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The Ultimate Classic Cobb Salad

This classic Cobb salad recipe doesn’t use any fancy ingredients, but the combination is unbeatable in flavor. If you prep hard-boiled eggs and cook the chicken in advance, it comes together very quickly for a fast lunch or weeknight dinner.

I wasn’t always on board with Cobb salads, much preferring sweeter combos over savory. (Give me apples, dried cherries and sweet potatoes on my salad all day!) But, Tommy always orders a Cobb salad when we hit a salad place… and I end up eating about half of it. Cobb salads don’t have very complicated ingredients and if you do a little prep at the beginning of the week, they’re easy to throw together all week!

How to Make the Ultimate Classic Cobb Salad

A traditional Cobb salad includes crisp salad greens, tomato, crispy bacon, hard boiled eggs, chicken, avocado, chives and blue cheese. You’ll see I took a few liberties in this recipe and you can easily tweak it to your liking too!

This recipe serves two, so if you need to feed more people, just double (or triple) all of the ingredients! If you love leftovers as I do, double the recipe anyways so you have some left for the next day’s lunch. Just make sure to leave the dressing off so it doesn’t get all soggy and gross. And if you’re extra hungry, add an extra egg!

Ingredients

4-5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
2 grilled chicken breasts
2-4 pieces thick bacon lardons, cooked until crisp.  Regular bacon works too!
Cheese of choice (blue cheese, feta, or goat cheddar are great options!)
Favorite dressing + salt & pepper to serve

Instructions

Assuming you’ve already prepped the hard-boiled eggs, cooked the bacon, and grilled the chicken – you can jump right to step 1 below. (If you haven’t, see notes below on how to prep those!)

Step 1

Just assemble all the ingredients in two serving bowls. And for what it’s worth, I MUCH prefer a large, shallow serving bowl for salads. It’s so much easier to chop everything up vs. when it’s stacked in a deep bowl.

Step 2

I like to pile the toppings on top of the lettuce, grouped in sections (eggs on one side, tomatoes on another, avocado and chicken in the middle, etc.) to make a composed salad. But you could evenly spread everything over the romaine too. I don’t know why I like it grouped together, but I do. We eat first with our eyes, right?

Step 3

Drizzle dressing of choice or olive oil over the top and dig in with a fork and knife. Cutting it all up helps spread the dressing.

Ingredient Notes:

Lettuce

I buy the 5 pack of romaine hearts from Costco and use one heart for this recipe. They’re super easy to chop into strips and then wash in a salad spinner. After spinning, I make sure they’re extra dry by patting them with paper towels but a kitchen towel works well, too.

Carrots

Carrots aren’t exactly traditional in a Cobb salad but I like the crunch and color! I either use a butcher knife to chop thin slices or use a vegetable peeler to create long thin strips of carrots. If you have a mandolin, that’d work great too. And while I do have a mandolin, I’m terrified of it. So… I never use it. Plus, the vegetable peeler is so quick to pull out of the drawer!

Bacon

I often buy a slab of thick bacon at the farmer’s market, and I LOVE the bacon lardon style in this. Plus, it was super cheap! If you use regular bacon, I’d recommend upping the number of slices.

If you want a vegetarian-friendly salad – just don’t put in the chicken, eggs, and bacon! But, then it’s not really a cobb salad, but hey, you do you!

Dressing + Seasoning

I like an herb vinaigrette, white balsamic vinaigrette or honey mustard on this cobb salad. Ranch is also a great dressing option. I’d probably avoid something too sweet, like a poppy seed dressing! I like to season it with salt, pepper and chives or green onions after I drizzle on some dressing.

Cheese

My preference is feta, goat’s cheddar, or blue cheese. But, really, can you go wrong with any cheese? Well, maybe. I don’t think parmesan would be best in this!

Boiled Eggs

After you bring water to a boil, pop your eggs in and reduce to medium heat and let them cooked for 7-8 minutes. Then, submerge them in ice water immediately so they stop cooking. I find this time range creates my favorite type of hard-boiled egg – you know, not too dry but not too runny.

Another cooking option: Place eggs in a pan, cover with water, bring to a boil over high heat and then turn off the stove once the water boils. Set a timer for 10 minutes, leaving the eggs in the hot water. After 10 minutes, remove the eggs from the water and submerge them in ice water. I do this in the summer since I don’t want the gas stove on for long – it’s took hot!!

Chicken

If you need to grill the chicken, you can follow the instructions on this recipe. You can use the white BBQ recipe or just season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Bacon

We always cook our bacon in the microwave using this little tray!

I’ll leave you with a fun fact about this recipe:

The cobb salad is said to have been invented in 1937 at the Hollywood’s Brown Derby restaurant when the chef, Cobb, took a bunch of leftover ingredients and made a quick salad to scarf down at the end of a long shift. Thank you, Mr. Cobb. Thank you.

The more you know….

Enjoy!

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The Ultimate Classic Cobb Salad

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  • Author: Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit

Scale

Ingredients

  • 45 cups chopped romaine
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced (I like using a vegetable peeler to create long thin strips!)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced (white part + a little of the green part)
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts
  • 24 pieces thick bacon lardons, cooked until crisp
  • Cheese (blue cheese, feta, or goat cheddar are great!)
  • Favorite dressing + salt & pepper to serve – Ranch or this vinaigrette is my favorite

Instructions

  1. Assemble it in two bowls, dividing the ingredients evenly. I put the romaine in first and then group the toppings in sections (eggs on one side, tomatoes on another, etc.), but you could evenly spread everything over the romaine too. I don’t know why I like it grouped together, but I do.
  2. Drizzle dressing over the top and dig in with a fork and knife. Cutting it all up helps spread the dressing.

Notes

  • I buy the 5 pack of romaine hearts from Costco and use one heart for this. They’re super easy to chop into strips and then wash in a salad spinner.
  • I use a vegetable peeler to create thin slices of carrots. If you have a mandolin, that’d work great too. I’m too uncoordinated and fear I’d lose a fingertip if I bought one.
  • I bought a slab of thick bacon at the farmer’s market, and I LOVE the bacon lardon style in this. Plus, it was super cheap! If you use regular bacon, I’d recommend upping the # of slices.
  • I like an herb vinaigrette or honey mustard on this. Tommy goes for a poppyseed dressing.

Here are a few photos I used when I published this post back in 2016!

best classic cobb salad recipe

best classic cobb salad recipe

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelly
    at

    That looks delicious! Cobb salad is one of my favorites, I love the idea of using the bacon lardons instead of just regular bacon. Don’t you think cobb salad MUST have avocado on it? Whenever I order it in a restaurant and it doesn’t have avocado I’m so disappointed.

    I do cry when I’m stressed. I know “There’s no crying at work!!”, but when I’ve gotten really desperate, I go out to my car.

  • Reply
    Katie
    at

    Hi Teri – You’ve taught me a super trick with this post! I never thought of chopping the romaine before adding it to the salad spinner! I’m always washing the full leaves in the spinner and then wrapping them in a towel to dry them and it takes so long. Love your way so much better, Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Rae
    at

    I’m glad to hear others cry when frustrated – I know I do!

    Love the salad recipe. I forget how good something simple usually is — thanks for the reminder.

  • Reply
    Sassypants
    at

    So glad to hear I’m not the only crier in the bunch,and honestly, I think Corporate America could use a little emotion every now and then. That salad looks amazing!

  • Reply
    JC
    at

    So glad to read that I’m not the only one who cries when I’m overwhelmed or stressed. I HATE that I do it at work…if you find any advice on how to stop, lemme know!!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      If I’m in a spot where I can take a break, I get outside for a walk as soon as I can. The fresh air helps. If it’s in the moment, I take a deep breath and try to distract myself with something not worth related at all – usually a quick look at Nordstrom.com or RunnersWorld.com helps. ha!

  • Reply
    Katie
    at

    Thanks for sharing with Us <3 <3

  • Reply
    Courtney
    at

    I never had too much trouble with crying at work (I think it was just too fast-paced and I was always in front of customers!) but whenever Brent and I get in a fight I tend to cry or at least tear up and he thinks it so unfair! Haha. He’s like how can I keep arguing with you when you’re crying?? 😉

  • Reply
    Trisha
    at

    YES. To Cobb salad and to crying when stressed. And happy and angry and sad and every other emotion out there. It us my body’s natural response to cry when overwhelmed by anything. I’ve learned to accept that’s who I am. I’ve stayed out of “corporate” jobs for the most part but when I quit the one I had (and hated), you better believe I cried my way through giving my manager notice. 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      haha I’ve totally cried when giving notice at a job before! And yes, I cry at everything too! Have you seen that Wrigley’s gum commercial? I cry EVERY time.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    at

    I cry so easily! When I’m sad, frustrated, overwhelmed… Glad to hear others have the same issue. Luckily at work there are one-person bathrooms so I can compose myself in peace.

    This salad looks great! I have to say, I’m very impressed that you keep up with the blog and a full time job – and I have to give you props for providing unique content in your newsletters, rather than copying and pasting your posts. I really look forward to reading them!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Thanks for your sweet words Rachel! I often feel like I’m not doing a very good job with the blog trying to balance it with everything else, but I just try to do my best. And I’m so happy you like the newsletters! I HATE newsletters that are the same content as blog posts so I definitely won’t ever do that. 🙂 If there is anything else you’d like to see in the newsletters, let me know!

  • Reply
    tami
    at

    can you post a link to the webinar that you watched.

  • Reply
    Kristen
    at

    I am such a crier! Fortunately I always had private offices so I could shut the door and cry solo.
    Now I work from home so no more worries about it.

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