This Crusted Chicken Cobb Salad is absolutely packed with flavor! It’s a satisfying dinner with a variety of colors and textures, and the homemade honey mustard dressing is irresistible!
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There is something special about Cobb salad that sets it apart from other types of salads. While a freshly-tossed salad is always good (who doesn’t love a classic Caesar?!),
Cobb salad has a unique visual appeal because the ingredients are all grouped together on a large plate. Will you eat everything separately or mix it all up before you dig in? It’s like the choose-your-own-adventure of salads!
Chicken Cobb Salad Recipe
Cobb salads are also as healthy—or not healthy!—as you want them to be. You can add loads of bacon and cheese, or just enough to add some flavor. Again: have it your way!
A classic Cobb salad is typically made with fried chicken, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, chopped greens, and vinaigrette. The salad gets its name from Robert H. Cobb, who was the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. He created the salad one night in 1937 when he was looking for a way to use up some leftovers, or so the legend goes. The salad quickly became a menu staple, and it remains popular today!
While there are many variations on the basic Cobb salad recipe, most have a red wine vinaigrette, but I decided to give my version an upgrade with honey mustard dressing instead. It goes perfectly with the crispy chicken!
Ingredients For Chicken Cobb Salad
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
For the Salad:
- Butter lettuce or Romaine lettuce – You can also use a combination of both!
- Blue cheese
- Bacon slices – Cook the bacon and crumble it.
- Hard-boiled eggs – Here’s how to make hard-boiled eggs.
- Sweet corn – My Instant Pot Corn On The Cob recipe is great for this, or you can use grilled corn. When fresh corn isn’t in season, use frozen.
- Salt and pepper
- Cherry or plum tomatoes
- Red onion
For the Chicken:
- Panko – Regular breadcrumbs can be used instead if you like.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Salt and pepper
- Chicken breast (boneless skinless) – You could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Oil – Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil all work well for frying.
For the Honey Mustard Dressing:
- Grainy mustard
- Dijon mustard
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder
How to Make Cobb Salad
- Make the Dressing: Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate while you work on the rest of the recipe.
- Prep the Ingredients: Wash and cut the vegetables, then hard boil the eggs and cook the bacon. Set the bacon on a plate lined with parchment paper.
- Dredge the Chicken: Set 3 bowls on your countertop or workspace: one with flour, another with beaten egg, and the third with the panko mixed with the paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cut the chicken breasts in half if they’re thick, then pound them. Coat them in flour, then egg, then panko.
- Fry the Chicken: Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a deep skillet set over high heat. Carefully place the chicken in the pan and cook on high for 4 minutes on each side, or until they’re golden brown, crispy, and register 165ºF on a kitchen thermometer inserted into the thickest part. Set on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil.
- Assemble: Arrange all of the Cobb salad ingredients on a large platter or plate. Top it with the chicken and drizzle with honey mustard dressing. Serve immediately.
Feel free to make this chicken ahead of time and freeze it. You can defrost it when you want to make the salad. With the chicken in the freezer, you won’t have to plan ahead. The chicken won’t be as crispy as if it were made fresh, but it is an easy hack!
How to Store Cobb Salad
Cobb salad is really best eaten fresh! Other than prepping the veggies and dressing, I don’t recommend making this recipe ahead of time; the chicken won’t taste as fresh, and the crispy coating will turn soggy in the fridge, especially once the dressing is added.
If you do want to make this salad ahead of time, you can cook the chicken breast with seasonings only, not with the panko. This way, chicken can be reheated later when you’re ready to eat.
What sets a Cobb salad apart from other classic salads is the use of a specific selection of ingredients, all arranged in groups on a plate or platter: crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs, fresh tomatoes, avocados, tangy blue cheese crumbles, chicken, and greens are all essential to the Cobb salad formula!
Both Cobb and chef salads are made with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables, but there are a few key differences. First, a Cobb salad traditionally includes chicken, bacon, and hard-boiled eggs, while a chef salad may also feature ham or turkey. Second, a Cobb salad is typically served with a light red wine vinaigrette, while a chef salad is more likely to be served with rich, creamy dressing. Finally, a Cobb salad usually includes avocado, tomato, and lettuce, while a chef salad might also include carrots and olives too.
Despite the fried chicken, Cobb salads are still fairly healthy! With fresh greens, protein, and healthy fats, this salad provides your body with loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That said, Cobb salads can be quite high in calories thanks to the chicken, bacon, eggs, and cheese, so if you’re watching your calorie intake, you might want to serve yourself a smaller portion or go heavier on the veggies.
A classic Cobb salad dressing is a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, whole grain or Dijon mustard, and salt or pepper to taste. Some versions also include shallot, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, or Worcestershire sauce. My Cobb salad recipe is a little different—it’s made with a flavorful honey mustard dressing!
Crusted Chicken Cobb Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing
- 1 head of butter lettuce or Romaine lettuce or a mix of two, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 oz blue cheese
- 7-10 bacon slices cooked and crumbled
- 3 medium or large hard-boiled eggs
- 1 large avocado sliced
- 1 cup sweet corn or freshly boiled or grilled corn kernels
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup cherry or plum tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber sliced
- 1 small red onion diced or sliced thin
- 1 cup panko or sub with fine breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large chicken breast boneless skinless (or sub with boneless skinless chicken thighs)
- ¼-½ cup flour you only need to coat the chicken breast, so may end up using less
- 1 large egg
- oil for cooking
Honey Mustard Dressing
- ¼ cup honey liquid
- 2 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dressing: whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl. Chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Hard boil the eggs and cook the bacon. Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with parchment paper.
- Chicken. Line 3 bowls: with flour, with beaten egg, and the final with Panko breadcrumbs mixed with paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cut chicken breasts in two lengthwise if it is too thick. Place them on an even surface such as a wooden cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and pound lightly on both sides. One by one coat the chicken in flour, then egg, then panko. Heat up cooking oil (about 2-3 inches) in a skillet over high heat (or use a deep fryer). Once oil is hot and sizzling, carefully lower the chicken into the pan. Cook on high for 4 minutes on both sides or until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through in the center. Use a kitchen thermometer to register 165 degrees F inserted into the thickest part of the chicken. Set aside on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Arrange the salad ingredients on a large serving platter. Top with chicken and drizzle the honey mustard on top or leave the dressing on the table for each guest to add to their taste.
- For best flavor, consume right away.