This Super Veggie Vegan Chopped Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing is packed with crisp, refreshing vegetables. Romaine, spinach, fire-roasted corn, peas, carrots, tomatoes, artichokes, heart of palm, pepperoncini, and cornichon pickles are tossed in a simple and super creamy cashew ranch dressing.
This salad recipe has been over a year in the making.
What started out as a pregnancy-induced love affair with chopped salads as big as my head, morphed into a perpetual and insatiable craving for chopped salads period.
Over the last year, I've made this salad countless times, and it's hands down my all-time favorite salad. The only problem with turning it into a proper recipe to share with you was that I never measured any of the ingredients. Even the cashew ranch was more of a toss-together thing of haphazard proportions. Each time I'd make it, I'd simply tweak and adjust, tweak and adjust until I got the flavors juuuust right.
And so, when I decided it was finally time to share the recipe here, I had a bit of trouble getting the proportions right. The whole salad-to-dressing ratio thing is a bit of an art.
Of course, it's also a matter of personal preference, so perhaps you'll find that my "perfect" ratio is actually quite different than yours. In that case, please feel free to adjust to suit your tastes. I won't take offense.
Bottom line: Many, many, many huge and yummy chopped salads were consumed during the making of this recipe. And I'm not complaining.
Upon first glance, the recipe looks a bit daunting in terms of length, but I promise you it's a real cinch to throw together.
And the more often you make it, the more effortless it will become.
Chop, chop, chop.
Toss, toss, toss.
Nom, nom, nom.
Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom.
Funny thing: The word "nom" sort of irks me in print, but Sloane has been making an actual "nom" sound while eating solids lately, and all of the sudden I've taken a general liking to the word.
Another funny thing: I never thought I'd be the overly gushy, sappy mom type, but I'm totally the overly gushy, sappy mom type, and I've 1000% made peace with it. (Or in gushy mom speak, "I've to-the-moon-and-back-infinity made peace with it," because that's also how much I love that little babe—to the moon and back infinity—and I tell her that no less than 14 times a day.) See, total mushball sapfest over here.
Back to the salad.
Three steps to make it: Prepare the dressing, chop the veggies, toss.
To make the cashew ranch dressing, simply blend together raw cashews, filtered water, a bit of vinegar, dried herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
To make the salad, chop and/or add the following to a large salad bowl:
Hearts of palm.
Drizzle with the dressing, and then toss, toss, toss to coat.
If you'd like a protein boost, add a generous handful of hemp hearts and toss again.
Then, season to taste with salt and pepper if desired—I find it doesn't need much additional seasoning—and serve immediately.
No joke, I used to eat the ENTIRE salad on my own during pregnancy, now I split it with Dan.
So, for us it serves max two, but for you it might serve three or even four. Totally depends on your appetite and whether you're making it a main course or a side dish.
Happy veggie chopping to you!
Super Veggie Vegan Chopped Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing
Cashew Ranch Dressing
- ½ cup raw cashews or shelled hemp seeds
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or chives (optional)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste, plus more for seasoning the salad
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste, plus more for seasoning the salad
- 7 ounces romaine, washed and thoroughly chopped*
- 2 to 3 ounces baby spinach, chopped
- ½ a (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ½ a (14-ounce) can hearts of palm, drained, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- ¾ to 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered or cut into eighths
- ¾ cup frozen fire-roasted corn, thawed
- ¾ cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- ⅓ to ½ cup drained jarred pepperoncini rings, chopped
- ⅓ to ½ cup drained jarred cornichon pickles, chopped
- Handful of hemp hearts (optional)
For the Cashew Ranch Dressing
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high for 2 minutes, or until completely smooth. Pour into an airtight jar and keep refrigerated until assembling the salad.
For the Chopped Salad
- Add all the salad ingredients to a large serving bowl. Pour as much of the dressing as desired over top (I find it's perfect with the full batch of dressing), and toss to coat. Generously season with black pepper and sea salt, if desired. Serve immediately.
This looks wonderful - can't wait to try! And my vegan 13-year-old daughter, who is a salad maniac, will be super excited as well. This is definitely on the menu for the hot weekend ahead.
Hope you and your family enjoy the salad, Connie! And yes, stay cool! :)
I miss ranch dressing so much as a vegan! The ingredients for the cashew ranch dressing is on my shopping list! Thank you for this recipe! The lettuce looks so yummy! My go-to dressing is usually a peanut dressing with lemon juice and water. I think dressing is key to making salad yummy! <3
Hope you enjoy the recipe, Juliana!
Celeste Jackson says
I made this for lunch yesterday to share with my friend for her birthday celebration. I'm a big fan of chopped salads. It's so nice to get so many flavors in one fork full but I must admit I was a bit leery about the combination...even though I love all of these ingredients independently. I was even tempted to alter a bit...maybe some avocado? take out the pepperoncini? But I held to the recipe and OMG! So delicious!
It's my new favorite salad and my birthday friend loved it too! Thanks for opening my mind to a NEW VERSION of the CHOPPED SALAD!
Christina McNeil says
Wow!!! This Salad is wonderful and the dressing is incredible.
Thank you so much.
So glad you're enjoying it, Christina! Thanks for taking time out of your weekend to come back and share your rating.
I'm not familiar with cornichon pickles. Would dill pickles work well or should I search out the cornichon?
Hi, Julia! Cornichons are tiny French pickles (i.e., mini gherkin pickles). You can substitute dill gherkins in their place. Enjoy!