I love it when I can serve one dish that stands alone as a satisfying meal. This salad has protein (chicken, egg, bacon), vegetables (corn, lettuce), fruit (tomato, avocado), and dairy (cheese) all in one! To complete the meal I add cornbread. Although, you could just serve a loaf of fresh bread or dinner rolls instead. Once you see how easy it is you will want to serve the cornbread! In fact, this entire salad is VERY easy. Take a look at how I get this meal on the table, even on a busy weeknight…
Cornbread is a really nice alternative to regular bread. I like to take mine to the next level by mixing in fruit like blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries. I do have a homemade cornbread recipe that I occasionally make, however, this time I feel like taking a shortcut.
I used the Krusteaz brand Honey Cornbread mix. I like this brand because there are no artificial, annoying ingredients. The only downside is that “degermed yellow corn meal” is used as oppossed to a whole grain cornmeal which has not removed the germ (germ = more fiber). I’m okay with that because I’ll be adding some flax meal to boost the fiber and nutrition (see link below).
To make this cornbread recipe a little healthier I used unsweetened almond milk and replaced the vegetable oil (or butter) with organic applesauce. (I always have 1/2 cup applesauce containers in my pantry to substitute oil or butter in most of my baked items.) I would prefer to use fresh blueberries, however, they are not in season right now, so organic frozen it is! Thaw them ahead so they’re ready to go. (I used almost the entire 10 oz bag because I wanted my cornbread full of berries! I saved about a 1/2 cup to top yogurt and oatmeal with later on!)
That fiber boost I was talking about earlier… Organic Ground Flax Meal! I add 1-2 tablespoons to just about everything that I bake. Nobody will notice that it is in there as it adds some healthy Omega-3’s, Fiber and Lignans (an antioxidant). Also great for sprinkling on yogurt, oatmeal or adding to a smoothie! You should be able to find flax meal at most grocery stores or you can click on the image or text link below to purchase it from Amazon (affiliate link):
Traditionally, a Cobb Salad generally consists of greens, tomato, bacon, boiled egg, avocado and blue cheese. I decided to add sweet corn and chopped chicken because I wanted to make it more of a “main meal”. I also swapped the blue cheese for shredded cheddar because I am not of fan of “stinky” cheese!
There are no rules… go ahead and swap, add or omit any ingredients you like. For example, instead of cooking and chopping chicken breasts, you could use shredded rotisserie chicken, canned tuna, chopped deli meats or even tofu.
Here are the items I picked up at the grocery store to create my version of Cobb Salad…
While the prep for this salad is definitely easy, it is also a bit of a time-suck! There’s some cooking and chopping involved and on a busy weeknight it may just be too much to tackle. You wouldn’t think that would be the case for a simple “salad”. But, when you take the time to cook the bacon, hard boil the eggs, cook and chop the chicken, shred the cheese, etc, etc, it all adds up! Don’t fear… there are short-cuts you can take to streamline the process!
*Note: Most of the components to this meal can be prepped earlier in the day; especially the cornbread. Or, allow at least 45 minutes to get everything together right before meal time.
- Prepare the Blueberry Cornbread. While it bakes you have just enough time to prepare the ingredients for the Cobb Salad. (Shortcut: Pick up cornbread, a loaf of fresh bread or rolls from the bakery.)
- Hard-boil 4 eggs and chop. (Shortcut: Most grocery stores sell packaged hard-boiled eggs ready to go.)
- Cook 8 slices of bacon and crumble; I cooked mine in the microwave. (Shortcut: Pick up a package of pre-cooked bacon. I’ve never tried it because I prefer to buy nitrite and nitrate free bacon, but I’m sure it’s still better than bottled bacon bits.)
- Cook and chop about 1 lb of chicken breasts. I used kitchen shears to cut the chicken into bite-size pieces then sautéed it stove-top with a little avocado oil and Mrs. Dash Chicken Seasoning. The chicken would be awesome grilled too. (Shortcut: Purchase pre-cooked packaged chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.)
- Thaw the frozen corn (quickly in the microwave) or drain if using canned corn. (Shortcut: For a traditional Cobb Salad, skip the corn altogether.)
- Shred about 1 cup of cheddar cheese. This step is quick and worth the effort because it’s so much better than the pre-shredded stuff with added cornstarch. (Shortcut: Buy a bag of shredded cheese or a container of crumbled blue cheese.)
- Rinse and chop 1 large tomato.
- Just before assembling chop the avocado and drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Simple Homemade Dressing
Serve a simple, light vinaigrette on the side… store bought or homemade. I whisked together juice from 1/2 a lemon (leftover from the avocado), 3 tbs white wine vinegar, 1 tsp dried tarragon, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and a dash of pepper. It was the perfect complement to allow the ingredients in the salad to shine. If entertaining, you could put out 2 or 3 dressings for guests to choose from.
Here’s the fun part! Distribute a thick layer of your favorite greens on a large platter and start placing the ingredients one row at a time anyway you’d like! These rows make the Cobb Salad so unique… but really, who’s to say that you can’t arrange any salad like that! I love the presentation! Even if you took a few (smart) shortcuts, your family or guests will never notice because they’ll be oohing and aahhing over how pretty it looks!
You could always serve this salad on individual plates, however, the advantage to serving it family style on a LARGE platter is that everyone can pick and choose the ingredients they want to eat. My husband and I grabbed everything, but my kids, on the other hand, were more choosy. Neither of them would touch the avocado or the hard boiled eggs (their loss… more for us!). Once everything is mixed together on your plate it makes for a tasty and filling meal. To my surprise we actually had leftovers for lunches the next 2 days!
Go ahead and re-invent this Family Style Cobb Salad over and over again in so many different ways. Experiment with all kinds of ingredients! Now you’ll always have a go-to salad with wide-appeal!
By the way, I should acknowledge that this was my very 1st post on this site! After a year I came back in and updated the photos and text… it needed it! I feel like I learned so much in just a year (even though I move at, what feels like, a snail’s pace). I still have lots more to learn and I’m really trying to improve my photography skills! A big thanks to you for reading, following and supporting me! I hope you find my blog useful and inspirational! I’m all about keeping things simple, realistic, attainable and yummy!
Now print the recipe and go cook!!!
FAMILY STYLE COBB SALAD WITH BLUEBERRY CORNBREAD
- 1 large pkg mixed baby salad greens
- 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 8 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 cup corn, frozen (thawed) or canned (drained)
- 1 large avocado, chopped, (drizzled with 1 tbsp lemon juice to prevent browning)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, (or crumbled blue cheese)
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 bottle vinaigrette salad dressing, or make *homemade
- 1 pkg cornbread mix, plus ingredients listed on package, (replace oil with applesauce)
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 2 tbsp flax meal, optional
- Prepare Cornbread according to package directions, replacing the oil with applesauce. If desired, add 2 tbs Flax Meal. Gently stir blueberries into batter. Bake, cool and slice into squares.
- Cover a large platter with salad greens. Arrange eggs, bacon, tomatoes, corn, avocado, cheese and chicken in rows over greens.
- Serve salad dressing and cornbread alongside salad.