southwestern cobb salad

with smoky sweet onion dressing
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6



  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup avocado or canola oil


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 10 cups roughly chopped romaine lettuce
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked + roughly chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated or cubed
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled and chopped


  • In a blender or food processor, combine ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, 1 medium sweet onion, 2 teaspoon celery salt, 2 tablespoon mustard, ½ teaspoon chipotle powder and ¼ teaspoon black pepper; process until smooth. With the blender on its lowest speed, gradually add 1 cup oil in a steady stream until the dressing is thickened.
  • Transfer ½ dressing to a shallow dish or resealable bag and add 2 lbs. chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Reserve the remaining dressing (I like to store in a mason jar) for serving.
  • Heat grill on high for 10 minutes. Generously season marinated chicken with cracked black pepper and place on hot grill.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook without turning for 5-8 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and continue cooking, rotating frequently, until the internal temperature reads 165°F with an instant read thermometer. Remove from grill and set aside.
  • To assemble the salad, simply layer all ingredients starting with 10 cups romaine lettuce, 6 slices bacon chopped, 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 cup corn kernels, 1 sliced avocado, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup pepper jack cheese, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, and 4 chopped hard boiled eggs.  Thinly slice the chicken and lay on top. Add dressing to the salad or serve on the side.


  • Serve with a side of fresh fruit or a cup of tortilla soup with crushed tortilla chips on top to complete this meal.


  • Protein: The chicken can be substituted with grilled shrimp or salmon. The marinade is complementary to both.
  • Vegetarian: Remove chicken and bacon and add 1 can chickpeas to the salad. To make it even more filling add a whole grain like brown rice or farro.


  • Dressing can be made in advance and transferred to a jar or airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (I like using a mason jar).
  • To bake chicken in the oven, preheat to 425°F. Transfer chicken to a shallow baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and top with marinade. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.