Chopped Salad

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A certain Chicago Italian restaurant chain makes a certain chopped salad that a certain number of people I know are obsessed with. 

After all the buzz about a certain Asian Lettuce Wraps recipe of mine (modeled after a certain upscale-nationwide-Asian-restaurant-chain), a certain sister of mine suggested that I give you guys a chopped salad recipe.

When I say "salad," you must understand that I mean so much more than salad.  This is a meal. It's your salad, your meat, and your pasta all in one dish.

What You Need:

  • 2 bunches green onions (scallions) [thinly cut]
  • 3 tomatoes [seeded and diced]
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce [thinly cut -- make it smaller than any lettuce you've ever had and you should be safe]
  • 1/2 pound of bacon (I just bought one box of the pre-cooked bacon because I think bacon is actually pretty gross and had no desire to cook it and watch the fat simmer in the pan... outspoken, anyone?) [diced]
  • 2 cups ditalini pasta 
  • 5 chicken breasts [diced]
  • 1 small purple cabbage [diced]
  • 1 red onion [diced]
  • 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • A really, really ginormous bowl

What You Do:

Step One: Cooking
-After dicing the chicken, cook the chicken breasts in olive oil and pepper. We didn't get too fancy with the seasoning here, because it's going into a salad and shouldn't be overwhelming. Once the chicken is cooked, drain it and cool it by either setting it out or putting it in the refrigerator.
-Cook 2 cups of ditalini pasta until soft, then drain and set aside or in refrigerator to cool.

Step Two: Chop, chop
While the chicken and pasta are cooling, get ready for some serious chopping. Chop, slice, and mince... everything. So, thinly cut those green onions... seed and dice those tomatoes (get the seedy, goopy, soggy stuff out of there & keep only the clean, finely chop-able pieces)... chop the heck out of that lettuce... and dice that bacon, cabbage, and onion...

Step Three: Combine & Toss
Combine the chopped vegetables and fully cooled pasta (you may need to use your hands to break apart and sprinkle pasta if it is sticking together), chicken, and cheeses. Toss - you might need to use your hands because this recipe makes a lot of salad.

Step Four: Serve!
This salad is typically served with a thick, creamy honey or blue cheese vinaigrette... but, to be honest, there are so many flavors going on in this salad that I didn't need any dressing. Cheese, vegetables, bacon, you get it?

Anyone else have a favorite restaurant recipe they're dying to find a way to recreate at home? Let me know and I'll take a crack at it! :)


  1. YAAYYY I love it! I'm so excited to come home and eatssss

  2. That looks amazing! :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your salad looks delicious! I have a few Chipotle-ish recipes that have pretty good if I do say so myself :)

    Adding this to my menu for next week. Thanks!

  4. That look soo tasty! Bright colourful and yummy!]

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  5. Yum! We loved chopped salad and we're always looking for new recipes. Thx!

  6. this looks really good, beautiful photos,

  7. Looks delish! I so wish I had a bowl of it right now...I'm starving. I'm a new follower and look forward to getting to know you.

    Stop by and say hi when you can!


  8. Ahhhhh...Portillo's!!!! I LOVE this salad! Thanks for sharing!!! Chocolate Cake Shake for dessert?
    Visiting from Dittle Dattle.

  9. wow! This looks amazing! I was just browsing my tasty tuesday links and this one TOTALLY popped! Thanks for linking up.. I am going to try this, SOON!

  10. That looks very yummy. Wish I could stop by and have some. Thanks for sharing at my Sizzle into Summer party.

  11. This looks AMAZING! I would LOVE it if you shared this recipe with us at Cast Party Wednesday tomorrow!

    I hope to see you there!

  12. This looks incredibly delicious....I'm going to send the recipe to my husband, the cook!

  13. YUM! We love chopped salad. THanks for sharing with my newbie party. Please add my link or button to your post. Thanks.

  14. This is such a labor of love! Thanks for linking up at Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

  15. I am gonna try this real soon.

    We have a link-up party going on - Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you'd link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.


  16. I know the exact restaurant you are speaking of and I miss it so much! I've def got to try this!

  17. I *love* the restaurant you are referring to. It's the best in Chicago! I make this recipe often but since I'm so close I purchase their salad dressing for mere pennies compared to what they try to charge for a salad. I leave off the chicken but I might have to try it with the olive oil and pepper!

  18. Any chance you have a recipe for Houlihan's chicken tortilla soup... it's my fav and they don't share recipes ;(

  19. Your recipes all look soo good! Any chance you're familiar with Lund's / Byerly's Cherry Chicken Salad? I can't get the dressing right for it...

  20. Did you know for $3 you can buy a bottle of their dressing at their drive in window. I marinade and grill my chicken in a small amount of olive oil and McCormicks Fajita seasoning (not the packet, the bottle of seasoning - makes great fatijas too). I make a bunch if chicken breasts, cut it into strips and freeze it so I have it ready fast. Then I keep pre-crumbled bacon on hand in the fridge and some noodles cooked (baby loves them too) and I can have their salad any day of the week.

    1. That is awesome! I had no idea you could buy their dressing! I probably won't because I've looked at it before and I'm pretty sure it's awful for you... but I definitely love your ideas for making prep faster! Pre-cooking chicken and using pre-crumbled bacon is smart :)


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