Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing}

Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing} -

I have quite a number of blogger friends who are expecting babies right now. Last week I brought Peanut Butter Bonbons the Size of Texas to Amber‘s virtual baby shower. And this week I’m evening out those delicious sweet calories with jars of Italian Chopped Salad with Creamy Caesar Dressing, a salad I concocted just for my sweet friend and expectant momma, Aggie.


Won’t you please join me and a host of other food blogger friends, to celebrate the arrival of Aggie’s new son? Thank you so much to Sandy, Julie, and Liz for organizing this party!

Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing} -

I’ve been “virtual” friends with Aggie for awhile now, but we didn’t actually meet until last fall when we were guests of Harry and David in Oregon. Spending a few days with her, finding each other at the lovely Magnolia Inn‘s coffee pot early each morning, my collected feelings about Aggie were quickly affirmed. She’s a peach. And I’m so blessed to call her friend.

Aggie’s Kitchen is a great resource for simple and healthy family meals, and one that I specifically visit for tasty salads and beans recipes. I also adore how Aggie always finds ways to honor her family and Italian roots. Especially in this post she dedicated to her daddy. {love}

Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing} - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.comIn this post, I share how Aggie unknowingly fed my new appreciation of anchovies. So I knew that I wanted those salty little fish to play a part in my recipe for her baby shower. I embraced her beautiful Italian heritage and created a fresh colorful salad with a creamy homemade Caesar dressing. And I layered it all up in a jar, just for the fun of it!

The salad has all kinds of good things going on. There are garbanzo beans on the bottom layer, mingling with the Caesar dressing. Then shredded carrots, fresh-from-the-garden sweet cherry tomatoes, and chopped kalamata olives, romaine, and Italian parsley. The jar is topped off with peppery arugula, fresh shaved Parmesan, and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts and freshly cracked black pepper. I like to serve the salad with slices of fresh lemon for squeezing over the top. It adds just the perfect finishing touch.

Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing} -

If you like Caesar dressing, I beg you to give this super flavorful one a try. It’s creamy, but in a light way, using a combination of Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, olive oil, and white wine vinegar…plus it gets added yumminess from Worcestershire, whole grain Dijon, and Frank’s RedHot sauce. The mayonnaise not only added some creaminess, it also dodged the raw egg issue that is typical of homemade Caesar dressing, without sacrificing that beautiful eggy flavor. My husband, a harsh critic of Caesar salads, took only one bite before saying, “Wow, you can make this again.” Yes, it’s that good.

Please JOIN US in celebrating the beautiful mom that Aggie already is to her son and daughter, and welcoming their soon-to-arrive baby boy! Just click on the links below. It’s an Italian feast – I hope you came hungry! ;)

Sundried Tomato Hummus from Robyn of Add a Pinch
Melon & Prosicutto Balls from Paula of bell’alimento
Bruschetta from Sheila of Eat2gather
Jalapeno Poppers from Ali of Gimme Some Oven
Grilled Naan White Pizza Bites from Jamie of Mom’s Cooking Club
Watermelon Feta Bites with Basil Olive Oil from Sandy of Reluctant Entertainer
Pesto Caprese Fried Wontons from Julie of The Little Kitchen
Blue Cheese Wedge Salad Crostini from Cheryl of TidyMom

Toasted Coconut Milkshakes from Bev of Bev Cooks
Lemon Cream Soda from Angie of Eclectic Recipes
Peach Sorbet Bellini and Spritzers from Shaina of Food for My Family
Non Alcoholic Berry Spritzer from Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks
Virgin Peach & Raspberry Bellinis from Milisa of Miss in the Kitchen
Italian Basil Sparkling Lemonade from Marly of Namely Marly
Italian Sodas from Laura of Real Mom Kitchen
Cafe Mocha Punch / or Iced Cafe Mocha from Amy of She Wears Many Hats

Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing} from Brenda of a farmgirl’s dabbles
Caprese Salad with Mozzarella Crisps from Christine of Cook the Story
Pesto Pasta Stuffed Tomatoes from Suzanne of Kokocooks
Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad from Liz of The Lemon Bowl
Herbed Israeli Couscous Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella from Rachel of Rachel Cooks
Chickpea, Avocado, & Feta Salad from Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod
Lentil and Chickpea Layered Salad from Lisa of With Style & Grace

Chicken Cacciatore from Meagan of A Zesty Bite
Zucchini, Bell Pepper & Edamame Stir-Fry from Cassie of Bake Your Day
Potato-Crusted Vegetarian Quiche with Zucchini, Tomatoes & Feta from Dara of Cookin’ Canuck
“Straw & Hay” Tagliatelle in Cream Sauce from Flavia of Flavia’s Flavors
Grilled Italian Chicken with Veggie & Bow Tie Pasta from Katie of Katie’s Cucina
Grilled Naan Pizza with Summer Veggies & Turkey Sausage from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks
Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Panini from Kathy of Panini Happy

Fresh Blueberry Shortbread with Lemon Cream Frosting from Sommer of A Spicy Perspective
Crostata di Mango from Lora of Cake Duchess
Italian Ice from Kristen of Dine & Dish
Roasted Banana and Nutella S’mores Bruschetta from Jenny of Picky Palate
Italian Cream Cake from Deborah of Taste and Tell
Panna cotta from Leslie of The hungry housewife
Fortune Cookies from Shari of Tickled Red
Baby Vanilla Bean Scones a la Starbucks from Tara of Unsophisticook

Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing}

Yield: 6 jars of salad and 1-1/8 cup dressing


    for the creamy Caesar dressing:
  • 1/3 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Frank's RedHot sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • for the Italian chopped salad:
  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 2 c. shredded carrots
  • 2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. rough chopped kalamata olives
  • 6 c. chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/3 c. rough chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 c. packed baby arugula
  • 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
  • shaved Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper, for topping the salad
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 6 wedges, for sprinkling over the salad


for the creamy Caesar dressing:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Or place ingredients in a small bowl and use an immersion blender to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

for the Italian chopped salad:

Wash and dry 6 pint size jars. Divide garbanzo beans evenly between the jars. To each jar, spoon 2 tablespoons prepared creamy Caesar dressing over the beans. It's important to make this your first layer, so the dressing doesn't make the lettuces soggy. Next divide the shredded carrots evenly between the jars, followed by the cherry tomatoes, and then the kalamata olives. Divide the lettuce and parsley evenly between the jars, compacting the layer enough to leave 1'' of headspace in the jars. Top with baby arugula, followed by pine nuts, shaved Parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately, or cover individual jars with lids and refrigerate until ready to eat. To serve, provide a dinner plate for each jar, to pour the jar of salad out onto. This will allow for everything to mingle together and distribute, for a variety of flavors and textures in each bite. Serve each salad with a fresh slice of lemon, to squeeze over the top right before eating. This salad can be made several hours before serving.


Inspired by Aggie's love of salads, beans, and anchovies. And a beautiful layered salad in a jar that I enjoyed on a trip to Carmel Valley Ranch as a guest of Dole Salads.


72 Responses to “Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing}”

  1. #
    sheila — August 26, 2013 at 6:49 am

    So pretty! perfect for a baby shower!! xoxo Sheila

  2. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — August 26, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Love the arugula and pine nuts in this dish!! Thank you so much for participating my friend!!

  3. #
    DessertForTwo — August 26, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Yum! I can’t resist these!

  4. #
    Christine (Cook the Story) — August 26, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I’m really enjoying hopping around these blogs and learning a bit more about Aggie. I agree that she is definitely a peach! Love this salad dressing without eggs and the addition of Greek yogurt must make it so creamy yet light at the same time. Great idea!

  5. #
    Tieghan — August 26, 2013 at 7:40 am

    These are SO cute and perfect for a baby shower! Hand held salads? That is awesome!

  6. #
    Rachel Cooks — August 26, 2013 at 7:42 am

    You won me over with the toasted pine nuts! These would be so perfect for a baby shower! And so pretty!

  7. #
    nest of posies — August 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

    this looks amazing & so refreshing!

  8. #
    katie — August 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Oh this sound awesome! I’ve never attempted to make my own caesar dressing before. Must give this a whirl… and what a perfect recipe for our sweet dear friend Aggie!

  9. #
    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — August 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Oh my goodness — these are too cute, Brenda! Love the salad-in-jars twist! :)

  10. #
    JulieD — August 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I adore this to pieces! I know Aggie would LOVE this!! So pretty too, Brenda! Thank you for joining in! :-)

  11. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — August 26, 2013 at 9:44 am

    This is such a lovely surprise for Aggie!! And I’m a huge fan of mason jar salads! This is gorgeous!

  12. #
    Marly — August 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar. How fun! You know what else is fun? Being a part of this event with you!

  13. #
    Paula — August 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Love Casear dressings and this one looks scrumptious with the 1/3 cup of parmesan in it. Love that you did this salad in the jars!

  14. #
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — August 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Mmmm…drool-worthy salad recipe, Brenda!! :)

  15. #
    Donna — August 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Such a cute idea for individual salads in a jar for a baby shower! I would love that and I can bet Angie will appreciate your offerings too! So cute!

  16. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — August 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Um, there needs to be more salads in a jar!! Love this idea!

  17. #
    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — August 26, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Oh how yummy and I love salad in jars!! Love the addition of Frank’s too.

  18. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — August 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    A great back to school lunch idea too!

  19. #
    Bree (Skinny Mommy) — August 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Looks awesome and happy baby shower to Aggie!

  20. #
    Sandy @ RE — August 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    These are such cute shower ideas! Aggie would love it, too, Brenda! So happy we could all do this for her – wish we could all be together IRL though.

  21. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — August 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I am just in love with this idea! So great for packed lunches, picnics or suppers outside!!!

  22. #
    Suzanne — August 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Love the salad in a jar idea, and the ingredients sound so good! I’m not one to shy away from anchovies, either.

  23. #
    Julia — August 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I love the idea of putting salad in mason jars–perfect for work or on the go! Yum!

  24. #
    Cookin Canuck — August 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    There is nothing better than a really good Caesar dressing (with anchovies!) and these jarred salads are absolutely adorable, Brenda.

  25. #
    Amanda — August 27, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Looks so wonderful Brenda!

  26. #
    TidyMom — August 27, 2013 at 8:57 am

    what a great idea for a party!! We are having a party in a few weeks, I might need to do this!!

  27. #
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — August 27, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Wonderful idea for a baby shower!! *congrats to aggie!* Love salad layers in a jar

  28. #
    Jersey Girl Cooks — August 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    What a delicious looking salad. I love that you made it in a jar. Nice party for Aggie with delicious recipes.

  29. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — August 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Such a pretty and colorful salad… and I LOVE that it’s in a jar! Perfect for a shower :)

  30. #
    Angie — August 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    This looks so good and easy!

  31. #
    Summer — August 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    These are lovely. So vibrant! Could you just shake the salad in the jar and eat it out of the jar? Or is that too cumbersome?

    • Brenda replied on August 28th, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Summer – yes, you definitely could do that. I think the dressing is loose enough to get distributed. But you’ll be eating the salad more in layers.

  32. #
    Aggie — August 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I LOVE everything about this salad Brenda!! You really know my tastes well :) The jar looks so pretty with all those colorful veggies, yum!

    I can’t thank you enough for your friendship and for being part of this sweet surprise! xoxo

  33. #
    leslie — August 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Salad in a jar…pretty genius! Perfect for Aggies shower!

  34. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — August 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    This is seriously some delicious salad! I love that you served it in jars, so clever!

  35. #
    Kim | Just For Clicks — September 1, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Brenda, what a CUTE way to serve salad. I’m pinning this to do SOON. My husband loves caesar dressing, so this will be a must try. PS~ Love your words about Aggie. :-) She is a peach! {you too GirlFriend!}.

  36. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — September 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Love this! After all, everything tastes better in a jar, right?!

  37. #
    Shaina — September 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    What a wonderful salad, and of course, I love the jar!

  38. #
    Pamela (Beauty Bloomers) — December 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    The other day my daughter-in-law asked me to teach her how to cook. I am so excited – it’s gonna be fun! She will love this salad – so it’s on the list. And I will show her your inspiring blog.

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      That is FABulous, Pamela! I hope you both like this salad, we really like that dressing! Thanks for sharing my recipes/site with your daughter-in-law. Happy New Year!

  39. #
    Optrimax Plum — July 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Permission to Post


    1. Must be a legitimate Filipino Citizen, with good moral character, and is currently residing in the Philippines.
    2. Age 15 to 45 years old
    3. College/High School level or Graduate.
    4. Basic knowledge on internet, and excel, word, power point is a must.
    5. Accessibility on internet at home is an advantage.
    6. Flexible and dynamic in changing scope of responsibilities
    7. Cool and creative

    For more details, kindly visit

  40. #
    Cecile — July 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve done this for years when going to meetings or other events where I’m not sure there’ll be something there I can eat. But with much fewer ingredients so as to keep it simple. Rice on the bottom, curried chickpeas in the middle, small salad on the top. In a cleaned nut butter glass jar.

    • Brenda replied on July 30th, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Thanks for sharing how you do this, Cecile. I love the idea of incorporating rice!


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