This Posh Dairy Free Cobb Salad is the perfect meal for when you want a salad with a bit more pizazz. This is a egg free, dairy free, gluten free and top 8 allergens free twist on the traditional Cobb salad.
Why We Like This Recipe
We eat a lot of salads in our home, especially when it is warmer out. Where we live we can get warm days in the middle of winter thanks to a meteorological phenomena called a chinook. We were looking for a way to zest up a cobb salad and make it top 8 allergen friendly when we came up with our Dairy Free Cobb Salad.
What are Cobb Salads?
Cobb Salads are really popular in North America and ingredients can vary based on your region. For us a generic Cobb has iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, chicken lunch meat, avocado, and blue cheese or shredded cheddar, and a dressing either vinaigrette or creamy depending on where you go. For us a lot of those ingredients are off limits as they aren’t free from our allergens. Therefore we set out to make an allergen friendly version nearly 100 years after the salad’s inception.
We have split the ingredients for this egg free Cobb salad recipe in two sections to make it easier to follow. The two areas are The Salad and The Dressing.
- Butter Lettuce
- Fresh Dill
- Cooked Chicken Breast
- Heirloom tomatoes
- Pickled red onion
- Marinated chickpeas
- Dairy Free Herbed Cheese
- Dairy Free Coconut or Oat Yoghurt, Plain Not flavoured
- Vegan Mayonnaise
- Dill, fresh
- Rosemary, fresh
- Thyme, fresh
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Safe Plant Milk
- Fresh Lemon Juice
See recipe card for quantities.
Ingredients for Our Dairy Free Cobb Salad:
We changed up a few components to ingredients that are a bit more popular and easier to get nowadays than they would have been before. We subbed out the eggs entirely for another protein source and opted for a newer type of dairy-free cheese. These changes and the dressing make this posh cobb salad top 8 allergens free.
Rather than iceberg we chose the melt in your mouth butter lettuce for its soft texture and taste. A few sprigs of fresh dill were tossed into the lettuce to give it a bit of flavour.
Pickled red onions:
These are a staple in our fridge. Once a week we make a jar of these up and they go on everything!! They are sweet and vinegary rather than the bite of a raw onion. The pickled version is great on burgers, too.
Instead of bacon we crisped up this safe for us cured meat. It is quicker to cook up yet still gives that crunch and a salty taste, like bacon.
Sliced roast chicken breast:
To keep our salad full of flavour and keep the meat (the part that sells the salad to some of our family) we went for the breast we saved and had left over from our last roast chicken. We make them on the BBQ and oven all the time and you can see how we make them in our Whole Roast Chicken Recipe. You can also bake just a breast with a bit of oil brushed on it in the oven. When we do this method we do a few for the week to have easy salad toppings and sandwich filling for our chicken salad sandwiches or Curried Chicken Papaya Salad.
Not too different here, only we grab a packet of cherry or grape tomatoes in fun varieties to add colour and subtle flavour to the salad.
No change here. We didn’t want to mess with the most popular part of the salad in our family.
We wanted to keep the protein the eggs gave the meal but eggs are a big allergen for us so we needed something to give the posh Cobb salad loads of flavour but be safer for us. We use our own recipe here. If you want more crunch in your recipe instead of putting them on raw you can bake them at 400°F for 30-40 minutes and they will be crunchy and are a great crouton substitution.
Dairy Free Cheese:
I cannot stand blue cheese so this was no loss to me. We used the dairy-free Boursin cheese to bring loads of flavour and creaminess to our posh Cobb salad. It is available in most grocers in Canada and The United States in either the deli cheese fridges or with the dairy alternative cheeses. We stock up on it when it goes on sale as it is perfect on bagels, too.
We have so many vinaigrette based dressings and the kids are a fan of ranch or buttermilk style dressings. This one is dairy free yoghurt based with loads of herbs, and a bit of oat milk mixed with lemon juice in lieu of buttermilk.
Dairy Free Yoghurt:
We find this works the best for this dressing as a base. We use the Riveria Oat based Greek yoghurt as it is the thickest and what we love the dressing thicker. Any plain plant based yoghurt can be used based on what is safe for you. The most important thing with this is not to use flavoured yoghurt.
A plant based, egg free mayo is what we use. There are a few kinds of mayos that can be used. Be careful as some contain soy. Hellman’s vegan has mustard in it but is a good mayo for most top 8 diets. For a mustard free, top allergen free mayonnaise we use Mama Yo! Brand from Montreal, Canada as it is the only one we found without soy and mustard.
How to Make the Posh Cobb Salad
Sprinkling the toppings all over the egg free Cobb salad is one way that the salad can be dressed. However, the more typical plating of a Cobb salad is to lay each topping carefully in a line or section on a bed of lettuce.
Wash and rip the butter lettuce into bite sized bits. Split the lettuce over two plates.
Add lemon juice to the oat milk in a liquid measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes.
In a pan over medium heat place the prosciutto slices and heat until crispy. Flip to get both sides crispy, about 3-4 mins. When crispy, drain on a paper towel. Let cool.
Sprinkle fresh dill on each of the beds of lettuce.
Peel and remove the seed from the avocado. Slice it. Pick half the avocado up on a knife and fan it out in a corner of the salad.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of plant based herb onto the opposite corner of the salad from the avocado. Repeat for the second salad.
Place half the sliced cooked chicken on the bed of lettuce neatly in a line or pile. Repeat for the second salad with the second half of the prosciutto.
Take half the cooled crispy prosciutto and crumble it in a line or section on top of the lettuce for one salad.Use the other half of the crispy prosciutto on the second salad the same orientation.
Wash and cut the Heirloom tomatoes. Place in a line or section, like the prosciutto. Repeat for the second salad with the second half of the tomatoes.
Make a pile or line for each of half the drained pickled red onions and marinated chickpeas on each salad.
In the measuring cup with the plant milk and lemon juice mixture add the plant based coconut cream and vegan mayonnaise. Stir well.
Add in the fresh herbs and garlic and onion powders to the mixture. Mix well to combine.
Sprinkle in Salt and pepper, as needed.
Pour the dressing into two side dishes for the salad, if serving on the side or pour half on each salad in a pretty swirl so everything gets a bit of dressing.
Once dressing is on the salad, serve immediately.
Hint: Dressing served on the side in an individual dressing dish like this is a nice touch for guests to be able to use the amount of dressing that best suits them and the salads will last longer if not being served immediately.
Vegan Egg vs Marinated Chickpeas
If you would prefer a more egg-like protein you can make vegan eggs like these ones from Mouthwatering Vegan. Their recipe says to use soy or other plant milk so use what is safe for you. They would work well on this salad.
Dairy Free Yoghurt
You could use dairy free sour cream instead of the dairy free yoghurt but it may have more of a softer taste to it so you may need less herbs. You will also need more “buttermilk” as it is a bit stiffer than the plant based yoghurts. Egg free mayonnaise could also be used to make it more of a remoulade.
To make this a vegan salad the two things that need replacing are the prosciutto and chicken. Both can be replaced with plant based meat simulations. Do be careful with these as they often contain soy or wheat.
Whole food plant based
You could use roasted cauliflower to make a chicken substitution. The Prosciutto can be replaced with paper thin carrots slices marinated in coconut amino overnight. Smoke flavouring drops can also be added, if they are safe for you.
If fresh is not in your budget or in season in your area, dried herbs can be used in the dressing. Less dried herbs are used than fresh so reduce the amount by half and add more as needed, to taste.
- Spicy - To spice this salad up with a bit of tang add a few sliced pickled pepperoncini or banana pepper rings.
- Deluxe - Add Black Salt (Kala Namak) to the marinating chickpeas to get that eggy taste and smell.
- Kid friendly - have the kids make their own salads so they can add only what they like.
- Crunchy - Topping the salad with crunchy crusted gluten free tortilla chips or rice vermicelli noodles fried and drained like these. Use “safe for you” neutral oil.
There are very few pieces of equipment needed for this Dairy Free Cobb Salad recipe. The prosciutto will need a pan for crisping up and non scratching silicone coated tongs to turn it. Use a knife and cutting board to cut the ingredients.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Like most salads without the dressing this egg free Cobb salad will keep for a couple of hours in the fridge cut up and assembled. It won’t last longer than 3-4 hours. It is best stored with the ingredients individually wrapped.
Once the dressing hits the salad the storage time reduces considerably. It will keep for 20 mins or less in the fridge with the dressing on it and should be served immediately.
The dairy free Cobb salad will not freeze well and is not recommended for freezing.
No reheating is needed for this salad.
Play with the ingredients to find the right mix for you to replace the parts that are allergens for you on this dairy free Cobb salad. Changing up the flavours often will help keep salads interesting and encourage healthy eating.
What To Serve With
In itself this Posh Cobb Salad is a meal. It can be served with a side to it like a gluten and dairy free biscuit or garlic bread. A small soup would be an excellent addition to this Posh Cobb Salad.
To use this Dairy Free Cobb Salad as a starter or a side dish simply reduce the size of the dish. This recipe would make 4-5 side salads suitable for a starter or salad course of a meal.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Silicone coated tongs
- Cutting board
- 1 Head Butter Lettuce
- 2 Tbsps Fresh Dill chopped
- 6 pieces Prosciutto
- 1 Cooked Chicken Breast Sliced in strips
- 1 Avocado
- 4 Tbsps Heirloom tomatoes Halved it bite sized or large diced
- 2 Tbsps Pickled red onion drained
- 4 Tbsps Marinated chickpeas Drained
- 4 Tbsps Dairy Free Herbed Cheese Like Boursin Plant Based
- ¼ C Safe Plant Milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ C Dairy Free Coconut or Oat Based Yoghurt
- ¼ C Vegan Mayonnaise
- 4 Tsps Fresh Dill chopped
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary removed from the stalk and chopped
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Thyme plucked from the stalk
- 4 tsps Garlic Powder
- 4 tsps Onion Powder
- Wash and rip the butter lettuce into bite sized bits. Split the lettuce over two plates.
- Add lemon juice to the oat milk in a liquid measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a pan over medium heat place the prosciutto slices and heat until crispy. Flip to get both sides crispy, about 3-4 mins. When crispy, drain on a paper towel. Let cool.
- Sprinkle fresh dill on each of the beds of lettuce.
- Peel and remove the seed from the avocado. Slice it. Pick half the avocado up on a knife and fan it out in a corner of the salad.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of plant based herb onto the opposite corner of the salad from the avocado. Repeat for the second salad.
- Place half the sliced cooked chicken on the bed of lettuce neatly in a line or pile. Repeat for the second salad with the second half of the prosciutto.
- Take half the cooled crispy prosciutto and crumble it in a line or section on top of the lettuce for one salad.Use the other half of the crispy prosciutto on the second salad the same orientation.
- Wash and cut the Heirloom tomatoes. Place in a line or section, like the prosciutto. Repeat for the second salad with the second half of the tomatoes.
- Make a pile or line for each of half the drained pickled red onions and marinated chickpeas on each salad.
- In the measuring cup with the plant milk and lemon juice mixture add the plant based coconut cream and vegan mayonnaise. Stir well.
- Add in the fresh herbs and garlic and onion powders to the mixture. Mix well to combine.
- Add Salt and pepper, as needed.
- Pour the dressing into two side dishes for the salad, if serving on the side or pour half on each salad in a pretty swirl so everything gets a bit of dressing.
- Once dressing is on the salad, serve immediately.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove