Classic Cobb Salad Recipe

Salads are a convenient way to include plenty of vegetables in a single dish, but they can sometimes lack actual sustenance. Vitamins are great but protein and fat keep you going throughout the day. A simple side salad is fine, but if you're looking for a meal-worthy option, this classic Cobb salad should be your go-to. Recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply describes this vibrant dish, noting that "it's a great combination of flavors."

With two types of meat, eggs, avocado, and cheese, a basic tomato and lettuce base is seriously enhanced. As Dalton points out, "This is a great salad to put together if you're entertaining or need to whip up something that looks colorful and inviting to eat." If you're curious about its eclectic nature, the original Cobb salad was invented by Robert Cobb, a restaurant owner who whipped up an impromptu salad with the ingredients he had on hand (via Institute of Culinary Education). We're glad Cobb's refrigerator was loaded up with these tasty components — it could have been an entirely different dish otherwise.

Get the ingredients for this classic Cobb salad

For six servings, you'll need six slices of cooked bacon (chopped up), two cooked chicken breasts (sliced), and four hard-boiled eggs (quartered). Depending on how suddenly the desire for this salad hits, you may need to cook the ingredients first, or else make use of leftovers from previous meals. Dalton notes, "I like to cook the bacon beforehand, chop it up, and use it the next day for this salad." She adds that it's a good way to make use of leftover chicken from a meal too.

As for fresh ingredients, measure and slice 1 ½ cups of baby tomatoes, slice 2 avocados, roughly chop a head of romaine lettuce, measure out 2 cups of watercress, and ½ cup of crumbled blue cheese. 

Finally, for the dressing you'll need ⅓ cup of virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of honey, and some salt and pepper to season. If that doesn't sound quite to your liking, Dalton indicates that "you could use any of your favorite dressings" and lists ideas: "Caesar salad dressing, or a blue cheese dressing, or even a French vinaigrette."

Assemble the salad in a dish

Once the various ingredients are cooked and chopped, this salad is all about the assembly. Grab a large bowl or plate and spread a mix of lettuce and watercress to cover the bottom surface. Now, you're welcome to throw all the ingredients in and consider the meal ready, but the presentation is one of the highlights of a Cobb salad. 

Dalton starts by placing the sliced baby tomatoes over the lettuce, in a line down the middle of the bowl. Next, she suggests spreading out the pieces of chicken breast on one side of the tomatoes and the sliced boiled eggs on the other side. Add some slices of avocado on both sides of the bowl for symmetry, before finishing up with sliced bacon on one side and crumbled blue cheese on the other.

Make the salad dressing

Once the salad is assembled, prep the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and honey in a small bowl to combine. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. 

Dalton notes, "[It] is a lovely tangy and sweet dressing," and remarks that it "works really well with the saltiness of the bacon and the blue cheese."

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve

Finally, drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad and serve any extra on the side. In case you want to prepare this dish for a dinner party, Dalton says that "You can make the salad ahead of time and keep [it] in the refrigerator before serving." However, she cautions to wait until you are ready to serve it before adding the avocados "so they don't go brown." Similarly, she recommends adding the dressing right before service, "or the salad becomes too moist."

With the various ingredients and food groups, Dalton acknowledges that "it's a pretty substantial meal in itself." However, if you're missing some starchy carbs she suggests, "it goes well with garlic bread or fresh bread, or even flatbreads."

Classic Cobb Salad Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
This hearty Cobb salad is loaded with veggies, protein, and has a tangy dressing to top it all off.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Cobb salad in dish
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 1 heart romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 1 ½ cups baby tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 6 cooked bacon slices, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • ⅓ cup virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Mix the lettuce and watercress together, laying the leaves out in a large bowl so they cover the entire surface.
  2. Place the baby tomatoes down the middle, then add the sliced chicken breast on one side.
  3. Next, add the boiled eggs on the other side of the tomatoes.
  4. Working outwards, add the avocado, bacon, and blue cheese.
  5. For the dressing, combine olive oil, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and honey in a bowl and whisk well. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then serve.
Calories per Serving 393
Total Fat 32.3 g
Saturated Fat 7.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 131.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.8 g
Total Sugars 4.5 g
Sodium 516.2 mg
Protein 16.4 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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