This Vegan Cobb Salad has it all! It is made with tempeh bacon, chicken-spiced chickpeas, eggy tofu, avocado, cucumber, and fresh tomatoes all served over a bed of fresh Romaine lettuce. Enjoy as a hearty lunch or light and refreshing dinner.
This September has been truly beautiful. The heatwave (aka, the month of August) has turned into crisp mornings, grey skies, and all the excuses in the world for that daily chai tea latte. But before I completely give into fall and start sharing pumpkin recipes exclusively, I’m gonna sneak in one more summer salad recipe.
It is still technically summer, after all.
This Vegan Cobb Salad is an updated recipe from one of my first posts on the blog. However, rather than celebrating the goodness of whole foods, the original relied far too much on processed plant-based meats and cheeses. Over the years, I actually grew embarrassed by the recipe and deleted the original from my blog.
But now it back and better than ever! Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Cobb Salad?
Cobb Salad originated in American in the 1930s. It is a garden salad meant to be served as an entree. Tradition Cobb Salads are made with a base of mixed chopped lettuce (romaine, iceberg, and watercress), bacon, hard-boiled eggs, roasted chicken, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese.
In other words, it’s not a very vegan-friendly salad.
Fear not, my animal-loving friends! We, too, can enjoy this hearty salad recipe.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Romaine Lettuce
- Vegan Bacon – There are many options for vegan bacon. You can buy tempeh bacon at most well-stocked grocery stores in the refrigerated section. You can also make tempeh bacon at home or substitute tempeh for eggplant bacon, mushroom bacon, or tofu bacon!
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Vegan Ranch Dressing – Traditionally Cobb Salad is made with a red wine vinaigrette but I use a vegan ranch dressing to replace the creaminess that the cheese provides. Feel free to use homemade ranch or store bought. My favorite store bought brands are Primal Kitchen and Follow Your Heart
- Eggy Tofu – This is a combination of coconut oil, extra firm tofu, nutritional yeast, and black salt. The black salt, or kala namak, is optional. It is a high sulfur salt that provides a similar taste and smell to that of eggs.
- Chicken-Flavored Chickpeas – This is a combination of cooked chickpeas, poultry spice, and sea salt. You could also use soy curls for this recipe.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to make Vegan Cobb Salad
Step One – Make the Vegan Ranch
Rather than using store-bought vegan cheese or trying to make my own at home, I decided to forgo the traditional dressing of this salad (red wine vinaigrette) and use my homemade ranch dressing recipe to give this vegan Cobb Salad the needed creaminess.
Begin by making a batch of the vegan ranch. You can also pick vegan ranch up at the grocery store.
Step Two – Eggy Tofu
To replace the hard-boiled egg, I made eggy tofu. For the perfect eggy tofu, use a water-packed medium or firm tofu. Cut it into small cubes, toss it in nutritional yeast and black salt, and lightly sauté the tofu so that the edges just begin to crisp up.
Black salt, or kala namak, is an Indian volcanic rock salt that contains sulfur. The sulfur provides a similar taste and smell to that of eggs which takes your vegan tofu eggs to the next level.
Step Three – Chicken Flavored Chickpeas
To replace the chicken, I used one of my favorite whole food chicken replacements, chickpeas. While chicken and chickpeas are drastically different in taste and texture, the chickpeas offer a full, buttery flavor while giving the salad extra proteins and textures. To make the chickpeas more chicken-like, I tossed them in poultry seasoning and lightly pan-fried them in a bit of oil.
Prepare the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. Set aside.
Step Four – Make Vegan Bacon
To replace the bacon in this recipe, I used store-bought tempeh bacon. You can buy tempeh bacon at most well-stocked grocery stores. You’ll find it in the refrigerated section. You can also make tempeh bacon at home or substitute tempeh for eggplant bacon, mushroom bacon, or tofu bacon!
Heat up the tempeh bacon. This only takes 2-3 minutes. Once it is cooked on both sides, you can assemble the salad by following the picture above.
Serving and Storing
Serving – This salad should be eaten within several hours of assembling it. When you are ready to eat, toss it with the dressing and enjoy immediately
Make in Advance – Make the components in advance, store them in the refrigerator, and enjoy a lunch salad all week long. This makes a great on-the-go lunch. Layer it in a salad jar and pack the dressing separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! In fact, I recommend it. You can make the eggy tofu and chicken-flavored chickpeas several days in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Making them in advance allows the flavors to absorb into the protein. Additionally, they are served better cold. The vegan ranch can also be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
If you want a lunch that will last you several days, make a big batch of the tofu and chickpeas. Prepare the ranch in advance. When it is time to make the salad, heat up the tempeh bacon, chop the vegetables, toss everything together.
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More Healthy Salad Recipes
- Thai Cashew Salad with Sesame Peanut Sauce
- Zucchini Noodle Salad
- ULTIMATE Detox Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Southwest BBQ Tempeh Salad with Vegan Ranch
Vegan Cobb Salad
Vegan Cobb Salad
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 tsp. poultry spice
- pinch of salt
- Start by making the eggy tofu. Heat a griddle over medium heat and add 1 tbsp. oil. Add tofu and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until a light crust begins to form. Stir in the nutritional yeast and black salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the same sauté pan, heat up the chickpeas. Add poultry seasoning and salt and stir to combine. Cook until heated thoroughly. Remove from heat.
- Cut the tempeh bacon into 1/2" slices. Heat it up bacon according to package instructions. Set aside.
- To assemble the salads, spread romaine lettuce evenly between two plates. Add the remaining ingredients in rows. Top with vegan ranch dressing and enjoy!