Stetson Chopped Salad

The Stetson Chopped Salad is an iconic Scottsdale dish.  Originally on the menu at my friend, Peter Kasperski’s restaurant, Cowboy Ciao, it has since made an appearance at The Gladly and Citizen Public House, with different spins.  Sadly, Cowboy Ciao is no more but the legend of this salad lives on!  

The classic Stetson Chopped Salad is almost identical to mine, except that the original had smoked salmon as the protein and I’ve used grilled chicken.  

What makes this salad so special is the look and the ingredients.  It’s very special in that all the ingredients are lined up:  arugula, ripe diced plum tomatoes, sweet and dried corn, grilled chicken and a trail mix comprised of grated Asiago cheese, dried currants and pepitas.  The dressing, a creamy basil/buttermilk concoction, gets poured over the salad at the table by the server and tossed right at your place.  

While it looks like it may not be hearty enough, this salad never lets me down.  I never come away hungry or dissatisfied.

Feel free to use smoked salmon like the original, if desired, or use the grilled chicken, as I have here.  As well, go ahead and mix up the corns…if you can find dried sweet corn, use it along with some fresh cooked corn kernels.  Or use just fresh or just dried.  It’s your salad so have at it!

Anyone who has ever tried this salad will be delighted to have the recipe.  It’s easy to make and will have everyone dreamily thinking of the good old Cowboy Ciao days in Old Town Scottsdale!

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Lastly, if you make Stetson Chopped Salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Stetson Chopped Salad

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes



  • 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Trail Mix:

  • 1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 10-oz package Israeli couscous, cooked according to package instructions (about 5 cups)
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped arugula
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, seeded, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 grilled chicken breast halves, diced
  • 2 cups fresh cooked corn kernels (from about 2 ears) or dried sweet corn (or a combination)


Blend basil leaves, mayonnaise, and shallot in processor until smooth. Gradually blend in buttermilk and lemon juice. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Mix Asiago cheese, currants and pumpkin seeds in medium bowl.

Using 1/6 of couscous, 1/6 of arugula, 1/6 of tomatoes, 1/6 of chicken, 1/6 of corn, and 1/6 of Asiago trail mix, form rows on each of 6 plates. Serve, passing dressing separately.

Original recipe from Cowboy Ciao


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