Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad

GF LC

This blackened chicken Cobb salad is packed with flavor and so simple to make. Plus, it’s great for meal prep, low-carb and keto-friendly.

As you know, I’m on a mission to make salads an exciting, sought-after meal.

We’ve all been in that position where we’ve ordered a salad at a restaurant because we thought it was the “healthy choice.” And then it ended up being a dressing drenched, sad salad that lacked flavor BUT still had a ton of calories, sugar and fat. UGH!

Cobb salad in a large serving bowl with hard boiled egg, blue cheese, cucumber, avocado, blackened chicken, tomato, spinach and bacon. Two wood salad serving spoons are in the bowl.

Well, this blackened chicken salad couldn’t be more different. It’s loaded with tons of delicious flavors, but they’re portioned out so the salad is still uber healthy.

This salad has a great balance of lean protein, healthy fats and veggies which makes it an awesome meal-sized salad for lunch or dinner. Plus it’s so easy to make and can easily be customized!

When following the Faster Way to Fat Loss program, which involves two low carb days a week, I meal prep this salad because it’s the most delicious low-carb meal! And it really fills me up, too.

Blackened grilled chicken in a grill pan.

What is Blackened Seasoning?

If you’ve never had blackened chicken, shrimp, salmon or anything really, I highly recommend it. It changes what could be a bland protein into a flavor explosion in every bite — but without a ton of added fat or calories. It’s just a simple spice mixture that takes the dish up 20+ notches.

And there’s no need to marinate in advance, so you can make this meal on the fly. More often than I would like to admit, I plan on making a lunch or dinner and realize an hour beforehand that the recipe calls for 8+ hours of marinating. Don’t have time for that on the regular!

I easily made my own blackened seasoning at home with just a few simple spices, but you can also use a store-bought mixture.

Pouring red wine vinaigrette dressing over a cobb salad made with spinach, egg, onion, bacon, blue cheese, cucumber, avocado, blackened chicken and tomatoes.

Chicken Cobb Salad Ingredients

Don’t let the long-ish ingredient list scare you. It’s basically just a bunch of veggies!

  • baby spinach or chopped romaine – I like using baby spinach for this salad. It’s loaded with a ton of health benefits and the leaves are smaller, more tender and more flavorful. You can also used chopped romaine for a crunchy base.
  • hard boiled eggs – a staple ingredient for Cobb salad! Follow my simple tutorial to make perfect hard boiled eggs.
  • grape tomatoes – cherry tomatoes work as well! I love the sweet flavor explosion that small tomatoes add to this salad.
  • cucumber – a refreshing, crisp addition to the salad.
  • red onion – adds a kick of flavor!
  • turkey bacon – I used turkey bacon, but pork bacon would work great too.
  • crumbled blue cheese – I love blue cheese in this salad, but it does have a very distinct flavor. If you don’t like blue cheese, crumbled feta or goat cheese would work great as a sub. Or you can omit or use a vegan cheese option to make this dairy-free!
  • avocados – this adds the perfect amount of creaminess to the salad. Just look for avocados that give slightly when you press down on the skin. 
  • dressing – we’re using a simple red wine vinaigrette with Dijon mustard, maple syrup (or honey), extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper
  • chicken breasts – you’ll be adding the delicious seasoning and searing the chicken on the stovetop or grilling it!
  • blackened seasoning – a tasty blend of paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and olive oil. 

Cobb salad in a large serving bowl with hard boiled egg, blue cheese, cucumber, avocado, blackened chicken, tomato, spinach and bacon. Two wood salad serving spoons and a jar of homemade dressing are beside the bowl.

Can You Prep this Chicken Salad Ahead of Time?

Yes! You can prep the different components of this salad ahead of time and then assemble right before serving. You can also combine everything (except for the avocado and dressing), portion out individual servings, store in the fridge and add the avocado and dressing right before serving.

Whisk in a jar of red wine vinaigrette.

Can You Use a Different Dressing?

Yes! The red wine vinaigrette is really light and lets the ingredients in the salad shine, but feel free to experiment with different dressings. I have a ton of different healthy salad dressing recipes to choose from.

I’m currently hooked on my turmeric tahini dressing and it’s lovely over this blackened chicken salad as well. And if you’re short on time you can always use your favorite store-bought dressing or just drizzle a little vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper over your salad. You really don’t need much dressing because the ingredients in this salad are so dang flavorful!

More Tasty Salad Recipes:

If you make this blackened chicken salad be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting us know how it turned out for you. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and our readers!

Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad

4 from 40 votes
This blackened chicken Cobb salad is packed with flavor and so simple to make. Plus, it’s great for meal prep and is grain-free, low-carb and keto-friendly.
Cobb salad in a large serving bowl with hard boiled egg, blue cheese, cucumber, avocado, blackened chicken, tomato, spinach and bacon. Two wood salad serving spoons and a jar of homemade dressing are beside the bowl.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Blackened Chicken:

  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, if needed
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3-4 pieces

Salad:

  • 12 cups baby spinach or chopped romaine
  • 4 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, optional
  • 1 –2 avocados, sliced

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Prepare chicken: Take chicken out of the package and pat dry with paper towels. Add spices — paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper — in a small bowl. Coat each chicken breast with spice mixture.
  • Cook chicken: To cook the chicken, you can either grill it on an indoor or outdoor grill or sear it on the stovetop. To sear: add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken breasts in hot oil. Cook chicken about 6–7 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove chicken from skillet and let sit for 5 minutes to cool before slicing for the salad. This step can be done a day in advance.
  • Make dressing: While the chicken cooks, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar.
  • Assemble salad: Divide the spinach or romaine among 4 plates (or containers if you’re making this for meal prep). Arrange equal portions of blackened chicken, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, avocado, bacon and blue cheese on top of the greens.
  • Add dressing: Just before serving, top salad with 1–2 Tablespoons of the red wine vinaigrette dressing or your favorite dressing.

Video

Notes

  • Mushrooms: You'll notice the video has mushrooms. You can totally add these in, but after re-testing the recipe I don't feel they are necessary.
  • Turkey bacon: Pork bacon would work great too.
  • Blue cheese: Feta or goat cheese would work as well. Or you can omit or use a vegan cheese option to make this dairy-free.
  • Vegan option: Try my vegan Cobb salad instead!

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad (without dressing) Calories: 449kcal Carbohydrates: 15g Protein: 47g Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 256mg Sodium: 1337mg Fiber: 10g Sugar: 5g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad, Cobb salad

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!
This Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad tops the charts in my book. I love how much flavor is packed in each bite and how simple it is to create. Bonus points: it’s a great salad to prep ahead of time! Paleo, grain-free, low-carb and keto-friendly. 
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Recipe Rating




    21 comments
    1. Maria
      July 25, 2021 AT 2:29 pm

      5 stars
      The salad was really good but wow that is a lot of sodium per serving!

    2. Sydney Forman
      June 21, 2021 AT 7:55 pm

      5 stars
      Best chicken recipe! Definitely going to make again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 22, 2021 AT 11:29 am

        Aw that makes me so happy to hear! I’m so glad glad this recipe was a hit, Sydney! Thanks for the review 🙂

    3. michelle Rose king
      May 22, 2021 AT 6:55 am

      cool

    4. Sarah
      April 26, 2021 AT 11:37 am

      5 stars
      Total Crowd pleaser! This salad is so easy to make and delicious. The best part…the dressing! I used the leftovers on my grain bowls for lunch throughout the week. Another winner from EBF!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 26, 2021 AT 3:26 pm

        Yay!! So pumped this recipe was a hit, Sarah. Thanks for the review. I appreciate it!

    5. Mandi
      April 24, 2021 AT 2:12 pm

      5 stars
      Been doing the 5-day salad challenge this week and I think with this recipe I have a newfound love for meal sized salads.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 26, 2021 AT 11:14 am

        Woo! That makes me so happy to hear, Mandi! Thanks for the review. It means the world to me!

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