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Creamy and Crunchy Cobb Salad Recipe to Make a Californian Classic at Home

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Get ready to gorge on a dish of sheer indulgence with our classic Californian Cobb salad recipe, brimming to the rim of the bowl with creamy, juicy, and crunchy goodness the whole family can enjoy!

Cobb salad in a bowl
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Cobb Salad Recipe

Be it the brainchild of Robert Howard Cobb in 1938, owner of the restaurant Hollywood Brown Derby, to a hastily arranged salad by Bob Cobb for theatre owner Sid Grauman who needed a finely chopped salad because he’d had work done on his teeth, the origin stories for Cobb salad are plentiful!

What isn’t in dispute, however, is how incredibly scrumptious this salad is. It has the satisfying crunch of salad greens, the buttery tenderness of fried chicken, the salty crispiness of bacon, and the sweet creaminess of avocado, along with so many other flavors.

And while the salad may look and sound like that’s so much going on, it is, in fact, very straightforward to make. Get ready to bring a generous dose of culinary California into your humble abode, and let’s get started!

Cobb salad in a bowl (pin)
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What is Traditional Cobb Salad?

Traditional Cobb salad is built on a bed of four chopped salad greens: iceberg lettuce, Romaine lettuce, endive, and watercress.

On top of the greens, typically, a Cobb salad will consist of pan-fried chicken breast, crispy bacon, avocadoes, tomatoes, blue cheese, chives, and hard-boiled eggs, all diced into pieces and neatly arranged in rows over the top of the bed of salad greens.

The salad is then finished with a red wine vinaigrette, which is poured over the whole salad once it has been arranged. It may sound a little complicated, but honestly, once you’ve boiled the eggs, pan-fried the chicken breast, and crisped up the bacon, it’s just a simple exercise of dicing, arranging, and mixing!

Cobb Salad Variations

Cheese: Some people don’t enjoy the strong taste of blue cheese and, although not traditional, will leave it out entirely or replace it with another cheese, such as feta cheese.

No Bacon: For a healthier but non-traditional version of the Cobb salad, some people will omit the bacon.

Vegetarian: For a vegetarian version (again, not traditional), people will often replace chicken and bacon with roasted chickpeas, walnuts, and/or mushrooms.

Recipe Ingredients

To make our delicious Cobb salad recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients.

For the salad:

Cobb salad recipe ingredients on a board
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  • Romaine Lettuce – 1 romaine lettuce
  • Iceberg Lettuce – 1/4 iceberg lettuce
  • Watercress – 1 cup (handful) watercress
  • Tomatoes – 14-15 cherry tomatoes
  • Chicken Breast – 2 medium chicken breasts (about 1 lb or 450 grams total)
  • Bacon – 5 bacon slices/rashers (about 3.5 oz or 100 grams)
  • Eggs – 3 eggs
  • Blue Cheese – 1/3 cup blue cheese when crumbled (about 50 grams or 1.7 oz)
  • Avocado – 1 large avocado
  • Chives – handful (2 tbsp when finely minced)
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp salt (for seasoning the chicken breasts)
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp black pepper(for seasoning the chicken breasts)

For the vinaigrette:

Cobb salad vinaigrette ingredients
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  • Olive Oil – 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salad Oil – 1/2 cup of any neutral-tasting oil (sunflower oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or light olive oil).
  • Vinegar – 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Mustard – 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp black pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Chop the salad greens (romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and watercress), and wash and dry them in a salad spinner.

If you don’t have a salad spinner, simply wash the lettuce and watercress, drain it, and dry it on paper towels.

Cobb salad step-by-step (washing and drying the salad greens in a salad spinner).
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Step 2 – Cook the bacon until crispy. In a pan, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon for about 6-8 minutes until crispy.

Once the bacon is done, set it aside on a paper towel to cool down.

Cobb salad step-by-step (crispy bacon on a paper towel)
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You can alternatively cook the bacon in the oven on a baking sheet at 430°F (220°C) for about 15 minutes or desired crispiness. I prefer the pan method for this salad as it’s quicker, and we’ll use the bacon fat in the next step to cook the chicken in it.

You can also cook the bacon in an air fryer (if you have one). Use whatever method you prefer to get crispy bacon.

Step 3 – Cook the chicken breasts.

First, butterfly the chickens (slicing each breast into two thinner ones horizontally, so you’ll end up with four thinner chicken breasts) and season them with salt and black pepper.

In the same pan you cooked the bacon in, in the leftover bacon fat, cook the chicken breasts over medium-high heat until fully cooked (about 3-4 minutes on each side if they’re butterflied).

Note: If you didn’t cook the bacon in the pan, simply grease the pan with 1 tbsp of any neutral-tasting oil (light olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil).

Cobb salad step-by-step (pan-frying the chicken in a cast iron pan).
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Cobb salad step-by-step (pan-frying the chicken in a cast iron pan).
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Step 4 – Boil the eggs until they’re hard-boiled, and then peel the eggs.

You can use whatever method you prefer to boil the eggs but here’s mine:

  • Add the eggs to a pot with cold water and salt (about 2-3 tbsp of table salt to make the eggs easier to peel). Set the pot on the stove over medium-high heat, and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium, and let the eggs boil for 5 minutes. Then, turn the heat off, cover the pot with a lid, and let the eggs sit in the pot for 5 minutes.
  • Afterward, transfer the eggs to a bowl with ice water or simply cold water. Let them cool for a couple of minutes, and peel them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle but still warm.

This method works for me every time for making the perfect hard-boiled eggs but feel free to use whatever method you’re used to.

Cobb salad step-by-step (boiled and peeled eggs).
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Step 5 – Make the vinaigrette dressing.

In a large bowl, add the red wine vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Mix with a whisk while drizzling in the oil (both the salad oil and the extra-virgin olive oil).

Cobb salad step-by-step (making the vinaigrette).
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Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in the oil.

Cobb salad step-by-step (making the vinaigrette).
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You should get a nice, emulsified vinaigrette perfect for this salad.

Note: This recipe makes quite a bit of vinaigrette. If you have any leftover vinaigrette, you can keep it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and use it for other salads.

Cobb salad step-by-step (emulsified vinaigrette).
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Step 6 – Get all the ingredients ready to assemble the salad. Chop up the eggs, tomatoes, crispy bacon, pan-fried chicken breast, and avocado. Crumble the blue cheese and mince the chives.

Cobb salad step-by-step (all ingredients ready for assembling the salad).
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Step 7 – Divide the salad greens between 1-4 large bowls or plates.

This recipe makes about 4 big portions, but it’s up to you how you decide to serve it. You can serve it as one big platter for the table, two larger bowls to share, or four individual (big) portions. We chose two large bowls to share at the table.

Cobb salad step-by-step (salad greens in two large bowls).

Step 8 – Now the magic really happens! With your ingredients chopped, arrange them in rows across the top of the salad greens.

Cobb salad step-by-step (all ingredients arranged in rows over the salad greens in two large bowls).
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Step 9 – Finally, once arranged, pour your vinaigrette over the top of the salad (as much or as little as you want). Or you can serve the vinaigrette on the side so each person can pour the amount they would like.

Serve it to family, friends, and loved ones for a salad that is jam-packed with so many complimentary flavors and textures, you won’t want it to end!

Cobb salad step-by-step (pouring the red-wine vinaigrette over the salad).
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The colors in this salad are so beautiful, they’re mesmerizing. This salad is so neatly arranged, you won’t even want to dive in with your fork or spoon. This really is one for your Instagram!

Cobb salads
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You get so much texture with this salad too. You’ve got juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, crumbly blue cheese, creamy avocado, bouncy hard-boiled egg, pan-fried chicken, and soft chives, all sat neatly on a bed of crunchy greens and bound by the thick, glossy vinegarette (see below). There’s just so much going on in each mouthful.

Cobb salad (up-close photo).
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Cobb Salad Recipe Card

Yield: 4

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup (handful) watercress
  • 14-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 chicken breasts (~1 lb or 450 grams total)
  • 5 bacon slices (~3.5 oz or 100 grams)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (~1.7 oz or 50 grams)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of any neutral-tasting oil (sunflower oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or light olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (1/2 tsp for the vinaigrette and 1/2 tsp for seasoning the chicken breast)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (1/2 tsp for the vinaigrette and 1/2 tsp for seasoning the chicken breast)

Instructions

  1. Chop the romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and watercress, and wash them and dry them in a salad spinner (note 1).
  2. In a pan, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon for about 6-8 minutes until crispy (note 2). Once the bacon is done, set it aside on a paper towel to cool down.
  3. Cook the chicken breasts. First, butterfly the chickens (slicing each breast into two thinner ones horizontally, so you’ll end up with four thinner chicken breasts) and season them with salt and black pepper. In the same pan you cooked the bacon in, in the leftover bacon fat, cook the chicken breasts over medium-high heat until fully cooked, about 3-4 minutes on each side if they’re butterflied (note 3).
  4. Boil the eggs until they’re hard-boiled, and then peel the eggs. See my method for boiling eggs in note 4 below.
  5. Make the vinaigrette dressing. In a large bowl, add the red wine vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Mix with a whisk while drizzling in the oil (both the salad oil and the extra-virgin olive oil) until the vinaigrette is emulsified (note 5).
  6. Get all the ingredients ready to assemble the salad. Chop up the eggs, tomatoes, bacon, chicken, and avocado. Crumble the blue cheese and mince the chives.
  7. Divide the lettuce mix between 1-4 large bowls or plates. This recipe makes about 4 big portions, but it’s up to you how you decide to serve it. You can serve it as one big platter for the table, two larger bowls to share, or four individual (big) portions. We chose two large bowls to share at the table.
  8. With your ingredients chopepd, arrange them in rows across the top of the salad greens.
  9. Finally, once arranged, pour your vinaigrette over the top of the salad (as much or as little as you want). Or you can serve the vinaigrette on the side so each person can pour the amount they would like.

Notes

    Note 1: If you don’t have a salad spinner, simply wash the lettuce and watercress, drain it, and dry it on paper towels.

    Note 2: You can alternatively cook the bacon in the oven on a baking sheet at 430°F (220°C) for about 15 minutes or until you get the desired crispiness. I prefer the pan method for this salad as it’s quicker and we’ll use the bacon fat to cook the chicken in it.

    You can also cook the bacon in an air fryer (if you have one). Use whatever method you prefer to get crispy bacon.

    Note 3: If you didn’t cook the bacon in the pan, simply grease the pan with 1 tbsp of any neutral-tasting oil (light olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil) instead of the bacon fat before cooking the chicken in the pan.

    Note 4: This method works for me every time for making the perfect hard-boiled eggs but you can use whatever method you prefer.

  • Add the eggs to a pot with cold water and salt (about 2-3 tbsp of table salt to make the eggs easier to peel). Set the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the water starts boiling, turn down the heat to medium, and let the eggs boil for 5 minutes. Then, turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid, and let the eggs sit in the pot for 5 minutes.
  • Afterward, transfer the eggs to a bowl with ice water or simply cold water. Let them cool for a couple of minutes and peel them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle but still warm.

Note 5: This recipe makes quite a bit of vinaigrette. If you have any leftover vinaigrette, you can keep it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and use it for other salads.

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Cobb salad (overhead photo).
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