An easy recipe for a delicious chicken Cobb salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette. A favorite restaurant meal that you can easily recreate at home!
I love main-course salads. They are tasty, fresh, and very filling. They are perfect in the summertime, but I actually enjoy them year-round. 🥗
Chicken Cobb salad is one of my favorite lunches to order at restaurants. It's so wonderfully varied and flavorful. And it's filling too! I rarely finish the humongous servings typical to American restaurants. So I get to take home the leftovers and enjoy them the next day for lunch.
Why is it called Cobb salad?
This salad is typically served as a main dish. It was created in the thirties by Robert Howard Cobb, the owner of the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant.
The story says that Cobb had not eaten until near midnight, and so he just mixed together leftovers he found in the kitchen. Much like Buffalo sauce, it looks like necessity is indeed the mother of invention!
The ingredients you'll need
The classic salad is made with chopped salad greens, tomato, crisp bacon, chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette.
But like all salads, it's a very flexible recipe that has countless versions. I often use spinach leaves instead of salad greens, and I love using gorgonzola as my blue cheese. Here's an overview of what I typically use:
For the dressing: Olive oil, vinegar, avocado oil mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, kosher salt and pepper, and garlic powder. If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use.
Sliced hard-boiled eggs: Sometimes I slightly undercook them, so they're not exactly soft-boiled eggs but actually medium-boiled eggs. The yolks are not liquid, but soft. Yum.
Crispy bacon, chopped: If you'd rather avoid processed meats, simply omit the bacon.
Cooked chicken breast, sliced: You can also use rotisserie chicken and slice or cube it. Just make sure to remove the skin. Cold chicken skin is rubbery. If you're curious about how I season the chicken prior to baking it, I often use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
Vegetables: Salad greens (or baby spinach leaves) and sliced cherry tomatoes (or use regular tomatoes and cube or slice them.)
Sliced avocado: I'm a big fan of the very creamy Haas avocado. Other varieties are often too watery.
Crumbled cheese: Blue cheese is classic, but I've used goat cheese or even feta and both were excellent.
How to make a chicken cobb salad
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Start by whisking the dressing ingredients until they emulsify into a smooth, velvety salad dressing.
Next, arrange the salad greens on a large serving platter.
Now arrange the remaining ingredients on top of the greens. You can pretty much arrange them in any order you like - you can see how I do it in the photos and in the video below.
The last step is to drizzle the dressing on top of the salad and serve.
What dressing to use?
You can use any dressing you like. I like to dress chicken Cobb salad with a simple vinaigrette made of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic.
I also add a bit of Dijon and mayonnaise, which mostly serve as emulsifiers. Although they also add flavor and creaminess to the dressing.
This is actually the salad dressing that I use for almost all my salads. It's simple and delicious.
Isn't this a very complex recipe?
Not necessarily. It's true that it contains quite a few ingredients. And you need to cook chicken breast, bacon and hard-boiled eggs to make it.
But I keep things simple by preparing these ingredients the day before. They need to be cold anyway.
How to serve chicken Cobb salad?
The presentation is really important here, as you can see in the photos. It's such a gorgeous dish! So it's best to serve it as shown rather than mixed.
You can drizzle half the dressing over the greens, then the remaining half over the remaining ingredients.
Or you can arrange the salad first, present it at the table without the dressing, then pour everything into a large bowl, add the dressing and mix.
Can you keep the leftovers?
You can. The salad greens will become soggy, of course, so I don't keep those. And the avocado might turn brown. But the rest of the salad keeps fine for 2-3 days in the fridge, in an airtight container.
More main-dish salad recipes that you might enjoy
As mentioned above, I love having salads for lunch. A few of my favorites, in addition to this Cobb salad, include:
- Chinese chicken salad - I love the sesame oil in the dressing.
- Taco salad - a truly rich and satisfying main-dish salad.
- Avocado chicken salad - the avocado adds such wonderful creaminess.
- Thai chicken salad - the peanut dressing is phenomenal!
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Chicken Cobb Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until they emulsify into a rich salad dressing.
- Arrange the salad greens on a large serving platter.
- Assemble the salad toppings on top of the greens as shown in the photos. Or in whatever order you like!
- Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad and serve.