This Cobb Salad Recipe Will Level Up Your Lunch

Sure, a Cobb salad may be a staple of many a restaurant lunch menu, but with the possible exception of a midnight snack, there's really never a bad time for this nutritionally rich meal in a bowl. "You can really have this salad at any time of the day," says chef, nutrition expert, and food writer Maren Epstein of Eating Works. "It has everything in it, chicken, cheese, eggs, veggies" and more, she explains, adding that you can customize the dish in myriad ways.

"You can swap nearly anything out of this Cobb salad recipe. While here [we use] traditional ingredients like cubed chicken and bacon, you can swap out the pork bacon for turkey or vegan bacon. You can also leave out the chicken entirely or use turkey, salmon, or vegan protein. For a different flavor, you can swap out the vinaigrette for ranch dressing," Epstein adds.

Beyond the taste and the range of food types this salad hits — add some carbs, and you hit all those classics on the food "pyramid" you'll recall from school — and the great looks of this salad, there are two other serious benefits here. First, it looks like it's harder to make than it is. And second, provided you keep the ingredients separated, you can do almost all of the prep hours before meal time and then assemble and serve this salad in a matter of minutes flat.

Gather your ingredients for this Cobb salad recipe

When you think of a Cobb salad recipe, you likely think of greens first. While that's only natural, here it's the proteins that take center stage. For the salad itself, you'll need one chicken breast, grilled and cubed, six pieces of bacon (here we're using turkey bacon, but again, swap at your pleasure), cooked and chopped, four hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered, and some veggies, including four cups of romaine lettuce, chopped, a half cup of diced red onion, a large avocado. cubed, a cup of chopped cherry tomatoes, and a half cup of blue cheese to toss in for good measure. 

To do it right, you should also make your own vinaigrette dressing, which means blending a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, a tablespoon of both Dijon mustard and honey, a half cup of onion (white or yellow are fine here), a teaspoon of oregano, and an eighth of a teaspoon of both sea salt and pepper.

But hey, if you want to go with a store-bought vinaigrette, you go for it. Again, Maren Epstein says you can swap out the vinaigrette for some ranch dressing, if that's what you'd prefer.

Prepare the meats and eggs for your Cobb salad recipe

There are two easy ways to screw up this Cobb salad recipe, says Maren Epstein. "Over-cooking the bacon is one mistake someone could make," she says, while "not cooking the eggs long enough is another." (But as long as you use a meat thermometer and some common kitchen sense, you should be just fine with the chicken.)

Let's take things protein by protein, settling the classic debate by starting with the egg. If you want to be beyond sure they are fully cooked, "just boil [the four eggs] for 15 minutes," says Epstein, "as this will ensure that the yolks are completely cooked through."

To cook the bacon, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then place the bacon in the pan. Allow it to cook on one side until the bacon shrinks, darkens, and crisps, which takes about five minutes, then remove it from the heat, pat lightly, and chop it.

For the chicken, season the chicken breast with a tablespoon of olive oil and Italian seasoning and bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until it's cooked through. Remove the meat from the oven and cube it after it cools a bit.

Chop, crumble, and place to assemble your Cobb salad recipe

With the meats and eggs cooked, all that's left (save for the dressing) is a bit of knife work and assembly. Chop the lettuce, dice the onion, slice the tomatoes, cube the avocado, and crumble up that blue cheese. And if you haven't already, chop the bacon, chicken, and egg now, too.

Now it's time to prepare the salads, each of which is, ideally, made individually. (Meaning this should not be a big-bowl, family-style affair if you want to get presentation points, though it will still taste great any way you serve it.) First, lay a generous bed of lettuce, and then in parallel strips, add the various chopped (and diced and sliced and crumbled ingredients). To go super fancy, make thinner lines and repeat your use of ingredients twice per salad bowl.

Make the dressing for your Cobb salad recipe

Not making your Cobb salad recipe dressing from scratch, eh? Suit yourself, no judgement here — pour on the store-bought stuff and serve.

Doing it right? Sweet. You'll need (as noted) a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, a tablespoon of both Dijon mustard and honey, a half cup of onion (white or yellow are fine here), a teaspoon of oregano, and an eighth of a teaspoon of both sea salt and pepper. Now here's the tricky part: Put all that stuff in a blender, a food processor, or grab a mixing bowl and a whisk, and mix it up well. Just blend until it is all emulsified together, and you really can't go wrong.

This Cobb Salad Recipe Will Level Up Your Lunch
4.8 from 4 ratings
Sure, a Cobb salad recipe may be a staple of many a restaurant lunch menu, but there's really never a bad time for this nutritionally rich meal in a bowl.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
2
servings
Cobb Salad recipe arranged on plate
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken breast, grilled and cubed
  • Pinch Italian seasoning, to taste
  • 6 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 4 eggs, boiled and quartered
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup onion, any color (for dressing)
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
Directions
  1. Season chicken breast with 1 tablespoon olive oil and Italian seasoning. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and slice into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Hard boil eggs for between 10 and 15 minutes depending on preference, then cool, peel, and quarter.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, place bacon in the pan. Allow it to cook on one side until the bacon shrinks, darkens, and crisps (5 minutes). Remove from the heat and slice into 1-inch pieces on a cutting board.
  4. Chop lettuce, dice red onion, cube avocado, slice tomatoes, and crumble cheese, then prepare all ingredients for prep.
  5. In a medium salad bowl, place the romaine lettuce. In strips like a rainbow, lay on top of the lettuce your red onion, eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado, chicken breast, and bacon.
  6. Make the dressing by combining ¼ cup of olive oil with the red wine vinegar, mustard, honey, any color onion, salt, pepper, and oregano and blending until emulsified, ideally in a blender or processor, though a bowl and whisk work fine.
  7. Drizzle dressing over the top of the salad and serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,373
Total Fat 116.5 g
Saturated Fat 30.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 458.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32.9 g
Dietary Fiber 11.4 g
Total Sugars 16.7 g
Sodium 1,368.3 mg
Protein 52.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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