Copycat Recipe of Portillo’s Chopped Salad

I LOVE Portillo’s Chopped Salad and was pleasantly surprised by my own copycat side salad version for a casual dinner we hosted. Serves six as a side salad, or more as an addition to a party spread.

Copycat Portillo's Chopped Salad Sweet Italian House Dressing

This dressing recipe is based on one I originally found online by Dennis Cottini of Glenview in the Chicago Sun Times (whose link is no longer available). As I’ve made this salad over the years, this is what the dressing has become when I make it for my family.


3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 spoonfuls of minced garlic (or about 6 cloves minced)
3 teaspoons of sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil


Combine dressing ingredients in a high power blender and blend until creamy.

Copycat Portillo's Chopped Salad

Copycat Portillo’s Chopped Salad


4 cups cooked Ditalini pasta
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
2-1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
2 fresh tomatoes (diced)
1 cup diced green onions
1 cup chopped bacon (I used Turkey Bacon)
4 oz. gorgonzola cheese (you could add up to 8 oz. if you REALLY like gorgonzola)
Sweet Italian Dressing to taste (recipe above)


1.  Cook Ditalini pasta according to package instructions.  Cool and set aside.
2.  Put romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce and red cabbage in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
3.  Combine romaine, iceberg, red cabbage, tomatoes and green onions in large salad bowl.
4.  Cook bacon according to package instructions.
5.  Add cooled pasta, bacon and gorgonzola cheese to salad.
6.  Add dressing (to taste) before serving.  Toss & enjoy!


  1. says

    I love this one too. It definitely turns a drab salad to fab! Thanks for linking this one so all can know the wonders of this yummy salad!

  2. Jessie says

    I’m gonna try this in the Philippines…cannot get the bacon nor the cheese (reasonably…although not sure about bacon altogether) hope it works and tastes as good as yours!

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  4. says

    I’m a born and raised Chicago girl and love Portillo’s and their chopped salad!!! For sure add some chicken and cut into squares. We make a copy cat too and this is dead on. I’m not one to make dressing, though, so I buy the Marzetti Sweet Italian dressing from Jewel and it tastes the same.

  5. Kendall says

    Sounds very good and very close to the actual recipe. The only thing missing from this recipe that would make it dead on is grilled chicken. Being from the Chicagoland area my thirty-something years on this earth, I think I know a thing or two about one of my favorite hot dog joints.

  6. says

    I make this too! 😀 Although, I despise bacon (un-American, I know) so I grill up some chicken, chop it up and throw it in. And, I like it without any dressing… Saves on the calories! :) Thanks for sharing and reminding me of this! I’m going to make mine this week!

  7. Nicholas says

    I work at portillos and there is way too much red cabbage, not enough tomatoes and the chicken is missing!!! But it look really delicious!!!!

  8. Deanna says

    I came here from Pinterest, and what an amazing recipe this is! I was looking for a Portillo’s chopped salad recipe – it’s literally all I ever get from that restaurant. I was beyond pleased with the end product, though I used a store-bought Italian dressing and added some hard-boiled egg bits. Thank you so much for posting this!


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