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Balsamic Chicken Cobb Salad with Pasta

Balsamic Chicken Cobb Salad has all the classic flavors of the popular favorite with a simple balsamic dressing. Made with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, cucumber, avocado, cheese and rotini – perfect for lunch or your next potluck!

Hey everyone! Kelly here again from Life Made Sweeter and today I’m sharing a delicious salad for entertaining season. With summer just around the corner, salads are the perfect side dish for all those outdoor picnics and cookouts.

This Balsamic Chicken Cobb Salad is packed with flavor and so simple to customize. I love a good cobb salad and this one has all the classic ingredients like juicy tomatoes, lettuce, hard boiled eggs, avocado, bacon, cheese with the addition of cucumber and rotini pasta.

HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC CHICKEN COBB SALAD:

  1. Start off by seasoning the chicken with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil and lemon.
  2. For the hard boiled eggs, I usually like to make a large batch using this method to keep on hand during the week for breakfast or to add to my salads.
  3. Cook and crumble the bacon then grill the chicken.
  4. Prepare and assemble the remaining salad ingredients starting with the lettuce plus any other greens you like. Add cooked and drained pasta, eggs, grape tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, crumbled bacon and feta.
  5. Add any other toppings you like then drizzle with the simple balsamic vinaigrette right before serving.

Easy swaps for this salad:

    • For a meatless option, you can leave out the chicken or use chopped rotisserie chicken to cut down on the prep time
    • For the pasta, I used rotini but you can use also use penne or farfalle
    • Swap in your favorite vegetables or cheese

Balsamic Chicken Cobb Salad with Pasta
 
Balsamic Chicken Cobb Salad has all the classic flavors of the popular favorite with a simple balsamic dressing. Made with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, cucumber, avocado, cheese and rotini - perfect for lunch or your next potluck!
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups dry rotini pasta (can also use penne or farfalle))
  • 1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 avocados peeled, pitted and cut into slices (or chopped)
  • 4 cups chopped mixed green lettuce
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cucumber, sliced in rounds or chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta or blue cheese
For the vinaigrette:
  • 3-4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a resealable zip-top bag, add chicken, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and garlic and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cool water, and set aside in a large bowl.
To make the hard boiled eggs:
  1. Place the eggs in a medium pot and fill with enough water to cover the eggs.
  2. Cover with lid and set the pot over high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil
  3. As soon as the water comes to a boil, immediately remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit, covered for 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer eggs to a large bowl with ice cold water and keep running the cold water into the bowl until the water stays cool (or alternatively place in an ice bath). Allow eggs to sit in the chilled water until completely cool (I leave mine for about 8-10 minutes). Once the eggs are cool, crack, peel and slice.
Grill the chicken:
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Remove the chicken from the grill and tent with foil. Let it rest and cool a bit for about 10 minutes and then slice or chop into bite-sized pieces.
Assemble the salad:
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Drizzle 2 tablespoons over the cooked pasta and ½ tablespoon over the sliced avocado (to prevent from browning).
  2. In a large bowl, add the lettuce, then top with cooked pasta, eggs, avocado, bacon, tomatoes, cucumber and cheese. Drizzle with dressing right before serving.

 

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