This Italian style Chef Salad recipe is made with classic chef salad ingredients all tossed in a delicious gorgonzola dressing.This is one of my favorite salad recipes to make!bowls of tossed saladI love everything about this Chef Salad. It’s made with classic chef salad ingredients tossed together with some Italian salad favorites.  

a mixing bowl with lettuce and small mixing bowls filled with cucumber slices, chickpeas, olives and pepperoncini

I could live on big beautiful salads like this one, made with fresh healthy ingredients and tossed in a delicious homemade dressing. This salad is filling enough to serve as a light main for lunch or dinner. 

Chef Salad Recipe

Yes – there’s a lot of ingredients in this salad, but hopefully many of them will be staples in your refrigerator and pantry. This is a great meal prep salad because you can store the ingredients separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss them together before serving. It’s one of my favorite healthy salad recipes to make! 

  • Romaine lettuce. I use Romain Lettuce for many of my salads. A lot of Chef salads are made with iceberg lettuce – but there’s more nutrients in Romaine lettuce.
  • Turkey. I used roast turkey sliced very thin. (Purchased at the deli at my local market)
  • Hard-boiled eggs. I cut the eggs in half, but you can also chop them into small pieces or crumble them.
  • Garbanzo beans. Add canned or cooked-from-scratch garbanzo beans
  • Cabbage. I used purple cabbage here but you could use Radicchio instead.
  • Sweet cherry tomatoes. I like to add either sweet cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes to this salad. If using cherry tomatoes, just slice them in half, and if you use Roma tomatoes regular then cut them into wedges.
  • Cucumber.  We used English cucumber for this salad. Don’t peel them – just rinse and slice.
  • Purple onion. I always slice my onion and then soak the slices in water before adding to salads. Soaking sliced onions in water takes the bite out of onion and mellows the flavor considerably.
  • Pepperoncini.  Added pepperoncini adds a lot of flavor to salads.
  • Kalamata olives. I love adding kalamata olives to my salads. It adds nice flavor.
  • Marcona almonds. We add Marcona almonds to replace croutons in this salad for a little crunch.
  • Gorgonzola cheese. Instead of deli American, Swiss or Cheddar cheese added to classic Chef Salad, we add Gorgonola  (which is an Italian cheese).
  • Gorgonzola dressing. This Gorgonzola dressing is super easy to make and it is light, slightly creamy and really delicious! I’m not a fan of blue cheese or blue cheese dressing – but this Gorgonzola dressing is a hit with me.  The Gorgonzola cheese adds a nice mellow creaminess to the dressing.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.


How to Make Chef Salad

This Chef Salad comes together in about 15 minutes start-to-finish. You’ll need a large bowl to toss all of the Chef Salad ingredients in because this salad feeds a small crowd.

  1. Prep salad ingredients. Wash, slice and chop ingredients.
  2. Add ingredients to bowl. Combine the lettuce, cabbage, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, turkey, pepperoncini, kalamata olives and almonds in a large bowl.
  3. Toss salad. Dress salad with Gorgonzola dressing and toss. Add the hard-boiled eggs and drizzle dressing over the top.
  4. Seasoning. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

bowl of chef salad ingredients

Gorgonzola Dressing

This Gorgonzola dressing is my riff on one of the dressings Flower Child serves with their salads. If you don’t care for vinegar or don’t have any on hand – just omit the vinegar and reduce the gorgonzola to 1/4 cup. I’ve made the dressing this way (without vinegar) many times and just love it! To make it, just add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until its smooth and creamy. Refrigerate before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – you could use avocado oil if you prefer
  • Vinegar – we use champagne vinegar, but white wine vinegar will work fine too
  • Lemon juice – use fresh squeezed
  • Cheese – we use Gorgonzola cheese which is a mild Italian blue cheese
  • Garlic – adds a nice pop of flavor
  • Season – sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

What is a Chef Salad

A Chef Salad (aka Chefs salad) is a popular American salad that’s been around since the 1940s. It’s made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, cheese and sliced deli meat and served with various dressings.

two bowls of chef salad tossed in gorgonzola dressing (for chef salad recipe)

Best Salad Dressing to Serve with Chef Salad

The Gorgonzola dressing really makes this Italian Style Chef Salad special. I love everything about this combo. But, if you’re not a fan of Gorgonzola cheese, then these dressings also work really well with this salad. 

Italian chef salad with garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes and cabbage tossed in a gorgonzola dressing.

wooden bowls filled with romaine lettuce, hardboiled eggs, almonds and tomatoes. A pair of salad servers in one bowl.

Looking for More Salad Recipes to Make?

Still want more ideas? Check out all my healthy salad recipes.

bowls of salad tossed in gorgonzola dressing
Yield: 8 servings

Chef Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

This Italian Style Chef Salad recipe is made with many classic chef salad ingredients like lettuce, turkey lunchmeat, cheese and hard-boiled eggs, all tossed in a delicious gorgonzola dressing.This is one of my favorite healthy salad recipes to make!


  • 1 large head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 pint small sweet cherry tomatoes, halved through the stem ends
  • 1/2 large hot house cucumber, rinsed and sliced thin
  • 1 cup (1/2 pound) roast turkey sliced thin at deli then cut into strips
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
  • 1-1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 5 peperoncini, stems cut off and discarded, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola dressing (more for serving)

Gorgonzola Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar will work too)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Slice the layers of onions lengthwise 1/16 inch thick. Place the onion slices in a small bowl of ice water and set aside.
  2. Drain the onion and pat dry with paper towels before adding them to the salad.
  3. Rinse, dry and chop lettuce and thinly slice purple cabbage.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, purple cabbage, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, turkey, garbanzo beans, cheese, pepperoncini, kalamata olives and almonds.
  5. Toss to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
  6. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the Gorgonzola dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing.
  7. dd the hard-boiled eggs to the top of the salad and drizzle a little dressing over the tops.

Gorgonzola Dressing

  1. Add the ingredients to a blender or NutriBullet and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Refrigerate before serving
  3. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to one week.



  • Add mozzarella, provolone or parmesan instead of gorgonzola
  • Toss in some roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes
  • Add artichoke hearts

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 1164mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.