Chef Salad – Spend With Pennies

A classic chef salad should be in every recipe box!

Fresh veggies, ham, turkey, eggs, and cheese are served over lettuce and served with a ranch or Thousand Island dressing.

  • It’s light, crisp, and refreshing for an easy and elegant salad.
  • This salad is a great way to clean out the fridge and use up the vegetables you have on hand.
  • Filled with fresh ingredients, it’s just right for light summer dinners at home.
  • This is a classic Chef salad recipe with protein, fiber, dairy, and veggies; it’s a main meal salad.
lettuce , thousand island , turkey , ham , cheese , hard boiled eggs , tomatoes , onion and cucumber to make Greek Chicken Saladlettuce , thousand island , turkey , ham , cheese , hard boiled eggs , tomatoes , onion and cucumber to make Greek Chicken Salad

Chef Salad Ingredients

Lettuce: Iceberg lettuce is the base of this recipe. Romaine or bibb lettuce also are great in this recipe.

Protein: Use both turkey and ham slices for this recipe. You can also use leftover grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, or a handful of bacon crumbles for extra flavor.

Cheese: Sliced or shredded cheddar cheese is my favorite in Chefs salad. You can also use Swiss, provolone, or feta cheese.

Veggies: Classic Chef’s salad ingredients like cherry tomatoes, red onions, and cucumbers add crunch and flavor to this recipe.

Dressing: I prefer a creamy dressing with chef’s salad such as Thousand Island or Ranch, but you can also use Italian dressing.

Dressings for Chef Salad


  • Top with homemade croutons, or toasted nuts like sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
  • Add chopped kale, spinach, or a bag of shredded cabbage.
  • Mix in other veggies like shredded carrots, avocado, black or kalamata olives, or pepperoncini peppers.
  • Pickled red onions, green beans, or asparagus will add a tangy flavor.
pouring dressing over Greek Chicken Saladpouring dressing over Greek Chicken Salad

How to Make a Chef Salad

Make this classic chef salad as a hearty lunch or light dinner.

  1. Tear the lettuce and add it to a large salad bowl (recipe below).
  2. Top with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Dress with your choice of salad dressings and serve.

To save time, prep the ingredients for Chef’s Salad ahead of time and store them separately until ready to be assembled and served.

Try a pre-shredded bag of mixed greens in place of the lettuce.

Make a batch of hard-boiled eggs in advance so they are chilled and ready. Peel and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

close up of Greek Chicken Saladclose up of Greek Chicken Salad

Holly’s Favorite Tips & Tricks

  • Homemade dressing is really easy to make, and the taste is much better.
  • The best, bistro-worthy chef salads are served extra cold! Chill the serving bowl, the ingredients, and the dressing.
  • You can toss this salad, but I prefer the presentation when it’s not tossed.
  • This salad is best enjoyed the same day as making it, but leftovers (without the dressing) can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • When ready to serve, add new greens and veggies for crunch. Drizzle with fresh dressing before serving.

The Best Summer Salads

These delicious recipes turn a side salad into a full meal deal!

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Chef Salad

This chef salad is a classic with lettuce, ham, turkey, eggs, and cheese. Simply delicious.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

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  • Wash the lettuce and spin it in a salad spinner to dry. Tear into bite-sized pieces.

  • Slice the ham and turkey into ½-inch strips.

  • Place the lettuce in a large bowl (or divide over 4 individual serving plates).

  • Arrange the ham, turkey, cheese, eggs, red onion, tomatoes, and cucumber over the salad. Garnish with a little bit of parsley if desired.

  • Serve with Thousand Island or Ranch dressing.

  • Ingredients can be prepared and stored in the fridge for up 3 days before serving.
  • Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Calories: 260 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 627mg | Potassium: 510mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 15.2mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad
Cuisine American

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