Pittsburgh Salad with the Best Ever Italian Vinaigarette.
The Pittsburgh salad is a staple here! Crisp and refreshing iceberg lettuce, topped with vegetables, sharp cheddar and hot and crispy french fries. Serve with your choice of protein and the best italian vinaigrette!
Put some fries on your salad and eat it!
This is the Pittsburgh salad, filled with crisp refreshing lettuce, vegetables and topped with FRIES.
Oh yes. French fries. They are the most important part of this salad.
There is no real RECIPE for this salad – but it’s more or less a method to make a delicious bowl of salad and fries. Yep.
If you’re not familiar with the idea of the Pittsburgh salad, it’s a classic-y greens salad that is loaded with french fries and cheese, and then usually your choice of grilled chicken or salmon or steak. Or crispy chicken. Really, it depends on where you get it!
But it’s GOOD.
It’s not a salad that is going to be a light option. It’s a decadent loaded bowl that is filling and piled ridiculously high with all the things.
The best part of the Pittsburgh salad is when they serve it to you, the fries are usually hot and then they MELT the cheese. I mean… soft and melty cheese, hot fries, PLUS salad? Uh huh.
The vegetables in a Pittsburgh salad tend to be traditional: tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, red onion. Sometimes you’ll find a rogue radish or even celery, but I keep mine pretty basic.
Oh and the lettuce is almost always iceberg. Always!
So this is my version of a Pittsburgh base salad! I say “base” because I am not showing this with chicken or salmon or any protein – but I’m sharing the base that we love so you can make it your own.
And frankly, I really love it this way with just the fries. It allows the fries to shine!
I start with a base of iceberg and butter lettuce. I like the contrasting textures. Seasoning the lettuce all over is key. Then I throw on the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion or shallot and carrots. It’s very much like my howsweeteats house salad!
For the fries, I choose frozen fries and make them in the oven on high heat (like at least 450 degrees F!) or the air fryer. Of course, you can use any fries you love. For this, I prefer something thin and crispy/crunchy. I get the ALDI brand or Ore Ida thin and crispy. I always cook them longer than recommended so they get extra crisp.
Cheese – I’m always going with sharp cheddar.
This Italian dressing… OH MY GOSH. I can’t even tell you how much Eddie and I love this. I make this dressing once or twice a week sometimes. The kids love it for dipping. It is so flavorful, tangy and tastes like a really delicious Italian dressing you’d get on a trashed up bar salad.
In the best way possible!
I mean that in the best best best way. That’s what the Pittsburgh salad is all about. It tends to be more non-vegetable toppings than vegetables… and who’s complaining? Not me.
Usually a Pittsburgh salad is served with ranch. If that is more your speed, I have an incredible ranch dressing recipe that we adore. But I’ve never been a ranch-on-salad girl and a briney vinaigrette is what sells me.
Call me crazy but just imagine it as your croutons being replaced with french fries! I am into this.
You’ve got to try this combo! If you want to add more protein, I suggest some crispy chicken, salmon, steak or even crispy chickpeas.
It’s a major favorite!
Pittsburgh Salad with Italian Vinaigrette
Pittsburgh Salad with Italian Dressing
- 1 bag your favorite frozen french fries
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, washed and chopped
- 4 cups butter lettuce
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- ⅔ cup sliced carrots
- ⅔ cup chopped cucumbers
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced or diced (your preference)
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the fries on a baking sheet. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until super crispy and crunchy.
- Place the lettuce in a bowl and toss with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and red onion. Toss in the cheddar cheese.
- Serve the salad with a few spoonfuls of the fries on top. Drizzle with the dressing and toss.
- Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, dijon, honey, oregano, salt and pepper until combined. Stream in the olive oil while whisking until emulsified. This dressing stays great in the fridge for a week! Just whisk or shake before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
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7 Comments on “Pittsburgh Salad with the Best Ever Italian Vinaigarette.”
ALL HAIL THE PITTSBURGH SALAD 🎉🙌
Ok – this is so funny you’d post this today. We drove from NE Ohio to Pittsburgh last weekend for a friend’s party and they served us salad with fries…I literally had never heard of this before and just thought it was a family quirk or something. I will say, it was really good! Now we’ll be adding it to our summer salad staples. Your vinaigrette looks so good, thank you!!
I LOVE a Pittsburgh salad. Looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it for my family.
Went to college in Pittsburgh, basically refuse to eat a salad unless it comes with fries on top. Have taught all my friends and husband to eat it the same way. #friesonsaladforlife
I have to say: having grown up in western PA and then moving west as an adult, I was appalled the first time I looked at a menu and saw fry-less salads. I seriously couldn’t believe the whole world didn’t eat their salads this way. I absolutely make salads this way at home now!
I have never heard of this, but I have to try. Your salad dressing looks delicious!
Interesting salad combo. I did make the dressing for an Italian garden salad. It is very good but a little potent for me. The second time I made it I halved the oregano and cut back a little on the black pepper and thought it was perfect.