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Copycat Outback Steakhouse Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad combines crunchy vegetables with cinnamon candied nuts and blue cheese crumbles for a flavor-packed salad that will keep you coming back for more.

hand pouring balsamic dressing onto outback salad

Outback Steakhouse is an Australian-themed chain restaurants with locations all over North America. Before I moved out of Buffalo, it was one of my family’s favorite restaurants to eat at as a group.

We would all order the Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad! Outback has a number of great salads, but this one hits all the right notes.

If I’m being honest, forget the steak, I went there for this salad. I loved it so much I made it at home and the rest is history, lol.

copycat outback salad with blue cheese and pecans

With a crunchy lettuce, carrot, and red cabbage base, crispy pasta, savory blue cheese, sweet cinnamon pecans, and an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette, I think you’ll love this chopped salad as much as we do.

Serve this blue cheese chopped salad as a side dish along with grilled steak, chicken, sandwiches, or soup. Or top it with the grilled meat of your choice to make it an entrée-sized meal.

I love whipping up this salad for potlucks and summer barbecues. It’s always a crowd-pleaser! If you do this, just wait to assemble the salad until right before serving.

outback salad copycat recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s an awesome combination of textures! Crunchy candied nuts and pasta, soft blue cheese crumbles, crisp lettuce, and chewy dried cranberries are great together.
  • The flavors complement each other really well. Spiced candied nuts, umami blue cheese, tart dried cranberries, and a delicious sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette to tie it all together!
  • You won’t believe how quick and easy this salad is to make! In less than 30 minutes you’ll have a salad or side dish that will earn you rave reviews.

The Best Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

balsamic vinaigrette ingredients
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Crispy Pasta Ingredients

  • Fideo – or you can use fillini pasta, or break up angel hair pasta into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Candied Nuts Ingredients

  • Pecans – walnuts would also be great here
  • Light brown sugar
  • Water
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

Salad Ingredients

blue cheese pecan chopped outback salad ingredients
  • Green leaf lettuce – or go with romaine lettuce
  • Carrot
  • Red cabbage
  • Scallion – or you can use chives
  • Blue cheese – this is also great with crumbled goat cheese, feta, or queso fresco
  • Dried cranberries – feel free to play with the recipe and use any type of dried fruit you like

Instructions

Step 1: Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette

how to make balsamic vinaigrette

Add all ingredients to a lidded glass jar. Cover the jar and shake well to combine. Store refrigerated until serving.

Step 2: Make the Crispy Pasta

how to make crispy pasta salad topper
  1. Add all ingredients to a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Stirring frequently, cook until the pasta turns opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the pasta to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil and let it cool.

Step 3: Make the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Candied Nuts

how to make candied nuts
  1. Add all ingredients to a small skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, stir frequently and continue cooking until the liquid is mostly gone and the nuts are completely coated, about 3 minutes. Immediately spread the nuts out on a parchment paper-lined baking tray to cool. Once cool, break them up.

Pro Tip: Make a double batch of the candied nuts because you’re going to want some to snack on!

Step 4: Assemble the Salad

tossing blue cheese chopped salad outback

Add the lettuce to a large salad bowl and top with the carrot, red cabbage, scallion, blue cheese, dried cranberries, crispy pasta, and candied nuts.

Add a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, and gently toss to combine.

Serve immediately.

Tips

  • If you’re pressed for time, you can use store-bought balsamic vinaigrette and candied nuts.
  • If you can’t find fideo pasta (which is similar to Italian vermicelli), you can use capellini (angel hair pasta)! Just break it into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
  • You can make a few of the components for this salad ahead of time! Store the balsamic vinaigrette for up to 1 week before using. Also, make the crispy pasta and candied nuts up to 1 week ahead; store them in separate airtight containers at room temperature. Wait to assemble the salad until right before serving.
  • The original Outback Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad uses blue cheese vinaigrette instead of balsamic vinaigrette (in addition to blue cheese crumbles). Feel free to use blue cheese vinaigrette instead of balsamic vinaigrette if you prefer.
front view of glass bowl with blue cheese pecan chopped salaad

Blue Cheese Chopped Salad FAQs

What is a Blue Cheese Chopped Salad?

At the popular restaurant chain Outback Steakhouse, their Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad contains the following:

  • Mixed greens
  • Carrot
  • Red cabbage
  • Green onion
  • Cinnamon pecans
  • Aussie Crunch (aka crispy pasta)
  • Blue cheese vinaigrette
  • Blue cheese crumbles

How Many Calories Are in an Outback Blue Cheese Chopped Salad?

According to the Outback Steakhouse menu, a side salad portion of their Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad starts at 590 calories.

On the other hand, this homemade version only has 236 calories per serving.

overhead view of bowls of blue cheese pecan chopped salad

How Long Does Blue Cheese Last in the Fridge?

If stored properly (wrapped well), blue cheese can last up to 1 month in the fridge. And you can store blue cheese crumbles in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.

What If I Don’t Like Blue Cheese?

You can use any type of crumbled cheese you like! Feta, goat cheese, or queso fresco all work well. Or simply omit the cheese.

If You Like Blue Cheese You Will Also Love These Recipes

front view of chopped salad with nuts and cranberries

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Copycat Outback Steakhouse Blue Cheese Chopped Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Copycat Outback Steakhouse Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad combines crunchy vegetables with cinnamon candied nuts and blue cheese crumbles for a flavor-packed salad that will keep you coming back for more.

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Ingredients
 

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

Crispy Pasta:

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Candied Nuts:

Salad:

  • 6 cups chopped green leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 3 scallions green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces blue cheese crumbled (about 1/2 cup crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries optional; this isn’t in Outback’s original

Instructions
 

Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • Add all ingredients to a lidded glass jar. Cover the jar and shake well to combine. Store refrigerated until serving.

Make the Crispy Pasta:

  • Add all ingredients to a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Stirring frequently, cook until the pasta turns opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the pasta to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil and let it cool.

Make the Candied Nuts:

  • Add all ingredients to a small skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, stir frequently and continue cooking until the liquid is mostly gone and the nuts are completely coated, about 3 minutes. Immediately spread the nuts out on a parchment paper-lined baking tray to cool. Once cool, break them up.

Assemble the Salad:

  • Add the lettuce to a large salad bowl and top with the carrot, red cabbage, scallion, blue cheese, dried cranberries, crispy pasta, and candied nuts.
  • Add a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, and gently toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Pasta: If you can’t find fideo or fillini pasta, you can use capellini (angel hair pasta)! Just break it into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
  • Time-Saving Tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can use store-bought balsamic vinaigrette and candied nuts.
  • Make-Ahead: You can make the balsamic vinaigrette up to 1 week in advance and store it in the fridge until using. Also, you can make the crispy pasta and candied nuts up to 1 week ahead; store them in separate airtight containers at room temperature. Wait to assemble the salad until right before serving!
  • Vinaigrette in the Original Salad: Outback’s Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad uses blue cheese vinaigrette instead of balsamic vinaigrette (in addition to blue cheese crumbles). Feel free to use blue cheese vinaigrette instead of balsamic vinaigrette if you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3572IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Blue Cheese Chopped Salad, Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad, Chopped Blue Cheese Salad, Outback Chopped Salad, Outback Salad, Outback Salad Recipe, Outback Steakhouse Salad

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

copycat outback salad pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on October 20, 2009 and updated on June 23, 2022.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. I am not a bleu cheese fan, so I asked the waiter to use 1000 Island with no bleu cheese pieces, and it was fantastic!

    I plan to try it at home with Caesar dressing and feta cheese.

  2. I did it. I made it. The problem is that I don’t have the final photos. We went away for the weekend and I took a bunch of food. I had all the parts of this salad in baggies ready to go but by the time, we had it all put together, no one was thinking about pictures.

    I will post it with what I do have as soon as possible. I really appreciate your posting this. It was a great salad.

    1. Chaya, I’m glad you liked it! Can’t wait to see your post!

  3. i lurrve this salad. yummm!!! color is bright and pretty!!

  4. Blond Duck says:

    I could live on this salad. And now I will, thanks to you and your fabulous recipe!

  5. Surely toothsome and really enjoyable!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. I’ve been to Outback serveral times, but never had this salad. I love a good fresh salad and this sounds delicious!! I will have to try this out!

  7. Figtreeapps says:

    OMG!!I am soooo excited to have this recipe..it is the only reason I go to Outback!!Ive never heard of making crispy pasta, Im gonna be topping that on lots of yummy things. A BIG thank you for this post.Figtreeapps

  8. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    Fabulous salad, love the crispy pasta & caramelized nuts here!

  9. Thanks for the great recipe. That salad is the ONLY reason to go there.
    ~ingrid

  10. mmmmmm this is my kinda salad! lots of everything in there!

  11. I do the same thing – order chicken at Steakhouses! It’s nice to find out I’m not the only one. I’ve never had this salad – I bet it’s delicious! I love recreating favorite restaurant food.

  12. I remember going to the Outback Steakhouse and having a Bloomin Onion-that was great! Although this looks great and it is much healthier. I suspect I should have ordered this :P

  13. This looks delicious. Those flavors just scream Fall to me.

  14. The salad looks great. The Outback near my place closed down so it’s nice to have this recipe!

  15. Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Roasted Nuts? So original! Your salad looks great!

  16. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese but I could leave it out:) I bet the flavors are amazing in this salad…yum!

  17. Wow! looks so good! I’m not familiar with filini pasta, don’t think I’ve seen it at the supermarket yet.

  18. This is a beautiful salad. I love salad with lots of nuts :D

  19. lynn@queenofthecastlerecipes says:

    Yum, this is looking so good. I must try it soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  20. I am truly excited about this recipe. I am going to make it when I go to my daugher-in-law’s. This is a beautiful salad and I love the flavors incorporated in it. I will blog it, if I make it so you can see. It won’t be until Thursday or Friday.

    I do have candied nuts but it would be fun to do this, if I have time. Otherwise, theya re waiting. I would love to do as much as I can. Now, I understand why balsamic vinegar is so delicious. I want to try this too.

    This will be fun and I know, work too. Thanks for posting this.

  21. theUngourmet says:

    I love that crispy pasta! What an awesome idea. I haven’t been to Outback in ages and I’m never tasted that salad. Geez, I’ve been missing out!

  22. This looks incredible! I am a fan of chopped salads!

  23. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I do the same thing, I love to “try” and recreate my favourite stuff at home too. This looks fantastic. I just adore the nuts!

  24. You’re a genius! :) I’m obsessed with this salad, so is my dad. If I make this for him he’ll love me FOREVER!!! lol

  25. Karyn Bernard (French Charming) says:

    5 stars
    Holy Best Chopped Salad Of All TIME!

    I love this salad and I love you for sharing the recipe!

  26. I think I’ll make this for my mom, she loves chopped salads!

  27. That caramelized nuts…oh my god…You can put those on top of a pile of hay and I’ll still eat it! Wow! and blue cheese! YUM! Now I know what I wanna get in Outback! I used to hate that place, because it’s 1) expensive and 2) I don’t like steaks myself!

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