Cobb salad offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors. The crunch of fresh greens pairs perfectly with the creamy richness of avocado and the savory bite of crispy bacon. The addition of hard-boiled eggs and tender, cubed chicken breast adds a protein punch, making it a fulfilling meal for the whole family. Drizzled with a homemade red wine vinaigrette, it strikes the right balance between tangy and sweet. This salad is not just a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes with its vibrant colors. It’s the kind of meal that invites everyone to the table with its appealing presentation and satisfying flavors.

Overhead view of a Cobb Salad.

Ingredient Breakdown & Substitutions

Overhead view of the raw ingredients needed to make Cobb Salad on a clean, dark kitchen counter.

Diving into the heart of the Cobb salad, let’s explore each ingredient and its potential substitutions. This breakdown ensures you can tailor the salad to your tastes or pantry availability, keeping it both versatile and delicious.

  • Romaine Lettuce: A crisp base, can be substituted with butter lettuce or mixed greens if desired.
  • Chicken Breast: Lean protein, can be replaced with a plant-based substitute or tofu for a vegetarian option.
  • Bacon: Adds crunch and flavor, turkey bacon can be used as an alternative, or you can simply omit the bacon.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs: A protein boost, can be omitted for a lighter version.
  • Avocados: Provides creaminess, can be swapped with cucumbers if you don’t like avocados or just want a crunchier texture.
  • Blue Cheese: Adds a tangy bite, can be adjusted according to taste preference or substituted with cheddar if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between chef salad and Cobb salad?

Chef salad and Cobb salad are very similar. They both typically include, meat, cheese, hardboiled eggs, and bacon. Cobb salad calls for different meats and cheeses, and includes avocados. Rather than a creamy dressing, you are most likely to find a vinaigrette dressing on your Cobb salad. Really, we love them both!

Can I double this recipe for a large group?

Certainly! For larger gatherings, simply double the recipe. If serving as a side dish, halve the ingredients to accommodate smaller portions.

Can I make Cobb Salad vegetarian?

Certainly! You can substitute with a plant-based alternative, but with so many toppings on this salad, you won’t miss the meat if you choose to simply omit. Feel free to go heavier on the blue cheese crumbles, avocados, and egg to make it filling enough.

How can I make the salad more kid-friendly?

Try adding corn or swapping blue cheese with a milder cheese like cheddar.

Can I use a different dressing?

We can’t get enough of this homemade vinaigrette! If you don’t love vinaigrette dressings, feel free to use your favorite store-bought salad dressing. 

What is watercress?

Watercress is from the same family as kale. It has a bright, peppery taste, and is packed full of nutrients. We love the addition of watercress in a Cobb Salad. 
If you don’t like watercress or have a hard time finding it, you can substitute with iceberg lettuce.

Meat Options

You have a ton of options when it comes to adding meat into this salad. If you want to stick with chicken, you can keep it simple and buy pre-cooked chicken or even use leftover rotisserie chicken. In the mood for something different? Try turkey breast, steak, or even shrimp! 

Dressing Variations

To cater to different taste preferences, you can experiment with various dressings. A creamy ranch or our favorite Olive Garden salad dressing can add a new dimension to the salad. For a lighter option, a lemon vinaigrette or a balsamic reduction can provide a refreshing twist.

Serving Suggestions

Is it a side salad or the main course? You decide! We love to use this as a side salad at dinner, but we have also been known to make it a full mean on its own, especially for lunch. You do you!


  • Soggy Salad: To avoid this, add the dressing just before serving.
  • Overcooked Eggs: Ensure to cool the boiled eggs in ice water for easy peeling and to retain texture.
  • Unevenly Cooked Chicken: Cut the chicken into even cubes for consistent cooking.
Overhead view of a Cobb Salad with dressing on the side.

Make Ahead & Storage Instructions

Cobb Salad is best eaten fresh, however you can cook the chicken, bacon, and boiled eggs ahead of time. Store them in the fridge, and assemble the salad when ready to eat. Chop the vegetables and store them in airtight containers for up to 3 days to keep them fresh. For leftovers, assemble and dress the salad just before serving.

If you love this dressing as much as we do, we highly recommend making a double batch! Stored on its own, it should last up to 1 week.

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