This Panera Green Goddess Salad with Chicken is an easy-to-make, flavor-loaded Cobb salad. A blend of crisp romaine and spring lettuce, grilled chicken, juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, and creamy avocado with a fresh, tangy, and bright green goddess dressing.
This tasty salad with creamy green dressing is perfect for Mother’s Day brunch, lunch, or dinner. It’s filling by itself, but can also be paired with a side soup, sandwich, or toasted homemade bread.
I enjoy giving precise details in my recipe posts to lead my readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, you can Jump to Recipe to head straight there!
If you’re a Panera Bread fan, you know all about their unique salad, soup, and sandwich combinations made with fresh and natural ingredients that you won’t find at other quick cafes. And to top it all off, Panera’s food is oh-so-delicious – It’s as simple as that!
Luckily, you no longer have to visit Panera to enjoy this famous green goddess salad recipe with flavorful green goddess dressing. I love making copycat recipes! That means easily making one of your favorite restaurant salads all spring and summer.
Why You Will Love Panera Green Goddess Salad
- Quick Meal – Dinner is made in under 30 minutes! It doesn’t get much better than that.
- Nutritious Ingredients – This simple salad is packed with fresh ingredients and valuable vitamins.
- Healthy and Delicious – Enjoy a flavorful restaurant-quality salad at home.
- Save Money – Opting to cook meals at home instead of eating out saves you a lot of money!
Panera Green Goddess Dressing Ingredients
- Mayonnaise and Yogurt | Mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt are combined to make the creamy base of this tasty salad dressing.
- Basil | Fresh basil gives this dressing it’s bright green hue!
- Shallot | A shallot is often confused for green onions (called scallions), but you will want the small, reddish brown pear-shaped onion-looking veggie for this dish.
- Pesto | Store-bought or homemade pesto brings fresh and tangy notes to the dressing.
- Liquids | White wine vinegar balances the creamy flavors and acts as a natural thickener when combined with the yogurt, a touch of honey adds a tiny sweetness, and Dijon mustard adds a bit of tang.
- Salt and pepper | Sprinkle in a pinch of kosher salt and pepper as a final touch.
Green Goddess Cobb Salad Recipe Ingredients
- Chicken | You’ll need a couple of chicken breasts for four salads. Leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken also works great!
- Seasoning | Season the chicken with salt, ground black pepper, and an Italian seasoning blend.
- Hard-boiled eggs | Boiled eggs peeled and cut into wedges are an essential Cobb salad ingredient. Continue reading to see how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs!
- Bacon | Sprinkle in some cooked and chopped salty bacon strips– YUM! Choose turkey bacon for a healthier alternative.
- Greens | I like to blend spring mix and romaine lettuce like the Panera version. However, you can use romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, or your favorite.
- Veggies | Add juicy cherry tomatoes and freshly sliced avocado to add variety to this salad recipe. Grape tomatoes will also do the trick.
- Pickled red onions | Make your cobb salad just like the Panera version by including pickled red onions, either from the store or try my homemade Panera pickled red onions. Thinly sliced red onions work too.
- Blue cheese | Sharp and tangy blue cheese crumbles perfectly contrast the creamy and savory ingredients.
- Dressing | Top it off with the homemade green goddess dressing!
Take the Bite out of Fresh Sliced Onions
- Soak sliced onions in ice water for 10 minutes to remove some of the bite most people don’t like. I place mine in a sieve in a bowl of ice water, making it easy to remove, and drain them when ready to use.
How to Make the Copycat Panera Green Goddess Salad
Step 1 | Mix the Panera Green Goddess Dressing
First, blend the Panera green goddess dressing ingredients. Place the mayonnaise, yogurt, basil, shallot, pesto, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. Pulsing until ingredients are nice and smooth, refrigerate the dressing until ready to use. Check out my detailed post on how to make this creamy Green Goddess dressing.
Step 2 | Grill the Chicken
Next, brush the chicken with olive oil and season it with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Then, heat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat. If you’re using a grill, you want it at 400° F (204°C).
Place the chicken breasts on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then, flip the chicken and cook for another 5-6 minutes, remove breasts to a cutting board, resting for 10 minutes before slicing. The internal temperature should be 165°F (74°C).
Step 3 | Assemble the Panera Cobb Salad
While the grilled chicken is resting, it’s the perfect time to assemble the salads quickly. Arrange each bowl or plate with lettuce, bacon, tomato, eggs, pickled red onion, avocado, and cheese.
Slice the chicken and add it to the salad. Finally, drizzle the Panera green goddess salad with dressing and serve right away – ENJOY!
- No blender? No problem! Finely dice or grate the shallots and finely chop the basil. Then, whisk everything together in a bowl. Or add it all to a mason jar and shake vigorously.
- Cook the whole package of bacon in the oven and refrigerate or freeze the extra for another time, like for breakfast the following morning, sandwiches for lunch, or other salads throughout the week.
- Remember to wait to add the dressing just before serving, or the ingredients may become soggy and less crisp.
- It helps to prep ingredients beforehand by chopping the veggies and herbs.
If you’re a fan of classic Cobb salads, try my Hearty Cobb Salad recipe with olives, artichoke hearts, creamy dressing, and all the essential Cobb salad ingredients.
I think you will also love my Steakhouse Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing or this Italian Chopped Salad! Or, for something extra unique, check out this Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad with irresistibly crisp fried goat cheese.
Variations & Substitutions
- Use a Different Cheese: Try Feta, Roquefort, goat cheese, or gorgonzola. If those are still too strong for your taste, just use your favorite! Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, or any cheese you prefer – or no cheese at all.
- Change the Meat: You can substitute the chicken breast with a different cut of meat, like rotisserie chicken or chicken thighs. You can use warm, just-grilled chicken or cold leftover cooked chicken. Shrimp, steak, or salmon also taste great in a Cobb salad.
- Low Carb or Keto Green Goddess Salad: To make this salad fit a keto diet and reduce its carb content, simply replace the pickled red onions with fresh sliced red onions. It’s an easy switch!
- Gluten-Free Cobb Salad: This Panera green goddess salad recipe is naturally gluten free as long as you check the individual ingredients. It’s also easily made nut-free when you use a nut-free pesto recipe.
Tips for Two
This salad recipe can easily be adjusted to serve two people by cutting the ingredients in half. Use one chicken breast, two hard-boiled eggs, a quarter cup of blue cheese crumbles, and half of the dressing. Alternatively, meal prep all four servings for a few days of ready-made salads!
Make Ahead Green Goddess Cobb Salad – To make the green goddess Cobb salad ahead of time, prep all your ingredients except for the avocado. Either keep prepped ingredients in separate containers, or plate individual salads; covering them tightly with plastic wrap, and adding the avocado and creamy green dressing just before serving.
Refrigerate Leftovers – It’s best to keep the ingredients separate if you expect leftovers. However, if all the salad components are already tossed together, they should keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days as long as the avocado and dressing are left out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chicken, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocado, and blue cheese are classic Cobb salad ingredients. It’s usually served on a blend of lettuces, including romaine.
For easy and hassle-free bacon cooking, I prefer using the oven. Preheat to 400°F (200°C), line a baking sheet with foil, and lay bacon on it. Bake for 10-20 minutes until crispy. Microwave heating is faster but oven-baked bacon has a superior texture and flavor.
Use an Instant Pot for perfect hard-boiled eggs! Add 1 cup water and eggs on a rack. Cook for 5-8 minutes on high pressure (9-10 minutes for altitudes above 5000 feet), release pressure, and put the eggs in an ice water bath. After 5 minutes, remove the eggs, peel them, and use them within 3 days or store them unpeeled in the fridge for up to 7 days.
For best results on a stovetop, put the room temp eggs in cold water, covering eggs by about ½-1 inch, heat to a boil, then cover and turn the burner off. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Then, drain the eggs, and put them in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking immediately. For high altitudes, you may need to let them sit a few minutes longer.
Top Tips for Hard-Boiling Eggs
- Allow eggs to come to room temperature for 15-30 minutes before boiling.
- Eggs that are 1-2 weeks old are ideal for cooking rather than fresh off-the-farm eggs.
- If you’re hard boiling eggs at higher altitudes (usually 3000+ feet above sea level), it can be tricky. That’s why using an Instant Pot is helpful. You may need to boil the eggs for several extra minutes due to the lower boiling temperature at higher altitudes.
- To prevent egg cracking, use an egg piercer to make a small hole in the bottom of the egg.
- Adding a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to the water when boiling eggs can help congeal any leaking egg white in case of cracking, minimizing loss.
- Steamed Hard-Boiled Eggs – Place eggs in a single layer on a steamer basket, inside a saucepan, set over 1 inch of rapidly boiling water, cover, and steam over medium-high heat; 6 minutes soft-boiled, 10 minutes for medium-boiled (bright, jammy yolk) and 12-15 minutes fully cooked hard-boiled egg. Times may vary based on altitude.
Best Side Dishes for Panera Cobb Salad
Chicken Cobb salad with green goddess dressing can be enjoyed as a complete meal. But you can also make a two-item combo like the famous Panera You-Pick-Two deal by pairing the salad with a sandwich, soup, or another side dish. Try all my soups!
Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup
Light, creamy chicken poblano soup is chock full of veggies, chicken broth, and loaded with flavor. A naturally gluten free, low carb soup that will have your mouth screaming for more!
What to serve with this Green Goddess Salad Recipe
Best Desserts to Serve with Healthy Cobb Salad
After your healthy and nutritious Panera Copycat Salad, treat yourself to a few bites of something sweet! Keep it classic and enjoy a cookie, check out all of my cookie recipes.
Crumbl Sugar Cookie Recipe
You are in for a HUGE treat with this easy copycat Crumbl Cookie Recipe for the best Chilled Sugar Cookies, ever. Using simple pantry ingredients, in 30 minutes you will enjoy, large, soft, buttery cookies, frosted with an amazing almond buttercream frosting.
Copycat Crumbl Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
This classic Crumbl chocolate chip cookie recipe is a perfect copycat of the real thing. Just as thick, just as big (with option to make smaller) and just as chewy and soft. Packed with milk chocolate chips, this no chill copycat Crumbl cookie recipe will become a family favorite.
Remember, you have full creative control to swap or adjust this Panera salad recipe, however, you’d like. So, feel free to make it your own!
More Panera Inspired Recipes
- Panera Copycat Orange Glazed Scone Recipe – Read the reviews!! So good!
- Panera Green Goddess Salad Dressing and Dip
- Autumn Squash Soup Copycat Recipe – Silky smooth, easy to make!
- Panera-inspired Cinnamon Chip Scones – A favorite in our house!
- This spot on, Panera Pumpkin Muffin is tops!
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Panera Green Goddess Salad with Chicken (Panera Copycat)
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Green Goddess Dressing
- ¼ cup mayonnaise I like using a heart healthy brand, like Chosen Foods Avocado Mayo
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt plain, I used whole fat
- ¾ cup basil leaves packed, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon shallot minced
- 1 tablespoon pesto homemade or storebought
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of kosher sat and black pepper
Chicken Cobb Salad
- 2 medium chicken breasts boneless, skinless (may use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 4 large hard-boiled eggs sliced into 4 wedges each
- 8 slices bacon cooked, drained and chopped into pieces
- 6 cups lettuce I used a blend of Romaine and Spring Mix, rough chopped, use your favorite
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes diced, or use grape tomatoes
- 1 avocado sliced or diced
- ½ cup pickled red onions or just sliced red onions*
- ½ cup blue cheese crumbles this is optional, use your favorite cheese
Make Green Goddess Dressing
- Place mayonnaise, yogurt, basil, shallot, pesto, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
Grill Chicken & Cook Hard Boiled Eggs
- Brush the chicken with oil and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Heat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high. If using a grill, you want it at 400° F (204°C).Place the chicken breasts on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for 6 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C). Remove chicken to a cutting board, allowing it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- See notes for easy ways to hard-boil eggs if not using store bought.
Assemble Green Goddess Salads
- While the chicken is resting, assemble the salads. Arrange each bowl or plate with lettuce, bacon, tomato, eggs, onion, avocado, and cheese.Slice the chicken and add that to the salad. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of dressing and enjoy immediately.
- You can make the dressing without a blender. Finely dice or grate the shallots, and finely chop the basil. Then whisk everything together in a bowl. Or add it all to a mason jar and shake vigorously.
- You can find pickled red onions in the grocery store deli area or make your own.
- Use Feta, Roquefort, goat, or gorgonzola, Cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack, any cheese you love will work with this recipe.
- Substitute rotisserie chicken for a shortcut or a different cut of meat. Chicken thighs are a very tender option. You can use warm, just grilled chicken or cold-cooked chicken.
- To make ahead of time, prep all your ingredients, except the avocado, but keep them in separate containers. Assemble just before serving and add the avocado. Avocado will discolor quickly when it comes in contact with air, so it should be added just before serving.
- I cook a whole package of bacon in the oven and reserve the extra for another use, such as breakfast, sandwiches, or additional salads. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, then place the bacon side-by-side on the tray. Bake 10-20 minutes until desired crispness.
- I love my Instant Pot for making hard-boiled eggs. Place 1 cup of COLD water in a 6-quart instant pot. Add eggs in a single layer to egg rack or trivet. Place lid on the pressure cooker and set it for 5 minutes on high pressure for cook time. Perform natural pressure release for 5 minutes. Then do a quick release and carefully remove eggs with a spoon from Instant Pot and place in an ice water bath. Let eggs sit in iced water for 5 minutes. Remove eggs from the water bath. Store in the fridge for up to 7 days unpeeled or peel, and use within 3 days.
- For best results on a stovetop, put cold eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, then cover and turn the burner off. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the eggs, and put them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking immediately.