This Mexican Cobb Salad with cilantro lime dressing borrows from a classic cobb salad, swapping some of the ingredients for common Mexican ingredients like black beans, avocados, aged cotija, and toasted pepitas. You’ll still find the crispy bacon, eggs (although I like them soft boiled!), tomatoes, and fresh greens. This cobb salad recipe is a hearty, summer meal your family is sure to love!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration
It’s so hot in McAllen, Texas! I’m looking for minimal use of appliances, and I don’t want to heat up my house. In fact, as I write this post, ERCOT (our electrical utility) is asking us to refrain from using our appliances. UGH.
Mark and I love to grill chicken for meal prep, and we usually do it on Sundays because they’re our most “chill” days. This is a perfect way to use grilled tajín chicken. It’s also a great way to use rotisserie chicken. However you prefer to cook your chicken, it will be elevated by this Mexican-style main dish salad.
I’ve based this cobb salad recipe on a traditional cobb salad recipe, and you’ll see the familiar chicken, bacon, cheese, greens, avocados, and eggs. I’ve taken some liberty with the salad dressing (the cilantro-lime dressing), and added a few Mexican staples like black beans and toasted pepitas. Feel free to make it your own with your favorite ingredients!
📋 Ingredients for Mexican Chicken Cobb Salad
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
Mexican Cobb Salad
- cooked chicken – We frequently do grilled chicken for meal prep on Sunday afternoon, and most often, it is this grilled tajín chicken. Chicken is included in a traditional cobb salad.
- greens – Crispy romaine is my preference, but feel free to use your favorite! Romaine is the traditional choice for a cobb salad.
- eggs – As shown in the photos, we like our boiled eggs on the soft side. Feel free to do hard-boiled eggs if you prefer. It is not a traditional cobb salad without eggs!
- bacon – Bacon is optional, but delicious! A traditional cobb salad always includes bacon.
- cotija – I use an aged cotija, and it works really well with the flavors of the salad. Feta or queso fresco are good substitutes. Bleu cheese is a defining feature in a traditional cobb salad, but a Mexican cobb salad needs a Mexican cheese IMHO!
- tomatoes – I have never had a cobb salad that did not include tomatoes. My “go to” choice is grape tomatoes, but use your preferred tomatoes (or omit if you hate them).
- all the extras – These ingredients are not typical of a traditional cobb salad, but they reinforce the Mexican spin on this cobb salad: Toasted pepitas, black beans, pickled jalapeños (we love this bit of heat and acidity!), thin-sliced red onion, corn, etc. Make it your own!
- fresh lime juice
- extra virgin olive oil
- sherry vinegar – White or red wine vinegar are good substitutes.
- dijon mustard
- agave nectar – Honey is a good substitute.
- Prepare the chicken – Whether using grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, or meal prep chicken that is ready to go, get your chicken sliced and set aside.
- Make the cilantro-lime dressing – Add all of the dressing ingredients to the bowl of a small blender. Pulse until the cilantro is emulsified with the other ingredients. Set aside.
- Boil the eggs – I do a 4 minute boiled egg with firm white and partially set yolk. See How to Boil an Egg for more information.
- Fry the bacon – I cut the bacon into 1″ pieces, and cook on medium-high heat until crispy. Drain it on paper towels to remove the excess grease.
- Prep all remaining ingredients – Depending on what ingredients you’ve chosen, you will have a few ingredients to prep. I typically do avocados last.
- Assemble the cobb salad – You can either do the deconstructed salad shown in the very first photo, or you can make individual bowls of salad as shown below. The choice is yours. I do a large serving platter with the individual ingredients aesthetically arranged, and drizzle the cilantro-lime dressing over the greens and chicken. I then use tongs to make individual shallow salad bowls, and pass the dressing for each person to use as desired. Serve with extra dressing, sea salt, and a pepper grinder.
Do I need to use a blender to make the dressing ?
Can I make the dressing ahead of time?
My dressing looks like it’s separated. What can I do?
Do I have to use extra virgin olive oil?
- swap out the grilled chicken for grilled shrimp
- swap out the romaine lettuce for baby spinach or other tender greens
- add olives or fresh jalapeños to the cobb salad
- swap out the thin-sliced red onion for scallions
- try this cilantro ranch dressing instead of the cilantro lime dressing
- feel free to make this hearty salad your own!
My preference is to use grilled chicken, but this is also a great way to use rotisserie chicken!
If you make the dressing, and grill the chicken, you can make this main dish salad in the time that it takes to boil the eggs. My eggs have firm whites with a slightly set yolk, and take about 4 minutes of boiling. See How to Boil an Egg for more information.
If meal prep is your jam, this is a great way to use your meal prep chicken. As I mentioned above, we love it with grilled tajín chicken!
As I’m finishing this post, it’s 104°! We had a request from our electric utility to cut back on our electricity usage today. 🥵 I’m always grateful to plan a main dish salad, and pour a cold one on days like this!
Mexican Cobb Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
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Mexican Cobb Salad
- 16 ounces cooked chicken - see post for more information
- cilantro-lime dressing - ingredients below
- 4 eggs - cooked to your preference
- 4 slices lean bacon - fried and crumbled
- 1 cup black beans - rinsed and drained
- 2 romaine hearts - chopped
- ½ cup cherub tomatoes - sliced lengthwise
- ¼ cup toasted pepitas
- 2 ounces cotija - crumbled
- 2 small avocados - sliced
- 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños - drained
- ½ cup cilantro leaves - thin stems are fine
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar - or wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar - or 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt - or to taste
- several grinds pepper
- Grill the chicken by your preferred method.
- Add all of the cilantro-lime dressing ingredients to a blender, and pulse until fully emulsified.
- Boil the eggs to your preference. (See post for more information).
- Fry the bacon.
- Prep all of the ingredients.
- Assemble the salad. (See the post for more information).
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.