The iconic McCarthy Salad from the Beverly Hills Hotel may have a big price tag, but it also has the best flavor! It’s packed with creamy avocado, tender chicken, sweet beets, juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, chickpeas and sharp cheddar, drizzled with balsamic dressing. The McCarthy chopped salad is their signature dish for a reason, and now you can make it at home any day!
Easy McCarthy Salad Recipe
The Beverly Hill’s Hotel has been a hot spot for the rich and famous for many years, and the McCarthy chopped salad has been the most popular item on their menu.
The easy salad mixes together protein, vegetables, legumes, and cheese for a flavor and texture that takes salad to the next level. The balsamic-based dressing, with a touch of dijon and plenty of aromatic garlic, is game-changing.
What’s the McCarthy Salad?
This chopped salad was made famous by the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles thanks to 1940s polo captain Neil McCarthy who requested a salad with a very specific list of ingredients from his table at their Polo Lounge. The rest is history! The McCarthy salad has become a signature menu item.
Why You’ll love This Famous Salad?
- Customizable: Whether you eat it in Beverly Hills (yes they customize it for you!) or at home, this chopped salad can be easily customized to your taste.
- Nutritious: Packed with whole foods, lean protein and yes – crispy bacon! This salad is wholesome and delicious.
- Filling: The Beverly Hills salad is perfect for an easy dinner, great to serve at parties or gatherings and without tossing or adding the avocado, it can last for 2 days in the fridge.
What’s in the McCarthy Chopped Salad?
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the complete list of ingredients and quantities, check the printable recipe card below.
- Lettuce: Crisp and refreshing romaine lettuce is the base for the salad. The original salad included two types of lettuce — romaine and iceberg — so feel free to incorporate the latter, if you choose.
- Chicken: Grilled chicken breast, chopped, adds lean protein to the dish. If you prefer cooking indoors, this Baked Chicken Breast is easy to make in very little time. Leftover rotisserie chicken can be used as well.
- Beets: Earthy and sweet, beets add a vibrant pop of color. Learn how to cook beets 6 different ways or you can use already cooked beets or canned beets.
- Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs add extra protein and rich flavor to the salad.
- Bacon: Crispy bacon adds smoky and salty flavor, and an amazing crispy texture. We love cooking bacon in the oven. It’s easy and mess free!
- Cheese: The recipe calls for sharp cheddar cheese, but any other type of cheddar, Monterrey Jack cheese and Mozzarella cheese can be used. For a different twist, use blue cheese crumbles, goat cheese or feta cheese.
- Tomatoes – Grape tomatoes add bright and juicy sweetness. Cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes work too.
- Chickpeas: I use canned chickpeas. With their nutty flavor and chewy texture, chickpeas add more protein and another layer of flavor. Give it a different twist by using black beans.
- Avocado: Creamy, buttery, and brightly colored, ripe avocado adds another interesting level of texture to this savory salad.
Balsamic Dressing Ingredients
- Garlic: The original salad dressing uses roasted garlic which you can use if you have handy; however, fresh garlic works just as well.
- Balsamic Vinegar (white balsamic vinegar can also be used)
- Honey (or you can use maple syrup)
- Olive oil (extra virgin olive oil). A neutral flavor oil such as avocado oil can be used.
- Dijon mustard, sea salt or Kosher salt and black pepper.
How to Make LA’s Beverly Hills Hotel McCarthy’s Salad at Home?
Here’s the quick version of how to make this easy salad. Find all of the details on the printable recipe card below.
- Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, smashed roasted garlic clove, salt, and pepper.
- Artfully arrange the proteins and vegetables on the serving plate.
- Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the History of the McCarthy Salad?
Polo team captain Neal McCarthy once requested this salad, specifying each ingredient, at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Afterward, it became a signature offering.
What’s the Most Expensive Salad in the World?
The McCarthy Salad at LA’s, Beverly Hills Hotel clocked in at the highest-priced salad in 2022, when they created a special-edition of their iconic salad to mark the hotel’s 110th anniversary. At a whopping $ 1,912, the salad included gold flakes, tender lobster and caviar. A portion of proceeds from the sale did go to charity.
Is this the Jennifer Anniston Salad?
I am sure Jennifer Aniston has eaten this salad at the Beverly Hills hotel just like many other celebrities like Kim Kardashian; however, this is not the same recipe that includes quinoa, cucumbers and pistachios.
What to Serve with McCarthy Salad
Make Ahead And Storing, McCarthy Salad
Making Ahead: You can prepare most of the salad 1-2 days ahead of time, waiting until serving time to cut open the avocado and toss the salad with the dressing. The balsamic salad dressing can be made 4-5 days ahead of time. Keep the dressing refrigerated in an airtight jar or container.
Storage: You can store this salad without the avocado and not tossed with the salad dressing in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Leftover salad, dressed and tossed with the avocado, will only keep overnight (the avocado most likely will turn brownish and the lettuce will wilt a bit).
Make the Beverly Hills McCarthy Salad Like A Celebrity
Switch it up! Use canned solid white tuna instead of cooked chicken.
- Make it vegetarian! Use cooked quinoa or bulgur wheat instead of the chicken and replace the crispy bacon with toasted nuts (almonds, pistachios, pecans or walnuts)
Storage tip: Avoid storing salad already tossed with the dressing and topped with avocado.
Serve it like a Celebrity: Serve this salad tossed, layered or show off all the vibrant colors by placing all the ingredients next to each other in a salad bowl or platter. You are the celebrity so your choice!
Take a look at these other easy salads:
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- The Best Lentil Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Thai Larb Salad
- Roasted Beet Salad
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
McCarthy Chopped Salad
- 1 Romaine lettuce, trimmed and chopped into bite size pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup grilled chicken diced
- 1/2 cup roasted beets diced
- 2 hard boiled eggs chopped finely
- 1/3 cup crispy bacon diced
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese diced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1 cup canned chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 ripe avocado pitted, peeled and diced
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, smashed roasted garlic clove, salt and pepper.
- Whisk well so the garlic breaks up and gets incorporated into the vinaigrette.
- Slowly, drizzle the oil while whisking constantly so the vinaigrette has a chance to emulsify.
- Arrange the salad ingredients on a plate and drizzle with the dressing. You can toss the salad together or serve it without tossing.
- Making Ahead: You can prepare most of the salad 1-2 days ahead of time, waiting until serving time to cut open the avocado and to toss the salad with the dressing.
- The balsamic salad dressing can be made 4-5 days ahead of time. Keep the dressing refrigerated in an airtight jar or container.
- Storage: You can store this salad without the avocado and not tossed with the salad dressing in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Leftover salad, dressed with the avocado added, will only keep overnight.