Portillo's Chopped Salad

Chopped Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (7 slices)
  • 2 cups grilled chicken (diced)
  • 5 cups chopped lettuce (we used a bag of romain and cabbage)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved and quartered)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Creamy Balsomic Dressing

  • 1/2 cup honey-vanilla Greek Yogurt (we use honey Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper


  1. DRESSING: Place all the dressing ingredients in a small blender jar. Blend until combined, creamy, and emulsified. Transfer dressing to a mason jar and store in the fridge until ready to eat. Shake up the dressing before dressing the salad.

  2. COOK PASTA: Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente. Make sure to generously salt the water; this is what will actually season the pasta! I add 1 teaspoon salt to every 4 cups of water. Drain and cool; run under cold water and shake off to dry. When dry, toss with a few tablespoons of the prepared dressing.

  3. BACON AND CHICKEN: Cook bacon in a skillet or on an electric griddle. Remove, let cool slightly, and then chop coarsely. Chop a rotisserie chicken (or leftover grilled chicken) into small bite-sized pieces.

  4. SALAD ASSEMBLY: In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, red cabbage, halved or quartered tomatoes, and thinly sliced green onions. Add in the cooled pasta, chopped bacon, and chopped chicken. Add gorgonzola cheese. If eating all of this salad, add dressing to desired preference (you may not use it all) and toss to combine. If not, only dress what will be eaten; this salad doesn't sit well with the dressing.

  5. SALAD STORAGE: The salad can be made in advance as long as the salad, bacon, cheese, and dressing is stored separately. Combine right before eating.



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© John Hatcher