I wasn’t going to write about this recipe. In fact, I allowed this post to fall to the bottom of my WordPress drafts folder because I wasn’t sure anyone needed a Cobb salad recipe. You know what it is: lettuce, chicken, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and tomatoes. And you know what it tastes like: good, duh, remember that part about the bacon?
But I held on to the draft for some reason, mulling over it every time I opened WordPress. Cobb salad is ubiquitous on restaurant menus and has guest starred in more than one lunch scene in Sex and the City. It’s a classic, timeless salad, but I have never made it at home. Nor have I ever eaten it at someone else’s home, or seen it on dinner party Pinterest boards. Why not?
Maybe it’s the long list of ingredients, or the fact that it’s a salad and not something we would think to “cook” for dinner. But a Cobb salad is just as dinner-worthy as any sheet pan supper. It involves a complexity of flavor, texture, and color that’s usually reserved for tiny plates at fancy restaurants. Even though it’s already great when ordered at your local diner, it’s even better when you make it at home.
And it’s better with corn. You may argue that a salad with so many ingredients does not need one more, but corn just so happens to pair beautifully with every single ingredient on that list. Corn and tomatoes? Obviously. Corn and avocado? I’ve seen guacamole like that. Corn and bacon? That’s the chowder combo of your dreams. Yes, corn belongs in a Cobb salad.
Just a warning, this is not a quick dinner. It’s a bit of a project that yields big results, big flavors, and all kinds of leftovers. It will probably take you an hour. Prep the bacon, chicken, corn, eggs, and/or dressing in advance if you’d like an easier project. You can lay all of the toppings in neat rows on a bed of lettuce like a traditional Cobb salad, or you can put everything in tupperware containers with plastic spoons and let your family run wild.
Cobb salad (with corn) deserves a place in your family’s home dinner rotation- it’s colorful, nostalgic, and never not good. It really is something to write about.
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 lbs total
- 6 strips bacon
- 4 ears corn on the cob
- 3-4 cups greens spring greens, spinach, romaine, whatever you like!
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1-2 ripe avocados sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or blue cheese, for the Cobb salad purists
- salt and pepper
- Red wine vinaigrette recipe below or dressing of choice
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Set aside while you cook the bacon. Heat a large skillet over medium. Cook bacon until crisp on both sides, chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the skillet.
Place chicken on the same skillet and cook 5-6 minutes per side until cooked through (160 degrees). Remove the chicken from the skillet and let rest 10 minutes, chop into bite sized pieces.
In that same skillet, turn up the heat and fry the corn cobs until lightly charred on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove the kernels from the cob.
Arrange the greens on a large platter. Lay the rest of the ingredients in rows on top of the greens. Season everything except bacon, chicken, and feta with salt and pepper. Allow each person to top their portion with red wine vinaigrette and extra black pepper if desired.
Even though it’s a salad, this is not a quick dinner.
Prep the bacon, chicken, corn, eggs, and/or dressing in advance if you'd like an easier project. Fire up the grill! I’ve made this before using grilled corn and grilled chicken- it’s even more delicious.
Make this in the oven: cook bacon and chicken in the oven while you steam the corn and boil the eggs on the stovetop.
With smoky bacon, creamy avocado, tangy cheese, and juicy tomatoes, Cobb salad pairs well with a variety of wines. A bottle of fragrant sauvignon blanc contrasts with salty, creamy notes, while an earthy pinot noir enhances the meaty bacon.
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar or other air-tight container. Shake everything together until well-combined. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.