Southwest Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Ranch

Packed with the most delicious flavor, this Southwest Cobb Salad is so easy – the perfect summer meal! And that honey mustard ranch dressing? Straight up amazing.

Well, if this southwest Cobb salad isn’t the most glorious summer dinner salad, I don’t know what is.

Cobb salads always used to be on the outside of my radar for a doable meal at home. I mean, all those sections! All those ingredients! So much chopping!

Plus, I got a little stressed out wondering how to serve it all. Do you scramble and mix all the ingredients together before serving or leave it layered in pretty strips?

Should the dressing be served on the side or over the whole mess?

Turkey bacon or regular?

So.Many.Questions.

Thankfully, since I love the mishmash of flavors and textures in all the varieties of Cobb salads, I’ve learned to embrace the madness.

I feel like such a grownup.

Mostly, I love that with a good Cobb salad, like this Southwest Cobb Salad, most of the ingredients (and the dressing) can be made ahead of time.

This means that when you go to harness all your organizational and OCD skills to assemble the salad, it takes no time at all to get it ready for devouring.

I’m sure everyone makes, serves, and eats a Cobb salad a little differently, but in my world, I’ve come to embrace the delightful chaos of it all.

I’m an arrange-in-pretty-layers-drizzle-dressing-toss-everything-together-and-dig-in kind of girl.

What about you? How do you approach the Cobb salad? 

Of course, if you anticipate leftovers, the best course of action is to toss the salad together without the dressing and apply dressing to each individual portion.

I firmly feel as though we must prevent soggy salad leftovers at all costs. Would you agree?

Let’s talk about that dressing for a minute, though.

Holy moly, it is divine.

A wonderful mashup of honey mustard and ranch flavors with a kick from the paprika and other spices, this homemade dressing is so delicious, you may not want to eat or drink anything else for the rest of forever once you taste it.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I can’t get enough of this salad.

Every single ingredient is delicious…when you combine it all together, you have a salad worth crying over.

The simple spice rub/marinade mixture for the chicken is amazing – and is a great recipe on it’s own to bookmark for summer grilling.

Combine the tender, juicy grilled chicken with the other textures – creamy avocados, hard-boiled eggs, golden toasted corn, salty bacon, fresh tomatoes – and you have one of my favorite salads.

I hope you make this! Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you. Like I said above, it really does come together quickly, especially if you prep ingredients ahead of time and find joy in the Cobb salad journey.

We serve this with simple toasted flatbread (this homemade recipe or the refrigerated Naan from Costco) slathered with garlic butter and broiled quickly in the oven.

A perfect, perfect meal.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting {Egg-free}
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Applesauce Snack Cake
Three Years Ago: Spinach and Cheese Enchiladas
Four Years Ago: Brazilian Lemonade
Five Years Ago: Dirt Pudding Cups {Homemade Version}

Southwest Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Ranch Dressing

5
5 / 5 (15 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Ingredients:

Grilled Chicken:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 thin cut chicken breasts (see note)

Honey Mustard Ranch:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
  • 1 cup sour cream, light or regular (can sub plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, plus more to taste

Salad:

  • 1-2 cups fresh or frozen corn (thawed and patted dry, if frozen)
  • 2-3 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 avocados, chopped or sliced
  • 6-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4-6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (I use this method for perfect hard-boiled eggs)

Directions:

  1. For the chicken, preheat an outdoor grill to medium or medium-high. (Alternately, you could cook the chicken in a skillet on the stove or broil in the oven.)
  2. Combine the smoked paprika, salt, cumin, garlic powder, basil (or Italian seasoning), black pepper, cayenne pepper, and olive oil to form a paste.
  3. Rub the mixture evenly over the chicken and grill for 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through (alternately, you can let the chicken marinade for up to 8 hours). Tent with foil and set aside to rest for 10 minutes or so. Cut into slices or bite-size pieces.
  4. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender or bowl and process/whisk until well-combined, adding more buttermilk to thin the consistency, if desired. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste, if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use (the dressing can be made several days in advance).
  5. To toast the corn (optional – you can skip this step), heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the corn and sauté until golden and toasty. Remove to a plate to cool slightly.
  6. For the salad, place the lettuce on a platter or in a large bowl. Arrange the corn, tomatoes, avocados, bacon, eggs, and cooked chicken on top of the lettuce in sections.
  7. Drizzle the dressing across the salad and toss everything together to serve OR toss the salad and serve the dressing alongside (do this if you anticipate leftovers so the salad doesn’t get soggy with the dressing).

Notes:

I prefer using thin cut chicken breasts for this recipe (and most other grilling recipes). I either buy thin cut chicken breasts or use regular chicken breasts and cut them in half lengthwise (like a hamburger bun) to make two thinner cutlets. 

The chicken can be grilled right away – or for more flavor, after rubbing the chicken with the spice mixture, refrigerate for a couple hours. Also, the dressing can be made in advance and refrigerated for several days. 

All images and text ©.

Follow @melskitchencafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: found on A Hint of Honey by way of Chrissy Tiegen’s Cravings cookbook (adapted slightly to serve a few more and change up spices and ingredients)