.” When it comes to cheeses, mozzarella is lower in saturated fat and sodium than many options. If a person is on a low sodium diet, they may only want to enjoy this salad occasionally.

Pace says opting for minimally processed ingredients and choosing salad dressings low in saturated fat, like salad dressings, can contribute to a healthier option.

What are some misconceptions people have about salads?

Salads aren’t just a side dish: they can be a meal on their own. The key, all three experts say, is to make sure salads contain enough protein so you won’t be hungry an hour after eating them. Pace says salads can be a satisfying meal “when they contain enough protein and fiber to promote satiety.” Incorporating healthy fat sources like avocado, nuts and seeds can also help with satiety.

The mistake some people make when making salads, Rissetto says, is when “people just put iceberg lettuce and lots of dressing, but forget things like protein for satiety and maybe a little cheese for flavor. Nuts and seeds for omegas. There’s more than just a dry piece of chicken to make your salad amazing: you just have to get creative! Besides grilled chicken, Gans says good sources of protein include salmon, legumes or shrimp.

Gans also notes that salads are not necessarily low in calories and that in some cases, “they can be quite high,” adding, “You have to be careful about the amount of dressing used, especially if it contains oil. Olive or other fats, such as calories could add up quickly.

But overall, Gans says, “a salad is an opportunity to incorporate many nutritious foods into your diet in one meal.”

What is the recipe?

If you want to try making this chopped salad at home, you can find plenty of recipes online. Here is a recipe from the chef and Big bites Cookbook author Kathleen Ashmore describes it as “like an Italian sub in salad form.”

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, rinsed and finely chopped

  • 1 ⁄4 lb Italian salami, julienned

  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

  • 1 15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained well

Dressing ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

  • 1/2 tsp. every salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano OR Parmesan, plus more for serving


  1. To make the dressing: In a large serving bowl, combine oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to taste; whisk until well combined.

  2. In the bowl, mix the lettuce, salami, mozzarella and chickpeas. Toss with vinaigrette to coat.

  3. Finish with more pecorino, salt and black pepper, if desired.

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