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 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.
For more Chicago-style feasting, no matter where you are, order one of these:
4 Lou Malnati’s Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizzas
Vienna Chicago-Style Condiment Kit (4 Jars of Classic Toppings)
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza – Gino’s East Deep Dish Pizzas (My personal favorite!!)
Vienna Beef Italian Beef and Gravy 4 lbs.
Nothing beats the taste of home!