This Classic American Cobb Salad Recipe is filled with chicken breast, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese on crisp romaine lettuce and drizzled with a simple red wine vinaigrette. Always satisfying, this incredible salad is a meal in itself.
What is a Cobb Salad?
The Cobb salad was invented in the 1930s by Robert Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, California. It quickly gained popularity and became a staple on the restaurant’s menu, eventually spreading to other restaurants and becoming an American classic.
Cobb Salads consist of several main ingredients – chopped lettuce (such as romaine, iceberg, or watercress), tomatoes, crisp bacon, grilled or roasted chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort or blue cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette. In addition to this delicious combination of flavors and textures, the salad is usually arranged in a visually appealing way, with the ingredients laid out in rows or sections before being tossed together when served.
Cobb Salad Ingredients
- Romaine lettuce: A combination of chopped crisp greens serves as the base of the salad. In this recipe, we’re adding romaine lettuce, but iceberg lettuce and watercress are great additions.
- Bacon: Cooked and crumbled bacon adds a salty and smoky flavor.
- Chicken: Grilled or roasted chicken breast, diced or shredded, provides lean protein. You can even use store-bought rotisserie chicken for faster prep.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Sliced or chopped eggs add richness and texture. You can hard-boil your own or buy pre-hard-boiled eggs from the grocery store.
- Tomatoes: I like using cherry tomatoes in salads as they’re sweet and don’t have a lot of seeds.
- Avocado: Remember to add the avocado just before serving so that they’re still fresh and don’t have the chance to turn brown.
- Blue cheese: Classic Cobb salad recipes include blue cheese crumbles for a bold and tangy flavor. I do not enjoy blue cheese, so I’ve swapped it with feta. Feel free to add whatever you prefer.
- Chives or green onions: Another classic addition, chives or green onions provide a mild, oniony taste. I chose to add red onion for the pretty purple color, but feel free to add chives, green onion, or another type of onion if you prefer.
What Dressing Goes on Cobb Salad?
Cobb salad is usually served with a dressing called Cobb salad dressing (super original name, I know). Anyway, it typically consists of red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and lemon juice, with salt and pepper to taste. It’s tangy and slightly creamy and perfectly complements the flavors of the salad ingredients.
For this recipe, we’re making a homemade red wine vinaigrette very similar to Cobb salad dressing. The ingredients include:
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
- Salt and Black pepper
Feel free to use a different homemade dressing or store-bought dressing or vinaigrette, such as Ranch dressing, Blue cheese, or Balsamic vinaigrette.
How to Make a Cobb Salad
1. Prepare the Cobb salad dressing first: Transfer the ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to combine and season with additional salt or black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
2. Season and cook the chicken: Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook the chicken in a large skillet for 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside to rest before slicing.
3. Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook the bacon until brown and crispy. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Cook the hard-boiled eggs, then peel and quarter.
4. Assemble: Spread the lettuce across a large salad bowl or platter. Arrange the remaining ingredients in various patterns or rows and drizzle with the homemade Cobb salad dressing or serve it on the side.
You can prepare the salad up to two hours before serving. Cover with plastic wrap and keep stored in the refrigerator until just before serving. Top with avocado and drizzle with dressing.
You can also prepare the following ingredients days ahead of time:
- The dressing: The homemade vinaigrette can be prepared up to one week in advance. Keep the dressing stored in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Shake well before using.
- Chicken: The chicken can be cooked 2-3 days in advance. Leftover chicken is fantastic in main dish salads like this one. You can also use a rotisserie chicken from the store, too.
- Bacon and hard-boiled eggs: Brown the bacon and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days—the same with hard-boiled eggs.
More Salad Recipes:
- Taco Salad Recipe
- Quinoa Beet Salad
- Easy Fruit Salad Recipe
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan
If you try making this Cobb Salad Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Cobb Salad Recipe
Cobb Salad Dressing Ingredients
Cobb Salad Ingredients
- ½ pound bacon - cooked and chopped
- 2 hard-boiled eggs - peeled and quartered
- 3 romaine hearts - roughly chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese - (or blue cheese)
- 1 English cucumber - sliced
- 1 large avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
- ½ red onion - thinly sliced
For the Cobb Salad Dressing
- Transfer the ingredients for the Cobb salad dressing to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to emulsify, then set aside.
For the Chicken
- Rub the chicken with one tablespoon of olive oil and season with paprika, salt, and black pepper.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature registers 165℉. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
For the Salad
- Arrange the lettuce in a large salad bowl or platter and top with the sliced cooked chicken, cooked bacon, hard-boiled eggs, tomato, feta, cucumber, avocado, and onion.
- Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad or serve on the side.
- The red wine vinaigrette can be made up to one week in advance. Keep stored in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- The chicken and the bacon can be made up to 2 days in advance. Keep them stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator and reheat them gently in the microwave until warm before adding them to the salad.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)