A Cobb Salad made with all fresh ingredients and an easy to prepare Ranch Dressing is a wonderful and healthy way to enjoy a lunch or a main dish.
A Cobb Salad or any salad for that matter is best when you use fresh ingredients. Having said that, using left-overs from previous meals or open a tin or jar here or there, is perfectly fine as well.
Making a Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing does not have to take a long time to prepare. Prepare the individual ingredients in a certain order to save time. You can clean and chop all the raw ingredients, while you cook the remaining ingredients.
Start with the ingredients that need preparation:
- Started with chicken. Keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or use an interesting or favorite spice blend. Like Mojo Seasoning or Smoked Coffee Rub. The chicken takes the longest to cook and it also has to cool. Of course you can use deli sliced chicken or you can buy pre-cooked grilled chicken when you want to save time. As far as cooking the chicken yourself, I recommend to grill it or pan-cooking to get crispy and flavorful chicken meat.
- Prepare the corn. Bring water and salt to a boil and cook the corn on the cob for about 10 minutes. Then cut the corn off the cob. You can also first cut the cooked corn off the cob and then cook it.
- Cook the bacon or pancetta. You can do this in a skillet or in a sheet pan in the oven. Both will work, just make sure the end result is crispy.
- Cook the egg. Boil 4-10 minutes, depending on how hard you like your egg to be.
Prepare the dressing
- Simple and quick – a vinaigrette; oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. You can still add some extra flavor by choosing a flavored oil and a wine vinegar.
- Caesar Dressing: garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mayo, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- Thousand Island Dressing: mayo, ketchup, hard-boiled egg, vinegar and sweet pickle relish.
- Creamy Italian Dressing: vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, mayo, honey, garlic and herbs like basil, oregano, parsley, thyme.
- A more involved dressing would be a ranch dressing, however ….. I used a ready made dry mix, called Roswell Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (this is not paid advertising). You only have to add milk and mayo and you’re done. You can even make it ahead of time and store it for a couple of days in the fridge.
The chicken, corn, bacon and egg can all cook together, so they’re ready at the same time. While all this cooking takes place….
Chop the vegetables/fruit and cheese(s)
- Green lettuce. All varieties possible from romaine to a fancy lettuce mix.
- Tomatoes. Normal size tomatoes, that you quarter or cut even smaller or use cherry tomatoes.
- Avocado. Slice or cube
- Carrot. Cut in sticks on small cubes
- Cucumber. Slice, cut in stick, or cubes. Leave skin on for color.
- Onion. I am not a fan of raw onion, so not in this Cobb Salad, but add sliced or diced onion if you like.
- Blue cheese. Many options again. I would suggest going with a relatively strong blue cheese, like Roquefort, Danish Blue, Maytag Blue, or Point Reyes Original Blue.
- Cheddar cheese or Gouda Cheese. Also many options, and I would select a cheese that has some age to it. It will add to the flavor combination.
How to serve a Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing?
- Serve the salad the way I show in the pictures, with ingredients cut in relatively large pieces.
- I like to keep the cuts large, so you can see what’s in the salad.
- You can also chop the individual ingredient in much smaller pieces, all about the same size and crumble the eggs, bacon and blue cheese. A different look.
- Mix the salad before serving or leave the mixing up to each person on their plate.
- I like to serve the salad unmixed; all ingredients in their own spot on top of the lettuce. This way you can add ingredients specifically for 1 person. E.g. more than 1 cheese, so people who don’t like blue cheese have an alternative.
- Not mixing the salad looks prettier than mixed.
- Serve the dressing separate from the salad, this way each person can decide whether they want to use dressing and how much.
- Salmon instead of chicken; smoked or cooked
- Add red onion rings
- Add pine nuts, pecans or walnuts
- Add grilled tofu
- Try Halloumi or goat cheese instead of blue cheese
Whatever you decide, it will be a great and delicious salad that’s also healthy and filling.
Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing
- 8 ounces chicken breast
- 3 ounces bacon or pancetta
- 1 corn on the cob
- 1 egg
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 English cucumber
- 1 cup carrots
- 1/2 head of lettuce
- 4 ounces aged cheddar
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- simple vinaigrette or your favorite dressing
- Roswell Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- store bought dressing
- Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper or with your favorite spice blend.
- Prepare the next 4 items simultaneously.
- Cook the chicken in oil in a grill pan until done and the inside temperature reads at least 165 F. This will take about 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breast. Allow to cool and cut in thin slices or cube.
- Bring a pot of water and salt to a boil and add the corn on the cob. Cook for approx. 10 minutes until the corn is done. Allow to cool and cut corn off the cob.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet or in the oven until crisp and allow to cool. Crumble.
- Cook the egg. Boil 4-10 minutes depending on how hard you like your egg to be.Allow to cool and cut in quarters or crumble.
- Prepare the dressing: Make a simply vinaigrette: a mixture of oil (3-4 parts) and vinegar (1 part), salt and pepper. Or make your favorite dressing. Alternatively, you can use a ready made dressing.
- Next thing to do is to cut and chop and vegetables:
- Cut or tear a green lettuce. NOTE 1
- Quarter, half or slice tomatoes. NOTE 2
- Cube or dice the avocado.
- Cut carrots in sticks or cubes. NOTE 3
- Slice the cucumber (skin on) or cube.
- Crumble blue cheese and cut the cheddar cheese in sticks or cubes. NOTE 4
- Place the lettuce on a large dish or plate and arrange the various items on top of the lettuce. You can do this in rows, or in clusters.
- Serve the dressing separately.
- Any green leaf lettuce will do. Romaine, iceberg, Boston or butter, Bibb or even Spinach
- Use normal sized tomatoes and slice or quarter them. Also grape tomatoes or any other type of small tomatoes work perfectly.
- When you use carrots slice them or cut them in stock. Baby carrots can also be a great alternative and no cutting necessary.
- Use a crumbly blue cheese, to name a few easily available blue cheeses: Roquefort, Danish Blue or Maytag Blue. For the alternative cheese, use a cheddar with some age on it. This will give an additional mouthfeel and more flavor than a young bland cheese.