Homemade Portillo’s Chopped Salad

***Update April, 2019: Want to hear about my weight loss journey and how I’m learning to love my body again now that I’m in my 40s? Check it out at the bottom of this post.***

Growing up in the Chicago area, Portillo’s was a favorite restaurant of mine. Their hot dogs and fries were SO good! I remember several of my friends having birthday parties at Portillo’s and they were always a hit.

Since moving to Michigan years ago (more years than I care to admit because that just makes me feel OLD), I haven’t been back to Portillo’s. Every time we are in Chicago to visit my family, eating there always seems to get forgotten about. This last trip over the weekend was no exception.

However, when my sister and I were brainstorming what to take to our family reunion picnic, she mentioned that she loved Portillo’s Chopped Salad. So I did a little research until I found out all the needed ingredients. And with her input, we recreated that salad. It was definitely a winner!

Personally, I enjoyed a few helpings even though I’m not a fan of all the ingredients (like the raw onions and gorgonzola cheese). I think the trick is that it is truly a chopped salad, so you don’t encounter any big chunks of things while eating it. The flavors and textures just all kind of blend together to create a really yummy salad.

homemade portillo's chopped salad

Homemade Potrillo’s Chopped Salad

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 – 2 heads Romaine lettuce, depending on size
  • 1 small head red cabbage, minced or 1 bag sliced red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2  c. ditalini pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 c. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • Vinaigrette dressing, bottled or homemade (we used a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette)

1. Wash and dry the lettuces. Finely chop until the lettuce is in small pieces. Put in a large bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except dressing, and toss to combine well.

3. Serve dressing along side the salad or pour on and combine just before serving.

The original Portillo’s Chopped Salad includes diced chicken breast, but we opted to leave that out to make it more picnic and side-dish friendly. I think I’ll be making this for just our family very soon and including the chicken. It would definitely be hearty enough to make a complete meal.

How I’m Maintaining Weight Loss Over 40

A few years ago, I lost 52 pounds. That was a long and arduous journey, but it was nothing compared to my battle to maintain that weight loss now that I’m over 40. I can’t believe the way my body and metabolism have changed in the past two years. If you’re in the same boat, I know you can relate! But, I’ve turned back to the same system I used initially to lose that weight to now help me with maintenance. I am learning to LOVE my body again. Read more about my weight loss journey, check out my Before & After photo, and find out my secret weight loss hack.

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45 thoughts on “Homemade Portillo’s Chopped Salad

  1. Wow! Your version looks exactly like the salad I ate for dinner yesterday! So funny that I eat a Portillo’s chopped salad (minus the cheese) for dinner and the next morning see a recipe for it online!!!

  2. I use T.Marzettis sweet Italian dressing, found with the refrigerated salad dressings. It is perfect. Also, I add chopped grilled chicken.

  3. Excellent…the Marzetti’s Sweet Italian is great! Ate the salad once, from what I remembered it tastes just like it.

  4. Made this salad tonight and it does taste just like it. I tried a couple of different dressings and none of them were the same, so I broke down and bought the dressing from Portillo’s. Luckily it’s one right down the street.

  5. Thank you! I will have to make poppyseed muffins too. I agree with the sweet Italian dressing. When I tasted the dressing I thought Portillo’s.

  6. Love Portillo’s Chopped Salad, when I saw this in Pinterest I had to pin it to my board. Did not know they sold their dressing but will try the sweet Italian dressing also, sounds yummy.
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

  7. My husband was up near Chicago today – and brought home SIX chopped salads for 3 of us – guess what’s for dinner tomorrow too! hehe
    Portillo’s rocks – I’m going to try to make this – but you forgot the chicken 😉

  8. I have always loved Portillo’s chopped salad and was so excited to find the recipe. Thank you! I made it and the ingredients are exact with the exception of the chicken. I also tried the Marzetti’s sweet italian dressing which was perfect.

  9. I am looking at making this recipe for a rather large crowd for a light lunch main course at a baby shower. How many would you say your recipe serves? I will need to make several batches, but it would be helpful to have an idea. thanks so much!

  10. Thank you for this great recipe. It takes just like the original. I would say that the salad could easily serve 6-8 generous entree size portions. I used the sweet Italian dressing as recommended and also used turkey bacon for the bacon portion to control a little of the nutrition aspect. While it is challenging to cut/separate the turkey bacon the flavor is just as good and looks similar once mixed in the salad. I used 1/2 c of cheese which didn’t seem to hurt the taste. Lastly, to save time i bought a pre-made roasted chicken and diced the white meat portions. Would definitely make again

  11. Mr. Portillo used to cut the french fries in my aunt’s kitchen every night for the little hot dog stand he had over 30 years ago in Villa Park, IL. This salad is still one of the best I have ever had but I would never make it without the chicken. Still a great recipe! Thanks!

    1. “little hot dog stand in Villa Park” – You have brought back such memories for me with your post. Hot dogs and fries mixed together in a paper bag…those were the days!! Living in Phoenix and so excited Portillos is finally coming here. Thanks for the memories.

      1. I’m from Chicago also, and I miss Wally’s hot dog stand, Big Al’s Beef, Jays and Central gyros, and don’t forget Bob O Rino’s subs….there is nothing like Chicago foods and you are absolutely right there is nothing like hot dogs and fries mixed together in a paper bag.

  12. Love so many things about Portillo’s! Did you serve with the poppy seed muffin? That always comes with it! Looking forward to someday making this.

  13. Almost right, actually iceberg lettuce not romaine and feta not gorganzola. Very good break down for someone not in the culinary field ; )

  14. This recipe is missing the grilled chicken & you don’t need the red onion, just the green onion. I worked there for 9 years & ate so much chopped salad, I’m not sure if I will ever eat it again. LOL! A very delicious salas none the less.

  15. My husband loved this salad! I used sweet Italian dressing and it was great! Will be doing this salad again soon

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    I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and
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  17. We were there today, I had the Garden Salad, my family had the Italian Roast Beef sandwich, my salad was so very good, and from what my family says they enjoyed the sandwichs also. we had a delicious lunch. thank you!

  18. A wonderful salad, and I’ve had this many times at Portillo’s. So much more economical when you make it at home. I bought a pair of ‘scissors-type’ food choppers at a Pampered Chef party, and these make fast work of a homemade chopped salad (as well as salsas, etc.). Once thing about the ingredient list though, and I could be mistaken, but I could swear they also put in chopped, seeded and peeled cucumber. No?

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