This classic but healthy chicken Cobb salad is loaded with toppings like chicken, bacon, avocado, jammy eggs, and topped with ranch dressing. Whole30 and dairy free, there’s no cheese but you’d never, ever miss it! An awesome filling salad recipe and great for meal prep, too.
Chicken Cobb Salad (Dairy Free, Whole30)
Elaine Benes was onto something with her infamous request: the Big Salad. And honestly, I don’t know what all the fuss was about. Any salad lover knows that intense craving for a refreshing and crisp salad that’s loaded with tons of toppings and is bigger than your head.
You with me? Yes? Yes.
This healthy chicken Cobb salad is dairy-free, paleo, and Whole30 since there’s no cheese – blue or otherwise – and the ranch dressing is dairy free, too. But you can absolutely always add whatever dairy strikes your fancy or use your favorite dressing (ranch is perfect, but blue cheese or a vinaigrette are delicious, too) if you’re not on a particular diet that restricts dairy consumption.
Why This Chicken Cobb Salad Is So Good
- It’s loaded with classic Cobb salad toppings like chicken, bacon, grape tomatoes, avocado, and eggs. Topped with ranch dressing for a creamy, filling entree salad!
- The eggs are jammy and creamy. The yolks are set, but they’re still oh so rich and perfect.
- It’s healthy, made from scratch, Whole30, paleo, and dairy free. Suitable for just about everyone (Except vegans and vegetarians, of course!).
- It’s great as a meal prep!
How to Make This Healthy Whole30 Cobb Salad
The only important process to know for this paleo chicken Cobb salad is how to create perfectly jammy eggs. I go into detail in my Perfect Easy Peel Hard and Soft Boiled Eggs article and share my hands-down favorite method for boiled eggs that are just right and super crazy easy to peel.
Here are the Spark notes: Boil water and add a glug of vinegar. Gently lower eggs into the boiling water and cook 8 minutes. Immediately drain the boiling water after 8 minutes and transfer the eggs to an ice water bath. Let sit in an ice water bath for about 10 minutes or until chilled. Drain the water and jiggle and bounce the pan or bowl until the shells of the eggs are extremely broken, almost like mesh. Peel under running water.
8 minutes is key for those gorgeous jammy eggs for a salad: they’re set but not too runny.
Make sure your bacon is cooked until it’s crisp but not burned, too. Soggy bacon is no good on a salad! I like breaking my bacon into larger chunks for this healthy chicken Cobb salad; little “bits” deliver less flavor here for me.
Otherwise, simply assemble your salad and go! Make sure you drizzle about half of the ranch dressing on top of the lettuce before layering on the toppings for even dressing distribution.
If you’re not on a Whole30 or dairy free, try…
- Shredded cheese, like cheddar
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Blue cheese dressing
- Vinaigrette, instead of ranch. Of course, you can use your favorite vinaigrette on a Whole30 or if dairy free, too.
- My Whole30 Balsamic Dressing. It’s creamy, super easy, and naturally sweet.
Whole30 Salad Dressings
My absolute favorite Whole30-compliant ranch dressing is my Whole30 “Dump” Ranch Dressing. It’s super easy to whip together; you just need an immersion blender and light-tasting olive oil or avocado oil to make it. 10/10 recommend!
If you prefer a vinaigrette, my Whole30 Balsamic Dressing is out of this world. It’s super easy, naturally sweetened with coconut aminos, and just crazy good. Try it!
Making for Meal Prep
If you make this Whole30 Cobb salad for meal prep, simply assemble the salads except for the avocado and ranch dressing. Add those right before serving, and you’re set!
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Whole30 Dump Ranch Dressing Recipe
- Creamy Whole30 Balsamic Dressing
- Shredded Chicken Salad (Costco Style)
- Loaded Burger Bowls with Special Sauce
- Egg Roll in a Bowl Meal Prep (Whole30, Paleo, Keto)
- Whole30 Chicken Cacciatore
- Chickpea Salad (Mediterranean Style)
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Chicken Cobb Salad (Dairy Free, Whole30)
- 1-2 tablespoons vinegar of choice for boiling eggs
- 6 large eggs
- 8 slices bacon cooked until crisp then drained on paper towels
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 cups lettuce frisée, green leaf, red leaf, romaine or desired mix
- 2 cups cooked chicken diced
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 1 ripe avocado peeled and sliced into ¼” slices
- ranch dressing about ⅓ cup, see Notes
- green onions thinly sliced, for garnish
For the Eggs
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and add 1-2 tablespoons vinegar of choice. Gently lower eggs into the water and boil 8 minutes for medium-set yolks.
- Immediately drain the boiling water after 8 minutes and transfer eggs to an ice water bath. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until chilled. Drain the eggs and return to an empty pan or bowl.
- Jiggle and bounce the eggs against one another in the pan until the shells are very broken, and feel almost like mesh. Peel under running water and cut in half lengthwise.
For the Salad
- Break bacon strips into ½-1" pieces.
- Arrange lettuce of choice on a large plate or platter. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper over then drizzle with about half of ranch.
- Arrange remaining toppings over in desired design. Top with remaining ranch dressing and garnish with green onions.
- Make sure your ranch dressing is Whole30 compliant, if on Whole30. My favorite recipe is my Whole30 Dump Ranch Dressing. For a bottled Whole30 ranch dressing, try Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing. It’s dairy-free and made with avocado oil. Totally Whole30 compliant!
- For more information on perfectly boiling eggs, check out my article on Perfect Easy Peel Hard and Soft Boiled Eggs here.
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.