Home Recipe Roundup 20 Best Italian Salads Full of Color and Flavor

20 Best Italian Salads Full of Color and Flavor

Italian salads are a delight for the palate and the senses. These salads are a culinary journey through Italy’s diverse regions. They offer a taste of the country’s rich heritage and vibrant traditions.

Each of these delicious recipes will transport you straight to the heart of Italy.

Caprese Salad
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Whether you’re craving a classic Caprese or hearty Panzanella, this list has you covered.

Get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure! Celebrate the time-honored culinary expertise of Italy with these tempting salad recipes. Buon appetito! 

1. Caprese Salad

The Caprese salad isn’t just beloved in Italy. It’s famous all over the Mediterranean. People love its light, bright taste. The refreshing flavor of the tomatoes and balsamic glaze can’t be topped.

Those big chunks of fresh mozzarella don’t hurt, either. Try it for something fresh, filling, and fantastic.

2. Panzanella

If you’ve never tried Panzanella, get ready for a surprise. Its main ingredient isn’t a veggie. It’s bread! Specifically, it’s bread chunks covered in olive oil and seasonings, soaked in a tangy dressing.

The colorful salad also boasts tomatoes, onions, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese. 

3. Italian Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polpo)

Yes, this salad contains actual octopus! It’s an adventurous dish you won’t forget.

It also features potatoes and onions. The tart and zesty dressing complements the umami-sweet octopus perfectly. 

4. Italian Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso)

If it weren’t for the rice, this salad would look more like salsa. It shares many of the same ingredients as salsa, including cilantro. 

However, the rice and zingy dressing set it apart from traditional salsa. If you like salsa’s bright, juicy flavor, you’ll also appreciate insalata di riso.  

5. Italian Antipasto Salad

The Italian antipasto salad looks like the salads Americans are used to eating. It features a base of lettuce and tomatoes with olives, feta, pepperoni, and more. 

It’s a nice balance of meat and veggies and will keep you full without making you feel heavy. The tangy lemon herb dressing is also incredible. Double (or triple) it and bottle it for later to adorn any other salads you whip up.

6. Italian Salad with 3 Lettuces (Insalata Tricolore)

This beautiful salad is light, fresh, refreshing, and brightly colorful. It features red, white, and green greens as its base. It’s ideal for a holiday spread!

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There’s not much to this salad. It’s made with arugula, endive, and radicchio. It also has some Parmesan and a zesty dressing. Despite its simplicity, it pairs perfectly with most main courses. It’s also incredible ’til the last bite.

7. Italian Sub Broccoli Salad

Wondering how this salad got its name? From a submarine sandwich, of course! As the recipe explains, it has all the flavor of “an Italian Hero sandwich, turned salad.” 

There are tons of different flavors, colors, and textures. Every bite has something new to discover. 

It has crunchy broccoli florets and chickpeas. There are also flavorful onions and herbs. Juicy tomatoes, cheese, and four different types of meat complete this masterpiece!

8. Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad

Is there anything better than cool, refreshing pasta salad dishes? This Italian tortellini pasta salad is one of my favorites. 

It starts with a base of filling cheese tortellini. Then, add a fantastic dressing, salami, cheese, and tons of veggies. 

It’s pure Mediterranean fare at its finest. You’ll love it!

9. Italian Arugula Parmesan Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This salad is a mix of arugula, Parmesan, and sun-dried tomatoes. 

Top it off with a simple dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and you’re all set. 

10. Italian Orzo Salad

Who can say no to a dense salad packed with tasty ingredients? That’s what you get with this Italian orzo salad. 

The orzo base is dense and hearty enough, but it doesn’t stop there. It also features spinach, cucumbers, salami, feta, and more yummy ingredients! 

It’s a great salad for potlucks or backyard BBQs. Plus, it doesn’t contain ingredients that get too soggy. So it’s an excellent make-ahead salad. 

11. Burrata Caprese

Here’s a twist on the classic Caprese salad. It tastes just as bright and fresh but uses burrata cheese instead of mozzarella.

The burrata gives the salad a softer, creamier mouthfeel but tastes just as good. 

12. Italian Cannellini Bean Salad

Indulge in a dance of flavors with this Italian cannellini bean salad! It’s a vegan treat everyone will love.

It features white beans, roasted bell peppers, olives, marinated red onions, and vegan cashew cheese. But even non-vegans will flip for it!

It’s a Mediterranean fiesta for your taste buds, where every bite sings “delizioso!”

13. Italian Giardiniera

Are you a sucker for chili peppers? If so, you won’t be able to get enough of Italian giardiniera. The word “giardiniera” literally means “pickled vegetables.” 

In this case, it’s more like three types of peppers and other veggies tossed in a pickled-like dressing. There’s a little spice, a lot of tanginess, and a ton of flavor. 

14. Italian Shrimp Pasta Salad

You really can’t go wrong with a shrimp salad, no matter what you add to it. That’s definitely true for this light and zingy shrimp pasta salad. 

Serve it as a stand-alone meal or a side to a larger seafood dish. Either way, it’s flavorful, filling, and addictive. 

15. Italian Chickpea Salad

Here’s another yummy Italian bean salad. Only this one uses chickpeas instead of cannellini beans. 

It’s fresh and colorful, with loads of veggies and a balsamic-based dressing that’s out of this world. You can make it from scratch with fewer than 10 ingredients in about 20 minutes. 

16. Italian Farro Salad

Italian farro salad is a hearty, nutritious dish. It combines cooked farro grains with fresh veggies, herbs, and a tangy dressing. 

Its earthy flavors and chewy texture create a satisfying blend. And the tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs provide a refreshing contrast. 

It’s customizable with additions like feta cheese or roasted nuts. It’s a wholesome Mediterranean delight.

17. Insalata Della Casa

Here’s another great option if you’re looking for something more traditional. With its bed of romaine and iceberg lettuce and all the veggies, della casa is a classic. 

It even has classic “American” ingredients like bacon bits, cheese, etc. 

What makes it stand out are the fried rice noodles on top. And if you don’t like those, you can always go with croutons instead. 

18. Sicilian Cauliflower Salad

Want a quick and easy veggie-packed side dish? Try this Sicilian cauliflower salad. It has lots of crunchy cauliflower, juicy tomatoes and olives, and salty capers. 

It takes a little time to make, but it’s well worth the effort. 

19. Italian Radiatore Pasta Salad

You can never have too many cool, creamy pasta salad recipes, so here’s one more. It’s a veggie-packed, cheesy, tangy Italian pasta salad, everyone will devour.

It’s also dairy-free, so it can safely sit out for hours at a time. 

20. Italian Mixed Salad (Insalata Mista)

Insalata mista is an Italian mixed salad made with arugula and veggies. People often serve it with grape tomatoes, pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan. 

It’s tossed with balsamic vinaigrette. It’s light, simple, and unassuming. It tastes great and pairs well with any main course. 

20 Best Italian Salads Full of Color and Flavor

Course: SaladsCuisine: Italian

Indulge your senses with these Italian salads! From Caprese to antipasto to tortellini, each one is a culinary delight.


  • Caprese Salad

  • Panzanella

  • Italian Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polpo)

  • Italian Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso)

  • Italian Antipasto Salad

  • Italian Salad with 3 Lettuces (Insalata Tricolore)

  • Italian Sub Broccoli Salad

  • Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad

  • Italian Arugula Parmesan Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • Italian Orzo Salad

  • Burrata Caprese

  • Italian Cannellini Bean Salad

  • Italian Giardiniera

  • Italian Shrimp Pasta Salad

  • Italian Chickpea Salad

  • Italian Farro Salad

  • Insalata Della Casa

  • Sicilian Cauliflower Salad

  • Italian Radiatore Pasta Salad

  • Italian Mixed Salad (Insalata Mista)


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep an Italian salad in 30 minutes or less!

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NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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