This Italian Mixed Greens Salad is loaded with bold ingredients and big flavor! Mixed greens get tossed with feta cheese, kalamata olives, cucumber, red onion slices and easy-to-make crispy prosciutto. With a zesty Italian homemade vinaigrette, it's the perfect side salad that just goes with everything!
My Go-To Salad!
Pizza night, pasta dinner, holidays to weeknights, this salad does not disappoint! My sister-in-law brought something similar a few Christmas's ago, and I've remembered it ever since! It's topped with a quick, shake-in-a-jar Italian dressing with garlic and oregano. Perfect for Italian food, but this recipe is really versatile! It's beautiful enough for Christmas, refreshing and bright enough for summer, it's just a simple go-to salad favorite!
This salad includes it's own dressing recipe, but would also be great with other vinaigrettes I like to keep in my fridge:
Just a few simple ingredients, but each one is loaded with sharp tangy flavor!
- Prosciutto - Kind of a magical ingredient if you ask me, but crispy prosciutto, now that's really something special! Sounds fancy but it's easy, just bake prosciutto for 10 minutes and you've got crispy prosciutto! It's a pricey ingredient by the pound, but get it from the deli, ask them to slice it thin, and not put paper slices in between. You'll end up paying more for paper than for prosciutto! Buy extra for the fridge and try these Italian Subs or this Creamy Bowtie Pasta!
- Mixed Greens - I like the boxes of mixed greens, but really any lettuce will work for this recipe. You can buy pre-washed mixed greens, spinach or arugula, or a head of lettuce and chop it yourself.
- Cucumber - Adds color, and crisp freshness!
- Kalamata Olives - I hated olives most of my life, until I met the kalamata olive. These are the good ones! Absolutely delicious, striking flavor, a jar of whole pitted kalamata olives in the fridge is really handy! If you don't like olives because you have in mind the black sliced (terrible) olives that come on pizza and taco dip, give kalamatas a try!
- Feta Cheese - I recommend buying feta cheese in a block that comes in liquid. This is fresher and more flavorful than the dry crumbles. You can also substitute blue cheese, goat cheese or shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Red Onion - Just a few red onion slices really add a punch of flavor to this Italian salad.
- Vinaigrette Dressing - This is a quick and easy homemade vinaigrette, made in a jar and shaken to combine. The clove of minced fresh garlic is essential to its bold taste. The red wine vinegar could also be subbed with white wine or champagne vinegar, or lemon juice. Any store-bought or homemade vinaigrette would also be fine!
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1 - Lay your prosciutto slices on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 400°. They will crisp up as they cool.
Step 2 - Make the Vinaigrette Dressing. Add all the ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake well. You won't need all the dressing for this salad. You can store the extra in the fridge for a month or more and use it on any salad. Let it come to room temperature before using since the olive oil can solidify.
Step 3 - Prep your veggies. Slice your onions and cucumbers, crumble the feta and pull out your olives from the brine.
Step 4 - Add your mixed greens and all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss with the dressing, saving some of the crispy prosciutto to crumble over the top. Add another sprinkle of oregano and serve!
Additions & Variations
This is a salad, so of course you can vary it any way you like! Use what you have and make it different every time.
- Veggies - It's easy to add more veggies to this salad like cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, jarred artichokes, or avocado. I love adding a few jarred peperoncini's. They look gorgeous, and if you like things spicy, are pretty tasty.
- Croutons - Toasting up some homemade croutons would be delicious on this Italian salad.
- The Prosciutto - The prosciutto could also be added just chopped without crisping. It's not raw but cured, so can be eaten without further cooking. This Prosciutto and Parmesan Salad is a great variation!
This salad could be made vegetarian by leaving out the prosciutto, or vegan by also omitting the cheese. It is already gluten-free.
Storage & Make Ahead Instructions
Storage - If you ask me, once dressing is on a salad, you can't store it! Keep that in mind when planning your amounts.
Make Ahead - This salad can be completely made ahead and transported to a holiday party, or kept in the fridge until ready to serve. The dressing can be shaken in a jar and will keep in the fridge for up to a month. Just let it come to room temperature before shaking again and using. The prosciutto can be crisped and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. It will however, lose some of its crispiness so it's best to make it as close to serving time as possible. You could microwave it a few seconds just before using to recrisp it. The main bowl of salad can be assembled, covered and kept in the fridge, then just add the dressing and crispy prosciutto when ready to eat.
What to Serve with this Salad
This is one of the most versatile salads in our meal rotation! It seems to go well with everything!
- Pizza Night - We do pizza night every Friday and this salad is the best!
- Pasta Night - Serve it with Spaghetti, Gnocchi, or Creamy Pastas.
- The Holidays - Goes great with ham, turkey, steaks or a fancy beef roast.
- Soup and Salad Night - We love a good salad and crusty bread with Butternut Squash Soup or Chicken Wild Rice Soup!
- The Main Course - Add sliced chicken and serve it as the main coarse!
Toss some of the crispy prosciutto with the salad but save some to crumble in big pieces over the top!
More Quick Side Dishes!
Italian Mixed Greens Salad with Crispy Prosciutto
- 4 to 6 slices prosciutto
- 4 ounces mixed lettuce greens
- ½ cup cucumber sliced
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives
- ⅓ cup feta cheese
- ⅛ cup red onion sliced
For the Dressing
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400°. Lay your prosciutto slices on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They will crisp up as they cool.
- Add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small jar with a lid and shake well to combine. Or whisk in a bowl.
- Prepare your veggies and add all salad ingredients to a bowl. Toss with the dressing. Break up the crispy prosciutto adding some to toss with the salad and saving some for the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of oregano and serve.
- Wait to dress the salad until just before serving.
- Extra vinaigrette can be kept in the fridge and used on any salad for a month or longer. Let it come to room temperature on the counter and shake well before using.