The Very Best Way to Make a Classic Cobb Salad at Home
A classic Cobb salad is one of my favorite restaurant salads. The sheer number of toppings makes it a hearty dinner even when I’m craving something cool and crisp. Plus, each bite delivers a variety of flavors, from savory bacon to tangy blue cheese to creamy egg.
A very good classic Cobb salad is actually simple to make at home. All you need to do is master a simple vinaigrette and keep a few simple prep steps in mind and you’ll be on your way to your new favorite dinner.
What Makes This the Best Cobb Salad?
Cobb salads come in many shapes and sizes. There are quick and scrappy diner versions with chopped deli meats, and much more lavish restaurant ones boasting layers upon layers of toppings. This Cobb salad recipe hits the sweet spot: an abundance of fresh ingredients prepped in the easiest way possible. Plus, it’s dressed in the classic red wine vinaigrette that many homemade Cobb salads are missing.
The Best Order for Preparing a Cobb Salad
Cobb salad is a basic chopped salad defined by its combination of cooked chicken breast, blue cheese, hard-cooked eggs, and crisp bacon. If you have leftovers from meal prep — say, cooked chicken or eggs — you should absolutely use them. If you don’t, prepping all the ingredients from scratch won’t take long if you prepare them in the following order:
How to Make a Cobb Salad in Advance
This recipe makes enough toppings for eight classic Cobb salads, perfect for feeding a crowd or for meal prepping a week of lunches. Ensuring the salads stay fresh is really a matter of keeping the salad dry — pack the dressing separately, and leave the avocado off until just before serving. Layering the ingredients as directed below will keep the salad fresh for several days if stored covered in the fridge until ready to eat.
How to Make Classic Cobb Salad
For the red wine vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup
- 3 tablespoons
red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon
- 2 cloves
- 1 tablespoon
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 10 cups
chopped romaine lettuce (from about 2 large heads)
- 1 bunch
- 1 medium
cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces
cherry tomatoes, halved
large shallot, thinly sliced
- 3 ounces
crumbled blue cheese (about 3/4 cup)
cooked chicken breast, diced
- 6 slices
bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
large avocado, diced
Measuring cups and spoons
Whisk or jar
Make the red wine vinaigrette. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a jar, seal, and shake to combine.
Prepare the greens. Wash the romaine and watercress, then dry very well. Toss together in a large serving bowl.
Top with the remaining ingredients. Top the greens with the chicken, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, and shallot. You can arrange them in a pattern or pile them on top, but keep in mind that the salad will be tossed before serving.
Toss the salad and add the dressing. Before dressing the salad, use tongs to toss everything together first. Drizzle in about half of the red wine vinaigrette and toss. Taste and add more dressing as needed.
Make ahead: The red wine vinaigrette can be made several days in advance and refrigerated; rewhisk or shake again before using. The undressed salad can be assembled and refrigerated without the avocado up to 24 hours in advance. Add the avocado before tossing with the dressing.
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