An easy recipe for healthy chicken Cobb salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette. A favorite restaurant meal that you can easily recreate at home!
Chicken Cobb salad is one of my favorite lunches to order at restaurants. What’s not to like about it? 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!
What are the ingredients in a Cobb salad?
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.
In my version, I use spinach leaves instead of salad greens and omit the chives. Here’s an overview of what I use:
Sliced hard-boiled eggs: Sometimes I slightly undercook them, making medium-boiled eggs, so that 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: Chicken is considered a healthy protein source.
Vegetables: fresh spinach (a healthy ingredient) and cherry tomatoes (or use regular tomatoes and 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 arranging the spinach leaves on a serving platter. Drizzle half the dressing over the spinach and toss to coat.
Arrange the chicken slices and the chopped bacon in the center of the platter. Then place the cherry tomatoes on one side and the avocado slices on the other side.
Now place the egg slices next to the avocado and the blue cheese next to the tomatoes. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top of the salad and serve.
What dressing to use?
You can use any dressing that you like. I like to use 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. 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
I love having salads for lunch. A few of my favorites, in addition to this Cobb salad, include:
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Chicken Cobb Salad
- Arrange the spinach leaves on a serving platter. Drizzle half the dressing over the spinach and toss to coat.
- Assemble the salad as shown in the photos. Or in whatever order you like to! I like to arrange the chicken slices and the chopped bacon in the center of the platter, in two straight lines. I place the cherry tomatoes on one side and the avocado slices on the other side. Then I place the egg slices next to the avocado and arrange the blue cheese next to the tomatoes.
- Drizzle the remaining dressing on top of the salad and serve.