My spin on Portillo’s Chopped Salad – one of my favorite salads in all of Chicago!
It’s no secret that I love spending my nights cooking up something awesome and serving it with a delicious glass of wine. You’ve seen me do that time and time again. But in this particular instance, I decided to forego anything too heavy or flashy with side dishes, and instead go with a big salad. But this isn’t just any salad recipe. It’s a spin on Portillo’s Chopped Salad ?
My brother actually came up with this recipe one night when he was craving Portillo’s but didn’t want to be tempted by their cheese fries (we’ve all been there). He immediately texted the family about it and it’s become a staple in a lot of our individual households since then!
I don’t think he even meant to make it healthier, but by using a simple homemade vinaigrette, we’re already leaps about bounds healthier than the fast food version. He also crisped up prosciutto instead of bacon – which is another family favorite. If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend you try it. I honestly like it even more than bacon. Don’t get mad at me, bacon lovers!
Portillo’s Chopped Salad
If you’ve never had this salad at Portillos, one of the main reasons why I love it is because it has a mix of textures and flavors that make it so much more interesting than just lettuce. The original has the most delicious mix of romaine, iceberg, tomato, gorgonzola cheese, bacon… and I wanted to include a lot of the same flavors, in a slightly different way (feta and prosciutto are similar to gorgonzola and bacon!). And, as I mentioned above, even though there’s still noodles in there, this one is definitely healthier than the original. And also healthier than a typical pasta salad 😉
One warming: this makes a HUGE amount, so if you don’t want leftovers, cut the recipe in half. If you DO want leftovers, you can still make the dressing ahead of time, but only add it to the portion of salad you are going to eat immediately and save the rest. That will keep the salad from getting soggy!
And speaking of the dressing, this mix of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper is super easy and a lot better for you than the packaged house dressing that comes with the original salad. You could also use white balsamic or regular balsamic vinegar, too. Whatever you like best!
Do you love Portillo’s Chopped Salad, too?
Have you ever made it at home?! I’d love to know if you have any additions to this recipe!
- 2 cups chopped romaine
- 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1.5 cups chopped radicchio
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 6-8 thin sliced of prosciutto, roughly chopped (or 4 pieces of bacon)
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cut in bite sized pieces
- 1.5 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup dried Ditalini pasta
- 4 oz crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- Set a pot to boil and cook the ditalini noodles until al dente (according to the package instructions). Drain and run under cool water. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, cut the romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, and red onion. Add all of that to a big bowl and set aside.
- Cut or rip the prosciutto into small pieces and add to a nonstick pan over medium heat. You can add a tiny bit of olive oil if you want them to fry a little more, but the fat from the prosciutto will start to break down and they'll crisp up within a few minutes. Once crisped, set them on a plate with a paper towel to soak up some of the grease.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and add that to the pan you cooked the prosciutto in. Stir until the chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Get the big bowl with all of the lettuce and add drained chickpeas and ditalini pasta. Stir to combine.
- Next add feta, prosciutto, and chicken.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk your olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.
- Portion what you want to eat immediately into a separate bowl and pour some vinaigrette over the top. Stir to combine.
- Store the leftover salad and leftover dressing separately so it doesn't get soggy. Mix together when you're ready to eat the rest!
-I've mentioned this so many times, but it bears repeating - this makes a LOT of salad! If you don't want a bunch of leftovers, cut the recipe in half!
-Feel free to use bacon instead of prosciutto if you prefer that. We've tried it that way before and it's delicious.
-Storing the leftover salad and dressing separately is essential. It keeps the salad fresh all week long. Unless you're going to eat it all the day you make it (great for a big group), trust me on this one!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 20.9gProtein: 31.9g
Want to remember this Portillo’s Chopped Salad recipe later? Pin the image below!
PS. You might also like Cauliflower Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage & Asparagus and Rustic Quinoa Tabouli.