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.
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!
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.
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.
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 that will earn you rave reviews.
The Best Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad Recipe
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Black pepper
- Fideo or fillini pasta
- Extra-virgin olive ol
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Candied Nuts:
- Light brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Green leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce
- Red cabbage
- Blue cheese
- Dried cranberries
Step 1: Make the 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:
- 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.
Step 3: Make the Cinnamon Brown Sugar 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.
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:
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.
- If you’re pressed for time, you can use store-bought balsamic vinaigrette and candied nuts.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Red cabbage
- Green onion
- Cinnamon pecans
- Aussie Crunch (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 has 590 calories.
On the other hand, this homemade version only has 236 calories per serving.
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 Love These Recipes
- Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball
- Spicy Blue Cheese Celery Slaw
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Creamy Coleslaw with Tart Cherries, Blue Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts
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Copycat Outback Steakhouse Blue Cheese Chopped Salad
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 tablespoons fideo pasta or fillini pasta (see Notes)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Candied Nuts:
- 6 tablespoons pecans coarsley chopped (or walnuts)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 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
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.
- 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.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on October 20, 2009. I updated it with more information on June 23, 2022.
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.
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.
Chaya, I’m glad you liked it! Can’t wait to see your post!
[email protected] says
i lurrve this salad. yummm!!! color is bright and pretty!!
Blond Duck says
I could live on this salad. And now I will, thanks to you and your fabulous recipe!
Surely toothsome and really enjoyable!
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!
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
Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says
Fabulous salad, love the crispy pasta & caramelized nuts here!
Thanks for the great recipe. That salad is the ONLY reason to go there.
mmmmmm this is my kinda salad! lots of everything in there!
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.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
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
This looks delicious. Those flavors just scream Fall to me.
The salad looks great. The Outback near my place closed down so it’s nice to have this recipe!
Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Roasted Nuts? So original! Your salad looks great!
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!
Wow! looks so good! I’m not familiar with filini pasta, don’t think I’ve seen it at the supermarket yet.
This is a beautiful salad. I love salad with lots of nuts :D
[email protected] says
Yum, this is looking so good. I must try it soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
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.
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!
This looks incredible! I am a fan of chopped salads!
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!
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
Karyn Bernard (French Charming) says
Holy Best Chopped Salad Of All TIME!
I love this salad and I love you for sharing the recipe!
I think I’ll make this for my mom, she loves chopped salads!
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!