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Easy Chicken Cobb Salad

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Easy and hearty Chicken Cobb Salad speaks my language! Loaded with crunchy romaine, chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, fresh avocado, crispy bacon, and blue cheese. Smothered in your favorite dressing. The best, healthy kind of meal.

In the summertime, and other times of the year, I crave a hearty salad for dinner, this no cook, cool, but filling chicken cobb salad fits that requirement!

For other hearty, healthy and no cook or low cook meals, try these reader favorites: Mediterranean Layered Dip, Shawarma Chicken Bowls or this easy Sherried Chicken Salad.

Close up plate of chicken cobb salad with another plate full behind.
Photos contain sliced chicken tenders – it’s what I had, healthier with grilled or rotisserie chicken

What is a Cobb Salad

The Cobb Salad has been around a long time and like my Classic New England Whoopie pies, has multiple claims on how the Chicken Cobb Salad came about.

Various stories exist recounting how the salad was invented. One says that it came about in 1937 at the Hollywood Brown Derbyrestaurant, where it became a signature dish.

It is named for the restaurant’s owner, Robert Howard Cobb. Stories vary whether the salad was invented by Cobb or by his chef, Paul J. Posti. The legend is that Cobb had not eaten until near midnight, and so he mixed together leftovers he found in the kitchen, along with some bacon cooked by the line cook, and tossed it with their French dressing. 

Another version of the creation is that Robert Kreis, executive chef at the restaurant, created the salad in 1929 (the year the Brown Derby’s Hollywood location opened) and named it in honor of Robert Cobb.The same source confirms that 1937 was the reported date of the version noted above, with Cobb making the salad.(Source)

Two plates of chicken cobb salad on wood table, cucumber and avocado.

Chicken Cobb Salad is my go-to salad for the middle of winter, a springtime luncheon, or a hot summer evening — no oven required. It’s also one of my favorite things to bring to a new mom — quite different from the many casseroles they received.

I make up separate individual serving plates, using large paper plates, wrap it well. I like to ask mom if she and her hubby like blue cheese and bleu cheese dressing, if not, I serve without and send ranch dressing or a light Italian.

Plates of chicken cobb salads with forks and dressing.

Cobb Salad Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Hearts of Romaine | you determine the number of hearts, approximately ¾ per person if using the salad as a meal. Feel free to substitute with red or green leaf lettuce, iceberg or use a combo of these lettuces.
  • Black Olives | I love black olives, the more the better, so heart-healthy for you too! But if you don’t use green olives or omit all together.
  • Cucumber | chopped small (we love English cucumbers
  • Tomatoes | use regular tomatoes, cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped. Sometimes I have replaced with diced red pepper for a crunchy pop of color.
  • Avocado | sliced or diced
  • Cooked chicken breast | use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, chicken tenders, ham, turkey, whatever you wish. Deli meats work well too!
  • Crisp cooked bacon | figure about 1 ½- 2 slices per salad, use regular, thick, pre-cooked bacon or even turkey bacon, or omit all together.
  • Hard boiled egg | Personal taste, I do not care for them in my salads, but figure 1/2 – 1 hard boiled egg, chopped or sliced per salad.
  • Blue Cheese | Use regular blue cheese, gorgonzola cheese, or try feta, or even goat cheese. If all are too strong, simply use regular shredded cheese.
  • Artichoke Hearts | This is optional, but I love them in my salads, use marinated or brined artichoke hearts, so delicious!
Top down image of large chicken cobb salad with serving spoons.


Put some real Blue Cheese crumbles on the side (not everyone loves blue cheese, whaaattt??) and serve tossed with the Blue Cheese, Ranch dressing, or Vinaigrette of your choice.

Plate of chicken cobb salad on white wood background with chicken tenders sliced on top.

Substitutions

  • Swap out chicken for turkey or ham
  • Maybe some artichoke hearts (brined or marinated)
  • Add chopped red, yellow or orange sweet peppers
  • What about sliced or chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Toss in some corn (fresh is best, but canned will work)
  • Feeling crazy? Chop or slice some jicama (an undervalued tuberous root vegetable in my opinion)
  • Also in the crazy category would be adding beets, shredded or sliced; hubba, hubba!
Side view of large cobb salad in shallow red bowl.

How to make a Keto Cobb Salad

  • Make it Keto by using shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken, free of additives.
  • Dress in a Keto dressing or simply with an olive oil and vinegar vinaigrette.

More delicious and fresh salads:

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