This is the Portillo’s Chopped Salad that everyone always raves over and must be at every party or dinner!
Crispy bacon, creamy gorgonzola, sweet tomatoes, ditalini pasta and, oh yeah, some greens are in there, too. Welcome to Portillo’s Chopped Salad (my copycat version).
I love my greens, don’t get me wrong. And although there are exceptions, I typically enjoy my salads with more of the toppings and less of the greens. Or an equal match, as is the case with this copycat Portillo’s Chopped Salad. There’s plenty of romaine lettuce and sliced radicchio in this chopped salad and it’s the perfect amount to balance out all that bacon, cheese and pasta.
But it’s the dressing here that really brings all the flavors together. This is my go-to salad dressing as it’s slightly sweet but still tangy with a garlic punch. And we all know how well balsamic goes with bacon and blue cheese. Even when it’s not in a salad it’s a great combination.
You could add some of your other favorite toppings to this chopped salad to switch things up, too: fresh corn in the summertime, diced red bell peppers or even some diced poblanos. Another cheese would work, too, but I definitely prefer the gorgonzola or blue. Add some diced, cooked chicken and it will make a great main dish. And always lots of freshly ground pepper!
I usually just give this Portillo’s Chopped Salad a quick toss then serve the dressing on the side. It makes a lot so I want to be sure the leftovers will still be crisp (IF there are any; you’ll be surprised how quickly this will be gone). This is my 11-year-old’s favorite salad – she begs me to make it all the time – and it’s sure to be yours, too!
For the dressing
- 1/2 extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 t sugar
- large pinch each of dried oregano and kosher salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the salad
- 2 cups ditalini pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 cups chopped raddichio
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Whisk all dressing ingredients together until emulsified (or use a blender). Set aside.
- Place salad ingredients in a serving bowl. Serve with dressing on the side.