When it comes to salads, I just love getting creative. I mean, who wants to settle for the same chicken cobb salad everyone else makes? Classics are great, but if you are ready for a truly spectacular salad then you’ve got to try this dairy-free and gluten-free Green Goddess Cobb Salad! Loaded with mixed greens, corn, avocado, and bacon this salad recipe will definitely become your new go-to summer salad!
Spring and summer are my favorite seasons for salads. The days are getting warmer and longer. We begin to crave lighter types of dishes like salads but still want satisfying meals at the end of those wonderfully long days.
This dairy-free Chicken Cobb Salad recipe is light, healthy, and filling with the lean protein of chicken, healthy fats from avocado, and vitamin-packed kale.
What I’ll Show You In this Post
- What’s So Special About This Chicken Cobb Salad?
- Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- How to Cook Tender Chicken Breasts
- Soften Kale for the Best Cobb Salad
- How to Assemble the Green Goddess Cobb Salad
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Get the Chicken Cobb with Green Goddess Dressing Recipe
What’s So Special About This Chicken Cobb Salad?
Here’s why you’ll love this fresh take on the classic cobb salad:
- It has an amazing homemade Green Goddess Dressing that’s gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.
- A fantastic mix of greens includes kale and romaine lettuce to give the Chicken Cobb Salad extra crunch and healthy goodness.
- It is full of creamy chunks of fresh avocado.
- Every forkful is loaded with colorful, vitamin-filled veggies.
- Thanks to bacon, you get perfectly crispy and crunchy bits of excellent texture with just a hint of saltiness in every bite.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Dairy-free Chicken Cobb Salad Ingredients
- Lacinato kale – This is also called dinosaur kale and gives the salad a nice flavor and texture. You can also use curly kale if preferred.
- Romaine lettuce – It gives a nice crisp texture to this recipe. But you can also use another type of lettuce like iceberg or butter.
- Avocado – This is used for its creamy texture and healthy fats, but you can omit it if you don’t have any.
- Fresh or frozen corn – If you don’t have any, feel free to use cherry tomatoes and cucumbers instead.
- Cooked chicken – This is your source of protein for this recipe. To make this Chicken Cobb really easy, you can certainly use a rotisserie chicken. But, I’ll tell you how to make easy, juicy cooked chicken breasts below. However, you can also use other proteins like tofu or shrimp.
- Bacon – This gives a nice flavor and crunch.
Green Goddess Dressing Ingredients
- Fresh parsley
- Dried tarragon
- Fresh chives
- Lemon juice
- Coconut cream or Greek yogurt if you’re not trying to keep strictly dairy-free
How to Cook Tender Chicken Breasts
Pro Tip: I like to prepare a whole batch of chicken breasts at once, as part of my weekly meal prep routine. By baking several chicken breasts together, you’ll have the makings for a few meals like Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Dumplings, or Chicken Pot Pie.
Here are the simple steps for making perfect chicken breasts in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 375º. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the chicken breasts to the sheet, and brush with olive oil. Then, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken after 30 minutes. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º.
- Once the chicken is cooled, shred into bite sized pieces.
Another option is to cook the chicken breasts in an Instant Pot. You can learn how with one of these posts: Instant Pot Chicken Chile Verde. or Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Just substitute a cup of chicken broth for the salsa and follow the directions in the recipe.
Soften Kale for the Best Cobb Salad
Kale is often overlooked as a salad green ingredient because it can be tough and chewy. This simple trick shows you how to soften kale so it’s as tender as romaine lettuce.
Strip the leafy kale from the stems and slice the greens into ribbons. After chopping the kale, add it to a salad bowl.
Using your clean hands as a scoop, scoop up the kale and slide your hands in opposite directions to massage the kale. This simple massaging action is what actually softens the kale by bruising the surface of the leaves.
See how to soften kale in action in this video:
How to Assemble the Green Goddess Cobb Salad
I recommend that you use a shallow salad bowl for the best presentation. First, place the kale and romaine greens in the bowl and gently toss with a bit of the salad dressing. Push the lettuce towards the sides to leave space for the chicken in the middle.
Then add in the shredded or cubed chicken to the center, leaving the greens showing along the sides. Place the avocado cubes among the pieces of chicken.
Next, add the corn on one side of the chicken and avocado.
On the other side, add the bacon bits. Lastly, drizzle the Green Goddess Dressing over the salad before serving.
Doesn’t this Green Goddess Cobb Salad look stunning? And amazingly, it tastes even better!
I hope you give this recipe a try soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Green Goddess Dressing might be better than the Panera Bread version. It is rich and creamy from the yogurt and avocado, it’s vibrant green from the basil, and has the perfect amount of tang thanks to the white wine vinegar
What does green goddess dressing taste like? This creamy dressing tastes herby, fresh, and bright. It has a slight tanginess thanks to the Greek yogurt/sour cream, and because of the fresh herbs and creamy base, is somewhat reminiscent of ranch dressing.
Panera Bread Green Goddess Cobb Salad is a salad that so many people love. This salad is perfect for low carb and keto diets (just eliminate the pickled onions). Best of all the Panera Bread Green Goddess Cobb Salad doesn’t taste like you are on a diet.
Get the Chicken Cobb with Green Goddess Dressing Recipe
Green Goddess Cobb Salad
- 3 cups Lacinato kale, stems removed and ribboned (one bunch)
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped or torn
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 cup fresh corn or frozen corn, dethawed
- 3 cups chicken breast, cubed or shredded *see notes for chicken prep
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and sliced or crumbled
Green Goddess Dressing
- ½ cup fresh parsley (or 2 Tbsp dried parsley)
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives (1 tsp dried)
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (approx 1/2 large lemon)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I use avocado oil mayonnaise)
- ¼ cup coconut cream (can substitute 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.
For more meal inspiration, follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thefeatherednester/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/houseon3rd/.
Get More Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins
- Bisquick Chicken Tenders
- Instant Pot Ranch Chicken and Potatoes
- Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
- Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breasts
- Instant Pot Huli Huli Chicken
- Crock Pot Smothered Chicken
- Chicken Piccata
- Sheet Pan Chicken & Veggies
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