Monday, March 5, 2012

Kitchen Sink Chopped Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing

I couldn’t decide whether to call this a chopped salad or a cobb salad… because, well, is there a difference? Or is a cobb salad simply a type of chopped salad? What is the specific distinction between the two? Anyone? … Anyone? (these really are the things that go through my mind! hah)

Oh well, whatever you want to call it… it’s DELICIOUS. For. Real.

I love a good hearty salad… one with all kinds of goodies in it! This fits the bill.

There are very few things I don’t like: raw meat -aka SUSHI- , oatmeal (it’s the texture – bleh), bananas (but I love banana bread), and fishy fish like salmon(I’m a Florida girl… I’m used to mild saltwater fish). Anyhow, when it comes to salads… the more ingredients the merrier!

My brother however, would gag at the mere thought of olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers being mixed into a salad haha He can be a picky little punk! 😉 I have to say he’s come a long way though, thanks to Heather (my sister in-law). She’s got him eating things that he once wouldn’t allow to touch his plate!

The dressing… OH the dressing. I could drink it. This recipe is based loosely off of another balsamic drissing recipe I got from my Aunt Kathy… I changed around a bunch since her secrets aren’t mine to give away…  😉

None-the-less this dressing is one you may just want to keep on Tap… yes, that good!

Make this salad ASAP. Add some grilled chicken, some chopped eggs (I actually intended to add eggs, but forgot… yah, i’m not perfect), whatever. you. want. Don’t like Balsamic? Use my favorite Garlic Ranch or Honey Mustard instead!

Make it your own, people!

NOTE: this dressing is more of a vinaigrette (the little bit of mayonnaise gives it a bit of a creaminess). It is meant to be thin, but will thicken up slightly after refrigeration. Also, I like my vinaigrettes more on the tangy side, but feel free to cut back the amount of vinegar in this if desired.

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Kitchen Sink Chopped Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Total Time: 20-30 minutes


For the Creamy Balsamic Dressing:
(makes 1 2/3 cups of dressing)

4 cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons Morton's Nature's Seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra light olive oil

For the Salad:
2-3 heads of Romaine lettuce, finely chopped
1/2 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 - 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avacado, pitted peeled and diced
1 cucumber, peeled seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 can of artichoke hearts, coarse chopped
4-6 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese


For the Creamy Balsamic Dressing:
Whisk together garlic, mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, sugar, Nature's Seasoning, and salt until well combined. Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk well. Slowly add in the olive oil (while whisking).

For the Salad:
Add all ingredients to a large bowl (more or less of each ingredient depending on personal preferences). Toss with desired amount of dressing and serve.

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139 Responses to “Kitchen Sink Chopped Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing”

  1. 1

    KC — July 14, 2012 @ 7:43 am

    How long will this keep in the fridge for???

  2. 2

    Mimi — July 17, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    Do you think sour cream could work in the dressing instead of mayo?

  3. 3

    Jeff — July 18, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    This looks delicious. Last week I made a sweet & sour dressing. The salad was the first thing completely gone at dinner. The recipe will be posted on my blog next week,

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. 4

    Getting Pinny | Food | This is Caleb… — August 3, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    […] that night with number 8 and the eggs were prepared as per number 3 above. Oh and I almost forgot! The dressing is what I’ll make bonus number 10 – will never buy prepared salad dressing […]

  5. 5

    Gloria Kelley — August 13, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    Just got this recipe from Pinterest and will be sure to make it this evening. I make ALL of my own dressings and can’t imagine why anyone would buy it when all it takes is a few minutes and very few ingredients not to mention how much better they taste. Reading the ingredient list on the back of the bottle of store-bought dressing will make a believer out of anyone. LOL. ACCCKKKK!!

    • Tina replied: — September 25th, 2012 @ 11:54 am

      i KNOW it’s scary the list of junk in there!!!!

  6. 6

    Victoria — August 24, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    Could I substitute mayo for anything? Yogurt maybe?

  7. 7

    Tricia — August 28, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

    This is the first home-made dressing I have ever made because it really is so easy and it is AMAZING!!!! 🙂 LOVE IT!

  8. 8

    Gloria Kelley — August 29, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    In answer to your question, a chopped salad is your choice of ingredients usually several different veggies, radishes , cucumbers, onions etc., chopped up in small pieces. A Cobb salad has specific ingredients such as hard cooked eggs, bacon, artichoke hearts, blue cheese etc. chopped and placed around the salad bowl in a circular fashion.
    I put a little less garlic and salt in your dressing than it calls for and it turned out absolutely delicious. Either salad would do well with this dressing.

  9. 9

    Samantha — September 4, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    Omg! This dressing is so amazing!! I literally did drink it, lol! I was looking to replicate a dressing I loved from a local restaurant that used it as a dip for a curry chicken wrap! This taste EXACTLY like it! Thank you! You have made me sooo happy!

  10. 10

    Sydell — September 7, 2012 @ 6:38 am


    Thanks so much for sharing this most delicious dressing. I made it last night and this morning it tasted even better. Looking forward to my lunch at work and putting this dressing in my salad.

  11. 11

    KacieW — September 10, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    I’m in love with this recipe!!!!!!!!! I have made it 3 times in the last 2 weeks bc we practically drink it! I blogged the recipe (with my minor changes) and linked it back to your page. Great job!

  12. 12

    Becky — September 13, 2012 @ 12:38 am

    This is the best dressing ever!! I have told everyone I know about it, its so delicious! Thank your for posting!

    • Tina replied: — September 25th, 2012 @ 11:53 am

      thanks Becky!

  13. 13

    Robyn — September 20, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    My boyfriend and I love this dressing. My recent batch didn’t come out that great though, I didn’t put the salt in and within a few days it was more of a mush then a dressing. Could this have been because I excluded the salt?

    • Tina replied: — September 20th, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

      It will solidify depending on the temperature your keep your refrigerator at (the colder, the more of a solid it will become). Let it sit out on the counter for 15-20 minutes before your serve the salad, shake it up and it should re-incorporate.

  14. 14

    Alicia — September 23, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    IDK what I did but mine had a card board box taste to it. Maybe it was because I used Miracle whip. It tasted some what normal

    • Tina replied: — September 25th, 2012 @ 11:53 am

      that is strange! Were any of the ingredients expired??

  15. 15

    Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette « Sugar Dish Me — September 25, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    […] Balsalmic Vinaigrette (from THIS recipe at My Life as a […]

  16. 16

    Candied Pecan, Craisin, Feta Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette | chef in training — October 19, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    […] Originally she used store bought Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette, but then we found this recipe from My life as a Mrs. for a homemade version and now use it all the time. It is SO […]

  17. 17

    mclaw — October 19, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    Just have to tell you how much I LOVE this dressing (and anyone I feed it to!) Just had to reprint my original copy since it’s covered in ingredients and my general slop…Thank you!!!

  18. 18

    Ginger — October 28, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

    Made the dressing today – oh my goodness – so tasty. I just put all the ingredients in a wide mouth canning jar and buzzed it together with my stick blender, came out perfectly.

  19. 19

    Gloria Kelley — October 29, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    Never thought of using my immersion blender. What a good idea.

  20. 20

    Tali — November 3, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

    Is there a substitute I can use for the Morton’s seasoning?

  21. 21

    Kelsey — November 18, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    How long will the dressing keep in the fridge?

  22. 22

    Sue W. — November 26, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    I just had to tell you how good this was! My 17 year old daughter has been wanting to try balsamic dressing and the brand I brought home from the grocery store didn’t cut it at all. She made this for dinner last night and it was amazing!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  23. 23

    Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette | Sugar Dish Me — December 2, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    […] THIS recipe at My Life as a Mrs) Share the […]

  24. 24

    Laxmom24 — January 6, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

    Dressing is AMAZING always have a jar in the fridge

  25. 25

    Tricia Morris — January 7, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    I have made this dressing several times, and it is absolutely fabulous. Thank you so much for the recipe! The best part is that it includes ingredients that I almost always have on hand. I try to go “low-carb,” so I simply substitute the sugar with my other sweetener.

  26. 26

    kim — January 11, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    Um mine was a lot darker n didn’t taste good what did I do wrong..

  27. 27

    Jaime Walker — January 16, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    Is this a sweet dressing? I love creamy balsamic but everytime I try a store bought one it’s sweet. If it is would leaving the sugar out be an option?

    • Tina replied: — January 16th, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

      the sugar is just there to balance out the tanginess – it isn’t a sweet dressing. However, you can leave it out & add a little at a time to your liking.

  28. 28

    The Salad Bible — January 17, 2013 @ 5:19 am

    […] Creamy      Balsamic: Made with grated garlic cloves, mayonnaise, lemon      juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, Morton’s Nature’s Seasoning, salt, balsamic      vinegar and extra light olive oil. From My Life as a Mrs. […]

  29. 29

    Jaime Walker — January 17, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Great!! Thanks so much for the response 🙂

  30. 30

    Arcurri — February 2, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    OMG! This sounds so amazing. For the past few years (since my sister has been home from Seattle)my mom, sister and I have a Valentine’s day tea. This will go so well with the rest of the menu. Thank you for posting this.

  31. 31

    Kim Wheeler — February 2, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

    Love the dressing recipe, although I did add a little more sugar to mine. Absolutely delish! The Morton’s seasoning I don’t think they make in Canada, but all I did was look it up on the internet and made my own. Basically seems to be an all-purpose style seasoning.
    I do have one question for you though, how long should this dressing keep in the fridge? It makes such a large amount, I wanted to make sure I can hang on to it for a bit!

  32. 32

    Michelle — February 3, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Love the dressing! How long does it keep?

  33. 33

    Gloria — February 3, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    I made this salad several times before and always got nothing but raves. I made it Friday night for the first time for my card group dinner and I can’t tell you how much they loved it. This is definitely a winner. The dressing keeps for about two weeks in my refrigerator so I can use it for other salads too.

  34. 34

    Terrie Fulk — February 7, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    I came across your recipe today on Pinterest, this balsamic salad dressing is really the best I have ever had. Never will I buy a store brand again, nothing compares to your recipe!! Thanks!

  35. 35

    Kat Jeffries — February 15, 2013 @ 1:35 am

    I have made this homemade dressing twice now and it is so delicious! No joke, you can practically drink it. Thank you so much- this has changed my whole outlook on salads and how delicious they can be:)

  36. 36

    Ruthie — March 23, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    I think this is probably the best I’ve ever made and I’ve made a lot. I don’t eat mayonnaise so I left it out. And I didn’t have Nature’s seasoning so I made my own. It’s amazingling delicious! Other than that I followed the recipe and I think that grating the garlic is a super way to incorporate it.

  37. 37

    Gea C — March 26, 2013 @ 4:54 am

    This was delicious! I made a vegan version by using Vegenaise in place of the mayo. I also did not have Nature’s Seasoning so I added onion and garlic powders and dried parsley to the dressing based on the ingredient list you posted from the spice bottle. Which was super helpful by the way!. I shook the whole thing up in a mason jar, it turned out really great. Thank you for this recipe! It will be a go to for me!

  38. 38

    Sarah — April 2, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    I just made this dressing tonight. It was ok but soooo salty! And I didn’t put any salt in it. I also used the low sodium Nature’s Seasoning. I put in 3 more tbs of mayo to make it taste less salty and only 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and just drizzled some olive oil in. It didn’t taste quite so salty once on the salad but it was pretty overpowering. If you’re a person that doesn’t eat much salt, I’d recommend starting with one tsp of Nature’s Seasoning and add more to taste.

  39. 39

    Jamie — April 4, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

    Hello! How long do you think this dressing stays good in the fridge before it spoils? Wondering if I should cut it in half if it doesn’t last long? Thank you! 🙂

  40. 40

    Cathrine — April 4, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

    Do you know anything I can replace the Morton’s Nature’s Seasoning with? I’m from Norway, and we don’t have that here.

  41. 41

    Whole Food Love » That's Why I'm Here — April 4, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

    […] found this salad on the web, and I had to have it just like I used to crave desserts. So this is my new […]

  42. 42

    Cheryl — April 7, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

    I made this in my food processor. It taste too mayo but I put in fridge & hope will be better later. I don’t use salt so I used Mrs Dash original. Can’t wait to try for dinner.

  43. 43

    Gloria — April 8, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    Catherine, Morton’s seasoning includes in descending order, salt,pepper,onion powder, garlic powder,celery and parsley you can make your own easily.

  44. 44

    Gloria — April 8, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    Update: obviously use celery salt and dried parsley.

  45. 45

    dorrie — April 11, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    My dressing came out very tart and acidic. Is this normal? I was expecting more of a sweet flavor… I followed the recipe to a T. If there was not so much acidity, I would LOVE this dressing.

    • Tina replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 10:11 am

      you can always add some additional oil or cut back the balsamic vinegar – I like a tangy balsamic dressing, so it’s all to personal preference.

  46. 46

    Stacey — June 2, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! This has to be the best I have tasted in a very long time. I absolutely LOVE it!

  47. 47

    Heidi — June 5, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    You said it, keep this dressing on tap!! Most friends I have made it for either a: tell me they could drink it straight or b: ask for the recipe. I just send them here, it really is that amazing. Ps: I think its a recipe you can play around with a bit, I have used honey instead of sugar, more or less garlic cloves, it turns out fabulous every time! Thank you!!!!

  48. 48

    Shelley — June 16, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    Tina I’m sorry if someone asked this but I didn’t see it but how long would a dressing like this last in the fridge?

    • Tina replied: — June 18th, 2013 @ 10:23 am

      It usually doesn’t last much longer than 7-8 days in our fridge before we devour it… the only concern is the garlic going bad – I wouldn’t keep it much longer than that.

  49. 49

    Michelle — June 21, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    Could you do the dressing without the mayo?

    • Tina replied: — June 23rd, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

      Can you? yes. Will it be the same? no. I would add a little additional olive oil to help balance out the tang… but it’s going to be a vinaigrette (not creamy at all) – hope that helps.

  50. 50

    Gloria — June 23, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

    The eggs in the mayonnaise is what emulsifies the dressing and makes it creamy. You wouldn’t have the same creamy texture or taste but you would instead have a thinner vinaigrette.

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