Buy the Cookbook

Salad Dressing | March 30, 2019

The Original Chopped Salad

The Original Chopped Salad, made famous at Citizen Public House and also at The Gladly restaurant in Phoenix, AZ is easy to make at home!   A unique blend of veggies- fresh and dried,  sweet currants, salty pepitas and creamy dressing make this salad a hit with everyone. The Original Chopped Salad recipe is one you will make over and over again.

The Original Chopped Salad

Arizona State Salad

A few weeks ago, my daughter Brooke, aka Female Foodie , texted me and said “Mom you NEED to make this salad,  it is one of the best salads I have ever eaten!” When your daughter (who has a food blog and eats out every day) says this is one of the best salads she has ever eaten, you know it has to be good!  The Gladly restaurant in Phoenix, AZ features this salad as one of their signature dishes.

The Original Chopped Salad The Gladly
Photo credit Brooke Eliason The Original Chopped Salad at The Gladly, Phoenix,AZ
The Original Chopped Salad

The Phoenix Business Journal reported the salad was sold 75,000 times in one year.  The Original Chopped Salad is also served at a sister restaurant to The Gladly;  Citizen Public House (only open for dinner) in Scottsdale, AZ.  There are many sources who report the (original) Original Chopped Salad was served at a Scottsdale establishment, Cowboy Ciao, (now closed).  Tracing the origin of this salad is similar to tracing my family history! Anyhow, many identify this salad as the Arizona state salad. Do you know states not only have official flags, flowers and birds,  but also SALAD?? I’m not sure this is official, but I do know Arizona residents love this salad!

This salad is everything. yes, everything. And all the things.

With thousands of salad recipes floating around online, what makes this salad so special??  The perfect salad has just the right  blend of textures, flavors, colors  and the Original Chopped Salad includes ALL THE THINGS!!

The Original Chopped Salad
The “trail mix” consists of roasted pepitas, currants and grated cheese
The Original Chopped Salad

The recipe from the chef at the Gladly includes: smoked salmon, Israeli (pearl) couscous, fresh arugula,  freeze dried corn, and a homemade “trail mix” that includes currants, pumpkin seeds, and Asiago cheese. The salad also celebrates tomatoes marinated in balsamic and olive oil. It’s almost too good to be true.  All topped with a fresh cheese and herb dressing.  The dressing by itself is worthy of post! 

From Arugula to Trail Mix

This salad has multiple components, and the first time I made it, it took me a minute to wrap my head around all of the different ingredients. Mastering the making of the Original Chopped Salad is easy, it just takes a few steps. The first (and most time consuming) step is gathering the ingredients.

The Original Chopped Salad
Israeli Couscous aka Pearl Couscous- found this at Trader Joe’s

Smoked salmon is found in most grocery stores. If you’re lucky enough to live on the west coast, you have easy access to freshly smoked salmon. Take advantage and buy from a local source!  I found a good organic smoked salmon at Costco. If you aren’t a fan of fish, or smoked salmon, you could use chicken breast or bacon as a suitable substitute. That said, I believe the smoked salmon gives this salad a unique flavor not to be missed!

The freeze dried corn is a little tricky to find. I made several stops at grocery stores and finally found it  at Whole Foods and Harmons (a local Utah grocery store).  I wanted to make the salad before I found the freeze dried corn at a grocery store, so I opted to empty a bag of corn onto a jelly roll pan and turn the oven to the “dehydrator” setting, which means cooking low and slow at 135 degrees convection. I left the corn in the oven for about 6 hours. After 6 hours, it was crunchy and still sweet and a decent substitute for freeze dried corn. Making your own dried corn substitute at home is less expensive and less of a hassle to find than freeze dried corn, but not quite as pretty in the salad!

The Original Chopped Salad

Original Chopped Salad for 1,2 or 4

This recipe for Original Chopped Salad serves one hungry person, two people with a baguette on the side,  or 4 people as  a side dish or side salad. When serving this salad, make sure to plate and serve with the dressing in a small container on the side. The salad may then be tossed with dressing. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the Original Chopped Salad in-restaurant or after making it at home!

5 from 9 votes

The Original Chopped Salad

The Original Chopped Salad made famous at the Gladly resturant in Arizona is easy to make at home! This famous salad is a favorite to residents of the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas. 

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Salad, Side dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1/2 cup *smoked salmon, chopped or broken apart and flaked
  • 2/3 cup freeze dried corn
  • 2/3 cup chopped arugula
  • 2/3 cup cooked Israeli couscous*
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato (Romas)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Trail Mix:

  • 1/4 cup black currants*
  • 1/4 cup toasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons ground Asiago cheese*

Dressing –

  • 1 cup Best Foods mayo
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese*
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 12 basil leaves, about 1/2 cup very loosely packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • fresh ground sea salt and pepper


  1. Up to to two days ahead– 

    Make the dressing and refrigerate. To make the dressing, combine mayo, buttermilk, cheese,  juice of lemon, basil leaves and garlic in a blender. Pulse and blend on low until ingredients are mixed well. Add ground salt and pepper to taste. 

    Cook the couscous according to package directions, you may skip the toasting of the couscous if you like the lighter appearance of the couscous. Refrigerate until ready to assemble salad. 

  2. On day of serving:

    Chop the tomatoes and add balsamic, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. 

    Wash and chop the arugula. Set aside. 

    To make the trail mix, combine the currants, pumpkin seeds and Asiago cheese and set aside. 

    Assemble the salad by placing the individual components in strips on a platter or in a shallow bowl as shown in photos.  

    Serve with dressing and toss at table. 

Recipe Notes

  • Smoked Salmon. There are so many options. If you have the option to smoke salmon at home- do it! If not, buy from a reputable source. I like  refrigerated smoked salmon rather than canned or varieties sold on a shelf. If you are not a fan or simply cannot locate or afford smoked salmon,  chicken breast, cooked and chopped or bacon cooked and chopped will work as a substitute. 
  • The couscous is usually lightly browned on the stovetop in a little olive oil. I don’t think it is necessary to brown the couscous. Follow package directions and cook the couscous in boiling water. 
  • You may use any type of tomato, but less juicy varieties are better to avoid too much liquid in the salad.
  • Many grocery stores offer currants in bulk so you may purchase a smaller amount as opposed to buying a box in the baking section and only using a small portion. 
  • I use fresh grated Parmesan instead of purchasing Romano and Asiago cheese because I almost always have it on hand. 
  • Although the recipe calls for 2/3 of a cup of several ingredients, I use about 1 cup roughly measured.

26 thoughts on “The Original Chopped Salad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    YESSSSS!! One of my all time favorite salads EVER!! As an Arizona native… I believe Cowboy Ciao was the first restaurant with this salad. I had it there years ago when they were still open. Wildflower Bread Co. has basically the same salad as well. The flavors and textures are spot on…I literally could eat this salad every day. Thanks for the recipe Si.

    1. I agree, Katherine! This salad is hard to beat, and perfect for the Spring and Summer season. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

    1. Hi Diane, all of the * explanations are listed in the recipe notes as bullet points. Hope this helps and thanks for asking!

  2. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse serves a chopped salad with a light lemon dressing. I made the Internet recipe version for Super Bowl Sunday. I’m definitely going to make your recipe for Easter dinner.

    As always, your recipes are so easy to follow and so yummy!

    1. This salad would be perfect for Easter, Stefanie. Thanks for your comment and for reading ABK!

  3. We have loved this salad for years… yes I think It originates from Cowboy Ciao. Sorry to hear they closed. We get the salad at Wildflower Bread Co whenever in AZ. I’ll have to try Gladly as well! I make this for parties often and smoke my salmon. I buy the freeze dried corn from amazon. Excited to try your dressing recipe!

    1. Hi Rebecca, this salad is definitely one of my new favorites too. There are so many yummy flavors, and smoked salmon would be so delicious in it. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK!

  4. This is by far the best salad on the planet!! I did a blog post on my “attempted” version of this salad a few years ago, and yours looks even better!! I lived in Phoenix/Scottsdale for about 12.5 years and Cowboy Ciao was a favorite spot of mine! Thanks for this awesome post!

  5. This is the Best Salad!! We used to drive over to Scottsdale just to get it at Cowboy Ciao. So sad they closed. Thanks for the recipe! I’m excited to try it at home!

    1. I’m so glad you’re trying it, Anne. It’s definitely become one of our favorites. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK!

  6. 5 stars
    This was a beautiful and delicious salad! I served it twice this weekend! We all were impressed! The dressing would be great anywhere. The couscous was a hit and I loved the trail mix. The balsamic tomatoes were perfection! I served smoked salmon but also let people choose shredded rotisserie chicken if they preferred.

    1. I love your idea of using chicken as a substitute. This salad has so many flavors, it’s hard not to love it. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK, Karen!

    1. Hi Becky, you can certainly mix the salad together for a crowd. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK,

  7. 5 stars
    Honestly the best salad I’ve made in a long time! I followed the recipe exactly, except that I never found currants and used raisins instead! It’s totally worth finding all the ingredients that you can. I found the freeze dried corn on Amazon and just shipped it with prime.
    I can’t say enough good things about it!
    Thank you for this recipe!

    1. I agree, Raquel, this salad is by far one of my favorites. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thank you for sharing!

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find all the ingredients but I actually found most of it on amazon and had it delivered to me so I didn’t have to scour the store for them! I also bought turmeric flavored Israeli cous cous on accident but decided to use it anyway and I really liked it. Thanks for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    Thanks so much! Before Citizen Public House and The Gladly existed, this salad was a destination meal at Cowboy Ciao in Old Town 🙂 It’s been around since at least 2004, when I first had it! I’m so grateful to be able to replicate it and share it with my family and friends on the east coast. The recipe is perfect!

    1. Darci, because of the fresh basil it will probably stay good between 3-4 days. Let me know how you like it!

  10. This is my favorite salad, once I make at least 3 times each month (and eat for days). The freeze-dried corn and the dressing just put it in its own special category!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe is what introduced us to you. We love the chopped salad and your recipe is spot on. We even have friends who like salmon now because this is just so good. It has led me to say some of the other recipes and follow along, everything has been excellent. Thank you for this.