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Keto Cobb Salad

February 18, 2021



Keto Cobb Salad

Cobb salad may be the perfect keto meal. A bowl filled with harmonious contrast, our keto cobb salad includes juicy sliced chicken breast, crispy and smoky bacon crumbles, sweet and bursting cherry tomatoes, buttery avocado slices, pungent red onion strings, and crisp romaine lettuce topped with thick keto-friendly ranch dressing.  

Our keto cobb salad keeps it classic but includes creamy, cool, tangy Ranch Dressing instead of the typical red wine vinaigrette. If you want to deviate even more from the classic cobb salad recipe, you could swap chicken for turkey or tuna, blue cheese for sharp cheddar, tomatoes for cucumbers, and raw red onions for pickled onions.

Make one portion of this keto cobb salad, or have a Big Ass Salad party for the whole family and pile up the ingredients on a sheet pan (it's the new rustic platter!). The borders of a sheet pan work to encase the salad ingredients well, and everyone can take what they want from the pan when it's time to eat.

Keto Cobb Salad Recipe

Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 medium skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado, thinly sliced
  • 16 cherry tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing 

Instructions

  • Wash and dry lettuce. Chop and set aside.
  • Warm a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon slices and cook, turning 3-4 times, until cooked to desired crispness. 
  • Remove bacon from skillet and drain on clean kitchen towels. Remove half of the rendered bacon grease. When cooled, cut bacon into bite-sized slices, or crumble.
  • Season chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place chicken breasts in the hot skillet. Cook for 5–7 minutes on each side. 
  • Remove the chicken breasts and place on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. When cooled, slice chicken breasts.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil on high heat. When the water is boiling, add eggs, place the lid on the pot, and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit on the warm burner for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, drain the eggs and let cool. When cooled, peel the shells, rinse the peeled eggs to remove any tiny bits of shell, then slice into quarters.
  • Slice onion, avocado, and cherry tomatoes.
  • On a large baking sheet, place the chopped romaine lettuce in a layer. Layer the cobb salad ingredients in rows: cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, onions, chicken, avocado, bacon. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Drizzle with Ranch Dressing.

Nutrition info (per serving): 

Calories: 676

Carbs: 24 grams

Net Carbs: 16 grams

Fat: 41 grams

Protein: 53 grams

Nutrition info calculated using Cronometer. 

Want to learn how to make tasty, restaurant-style salads at home?

Thai chicken salad on a large white dinner plate next to a bottle of Primal Kitchen Cilantro Lime Dressing

 

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How to Meal Prep a Keto Cobb Salad

If you meal prep food once or twice a week, the components of this keto cobb salad recipe can be made ahead of time and stored separately for use. Here's a quick cobb salad meal prep playbook:

  1. Wash, dry, chop, and store the lettuce in an airtight container.
  2. Wash, dry, slice, and store cherry tomatoes in an airtight container.
  3. Cook hardboiled eggs: Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place uncooked eggs into the hot water, turn off the burner, and place a lid on the pot. Let the eggs sit in the warm water for 10 minutes, drain, then store unpeeled eggs in the refrigerator.
  4. Cook the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat in a teaspoon of avocado oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 7 minutes before turning over, seasoning the other side and cooking for an additional 6 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken and let rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board. Slice chicken and store cooled chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  5. Slice the red onions into thin strips either the night before you plan to serve the cobb salad, or the day of, to avoid having your entire refrigerator smell like onions. 
  6. Slice the avocado just before you plan to serve the cobb salad. 

Is Cobb Salad Keto?

Close up shot of keto cobb salad on a sheet pan

Our cobb salad recipe is keto, Primal/paleo, and delightful for almost any dietary preference. Most keto diets recommend keeping total daily carbohydrates between 20–50 grams per day. This keto cobb salad contains 24 grams of carbs (16 grams of net carbs) per serving.

Similar to a classic cobb salad, our keto cobb salad recipe includes a spattering of thinly sliced onions, lots of ruby cherry tomato slices, avocado slices, and plenty of shredded romaine lettuce. All of this fresh produce adds garden-fresh flavor, including pungent sharpness from the raw onion, bursting sweetness from the tomato, and a buttery grassy note from the avocado.

These fruits and vegetables can add more carbs to the cobb salad, though, so if you’re scrutinizing your macros, you may want to add smaller amounts of onion, tomato, and avocado. Add more bulk by using plenty of lettuce—you can even include a mix of romaine, butter, green or red leaf, mixed baby, or even iceberg lettuce. 

Other top keto-friendly picks for lower-carb salad vegetables:

  • Lettuces
  • Leafy greens
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Green bell pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Summer squash
  • Bok choy

The above-ground vegetables on this list provide texture, taste, variety, and interest to a keto-friendly salad. Below-ground vegetables such as tubers (think potatoes), carrots, beets, onions, parsnips contain higher amounts of carbohydrates than most above-ground vegetables.

Primal Kitchen founder Mark Sisson, New York Times best-selling author of The Keto Reset Diet allows for 50 grams of carbs per day while keto and recommends not stressing about counting the carbs in non-starchy, above-ground vegetables; read more about the 50-gram daily carb allowance on the Keto Reset Diet.

Keto Cobb Salad Dressing

Classic restaurant cobb salads usually come tossed with a red-wine vinaigrette. We love Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing on our cobb salad—drizzle on this thick, creamy, tangy, and herb-studded keto salad dressing to compliment the richness of the bacon, egg yolk, and avocado. 

Other creamy keto salad dressing options include:

If you prefer to dress your cobb salad with a keto-friendly vinaigrette, try:

Keto vs. Lower Calorie

For anyone who follows the keto diet and/or the Keto Reset Diet as a weight-loss strategy, note that just because a recipe is keto doesn't make it low or lower in calories.

Chock full of keto-friendly ingredients such as refreshing romaine lettuce, creamy and thick Ranch Dressing made with avocado oil, smoky bacon, and tender chicken breast, our keto cobb salad contains 676 calories per serving—but that's also a Big Ass Salad portion (you should be quite satisfied after eating).

The takeaway: Just because a recipe is keto doesn't mean it's low calorie. That's OK! Your body needs calories and nourishment to thrive. Our keto cobb salad includes plenty of fresh produce, lean protein, dressing made with fats we love, and some tasty keto ingredients like avocado, hard boiled eggs, and bacon.

Consider the context of the food. If you're trying to cut back on calories, you can always use smaller amounts of bacon or blue cheese on this keto cobb salad and increase volume by adding more greens.

Also, what else have you or do you plan to eat on the day you eat this cobb salad? If you want to trim down, maybe reconsider snacking on pork rinds or adding butter or MCT oil to your morning coffee. These popular "keto" practices should be considered in context for consumption and activity level for your entire day.

You might also like these other salad recipes:

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