Simple Salad Hack : Chopped Salad

Simple Salad Hack - Chopped Salad - Clean MamaI’ve got a great salad hack for you today that I know you’ll love (if you like salads or are trying to eat more of them).  Even our kids love this salad mix and it’s easy to prepare ahead and even easier to get a nutritious dinner and salad on the table.  Here’s how I use this DIY salad mix:

  • Prep ahead for 2-3 nights of side salads – wash and dry greens and veggies and put in a bag with a paper towel to absorb any moisture.
  • Put dressing and other ingredients in the bottom of a mason jar and put the greens on top.  Shake when ready to eat – instant lunch.
  • Dinner salad – add a protein and a couple other ingredients like tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, nuts, and favorite dressing.  Our favorite salad?  Barbecue chicken and ranch dressing with cheddar cheese – yum!

Here’s how to make your own chopped salad mix at home – you just need a couple ingredients and about 15 minutes to wash and cut your veggies.  I use baby kale and baby romaine because it’s smaller and has a good texture that my kids will eat.  I buy pre-washed lettuce and organic produce when I can – that’s just my preference because it’s quick and easy.  Feel free to adapt and change to fit your taste!

Chopped Salad Ingredients


  • red cabbage
  • green cabbage
  • green onions
  • baby kale
  • baby romaine
  • carrots – I use the pre-shredded variety

Prep your greens – this is what I do for 2-3 days of salads for our family of 5:

  1. Wash and cut up or shred in food processor, half a head of each cabbage (keep the other half in the fridge for later in the week).
    Chop Ingredients - Clean Mama
  2. Wash and cut up 3-5 green onions.  If you’re not into onions, leave them out.
  3. Chop about 3 ounces each of pre-washed baby kale and romaine.  I use a food prep scissors to make this really quick and easy.
    Chopped Salad - Clean Mama
  4. Add about a cup of shredded or chopped carrots.
    Chopped Salad - Clean Mama
  5. Combine ingredients and portion out enough for dinner that night and then pre-portion any remaining for lunches and dinner for the next 2-3 days.  I use zip top bags with a paper towel in it to absorb moisture for a larger amount and canning jars for individual lunch servings.

Store Chopped Salad - Clean Mama

I love menu planning and looking for ways to make dinner a little easier.

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  1. Joanna Rose Williams-Cromer says:

    Great idea Becky. Sounds delicious and a great time saver. Running out to the store to get the cabbage for the salad before the snow comes today.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this idea…I love chopped salad!

  3. I was just thinking about salads last night! I don’t remember what for, but somehow salad and what to eat it with was one of those random things that popped up while trying to go to sleep, ha! One reason I never really buy it, though, is that it tends to go bad before we get through it all, so I will be keeping that paper towel/Ziploc trick in mind!

  4. You had me at, “Barbecue chicken and ranch dressing with cheddar cheese – yum!” 🙂 I love this idea for my lunch and an easy lunch my husband can take to work. You could also grabbed the already chopped rotisserie chicken (in the shrink wrapped bag) at Costco and throw some of that in too. Thanks Becky!

  5. Thanks for this quick tip! Have to get of 8 lbs I re-gained from 30 I lost. No real motivation to move, it to cold outside. Indoor work outs bore me. So, eating even healthier sure will help, until the spring!!

  6. Michelle Smith says:

    My hubby and I were just talking last night about ways to eat healthier for the winter and I always struggle with side dishes….this is just the thing to add vegs. I will also be trying the paper towel in ziplock trick. It’s strange, if I can prep things ahead and just pull them out of the frig ready to go, we eat it. If I have to stand in the kitchen and chop it up that night when I am tired from the day…..I pull down the potato chips.

  7. This salad is beautiful! Thanks for the tip — I would have never thought to put the paper towel in the baggie. Do you have a homemade dressing recipe that you use? Thanks for sharing!

  8. How do you keep the lettuce from getting brown? That’s so unappetizing I end up throwing it away, and always gets brown by day 2.

    • The paper towel helps!

    • Christine says:

      I had a lot of problems with greens staying fresh if I bought at Walmart. Aldi’ prepackaged greens stay fresh so much longer. Maybe try a different brand/store for your produce purchases. It made a huge difference for us!

  9. Do you live in Manhattan Beach? We lived there for 9 years and I see a picture of the pier on your sidebar.

  10. This sounds like a great mix. And I love that it is prepped and ready to go!

  11. This is a great idea! I was looking for meal ideas to get my granddaughter involved in meal prep this summer and she happens to love salads. (I spend the summer with her as both parents work.)

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