Steakhouse Chopped Salad (Side Salad)

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This Steakhouse Chopped Salad is loaded with crisp veggies, crispy bacon, and tossed with a creamy, flavorful homemade ranch dressing. It’s fresh and easy and the perfect side salad for any meal.

While I can make any salad a meal, this side salad is great for serving as a first course. It’s the perfect copycat steakhouse salad, just like you’d get at your favorite restaurant.

Lettuce in a bowl with tomatoes, carrots, cheese and ranch.

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Why We Love This Side Salad Recipe

  • Easy Homemade Ranch – Tangy buttermilk and fresh herbs make the homemade ranch super flavorful. 
  • Chopped Salad – Because the ingredients are chopped up, you can get a little bit in each bite!
  • All Of The Best Salad Mix-ins – You’ve got crisp veggies, crunchy croutons, and crispy bacon!
  • Customizable – Just use the ingredients you love or customize with your favorite veggies, cheeses, and other mix-ins.

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • Romaine Hearts – torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces.For a chopped salad, cut the lettuce thinner, into strips, while for a side salad you can simply chop it up into bigger pieces.
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Cooked Bacon – Cook it so it’s crispy then chop it up.
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese – freshly grated will taste better, but you can take a shortcut and use the pre-shredded here if you like.
  • Sliced Green Onions
  • Croutons – These are optional but I love the crunch!

For the Homemade Ranch Dressing:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour Cream
  • Buttermilk – You can use regular milk or make your own buttermilk.
  • Fresh Herbs – Dill, Parsley, Chives
  • Minced Garlic – Fresh is best, but you can use the kind in a jar too.
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper
Ingredients for Salad and homemade ranch.

How To Make A Chopped Salad

Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

This Bacon Chopped Salad is quick to make and you can even prep it in advance!

  1. Make Dressing – Make the homemade ranch by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Assemble Salad – Add the lettuce and other salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Add Dressing – When ready to serve, toss the salad with the dressing. Alternatively, you can serve the dressing on the side and let guests dress their own salads.
Chopped Salad in a bowl with ranch dressing, carrots, tomatoes, croutons and shredded cheese.

FAQs

What does Chopped Salad mean?

A chopped salad gets its name because all of the ingredients have been chopped up to a small, uniform size.

Why are chopped salads better?

Since the salad ingredients are all chopped up to the same small size, it’s easier to get a little bit in each bite.

Does homemade ranch taste better?

While you can swap in store-bought ranch dressing for this recipe, I really recommend you try out making it from scratch! In homemade ranch you can taste the fresh herbs and tangy buttermilk – it just tastes so much fresher and flavorful than store-bought.

Serving Suggestions

You can’t beat a big salad to start a meal. I love following this recipe with main courses like an air fryer steak, oven baked chicken, or hamburgers

A small wooden spoon drizzling ranch dressing over a salad in a bowl.

Variations

  • Store-Bought Dressing – If you’re tight on time, you can use a store-bought ranch dressing but this homemade is seriously SO GOOD.
  • Add Protein – For a complete meal, try topping this salad with some sliced chicken, steak, shrimp, or salmon.

Storage

Dressing: The homemade dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you don’t plan on eating the entire salad, I recommend not adding dressing to the entire thing. Salad that is already tossed in the dressing doesn’t store well.

Salad: Without the dressing, you can store the salad in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results, transfer to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and place a paper towel inside to catch any excess moisture.

Pro Tips

  • Make Dressing in Advance – You can make the ranch dressing up to one week in advance so it’s ready to go!
  • Chop Everything Up Small and Evenly – This is the key to a great chopped salad! You want everything to be the same small size so you can easily get everything in one big bite.
Wooden salad tongs lifting a serving of salad out of a bowl.

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Bacon Ranch Chopped Salad

5
This Chopped Salad is fresh and easy, loaded with veggies, bacon, and homemade ranch dressing. It's a perfect side salad for any meal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 458kcal

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 3 romaine hearts, about 1 pound, trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 6 slices bacon cooked crisp and chopped
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • Croutons optional

Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or regular milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use; and up to 1 week.
  • Wash lettuce and dry with a salad spinner. Add to a large salad bowl.
  • Top with tomatoes, carrots, bacon, cucumber, cheddar cheese and green onions. Toss.
  • If you know you’ll be eating the entire salad, you can toss with the dressing, otherwise, serve salad on plates or in bowls and let each person add their own dressing and croutons.

Notes

All of the salad ingredients are suggestions and can be easily customized to suit your taste. 
Storage
Dressing: The homemade dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you don’t plan on eating the entire salad, I recommend not adding dressing to the entire thing. Salad that is already tossed in the dressing doesn’t store well.
Salad: Without the dressing, you can store the salad in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results, transfer to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and place a paper towel inside to catch any excess moisture.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 14gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 692mgPotassium: 618mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 11039IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 220mgIron: 2mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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