Copycat Portillo’s Recipes

There are two universal truths for Chicagoans: Winter is much longer than it ever should be and NO ONE should ever put ketchup on a hot dog. Especially a Portillo’s hot dog. But if you want to hide from the ridicule and put ketchup on your hot dog in peace, let me recommend to you these copycat Portillo’s recipes. You see, you can make your own version of the Chicagoland favorite at home. A little faux-Tillo’s if you will. While these copycat recipes might be slightly different from what you love from your local Portillo’s, the flavors are very similar with a unique “at home twist” that will impress any Chicagoan. Here’s how to make your favorite Portillo’s dishes at home.

Copycat Portillo’s Italian Beef

While the hot dogs are popular at Portillo’s, the beef sammies are totally and completely SWOON worthy. After tinkering around with a few different recipes, I have found that you can very easily make your own Copycat Portillo’s Italian Beef recipe at home. The secret? Preparing a very flavorful au jus before you even take the beef out of the fridge.



(au jus)

3 cups beef broth

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried onion

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 bay leaf

7 ounce package dry Italian dressing

1 teaspoon barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s is recommended)



5 pound rump roast

1 cup sweet peppers

½ cup shredded mozzarella

Italian rolls


Pat dry the roast and let sit on your kitchen counter for one hour prior to cooking.


Combine beef broth, seasonings, and barbecue sauce in a sauce pan. Stir well and bring to a boil.


Place roast into slow cooker. Pour the au jus over the rump roast and let cook in the slow cooker on high for 6 hours. With one hour left, remove bay leaf and add sliced sweet peppers.


Shred beef and stuff into Italian rolls. Top with cooked sweet peppers and mozzarella.

Copycat Portillo’s Chopped Salad

I have eaten at least one hundred chopped salads from Portillo’s in my life, and I have yet to find the exact same salad dressing recipe. But the copycat chopped salad dressing that I have come up with has the same salty/sweet combo that you have come to expect from Portillo’s—just in a vinaigrette version. It is so easy to make and leave in a jar so that you always have a taste of Portillo’s within reach.




3 cups chopped romaine lettuce

½ cup diced chicken

¼ cup cooked small pasta

1/3 cup diced green onions

1/3 cup diced tomatoes

¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

¼ cup crumbled bacon


Mix together all ingredients, omitting any ingredients that you do not like. For parties, we keep the gorgonzola on the side so guests can add their desired amount of cheese.



¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup white vinegar

½ cup olive oil

3 minced garlic cloves

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon honey

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a jar and mix, mix, mix! This recipe is naturally a vinaigrette, but if you use a blender similar to a Magic Bullet, the texture will become thicker and more similar to the texture of Portillo’s Chopped Salad Dressing.


Copycat Portillo’s Chocolate Cake

One of the best things about having a birthday is the complimentary slice of chocolate cake from Portillo’s. But for the other 364 days a year, give this easy and decadent copycat Portillo’s Chocolate Cake recipe a try. Just be sure to let the cake cool completely before icing or you will be left with a chocolatey mess!




1 package yellow cake mix

2 packaged chocolate instant pudding mix

10 ounces sour cream

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup water

4 large eggs



1 ½ cups of softened butter (3 sticks)

1 cup unsweetened cocoa

5 cups powdered sugar

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

pinch of salt


Whisk butter in a large bowl or stand mixer to remove any clumps. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until combined.


Add sugar and milk to chocolate mixture slowly, adding 1 cup of sugar and a tablespoon of milk at a time. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Mix well at a high speed until the mixture has a velvety consistency. If too dry, slowly add small amounts of milk. If too wet, slowly add small amounts of powdered sugar.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one bundt pan.


Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to mix for periods of 30 seconds. Pour mixture into bundt pan once fully mixed.


Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden stick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool for two hours.


Frost cake with chocolate butter cream.

Can’t wait to hear what you think about my copycat Portillo’s recipes!

And if you are looking for other easy recipes that will please all members of the family, be sure to check out this page.

Bon Appetite!
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  1. Jennifer Baick Oliak says

    OMG! that cake looks delightful and really satisfying. I will definitely try this recipe for my family. They would love so much.

  2. Tif says

    You’ll probably judge me but I have never been to Portillo!!! I hear all about it and that sandwich looks mouth watering- but now that you taught me how to make it do I ever have to go there? Haha

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