The Cobb Salad is a famous salad layered with delicious toppings. In this recipe, we’re making the classic salad just as delicious, but also healthy, swapping out the cheese for creamy avocado and bacon with crispy baked apples.

The salad is tossed with a simple homemade honey dijon dressing for the perfect sweetness to finish off this tasty salad!

cobb salad in bowl topped with apple chips, eggs, tomatoes, chicken and avocado

This recipe first appeared on the blog 10 years ago in 2013. I was preparing to host a segment for San Diego 6 News on Labor Day all about recipes that will cure a hangover. While eating a healthy, protein-packed salad will give you a boost of energy and fuel you up with antioxidants after a night of drinking, it’s really great to eat anytime you want a healthy meal!

In this Cobb Salad, I traded the bacon for crispy apple chips, which add a hint of sweetness and a nice little energy boost to the salad! I traded in the cheese for creamy avocados which contain lycopene (also found in the juicy tomatoes on this salad) which helps reduce inflammation and fuels you up with antioxidants.

I kept the hard boiled eggs that are found in a traditional Cobb Salad, because eggs are full of amino acids, which help support liver function. Instead of fried chicken, I grilled the chicken for this salad, for a healthy boost of protein!

For the salad dressing, I made a homemade honey dijon dressing. It’s creamy and tangy, with a hint of sweetness from the honey. Feel free to use this dressing, or a vinaigrette, traditionally found in a Cobb Salad. This Lemon Vinaigrette also pairs perfectly with this salad!

All-in-all, this salad will give you all the textures of a classic Cobb Salad, as well as similar flavors, with an extra hint of sweetness and healthy boost of good-for-you ingredients! It’s filling enough to eat as a main dish and easy to meal prep for a week of wholesome meals.

ingredients in a healthy cobb salad

Ingredients

  • Spinach – for the base of the salad, I chose spinach instead of iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce. This superfood is incredibly nutrient dense and the perfect base for a healthy Cobb salad.
  • Tomatoes – for this recipe I diced up a medium tomato. You could also use quartered cherry tomatoes, if you like.
  • Grilled chicken breast – for the grilled chicken, I recommend seasoning 1/2 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of my famous chicken seasoning. Toss the chicken on the grill and once it’s fully cooked, dice it up to top the salad.
  • Hard boiled eggs – follow the link to the left for my step by step guide on how to hard boil eggs. You’ll want to hard boil the eggs before preparing the salad. These can be made up to a week in advance and stored in their shells in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the salad.
  • Avocado – in my version of a cobb salad, the avocado replaces the cheddar, feta or blue cheese, commonly found on a Cobb Salad. Diced up and added on top of the salad, the avocado adds a delicious creaminess. It’s also a superfood that adds 20 vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients to the salad.
  • Apple chips – follow the link to the left for my step by step guide on how to make apple chips in an air fryer or in the oven. You can also purchase a bag of apple chips at the grocery store to make this recipe quick and easy! Just make sure you don’t purchase flavored apple chips. You’ll want plain apple chips for this recipe.
  • Honey dijon dressing – feel free to use my homemade dressing made with honey, dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and spices. Or sub in your favorite store-bought dressing to make the recipe easier. Any honey dijon, honey mustard, balsamic or red wine vinaigrette would make a great Cobb Salad dressing.
cobb salad in bowl with honey dijon dressing in bowl on the side

Instructions

For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Prepare the salad dressing. If you plan to use store-bought salad dressing, you can skip this step. Otherwise, add dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic cloves, ground ginger, salt and pepper to a small bowl or mason jar. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients in the bowl or place a lid on the mason jar and shake up all of the ingredients. Place the honey dijon dressing in the refrigerator for up to 7 days before preparing the salad.
  2. Make the apple chips. If you are using store-bought apple chips, you can skip this step. If you’d like to make them at home, follow this step by step guide to make apple chips in the air fryer or oven. I recommend the air fryer method because it’s much quicker and you only need a few apple chips for this recipe.
  3. Prepare the hard boiled eggs. Follow this guide to make perfect hard boiled eggs to top the salad. You can make the eggs up to 7 days in advance. Just be sure to keep them in their shells in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make the salad, gently crack the egg and peel the shell from the hard boiled eggs. Dice up the eggs before adding them to the salad.
  4. Make the grilled chicken. Coat a chicken breast in olive oil, then in 1 tablespoon chicken seasoning. Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from the grill, rest for 5 minutes, then dice up the chicken.
  5. Assemble the salad. Add spinach leaves to a large bowl, toss with the honey dijon dressing. Add the toppings to the salad in rows. Start with the diced avocado, then the diced grilled chicken, apple chips, hard boiled eggs and diced tomatoes.

As you can see, most of the preparation for this salad can be done in advance. So feel free to follow steps 1-4 on Sunday or Monday to meal prep these salads for the week. Then all you’ll have to do when it’s time to eat, is toss the spinach in the dressing, then add the toppings!

Diet variations

  • Dairy Free: this recipe does not contain dairy. Always make sure if you’re purchasing bottled salad dressing at the grocery store that it’s dairy-free.
  • Gluten Free: this recipe does not contain gluten. Always make sure if you’re purchasing bottled salad dressing at the grocery store that it’s gluten-free.
  • Vegan: omit the chicken, or replace it with grilled tofu. Omit the hard boiled eggs, or replace them with scrambled tofu. Swap out the honey in the salad dressing with maple syrup.
cobb salad in bowl

More salad recipes

If you love this Cobb Salad recipe, then you have to try these other healthy, nutritious and delicious salad recipes!

cobb salad in bowl with apple chips
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Healthy Cobb Salad

The Cobb Salad is a famous salad layered with delicious toppings. In this recipe, we're making the classic salad just as delicious, but also healthy, swapping out the cheese for creamy avocado and bacon with crispy baked apples. The salad is tossed with a simple homemade honey dijon dressing for the perfect sweetness to finish off this tasty salad!

Ingredients

Healthy Cobb Salad

  • ½ cup apple chips
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • ½ pound cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • ½ cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 3 tablespoons honey dijon dressing, recipe below

Honey Dijon Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Instructions

Honey Dijon Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Whisk well.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Healthy Cobb Salad

  • Make the apple chips. If you are using store-bought apple chips, you can skip this step. If you’d like to make them at home, follow this step by step guide to make apple chips in the air fryer or oven. I recommend the air fryer method because it’s much quicker and you only need a few apple chips for this recipe.
  • Prepare the hard boiled eggs. Follow this guide to make perfect hard boiled eggs to top the salad. You can make the eggs up to 7 days in advance. Just be sure to keep them in their shells in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make the salad, gently crack the egg and peel the shell from the hard boiled eggs. Dice up the eggs before adding them to the salad.
  • Make the grilled chicken. Coat a chicken breast in 1 teaspoon olive oil, then in 1 tablespoon chicken seasoning. Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from the grill, rest for 5 minutes, then dice up the chicken.
  • Assemble the salad. Add spinach leaves to a large bowl, toss with the honey dijon dressing. Add the toppings to the salad in rows. Start with the diced avocado, then the diced grilled chicken, apple chips, hard boiled eggs and diced tomatoes.

Notes

  • To meal prep this recipe, prepare the salad dressing, apple chips, hard boiled eggs and grilled chicken. Store the salad dressing, eggs and chicken in the refrigerator for up 5 days. Assemble the salad as instructed, when ready to eat.
  • This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free using the ingredients and recipes pictured and linked in this post.
  • To make this recipe vegan, omit the chicken, or replace it with grilled tofu. Omit the hard boiled eggs, or replace them with scrambled tofu. Swap out the honey in the salad dressing with maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts

Serving 2gCalories 507kcal (25%)Carbohydrates 26g (9%)Protein 46g (92%)Fat 24g (37%)Saturated Fat 5g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat 4gMonounsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 283mg (94%)Sodium 315mg (13%)Potassium 1297mg (37%)Fiber 9g (36%)Sugar 10g (11%)Vitamin A 6384mg (128%)Vitamin C 33mg (40%)Calcium 119mg (12%)Iron 4mg (22%)
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