Classic Chicken Cobb Salad (Paleo)

What’s Inside: This Chicken Cobb Salad recipe is a classic summertime meal that turns simple chicken into a delicious, satisfying, and healthy meal. It’s Paleo, simple, and made with staple ingredients! And I have suggestions to make it AIP-friendly.

how to make chicken cobb salad recipe

What Is Cobb Salad, Exactly?

This may be my favorite summer salad. It’s refreshing, filling, packed with fresh garden ingredients, and features a ton of healthy protein to keep you fueled throughout those hot days. There are loads of goodies inside and the extra labor of love to prepare each is well worth it.

What takes this classic cobb salad to the next level is the homemade bacon-Dijon vinaigrette. My secret ingredient? Bacon grease. Seriously! When emulsified with the vinegar, honey, mustard, and olive oil, the result is a salty, lucious, bacon-y dressing that just works for this cobb salad recipe.

how to make chicken cobb salad recipe

Key Ingredients

Classic Cobb salad is standardly comprised of crisp green lettuce, crispy chopped bacon, boiled eggs, juicy red tomatoes, chopped avocado, and well-seasoned cooked chicken breast.

Sourcing Tip: Grass Roots Coop is one of our favorite sources of sustainably-raised meats. Grass Roots farmers use regenerative agriculture, which means they replenish the nutrients in the soil rather than deplete them. Their rotational grazing practices also improves our environment and slows climate change. Using Grass Roots helps to take the guesswork out of finding farms that are “up to snuff” on their methods, you can learn more here.

But what really makes cobb salad stand out as the perfect summer salad is the homemade salad dressing. I made my own vinaigrette with some red wine vinegar, raw honey, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, and reserved bacon grease for a ton of smokey, meaty flavor.

Alternatively, you could also use apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar, maple syrup, whole grain mustard, and avocado oil. You could also use pancetta in place of the bacon.

This Paleo Chicken Cobb Salad recipe is a classic summertime meal that turns simple chicken into a delicious, satisfying, and healthy meal.

How To Make Cobb Salad with Chicken

  1. Boil the Eggs: Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Gently lower eggs into the water, and cook for 7-8 minutes. Immediately transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water, and let sit until eggs are cooled at room temperature. When ready, peel eggs, and set aside.
  2. Fry Your Bacon: Roughly chop bacon slices and add to a hot cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute with a wooden spoon occasionally until golden brown and crispy. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Allow the skillet to cool slightly so it’s not smoking before proceeding.
  3. Cook the Chicken: Using the same skillet, reduce the heat to low-medium. Spoon out 2 Tbsp of bacon grease and pour into a large salad bowl to reserve for the dressing. Add chicken to the skillet with the remaining bacon grease. Cook on one side for at least 5 minutes without moving it so it will have a crisp exterior. Flip using tongs, and add the ghee or butter. Continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers at 165F degrees. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin pieces. (This ensures the chicken is super juicy and tender.)
  4. Make the Vinaigrette: Vigorously whisk the bacon grease in the large salad bowl with vinegar, dijon mustard, raw honey, and olive oil until thick and emulsified. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the dressing, and add the lettuce to the large salad bowl with the rest of the dressing, mix well to dress the lettuce. 
  5. Assemble the Cobb Salad: Add sliced boiled eggs, sliced chicken, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and crispy bacon pieces to the dressed lettuce. Drizzle reserved dressing on top of all ingredients, serve, and enjoy!
  6. Storage Instructions: While it’s not likely you’ll have leftovers, you can store this salad in an airtight container in your fridge for a day. Fair warning that the greens will likely wilt. You can cook the bacon, chicken, and eggs ahead of time, and also make the salad dressing in bulk, to assemble as needed throughout the week for meal-prep.

Variations

  • Swap the chicken for grilled, sauteed, or blackened salmon, shrimp, or steak!
  • Add some homemade or compliant mayonnaise to your vinaigrette to make a creamier salad dressing.
  • Pack in more veggies by adding some raw green onion, sliced carrots, and leafy greens like baby kale or spinach.
  • Make it AIP-friendly by omitting the eggs and tomatoes. Try adding in sliced cucumber or other AIP-compliant veggies instead. Omit the ghee/butter just using the bacon grease and olive oil for searing the chicken and omit mustard in the vinaigrette. Omit black pepper.
This Paleo Chicken Cobb Salad recipe is a classic summertime meal that turns simple chicken into a delicious, satisfying, and healthy meal.

More Salad Recipes To Try

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how to make chicken cobb salad recipe
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Classic Chicken Cobb Salad (Paleo)

This Chicken Cobb Salad recipe is a classic summertime meal that turns simple chicken into a delicious, satisfying, and healthy meal. It's Paleo, simple, and made with staple ingredients! And I have suggestions to make it AIP-friendly.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Cuisine: American
Keyword: paleo
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For the Cobb Salad

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 oz bacon approx. 4 slices
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 2 large chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tbsp ghee or grass-fed butter
  • 8 cups torn romaine or mixed lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced into halves
  • 1 ripe avocado quartered

For the Homemade Salad Dressing

  • 2 tbso red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare the boiled eggs. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan and gently lower eggs into the water. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes. Immediately transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and let sit until eggs are cooled at room temperature. When ready, peel eggs and set aside.
  • Make the crispy bacon bits. Meanwhile, roughly chop bacon slices and add to a hot cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute with a wooden spoon occasionally until brown and crispy (8-10 minutes). Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Allow the skillet to cool slightly just so it’s not smoking.
  • Using the same skillet, reduce the heat to low-medium. Spoon out 2 Tbsp of bacon grease and pour into a large salad bowl to reserve for the dressing. Using remaining bacon grease (or enough to just coat the bottom of the skillet).
  • Make the chicken. Meanwhile, add chicken to the skillet and let cook on one side for at least 5 minutes without moving it so it will have a crisp exterior. Flip using tongs, and add the ghee or butter. Continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers at 165f degrees. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin pieces.
  • Make the dressing by vigorously whisking the bacon grease in the large salad bowl with vinegar, dijon mustard, raw honey, and then adding the olive oil while continuously whisking until thick and emulsified. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the dressing aside in a container and add the lettuce to the large salad bowl with the rest of the dressing, mix well to dress the lettuce.
  • Assemble and plate the salad. On top of the dressed lettuce, add sliced boiled eggs, sliced chicken, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and crispy bacon pieces. Drizzle reserved dressing on top of all ingredients and serve.

Notes

*To make this more AIP-friendly, omit the eggs and tomatoes. Try adding in sliced cucumber or other AIP-compliant veggies instead. Omit the ghee/butter just using the bacon grease and olive oil for searing the chicken and omit mustard in the vinaigrette. Omit black pepper.

This recipe was made in partnership with Grass Roots Coop. As always, I only recommend and partner with brands I trust and use myself.

 
Trying to get back to eating healthy again (+ for good)? Check out the Nourishing You Membership and get weekly done-for-you Paleo/AIP Meal Prep Plans with Grocery Lists delivered to you + Nutrition coaching and community to make this lifestyle easy
 
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