The delicious Panera green goddess salad hosts a colorful combination of healthy greens, sweet corn, bright avocado, and savory bacon. There’s just as much variety in the texture between the crisp greens, pops of moist corn kernels, and the decadent, creamy dressing! Enjoy this copycat Panera cobb salad with chicken for a healthy lunch or dinner.
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Why We Love Panera Green Goddess Salad
- Less expensive to make at home.
This copycat version of Panera Bread’s famous salad is easy and more cost-efficient to make at home with ingredients bought from the grocery store.
- It’s light and refreshing.
Even with the creamy dressing! It’s just what we crave in the last, sweltering days of summer.
- It’s quick!
Just 10 minutes from start to finish!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Kale – We use Lacinato kale because it’s thinner, more tender, and a bit sweeter than regular kale. It also boasts a gorgeous, dark green color that knocks the presentation of the green goddess salad out of the park!
- Romaine – This type of lettuce adds crunch to the salad, and has more nutrients than iceberg.
- Corn – Either fresh or frozen works! If using frozen kernels, just let them thaw first.
- Bacon – We usually cook a few strips of bacon or turkey bacon in the oven. If you want to avoid the extra dishes, you can buy pre-cooked slices, or even use bacon bits instead.
Panera Green Goddess Dressing Ingredients
- Parsley – Of all the herbs we’re using, parsley is the most abundant — you’ll need ½ cup! Alternatively, you could use 2 tablespoons of dried tarragon. However, it will not taste as fresh and bright.
- Mayonnaise – We like to use avocado oil mayonnaise. It’s a healthier alternative and it also works to tie the green goddess salad dressing flavors together.
- Coconut Cream – Acceptable substitutes are Greek yogurt and sour cream. However, with either substitute, your Panera Cobb salad will no longer be dairy-free.
How to Remove the Pit and Flesh from an Avocado
- Place the avocado down on a cutting board.
- Gently slide the knife down through the skin and flesh until you hit the pit.
- Cut lengthwise, moving the avocado rather than the knife, in a single motion to cut around the pit.
- Twist the two halves of the fruit apart.
- Set down the half containing the avocado pit and gently but firmly, tap the pit with the blade of a sharp knife until it embeds itself in the pit. It should then easily lift out as you remove the knife.
From there, you can easily dice the avocado flesh while it’s still in the skin. Use a knife to cube the flesh, slicing lengthwise and then widthwise, to create a sort of grid. Scoop the cubes out with a spoon and repeat with the other half.
🎯 TFN Food Facts – Avocado
Did you know?
Avocados are spectacularly good for you and add a satisfying creaminess and fatty flavor that coats the mouth and complements other vegetables and herbs!
Recipe Tips for a Delicious Panera Cobb Salad
- Soften and tenderize the kale leaves with a nice massage.
All you have to do is gently rub the kale with your hands!This simple motion “bruises” the surface and makes it much softer.
- Slice the chicken for a more beautiful presentation.
Take the time to learn how to cut a chicken breast to place the finishing touches on your Panera green goddess salad! Knowing how to cut chicken properly is a pro skill in the kitchen, helping you prepare everything from panko-crusted chicken to copycat Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets!
🎯 TFN Pro Tip
Add pickled onion and hard boiled eggs to make this an actual copycat of Panera’s salad.
Variations of Green Goddess Cobb Salad
Other tasty produce and protein choices for green goddess cobb salad.
Cherry tomatoes and cucumbers would be delicious additions.
There are some other proteins you might be tempted to try as well! Lean salmon, turkey, and even tofu might be great in Panera cobb salad. Blackened shrimp is another possibility!
Storing and Make Ahead Instructions
Panera Green Goddess salad only lasts one or two days in the fridge. To help it last longer, store it without the dressing.
If you’d like to prepare green goddess chicken salad well ahead of time, prepare the components without any dressing. The dressing lasts for up to 5 days, so you could easily make a week’s worth of ingredients to toss with green goddess dressing as desired.
Panera Cobb Salad FAQ
The herb-based dressing is very creamy, with a fresh, bright flavor. The main flavors come from peppery parsley, vibrant lemon juice, and mayonnaise. There’s an onion-like flavor from the chives as well.
Generally speaking, yes. The chicken and hard-boiled eggs are protein-rich, the kale and corn are nutritious, and the dressing is prepared with healthy fats.
However, there is some bacon in the green goddess salad at Panera, which is generally high in cholesterol and sodium. So, if this is a concern, you can always leave the bacon out.
Chef salad contains plain lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and some sort of protein like turkey or ham. In comparison, Cobb salads typically contain a mix of greens, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs.
Panera Green Goddess Salad
- 3 cups lacinato kale stems and tough ribs removed
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado pitted, and diced
- 1 cup corn kernels fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen
- 3 cups cooked chicken breast diced or shredded
- 4 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
Green Goddess Dressing
- ½ cup fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives or 1 tsp dried
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (approx 1/2 large lemon)
- ½ cup mayonnaise we use avocado oil mayo
- ¼ cup coconut cream or sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Prepare the green goddess dressing. Add dressing ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.
- Massage the kale leaves (see notes below), then toss the kale and romaine with 1/3 cup of the dressing, until lightly coated. Add to salad bowl, pressing the greens towards the sides of the bowl.
- Add chicken to the center of the bowl. Spread out the avocado cubes on top. Put the corn on one side of the salad. Add the bacon to the other side.
- Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the salad before serving.
This post, first published June 21, 2021, was last updated with new content on Sept. 15, 2023.