This vegan Cobb salad recipe swaps in plant-based proteins for the traditional chicken and bacon, and replaces the customary hard-boiled eggs with chickpeas.
A classic American main-dish salad, the traditional Cobb salad consists of rows of uncooked vegetables, meats, and eggs arranged in rows on salad greens, served with a mustardy vinaigrette.
This salad is eminently flexible, so you can make it differently each time. By the way, stories differ as to when this salad was invented, and how, but it’s been around since at least the 1930s, so it’s a classic with staying power. And sometimes it’s fun to veganize classics like this, taking them into the future!
Add more rows of tasty veggies: If you have a larger platter, you can definitely expand the rows of vegetables. Add rows of peppers, cooked beets, and/or cucumbers if you’d like.
Flexible proteins: Replace one of the types of plant protein (here I suggest baked tofu, tempeh, or your favorite packaged vegan chick’n product, plus vegan bacon) with seitan or deli slices, or eliminate one of them and use a second variety of bean, or the rest of the can of chickpeas (this uses about half a can).
Complete the meal: Honestly, with all these various components, all you need is a crusty bread. But if you want a bigger meal, you might like to add grilled vegetables or corn on the cob in the summer, and in cooler months, a simple soup.
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or other vegetable oil
- 8 ounces baked tofu, tempeh, or plant-based chick’n, in shreds or dice
- 6 slices plant-based bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Spring mix or other torn or shredded lettuce, as needed (see variation)
- 3/4 cup canned chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Thinly sliced scallion or minced chives for garnish
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Heat about half of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the plant-based chick’n and sauté over medium heat until touched with golden spots here and there. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and sauté the bacon until lightly browned and crisp.
- Line a serving platter with spring mix or lettuce. Make two rows of tofu, tempeh, or chick’n over it, a row of bacon, and then a row each of the chickpeas, avocado, and tomatoes.
- You can either drizzle a little dressing over the top or just pass it around. Either way, sprinkle the salad with scallion or chives and serve at once.
Mix some baby spinach or several leaves of stemmed, sliced, and massaged kale in with the spring greens or lettuce for extra color and vitamins.
As mentioned in the headnote, feel free to vary the proteins and vegetables according to your preference and what you have on hand. Just make it look good!
More hearty main dish vegan salads:
- Vegan Curried “Chicken” Salad with Grapes and Almonds
- Vegan Pasta Tuna Salad (“Tofuna”)
- Hot and Cool Layered Black Bean Taco Salad
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