Buckle up, Cobb Salad is FULLY loaded, ready to fill you up and make you crave (yes, crave!) a salad for your next lunch or dinner. Juicy chunks of chicken, creamy hard boiled eggs and avocado, crispy bacon, sweetly popping tomatoes, and tangy cheese, top greens mixed with a zippy lemon vinaigrette.
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Having a salad for a meal should not feel like a punishment as you strive to make healthy choices.
Rather than leaving you hangry one hour later, Cobb salad will sustain and satisfy.
- Cobb salad is loaded with protein and nutrient-packed toppings and healthy calories.
- Yes, it’s also ok to put a little bacon in a salad. It is balanced with a light dressing and loading with vegetables, like this mouth-watering BLT Chopped Salad.
For a fun fall Cobb salad version with butternut squash, apples, and cranberries, you’ll love this Harvest Salad.
Best Dressing for Cobb Salad
I keep the traditional Cobb salad light with a simple homemade dressing, made with lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, and salt and pepper.
- This dressing recipe is perfect for a Cobb salad, or really any other green salad like Arugula Salad and Steak Salad.
- The healthy Cobb salad dressing is fresh and zippy, but not overpowering so it lets each ingredient stand out.
- The cheese, ripe avocado, and hard boiled eggs add much creaminess and richness, so a buttermilk-style or blue cheese dressing is not necessary.
For another healthy salad dressing, see my take on Caesar Dressing made with Greek yogurt.
One easy way to whisk up homemade salad dressing is to use a mason jar. Simply add all the ingredients to the jar, put on the lid, and shake away.
How to Make the Best Cobb Salad Recipe
If you are all about the presentation, feel free to get fancy and arrange the Cobb salad ingredients in a striped fashion atop the greens.
Or, chop, toss, grab your fork, and GO!
- Chicken. Cook chicken according to your preferred method, and then shred or dice it for the salad. I like to make Baked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts for salads or Baked Bone-In Chicken, but skinless chicken thighs would also be good.
- Bacon. Making Baked Bacon in the Oven is less mess than frying on the stove. Air Fryer Bacon is also easy.
- Eggs. I like my hard boiled eggs slightly underdone so the yolks are jam-like in the middle and smear into the salad. This Instant Pot Boiled Eggs recipe is a foolproof way to make them.
After hard boiling your eggs, plunge them into a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. This will make peeling easier.
- Romaine. Fresh romaine adds a nice crunch and is an essential ingredient to a chopped salad. Pass on flavorless iceberg lettuce.
- Arugula. While romaine is the traditional green for Cobb salad, mixing in some arugula adds a nice peppery flavor. Also a delicious base for my Green Goddess Salad.
- Tomatoes. Use cherry or grape, or other diced tomatoes of your choice.
- Avocado. With omegas and healthy fats, the avocado will make the salad satisfying and nutritious.
- Cheese. While blue cheese is the classic choice for a Cobb salad, if you are in the “I loathe blue cheese” camp, feta also pairs nicely.
- Chives. Chopped, fresh herbs are an easy way to elevate a salad and add flavor. The chives along with the bacon are perfection.
- Cook the chicken and bacon.
- Hard boil the eggs.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Slice the tomatoes and eggs, and dice the avocado.
- Toss the greens with some of the dressing.
- Arrange toppings and spoon over additional dressing. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover cobb salad in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
Meal Prep Tip
- The bacon, eggs, and chicken can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, and the dressing can be prepared up to 5 days in advance. Store components in the refrigerator.
- Wait to add the tomato and avocado until right before serving, so that they stay fresh.
What to Serve with Cobb Salad
- Soup. Soup and salad is a favorite lunch combination. Try Roasted Carrot Soup or Crockpot Potato Soup to bring Panera to you.
- Bread. A side of No Knead Focaccia or Drop Biscuits would make the salad meal extra special.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Salad Dressing Shaker. A handy investment for making your own salad dressing.
- Small Whisk. A 9-inch whisk is easy to maneuver and what I use 99% of the time over a full-sized whisk.
- Salad Spinner. Quick way to clean and thoroughly dry your greens, and can be used for washing fruit too!
Welcome to your new craving: Cobb salad is here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cobb and chef’s salads are similarly composed salads with greens, hardboiled eggs, meat, and vegetables. Unlike the chef’s salad, Cobb salad additionally contains tomatoes, blue cheese, and avocado, and chef’s salad is usually with diced ham.
There are several methods for hard boiling eggs. Instant Pot Boiled Eggs are easy, or you can gently lower eggs into a pan of boiling water on the stove and simmer for 8 to 9 minutes. Be sure to plunge the boiled eggs into an ice bath in order to peel them.
The claimed inventor of the Cobb salad is Robert Cobb of the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, who threw together what became the Cobb salad with the remaining ingredients in the kitchen, to the surprising delight of hungry diners.
Cook the chicken with the method that is easiest for you, whether that is Pan Fried Chicken Breast, Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Baked Chicken Breast or Grilled Chicken Breast. The smokey flavor of the grilled chicken breast is fantastic. You may also use cooked, shredded chicken on your cobb salad, such as Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, or see How to Cook Shredded Chicken on the stovetop in a skillet.
For the Salad:
- 2 medium chicken breasts cooked and diced*
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon cooked and diced**
- 4 large eggs***
- 1 head romaine lettuce coarsely chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 4 cups)
- 3 cups baby arugula about 3 ounces
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes or diced tomatoes of choice
- 1 medium avocado
- 2 ounces mild blue cheese or feta cheese crumbled, about 1/3 cup
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Prepare the chicken and bacon (see recipe notes). Set aside.
- Hard boil the eggs: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a low boil. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water. Let the eggs simmer at this low, gentle boil, adjusting the heat as needed, for 8 minutes for slightly jammy yolks or up to 9 minutes for fully set yolks. While the eggs cook, prepare an ice bath. As soon as the eggs’ cooking time has elapsed, use the slotted spoon to carefully plunge the eggs into the ice bath. With the back of the spoon, gently crack each shell, then return them to the water (this makes the eggs easier to peel). Peel the eggs and thinly slice or dice.
- Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Shortly before serving, slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the avocado into 3/4-inch dice.
- Assemble the salad: On a very large serving platter, place the romaine and arugula. Drizzle lightly the dressing, then toss to moisten and combine the greens evenly. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken down the center in straight line. In rows, line egg slices on one side and the bacon on the other. Place the avocado next to the bacon, and the tomatoes next to the eggs. Sprinkle the blue cheese and chives all over the top. Spoon on a little additional dressing. Enjoy immediately, with additional dressing as desired. (You also can skip the fancy block presentation, toss everything together in a giant bowl and dive in.)
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover cobb salad in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
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