Un-Cobb Salad

Like chicken caesar, Cobb salad is one of those standard salads that you can find on practically any American restaurant menu. It’s a “composed” salad with avocados, bacon, chicken, hard boiled eggs, and tomatoes. The only problem is that sometimes, just sometimes, you want something a little lighter. Perhaps you had bacon and eggs for breakfast, and you don’t feel like having more at lunch. This was the dilemma we found ourselves in during a recent trip to Washington DC, wanting a substantial salad for an evening meal, but without all that bacon. We found a great solution at the Hard Rock Cafe in D.C., in the form of their “Anti-Cobb” salad. Instead of bacon, eggs, and tomato, the Hard Rock salad included mango, apple slices, and dried cranberries. Perfect! The following recipe is based on that salad, and is more of a guideline than a precise recipe. I haven’t given any amounts, because it really depends on how much you want to make, and how much of any one of the ingredients you might want in the salad.

Un-Cobb Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes


  • Romaine lettuce, chopped cross-wise in 1-inch strips (or favorite salad greens)
  • Grilled skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped
  • Mango, peeled and chopped (see how to cut a mango)
  • Avocado, seeded, peeled, chopped (see how to cut and peel an avocado)
  • Tart apple, peeled and sliced
  • Dried cranberries
  • Vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing

The Hard Rock Cafe "anti-cobb" salad also has strawberries and supremed orange segments.


Arrange lettuce on a serving platter. Arrange other ingredients in sections on top of the lettuce. Drizzle on salad dressing of choice.


  1. Susan

    I love this type of salad; it’s sort of a salad buffet on a platter! I would include thin sliced pork tenderloin, maybe teriaki style, on the platter, too.

  2. hannah

    I love this idea! and so very versatile. for me, “composed” salads are the most wonderful meals. today I made one that included a bed of fresh baby spinach, a row of sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, steamed broccoli, sliced avocado, a few slices of grilled lemony tofu, a few slices of cooked sweet potato, all drizzled with a zesty lime-tahini-olive oil dressing (the red onion, sweet potato, and lime-tahini combo is a winner, like smitten kitchen’s squash and chickpea salad!). thank you for all your inspiration, I check your blog regularly and always enjoy your posts.

  3. Lisa

    We have salad dinners quite often and this one looks perfect for us! I may leave off the chicken for our meatless meals, especially since there is avocado on the plate. :) Thanks for a great salad suggestion!

    You could always add some chickpeas for protein, if skipping the chicken. ~Elise

  4. Angie

    What a genius idea! I always pass Cobb salad by because I don’t like ham, and the majority of them I’ve seen include chopped ham rather than chicken. I love how this makes it more of just an arrangement rather than specific ingredients. You could make this for anybody to suit their tastes.

  5. Julie

    Mmm, this looks delicious. I might try it with the chickpeas instead of chicken and I have some poppyseed dressing that I think would be perfect!

  6. budgiegirl

    Apparently I’m in the minority here – but I’m not dazzled. This salad might taste good, but it really has nothing to do with a cobb salad – so I guess any salad that is not a cobb salad could be called an un-cobb salad. Second – for anybody on a low carb diet – this just quadrupled the carbs. A cobb salad with avocado, chicken, egg, and yes bacon, is a great low carb option. This salad is carb city.

  7. mantha

    Mmmmm! Isn’t that pretty! I thought for a moment you had added a little portion of diced baby beets, but that’s cranberries (which I love as well). A beautiful presentation as always, and a yummy, light springy mix. So good to see fresh garden plates coming into season — it’s been a long winter here.

  8. Patrick

    The recipe seems easy and simple. I wonder how easy it can travel to work or picnic. I am curious to try. Any tips on preventing the browning of avocado if it is to be packed in a lunchbox?

    I would sprinkle the avocado with lemon juice. ~Elise

  9. jonathan

    How could anyone possibly unlike this un-Cobb salad? Make a pretty pile of Danish blue cheese somewhere on that plate, and I’ll follow you around forever like a lost puppy dog.

    Even without the bacon Jonathan? I’m touched. ;-) ~Elise

  10. Nancy Long

    I love the Cobb Salad at Bonefish Grill and they use grilled chicken and mango in theirs with a citrus vinaigrette. Will def try this.

  11. tom barr

    I tried this salad for dinner to night my wife and I loved it the mango went very well I used red wine vinegar and fresh olive oil very nice

  12. Livin Local

    What a beautiful salad! I agree with so many others who enjoyed the inclusion of the mango.

    One time I made a composed salad for our family dinner, and my husband, trying to be helpful, tossed the ingredients all together to help me finish the preparation. ;-) He now understands the definition of a composed salad.

  13. Rdklein

    Another hit! It was as good as it looks, easy, vegetarian and kid-friendly! I couldn’t wait even a week to make it and I’m so glad I did. Thanks for sharing your creativity and inspiration!

  14. VPitman

    I just had this for lunch at the Hard Rock, New Orleans and decided to look online for a recipe. First, let’s remember that it was the Hard Rock chefs that came with this… Also, the original is served with a tangerine vinaigrette (which I hardly touched, but it was very good, nonetheless).

    You rarely see mango and cranberry together, but the real surprise was avocado, dried cranberries, and strawberries. That was a very nice combination. I often grill avocado after rubbing lightly with olive oil, and I normally serve it with caramelized red onions and a balsamic reduction, but I may just fill each half with thinly sliced strawberries, mango, and dried cranberries, next time.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.