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Portillo’s Chopped Salad

Freshly chopped ingredients, tossed with a sweet Italian dressing. A copycat of Portillo's famous chopped salad. Serves well as a stand-alone meal or an accompanying side dish.
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 6 meal servings, 10-12 side servings


For the Salad:

  • 1 cup Ditalini pasta (also called Salad Macaroni), cooked to al dente and cooled
  • 3 to 4 large leafs of Romaine lettuce , washed, dried and chopped
  • Half head Iceburg lettuce , washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 cup cooked and diced chicken breast
  • 6 to 8 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 1 large tomato , seeded and diced
  • Half of a 10oz bag shredded red cabbage , chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 stalks green onion , chopped

For the Sweet Italian House Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic , pressed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


For the Salad:

  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

For the Sweet Italian House Dressing:

  • Add all dressing ingredients, minus the olive oil, into a blender and pulse to combine. With the blender on low speed, gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream. Continue to blend until the dressing is combined and emulsified.
  • Pour half of the dressing into the salad bowl and toss to cover. Serve immediately. Reserve the rest of the dressing in the fridge for up to two weeks for other use.
  • Source: House Dressing recipe from Chicago Sun-Times


Shortcut ideas: It takes some time to chop up and prepare all of the ingredients. If time is of the essence, try these quick tips: 1) Make the dressing ahead of time and store in fridge, up to two weeks. 2) Use pre-cooked bacon (the real stuff, not bacon bits) or make this ahead as well. 3) Buy a bag of Dole salad mix and quick chop it. 4) Use pre-cooked chicken slices and chop.