Portillo's Chopped Salad Recipe

Portillo's Chopped Salad ingredients.

There’s a reason this iconic Portillo’s chopped salad is so popular! It’s packed with delicious ingredients like fresh veggies, pasta, bacon and cheese. It’s refreshing and crisp, while also being savory and filling. The great news is that this homemade version tastes just as good as the original!

This salad is packed full of delicious ingredients (including pasta which I think should be in every salad!) that come together to create one of the tastiest salads ever. If you’re craving Portillo’s or even if you’ve never tried it, you’re going to LOVE this chopped salad.

Portillo's Chopped Salad ingredients.

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Portillo’s is a chain restaurant that originated in Chicago. It’s known for its Chicago staples like Italian beef, Chicago style hot dogs, Maxwell street Polish sausages, cheese fries and chocolate cake. But one of the most well liked dishes on the menu is the Portillo’s chopped salad! So what’s in this thing?


Ditalini pasta: I like using a bit more pasta than Portillo’s uses in their chopped salad because everything is better with more pasta. Ditalini is one of my favorite pasta shapes!

Lettuce: This salad includes both romaine and iceberg lettuce. The romaine makes up the bulk of the lettuce and the iceberg adds a nice crunch.

Red cabbage: A bit of red cabbage adds flavor, color and more crunch!

Chicken: This is a great way to use leftover chicken, or you can even use rotisserie chicken from the store!

Bacon: Make sure to cook it up crispy, so that it keeps its texture in the salad.

Tomatoes: You can use just about any type of tomato here, but I prefer cherry or grape. Chop them into quarters or halves.

Green onion: Green onion adds a nice oniony flavor without overwhelming the salad.

Gorgonzola cheese: Gorgonzola is tangy, rich and goes so well with the chicken and bacon.

Creamy vinaigrette: A creamy and flavorful vinaigrette ties the whole salad together.

Portillo's Chopped Salad in a serving bowl.

Tips and Tricks

Salt your tomatoes! Put your chopped tomatoes in a bowl and stir in a pinch of kosher salt. Salt helps bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. Let the tomatoes sit like that while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Use leftover chicken. You can make chicken specifically for this recipe, but it’s also a great way to use up any leftover chicken you have!

Keep everything the same size. A chopped salad is much easier, and more fun to eat when all the ingredients are chopped to around the same size. Keep that in mind when chopping your ingredients!

Go easy on the dressing! Add the dressing to the salad in small increments, tossing as you go, so that you don’t accidentally overdress the salad. The recipe makes a bit more dressing than you’ll likely need. Remember, you can always add more dressing but you can’t take it away!

Customize to your liking. This salad is SO easy to customize. Add more pasta if you’d like it to be more of a pasta salad, leave the chicken and bacon out for a vegetarian version, up the veggie count with cucumbers and peppers-the options are endless!

Wait to dress until serving! Wait until just before serving to dress this salad so that it doesn’t get soggy. You can even Mix the salad and serve the dressing on the side to keep everything extra crisp!

Portillo's Chopped Salad ingredients.

Complete the spread!

Wondering what to serve this salad with? Look no further than these Chicago Style Hot Dogs! This salad is the perfect side for a cookout, so why not go full Chicago? While you’re at it, make these Maxwell Street Polish Sausages. You’ll think you’re at Portillo’s!

Portillo's Chopped Salad in a serving bowl.

Recipe FAQ

How long does Portillo’s Chopped Salad last?

You can store the ingredients undressed in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. After dressing the salad, it’s best to consume within 1 day or the lettuce will become too soggy.

What if I can’t find ditalini pasta?

Small elbow macaroni will be the closest substitute, but you could also try orzo.

I don’t like gorgonzola, can I use another cheese?

Yes! Any type of blue cheese or feta will work great. If you’re not a fan of those cheeses, just choose any cheese you love that can be crumbled or chopped up into small pieces.

Does this salad travel well?

Yes! This salad is great for picnics and cookouts and travels well. You can prep all of the ingredients and add them to a bowl (see pictures) with the dressing in a separate container. Don’t dress the salad until just before serving.

You might also like

  • Chicago Style Hot Dogs
  • Maxwell Street Polish Recipe
  • Easy Loaded Bacon Cheese Fries
  • Chicago Hot Dog Pasta Salad

Portillo's Chopped Salad ingredients.


Portillo’s Chopped Salad Recipe

This homemade Portillo's Chopped Salad is just as good as the real thing! Packed with delicious ingredients like veggies, pasta, bacon and cheese- it's fresh, crisp, savory and filling.

Course Lunch, Salad, Side DishCuisine AmericanKeyword bacon recipes, chopped salad, copycat recipes, pasta salad, portillo’s chopped salad

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Total Time 20 minutes

Servings 6


For the salad

  • 3 Cups cooked ditalini pasta drained and cooled
  • 2 Cups cooked chicken breast diced
  • 1 Cup cooked bacon chopped
  • 5 Cups romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 Cup iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1 Cup red cabbage chopped
  • 2 Cups cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
  • ½ Cup scallions green and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • ½ Cup gorgonzola or other blue cheese crumbled

For the dressing

  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • ¼ Cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Small garlic clove grated or finely minced
  • ½ Teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ Teaspoon cracked black pepper


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and let cool.
  • Whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing together. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl. Add the dressing in small increments, tossing as you go, so that you don't accidentally overdress the salad.
  • Serve right away. Enjoy!

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