Rating: 5.00
(3)

The Cheesecake Factory Copycat Chopped Salad Recipe

By Rachel
April 18, 2024

The Cheesecake Factory Copycat Chopped Salad Recipe is too easy not to make at home! Chopped romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, chopped bacon, herbs, and more tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. Perfect for ripe summer produce, this salad makes a great side or main dish. For a heartier salad, add grilled salmon or steak, hard boiled eggs, chopped nuts, or croutons.

This salad is a delicious blend of julienne romaine, crisp-cooked bacon, fresh vegetables, and balsamic vinaigrette!

Highlights of this copycat recipe:

  • Full of fresh flavors
  • Perfect use for ripe summer produce
  • A delicious, lighter version of your favorite restaurant sandwich
  • Exact copycat of The Cheesecake Factory Chopped Salad
  • Customizable, add any topping desired (ideas below!)
  • Homemade vinaigrette is preservative & additive free!
  • This salad can be a main or side dish, add more grilled chicken, steak or shrimp

Grocery List & Substitutions for the Cheesecake Factory salad:

  • Chopped head of lettuce, such as butter lettuce, bib lettuce, romaine, or iceberg
  • Cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, or grape tomatoes
  • Bacon, I used applewood-smoked bacon
  • Grilled chicken, could use leftover rotisserie chicken
  • Fresh avocado
  • Sweet corn
  • Crumbled blue cheese, could use feta cheese or goat cheese
  • Sliced apple, could use granny smith apple or any red apple
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Fresh herbs
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic cloves
  • Stone ground mustard or Dijon mustard
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar

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Other topping ideas:

  • Black beans or garbanzo beans
  • Crispy wonton strips or croutons
  • Chopped fresh green beans
  • Sliced green onions
  • Red or yellow peppers
  • Roasted beet or sweet potato
  • Marcona almonds or macadamia nuts
  • Kalamata olives

Variations & Serving Ideas:

  • Add other toppings like mozzarella pearls, croutons or cubed bread, chopped nuts, red onion, hard boiled eggs, or balsamic drizzle
  • Serve with grilled steak, extra chicken, shrimp, or salmon for a heartier salad
  • Portion into mason jars for easy weekday meal prep
  • Serve buffet style with different protein options and dressings
  • Could turn into more of a panzanella salad by adding day old bread
  • Add different cheese like smoked cheddar cheese, herbed goat cheese, feta crumbles, shredded pepper jack cheese, or gouda
  • Give the dressing a kick by adding some hot sauce!
  • Serve topped with more fresh herbs like dill or fresh thyme

Tools I used for this easy copycat salad recipe:

Can I make my chopped salad ahead of time?

Yes! Prep the lettuce, chicken, veggies, and vinaigrette. Chop and cool the cooked bacon. If adding other toppings, prep them if they will stay fresh – toppings like avocados or apple will need to be added right before serving. Prep the dressing in a mason jar or airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to dress salad. You can toss the salad and store covered in the fridge until ready for service, dress and enjoy!

What dressing is used on this chopped salad?

This chopped salad has a homemade apple cider vinaigrette just like The Cheesecake Factory does. It is delicious and simple to make. Regular ranch dressing would be good or any mayo based dressing. Balsamic and honey mustard would also be good. Store-bought dressing can be substituted for a short cut!

What is the best lettuce for a chopped salad?

I love using a mixture of butter or bib lettuce and crunchy romaine, sliced super thin! You could also go classic and use iceberg lettuce or do a wedge salad. Heartier greens like kale, arugula, or baby spinach will also work well. My tip would be to slice the lettuce thin so it coats evenly in dressing and is easier to eat!

Instructions for the cheesecake factory chopped salad recipe:

For the vinaigrette:

  • In a mason jar combine olive oil, vinegars, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake well to combine, adjust seasoning as needed. Let chill.

For the salad:

  • In a large bowl combine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, avocados, sweet corn, blue cheese, apple, and chopped bacon. Top with vinaigrette and toss well to combine, serve immediately!

Notes:

*See above for other topping ideas!

*Dressing can also be made in a blender or food processor 

*This salad is best served immediately, if needed for later, prepare the salad but wait to dress until just before serving. 

The Cheesecake Factory Copycat Chopped Salad Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Copycat Cheesecake Factory Chopped salad with homemade vinaigrette
Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
  

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or whole grain mustard
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

For the salad:

  • 8 cups Chopped romaine lettuce, about 3 heads of lettuce
  • 2 pints Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8-10 strips Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups Grilled chicken breast, diced
  • 2 medium Avocados, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup Fresh sweet corn kernels, or use frozen
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 medium Granny smith apple, julienned or finely diced

Instructions
 

For the vinaigrette:

  • In a mason jar combine olive oil, vinegars, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake well to combine, adjust seasoning as needed. Let chill.

For the salad:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the lettuce, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, avocados, sweet corn, blue cheese, apple, and chopped bacon. Top with vinaigrette and toss well to combine, serve immediately!

Notes

*See above for other topping ideas!
*Dressing can also be made in a blender or food processor 
*This salad is best served immediately, if needed for later, prepare the salad but wait to dress until just before serving. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 688kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 34gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1449mgPotassium: 1725mgFiber: 14gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 10671IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 183mgIron: 4mg
Author: The Hearty Life
Calories: 688kcal
Cost: $$
Course: Salad
Keyword: Cheesecake Factory, chopped salad, Copycat Recipe, Fresh Salad, Herbs, Lettuce Salad, Vinaigrette

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @theheartylife on Instagram and hashtag it #theheartylife.

Try these other copycat Cheesecake Factory recipes…

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Veggie Burger Recipe

The Cheesecake Factory White Chicken Chili Recipe

Did you make this recipe?

I would love to see it! Take a picture and post to Instagram with the tag @theheartylife and the hashtag #theheartylife – You can also leave me a question or comment below! If you’ve tried this recipe, feel free to give it a star rating on the recipe above.

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