This California Cobb Salad includes the traditional ingredients of grilled chicken, smoky bacon, avocado, and blue cheese with a touch of summer thrown in! You’ll love the addition of sweet strawberries and a tangy lemon vinaigrette to brighten up this classic main dish salad!
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase one of the products via the product link, I’ll receive a small commission.
A cobb salad has always been one of my go-to salads. I'm sure it has something to do with the bacon and avocado. I mean, how can you go wrong with those two ingredients?!
For this salad, I took most of the traditional Cobb Salad ingredients....chicken, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and blue cheese then added in a few unique ones ..... kale mix, strawberries, and lemon vinaigrette. You can certainly customize those or add even more toppings if you like.
I'm all about the veggies lately and if all salads were this loaded with fresh seasonal fruits and veggies I might be able to get into eating one just about every day!
Growing up in California we always had access to some of the most incredible produce, some of which I loved and others well, not so much. But Strawberries.....they have always been one of my favorites and at this time of year I could just eat them all day long. I love adding them to salads for a bright, fresh taste.
What goes in a Cobb Salad?
This is is a great salad to make for meal prep. See the tips below for the best way to add this to your weekly meal prep routine.
To make this salad, first, you start by marinating the chicken and getting it on the grill. While that's happening you can cook your bacon - maybe on the grill too or my favorite method, if it's not too warm out, is to cook bacon in a 425°F oven for about 20 minutes. You get super crisp bacon this way. And if you haven't made them ahead of time, don't forget to hard boil your eggs. I always use my Instant Pot - it's just so quick and they are always so easy to peel!
Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
Next, you can whip up the dressing. Classic Cobb Salad uses a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, and shallots. I decided to spice this one up a bit for the warmer months by creating this luscious, creamy lemon dressing. It complements the chicken marinade nicely and goes well with the rest of the ingredients. It gives the salad a bright, tangy flavor.
Make it a Platter Salad
If you want to make this a little more elegant, maybe for a nice al fresco date night dinner, layer the ingredients on a platter like I did for the photos. Then drizzle the dressing over the top when you’re ready to serve. If you want to make an easy lunch salad, chop everything up into bite-sized pieces, toss together with the dressing in a large bowl and then serve.
Meal Prep Tips
You can make the chicken and the dressing ahead of time. Both will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days. I also often use a bagged chopped kale salad mix for the lettuce so it's ready to go at any time. I also usually hard boil a couple of eggs in my instant pot at the beginning of the week. They are great in salads and you can always make an egg salad if you don't use them all for something else.
Looking for more great summer salad options? Try these:
- Strawberry Chicken Salad with Baked Goat Cheese Rounds
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Honey Quinoa with Cherries + Cashews
things you may want for this recipe
Champagne Vinegar – I use this type of vinegar fairly often in salad dressing and think it's a good pantry staple. It's similar to white wine vinegar, which can be used as a substitute, however, Champagne vinegar is a bit milder which is why I often use it in salad dressings.
Coffee Rubbed Bacon - My new favorite when it comes to bacon is the coffee rubbed bacon from the Whole Foods meat counter. If you have a Whole Foods near you I'd highly recommend checking it out. Not only is it delicious but you can purchase it by the slice so you don't have to find an excuse to use up a whole package of bacon!
Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad
For the chicken:
- 8 - 10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, about ½ a lemon
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon agave
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
For the salad:
- 4 cups of chopped kale or other salad greens
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 eggs, hard boiled
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- Marinate the chicken. Mix the oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, pepper, mustard, thyme and salt in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Grill the chicken. Preheat your grill to about 400°F. Place the chicken on the grill and grill for 7 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill for another 6 to 7 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Once the chicken is done remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Make the dressing. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, zest, garlic, mustard, agave, salt, and pepper to a small container with a lid. Close the lid and shake to combine. Add the olive oil and shake vigorously.
- Assemble the salad. Divide the kale between two bowls. Top each with chicken, bacon, avocado, eggs, strawberries and blue cheese. Add the dressing and toss to coat.