You will love this easy recipe for a delicious chicken Cobb salad served with a simple homemade vinaigrette.
A favorite restaurant meal that you can easily recreate at home, this tasty and filling salad is ready in about 30 minutes.
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 of American restaurants. So I get to take home the leftovers and enjoy them the next day for lunch.
Here's an overview of what you'll need to make this salad. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
- For the dressing: Olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and garlic powder.
- 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: Even if you usually like your bacon chewy, for this recipe, it's best to make sure it's crispy. You can pan-fry your bacon, make microwave bacon, or cook your bacon in the oven.
- Cooked chicken breast, sliced: I use baked chicken breast, grilled chicken breast, or broiled chicken breast. Sometimes I use leftover Cajun chicken. You can also use rotisserie chicken and slice or cube it. Just make sure to remove the skin. Cold chicken skin is rubbery.
- 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 fibrous and watery.
- Crumbled cheese: Blue cheese is classic, but I've used goat cheese or even feta and both were excellent.
The classic Cobb salad is made with chopped salad greens, tomatoes, crisp bacon, chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette.
But like all salads, it's a flexible recipe that has countless versions. Here are a few ideas for varying the classic recipe:
- I often use spinach leaves instead of salad greens.
- Change up the cheese you use. I love using gorgonzola or stilton as my blue cheese, but you can actually use any number of crumbled cheeses, including goat cheese and feta. You can even use slices of grilled halloumi cheese.
- Use cubed deli ham instead of crumbled bacon.
- Use your favorite salad dressing. Good options include ranch dressing and blue cheese dressing. A mustard dressing is also good in this recipe.
Despite its complexity, making this chicken Cobb salad isn't difficult, especially if you prep some of the ingredients ahead of time.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- You start by whisking together 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.
This salad contains quite a few ingredients. And you need to pre-cook chicken, bacon, and hard-boiled eggs to make it.
So I keep things simple by preparing these ingredients the day before and then I refrigerate them. They need to be cold anyway. The next day, assembling the salad is a breeze!
This salad was created in the 1930s by Robert Howard Cobb, the owner of the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant.
The story says that Mr. Cobb had not eaten until nearly midnight, so he just mixed together some leftovers that he found in the kitchen.
Much like Buffalo sauce, it looks like necessity is indeed the mother of invention!
You can use any salad dressing you like. I like to dress this 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.
But if you prefer a creamy dressing such as ranch or blue cheese, that's fine too. Both go well with this salad.
You could serve smaller portions of it as an appetizer, but it's normally meant to be eaten as a main-course salad.
The presentation is really important here, as you can see in the photos. It's such a gorgeous salad! 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.
The perfect drink to go with this salad? A refreshing glass of cucumber water!
The salad greens will become soggy if stored, 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.
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Chicken Cobb Salad
- 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.