This is my go-to copycat recipe for a refreshing, protein-packed homemade Portillos chopped salad. It uses a blend of romaine lettuce, red cabbage, grilled chicken, and a mix of veggies. You can’t forget the ditalini pasta to bring it all together! It’s a perfect weeknight salad for dinners or lunches and beyond.
Why This Recipe Works:
Crunchy & Crave-able: One of the appeals of this homemade Portillos chopped salad recipe is the wonderful array of textures that each of the ingredients offers. The crunchy romaine lettuce and cabbage with juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon and creamy blue cheese all go together so perfectly! The homemade honey dijon dressing has lots of flavor that will leave you wanting more!!
Easy to Throw Together: This Portillos pasta salad recipe is super simple to make, especially if you use pre-cooked chicken! You can simply prep the veggies and toss everything together for a copycat Portillos chopped salad that pairs perfectly with burgers, BBQ, hot dogs or brats!
What Is Portillos And Why Do We Love It?
Portillos is a restaurant with locations mostly in the Midwest but with some locations scattered in California and Nevada as well. It’s been a staple for years across Chicagoland and is mostly known for its Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs.
While many love their hot dogs and beef, Portillo’s also serves an iconic chopped salad recipe that is fresh and delicious! Everyone is crazy for this Portillos Chopped Salad that features ditalini pasta with fresh chopped veggies and a homemade dijon dressing that is like the cherry on top!
- Mixing Bowls
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Measuring Spoons
My homemade Portillos chopped salad recipe uses simple ingredients that you might already have on hand! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken Breast: You can cook and season your chicken breast however you like! I like to use salt and pepper and grill it before adding it to this salad. For ease, you can also use a rotisserie chicken!
- Romaine Lettuce: You can buy your romaine lettuce already chopped in fine pieces, or buy it whole and chop it yourself!
- Red Cabbage: Red cabbage adds color and a crunchy texture! You can use green cabbage instead if preferred.
- Green Onions: You can use the whole green onion here and slice it into thin pieces! Green onions are great because they have flavor and texture, but the flavor isn’t too overpowering.
- Cherry Tomatoes: The tangy burst of flavor of cherry tomatoes is perfect in this salad!
- Ditalini Pasta: This copycat Portillos chopped salad uses ditalini pasta, but you can use any small pasta shape you have on hand.
- Bacon: Bacon adds a ton of flavor and texture here!
- Blue Cheese: Blue cheese adds a creamy and tangy bite. If you don’t like blue cheese, you can omit it or replace it with feta or even cheddar cheese.
- Homemade Dressing: The homemade dressing consists of mayo, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper! Simply whisk them all together before tossing them with the salad!
How To Make A Portillos Chopped Salad:
- Prep Chicken: Remove the chicken breast from the packaging and pat it dry. Oil and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on the grill (or any other method if preferred). Set aside once cooked to cook and then dice into pieces.
- Cook the Pasta: Cook the ditalini pasta per the box instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to immediately cool it and set aside.
- Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, add the chopped romaine lettuce, chopped cabbage, halved tomatoes, green onion, crumbles bacon, and blue cheese.
- Add Pasta & Chicken: Fold in the cooled ditalini pasta and cooked and diced chicken. Toss everything together and set the bowl aside.
- Whisk Together the Dressing: In a separate mixing bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients together and whisk well until mixed and emulsified.
- Pour Over Salad: Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss well to combine. Test the taste and season as needed with additional salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
- Make it ahead! You can make the components of this salad ahead of time and just toss them together when you are ready to serve!
- Make extra dressing for a different salad! This dressing is super versatile and so yummy, so sometimes I like to make extra and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for a different salad later in the week. This dressing will stay in the fridge for up to 4 days! Just whisk it up again in case there was any separation.
- Don’t like blue cheese? No problem! You can leave it out completely or replace it with a different kind of cheese. Any cheese of your choice will be good in this salad!
More Salad Recipes To Try:
- Cauliflower Antipasto Salad
- Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad
- Keto Panzanella Salad
- Grinder Salad Recipe
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Homemade Portillos Chopped Salad Recipe
- 1 lb. Chicken Breast
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 head Romaine Lettuce chopped
- 1.5 cups Red Cabbage chopped
- 4 Green Onions diced small
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 8 oz Ditalini Pasta cooked al dente
- 8 slices Bacon cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup Blue Cheese crumbled
- 3 tbsp. Mayo
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp. Honey
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- Remove the chicken breast from the packaging and pat it dry. Oil and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on the grill (or any other method if preferred). Set aside once cooked to cool and then diced into pieces.
- Cook the ditalini pasta per the box instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to immediately cool it and set it aside.
- To a large bowl, add the chopped romaine, chopped cabbage, halved tomatoes, green onion, crumbled bacon and blue cheese.
- Fold in the cooled ditalini pasta and cooked and diced chicken. Toss everything together and set the bowl aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients together and whisk well until mixed and emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss well to combine. Test taste and season as needed with additional salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!