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Copycat Portillo’s Chopped Salad for a Crowd

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This chopped salad is perfect for a party! It is part pasta salad, part green salad and all yum! A simple dressing and all of your favorite ingredients will be great for dinner, a potluck or a BBQ!

big bowl of salad with pasta, tomato, meat, cheese etc

This salad is a little bit meaty of the leafy, cheesy, meaty salad we all love and a little bit pasta salad.  All of the flavors come together wonderfully and this salad is sized for a party.  Of course you can cut back and make it for a smaller group easily enough.

I have made it for a few big gatherings at our house.  I usually mix up the dressing the morning of the party.

I also get all of the chopping done a couple of hours in advance.  I leave the dressing off until right before it is time to serve.

Sometimes I’ll even only dress half of the salad at a time just in case we don’t need it all. Since the rest isn’t dressed, it keeps longer and can be my lunches during the week!

platter of tossed Portillo's chopped salad ready to eat.

I like to make variations on this salad as well.  It is great with a mix of bacon and salami.  It is also great with hard boiled eggs or some smoked chicken, because why not?

It has been a couple of years since I actually had a real Portillo’s chopped salad, but this gives me a little taste of it when the craving strikes.     

To make it more authentic, you should use the ditalini pasta, some bacon and some chicken.  I can’t always find the ditalini pasta at my favorite grocery stores though, and the small shells work as a great substitute.     

Do you know what I need to do next? Work up a copycat for their poppy seed salad. (Ps. I did that… check out my recipe for copycat Portillo’s chicken poppy seed salad.)       

bowl of greens topped with pasta, meat, tomatoes and cheese ready to be tossed

It is loaded with fruit, chicken, cheese and a poppy seed dressing that is sooooo good.  They make great Chicago style dogs and Italian beef as well, but I go straight for the salads every time!    

I actually poked around their website once to see what it would take to get a franchise.  I think it would be really successful here. 

Do you have a regional favorite restaurant that you wish you could bring home to your neck of the woods?  What restaurant do you wish you had closer?

Yield: 12 Servings

Copycat Portillo's Chopped Salad for a Crowd

platter of tossed Portillo's chopped salad ready to eat.

This chopped salad is perfect for a party! It is part pasta salad, part green salad and all yum! A simple dressing and all of your favorite ingredients will be great for dinner, a potluck or a BBQ!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 pound small pasta, ditalini or small shells cooked according to package directions
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups iceburg lettuce
  • 1 cup red cabbage
  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola
  • 8 oz hard salami, chicken, bacon or a mix
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Mix together all dressing ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Chop all salad ingredients small. Toss together. If making ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
  3. Toss salad and dressing just before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 476mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

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Thanks for sharing!



Thursday 31st of August 2017

This looks like a great salad, and I am always looking for larger portions as we enjoy get together with family and friends. I don't have to look any further as this is perfect! Thanks for sharing your great recipes!


Friday 1st of September 2017

We tend to host a lot of big gatherings and I don't mind leftovers, so go big or go home ;-) Thanks, Amy!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Thursday 15th of June 2017

Lol.. I wish every and any restaurant was closer to me!! This would be a good salad to make up on Sunday's and divide out for the week, and then just put the dressing on before eating!


Tuesday 20th of June 2017

That would be perfect! I would say the same, but we go out to eat so seldomly that our patronage wouldn't count for much! But it doesn't hurt to dream anyway!


Sunday 11th of June 2017

Wehave a block party - this looks like something new beyond those same old pasta salads!



Tuesday 13th of June 2017

This would be perfect for a block party!


Friday 9th of June 2017

Love this! I make some type of salad each week during the summer for our family and this will have to be on our menu soon!


Tuesday 13th of June 2017

What a great idea! I need to get in the routine of more salads during the summer too!

Andrea Nine

Friday 9th of June 2017

Guess what, they are building a Portillos in our area, I'm so excited. I love their chop salad and now I can recreate it!! Yay!!! Now I must have a hot dog with it, ha!! happy weekend sweetness!!


Tuesday 13th of June 2017

NO FAIR!!!! I actually really did some digging to see what it would take to franchise one, but last I checked that wasn't an option. Maybe some day!

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