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May 8, 2024

Classic Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Crispy chicken, crumbled bacon, creamy avocado, jammy eggs and sharp blue cheese all on a bed of Romaine topped with a pour of homemade buttermilk dressing. Meet the official TMP Cobb salad.


cobb salad with crispy panko chicken, buttermilk ranch dressing, avocados, bacon, soft boiled eggs, blue cheese and tomatoes

We Give This Homemade Cobb Salad, an Eleven Out of Ten Stars.

Crispy, panko-crusted chicken, crumbled bacon, creamy avocado, perfect six-minute eggs and sharp blue cheese lay together atop a bed of crunchy romaine and then—because you’re JUST THAT GOOD—you pour homemade buttermilk dressing over the whole beautiful mess. And that’s the moment, the day, the hour that you’ll never forget—the one when your family began to beg to have salad for dinner. For more Cobb Salad fun, check out our Spring Cobb.

classic cobb salad with crispy breaded chicken on a round platter

Who Invented the Cobb Salad?

Cobb salad origin stories abound, but we can say with relative certainty that this classic American composed salad was first eaten at L.A.’s infamous (and now defunct) Brown Derby restaurant in the late 1930s. Named for the Derby’s owner, Robert H. Cobb, the salad was supposedly created one night when he (or perhaps the chef—tellings vary!) stumbled into the kitchen late one night and made a meal out of leftovers he found in the fridge. And hence, the Cobb salad was born.

ingredients for classic cobb salad laid out on a table, chicken, romaine, hard boiled eggs, blue cheese, bacon and avocado

What’s in a Cobb Salad?

So, what exactly were these leftovers and why is the salad they made so very, very good? Here’s what goes into our classic Cobb salad recipe:

  • Chicken. Our Cobb salad recipe features crispy, panko-crusted chicken. Because crispy and fried is always better than not crispy and not fried.
  • Avocado. I mean, this salad was born in California. Of course it has avocado.
  • Bacon! You can pan-fry it or bake it in the oven, just be sure it’s nice and crisp.
  • Blue cheese crumbles. Roquefort is the classic blue cheese for Cobb salad—we love its rich tangy punch and perfect crumble.
  • Hard-boiled egg. We like ours with a nice jammy yolk. You can see our instructions for how to make perfect six-minute eggs.
  • Dressing. Here’s where our Cobb salad recipe differs from the classic—and is (dare we say?) better! Instead of the classic Brown Derby dressing (a super tangy, Worcestershire-y vinaigrette) we think the best dressing for Cobb salad is a creamy, herby, homemade buttermilk ranch.
  • Romaine! Not only is it one of the healthiest lettuces out there (totally counteracts all the bacon and cheese, right?) it’s sturdy enough to hold up against ALL of the Cobb salad ingredients that we pile onto it.
close up of classic cobb salad with crispy panko chicken and buttermilk ranch dressing

How Do You Make a Cobb Salad?

Composed salads like this sound like such a fancy, restaurant-y thing but really all you do is assemble a bunch of ingredients on a plate and serve. Here’s how to make our best ever, perfect Cobb salad:

  1. Fry the chicken. This is the most work our Cobb salad recipe requires of you. Well, frying the chicken and then managing to not eat all of it before you have a chance to assemble the salad.
  2. Boil eggs. As we mentioned above, this takes six minutes. Do it while you fry the chicken! Maybe the bacon’s in the oven during all of this stove top excitement, too. You brilliant multi-tasker, you.
  3. Chop, dice, slice. The avocado, the bacon, the egg, scallions, cherry tomatoes, romaine, all of it.
  4. Assemble on a big platter! In whatever arrangement makes it look pretty to you! Or don’t. You can also just dig right in, or lay out the various toppings and let everyone assemble their own version of the Cobb salad.
raw chicken being salted for crispy panko chicken
raw chicken being dipped in flour after being salted for crispy panko chicken
raw chicken being dipped in beaten eggs after being dipped in flour for crispy panko chicken
raw chicken being dipped in panko bread crumbs after being dipped in beaten eggs for crispy panko chicken

Panko-Fried, Crispy Chicken = Cobb Salad Perfection.

Most classic Cobb salad recipes call for simply broiled or grilled chicken breasts, but we’re taking this Cobb salad to the nth degree by serving it with panko-crusted, crispy fried chicken instead. You can certainly use some leftover grilled or poached chicken breast if that’s what you have on hand—after all, this salad was created as a way to gobble up leftovers! But, if you’ve got a few extra minutes, our crispy chicken Cobb upgrade is SO worth it.

crispy panko chicken in a black skillet of sizzling oil

Tools You’ll Need:

Salad Season at its Finest!

Other main-dish salads we’ll be living on this summer:

Classic cobb salad with crispy panko chicken and buttermilk ranch dressing

Was It the Best Cobb Salad Ever?

Or what? Tell us how your Cobb salad turned out, we really want to know! Snap a photo, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Classic Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 362


Crispy Panko Chicken

  • 1.5 lbs chicken cutlets, or breast sliced horizontally into two even (thinner) pieces
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • canola oil, for frying


  1. Season the chicken with salt. Gather 3 shallow bowls or pie pans. In one bowl place the flour, in a second bowl add the beaten egg and add the panko to the third bowl.
  2. Working with one piece at a time, dredge chicken in the flour, then into the beaten eggs, shaking off excess egg before dipping it in the the panko. Set aside on a plate and continue steps with remaining chicken.
  3. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat, until glistening. Working in batches set the chicken in the oil. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Flip, cooking for 2-3 minutes longer until on other side or until chicken is cooked through. Chicken is fully cooked when the thickest part reads 165°F on an instant read thermometer. *If the chicken is browning to quickly, reduce the heat. Remove from heat and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. When slightly cooled, slice the chicken into strips.
  4. On a large platter arrange romaine lettuce, bacon, eggs, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green onions, blue cheese and chicken. Serve with buttermilk ranch.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories362
  • Protein29 g
  • Carbohydrates17 g
  • Total Fat20 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol200 mg
  • sodium997 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Classic Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Theresa

    I've seen recipes for cob salads with corn
    kernels removed from the cobs, however,
    none of the recipes here have corn as an
    incredient. Is corn part of the salad or not?

    Not traditionally but corn is definitely a delicious addition if you'd like to add it. Hope you enjoy Terry!

  • Jim


    I love the site! Thank you for all of the great recipes and cooking tips! One question I have about the oil - What do you typically do with the oil after cooking?

    Thank you!!


    Hi Jim, first you can let it cool then pour it into a jar, into the garbage can onto some paper towels, or line a bowl with foil and pour it into the foil before discarding.

  • Alexis

    Amazing! So tasty

    Thank you Alexis! We are happy you loved it!

  • Rachel

    This was absolutely the best Cobb salad! I’m not always a salad for dinner kind of person but this was packed with protein and very satisfying. The dressing was spot on and the chicken was so juicy and delicious. Much better than any I’ve had in a restaurant. Will definitely be making it again! Thank you!