Keto Cobb Salad with Kale, Chicken & Bacon
Meal Prep Keto Cobb Salad – Low Carb Cobb Salad Recipe
For a superfood twist on a classic Cobb, try this keto Cobb salad with kale! A low carb Cobb salad with all of the traditional Cobb fixins, served over crunchier, more nutritious greens—all tossed together with my favorite keto Cobb salad dressing.
Traditionally, a Cobb salad is already one of the most keto friendly salads that you can eat, higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs. It’s usually a bed of greens topped with chicken, bacon, hard boiled eggs, blue cheese, tomato, and avocado—a team of all-star keto ingredients! Rich, salty, tangy, and satisfyingly fuel-filled.
But, instead of the typical iceberg or romaine lettuce, I’m upping the nutritional value of this keto Cobb salad by using kale instead. Although kale is a bit higher in carbs than lettuce, it’s also much richer in superfood nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it adds some irresistible crunch!
Last but not least, you can serve your low carb Cobb salad with whichever dressing you like. For the traditional route, stick with a red wine vinaigrette. Or, make things easy on yourself with a clean, store-bought keto salad dressing! Store it separately from your prepped Cobb salad components, and you’ve got a simple keto meal prep lunch to enjoy all week long.
How to Make Keto Cobb Salad with Kale
Remember, you’re welcome to make this keto Cobb salad with whichever greens YOU prefer—romaine or iceberg lettuce, watercress, endives, etc. For this recipe, I’m going with kale for a nutritional boost and some fun crunch! It’s slightly higher in carbs, but the added nutrients are a worthwhile tradeoff for me.
And, for meal prep purposes, kale is a great choice because it will stay fresh and crisp for the entire week—unlike most greens! To keep your keto salad prep as simple as possible, you can splurge a bit on washed, chopped, ready-to-eat kale. Or, save some money by opting for larger bunches of kale and prepping it on your meal prep day. It’s pretty simple to do!
To start, use your knife to cut the kale leaves away from the thick stem/ribs. Then, chop the kale leaves and give them a rinse. (Kale is a bit easier to wash after it’s been chopped.) Finally, pat those leaves dry with paper towels and do any additional chopping as desired. Get your kale leaves to the size that YOU want to eat!
All that’s left to do is line a large airtight container (or single-serving containers) with paper towels, and then add your chopped kale leaves to store. Those paper towels will soak up excess moisture, helping to keep the kale crisp longer.
Low Carb Cobb Salad Ingredients
The beauty of any meal prep lunch salad is that YOU control what goes into it. Don’t be afraid to adjust this low carb Cobb salad recipe and make it your own! If kale isn’t your style, use whichever greens that you will enjoy eating.
And, you can add, omit, or tweak any of these keto Cobb salad toppings to suit your preferences:
Sliced or Chopped Chicken
The classic Cobb salad protein is boiled, grilled, or roasted chicken breast, typically sliced into strips. You’re welcome to cook chicken breast however you like, or use chicken thighs for a more fat-rich and keto friendly cut of protein!
Personally, I wanted to keep this meal prep keto salad as simple as possible. Instead of cooking chicken breast or thighs on my prep day, I opted to pull meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken and use that in my salad! There’s no right or wrong—do whatever works best for YOUR schedule, budget, and lifestyle.
Hard Boiled Eggs
A classic Cobb topping, and a fantastic addition to keto friendly salads of all kinds! Hard boiled eggs are rich in protein and healthy fats, thanks to those nutritious yolks. And, they’re an easy salad component to prep in advance.
As part of your keto meal prep for the week, you can hard-boil a batch of eggs to keep on hand—setting aside 4 to chop and use in your keto Cobb salad recipe. Or, go for the simplest (and my preferred) route: buy pre-boiled eggs from the grocery store and simply chop them up on prep day!
Typically, a Cobb salad features chopped or diced tomatoes. While delicious, this isn’t a great option for a meal prep salad because those juicy tomatoes will make the rest of your ingredients soggy over time.
Instead, make your low carb Cobb salad with whole cherry tomatoes instead! They’re just as keto friendly, but much better for meal prepping. If you can, opt for smaller cherry tomatoes that are easy to eat whole and don’t need to be sliced.
Blue Cheese, or Cheese of Choice
An optional addition, but one of my favorites! You’ll often see Roquefort cheese in Cobb salads, but I prefer blue cheese and it’s easier for me to find. You can also use crumbled feta cheese, mozzarella balls, even shredded cheddar or parmesan—they’re all great keto salad ingredients!
Cheese adds some nutritious fats and protein to this salad, as well as a tasty, sharp bite of flavor. Of course, if you’d prefer to keep this low carb Cobb salad dairy free, just skip the cheese altogether.
Cooked & Crumbled Bacon
Another must-have topping, especially for a keto Cobb salad recipe! Bacon is your best friend on a keto diet: rich in satiating fats, savory, salty, and oh-so-easy to prepare. Just try to find a variety with no added sugars if you can!
Simply cook up your bacon strips on meal prep day, then allow to cool before crumbling. Or, if you prefer more uniform pieces, try chopping your bacon strips before cooking them. That way, you can enjoy your low carb Cobb salad with perfectly distributed bits of bacon goodness in every bite!
Chopped Green Onion or Chives
Chives are the more traditional Cobb topping, but I just love the flavor and texture of green onion! Use whichever you prefer.
Another keto favorite that’s also a classic Cobb salad topping! Sliced avocado doesn’t last well on a meal prep salad, so be sure to keep your avocados whole until the time of serving your keto Cobb salad or packing your lunch.
I like to slice up half of an avocado per salad, then save the other half to use on the next day. Many people say their avocado spoils in that time, but I find it lasts just fine when wrapped in plastic or stored in a bag. I recommend slicing and using the avocado half that doesn’t have the pit in it, then saving and storing the other half with the pit still in it.
Meal Prep Salad Storage
You’re welcome to store your keto Cobb salad components however you like. One option is to store the components in large batches, then portion it out at the time of eating. Or, distribute everything into individual portions on meal prep day, so your meal prep lunches are packed and ready for the week.
Whatever you choose, just be sure to store your greens, toppings, and dressing separately so everything stays fresh until the time of eating! Otherwise, you’ll end up with a very soggy low carb Cobb salad by the end of the week…
So, for large batch storage, add your prepared kale to a large container lined with paper towels. Then, combine all of your keto Cobb salad topping ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, and then store separately from the greens. Your salad dressing can just stay in the bottle if you like.
To store as individual portions, I recommend using compartmentalized containers if you have them, or just small separate containers for each component. That means greens in one compartment/container lined with paper towels, low carb Cobb salad toppings stored in another compartment/container, and the dressing in a separate smaller container.
Keto Salad Dressing Options
As mentioned earlier, the typical Cobb salad dressing is a vinaigrette of some kind—typically a red wine vinaigrette. Or, in some cases, Cobb salad is served with a creamy ranch dressing. Again, the ‘right’ keto Cobb salad dressing is whichever dressing that YOU want to eat!
Personally, I love a tasty salad dressing but I want it to be as easy as possible. That’s why I’m willing to splurge a bit on a clean store-bought salad dressing if I can find one. For my keto Cobb salad dressing, I went with Tessemae’s Ranch Vinaigrette—a keto, Whole30, vegan, and totally delicious dressing with an herby, citrusy flavor and NO added sugars!
Just keep in mind: salad dressings can often be sneaky sources of sugar and other additives. That’s why it’s important to be mindful and diligent in reading the nutrition labels and ingredients lists on any keto salad dressing that you choose.
Of course, you can keep it super simple and clean by making your own salad dressing at home! Or, just store a bit of extra virgin olive oil mixed with red wine vinegar on the side as your own DIY dressing. Cater this low carb Cobb salad to your taste buds, and you’ve got an easy keto meal prep lunch that you’ll want to enjoy again and again!
Keto Cobb Salad Recipe
- 6 cups kale, chopped
- 2 cups chopped chicken, rotisserie
- 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
- ½ cup blue cheese, optional
- 6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 3 Tbsp fresh chopped green onion or chives
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 avocados, ½ per meal
- dressing of choice, I used Tessemae’s Ranch Vinaigrette
- Remove kale ribs and chop leaves, then wash. (It’s easier to wash after it’s chopped.)
- Gently pat dry and store kale in a glass container lined with paper towels.
- Store other salad ingredients separately from kale, with dressing on the side.
- Combine all salad ingredients at the time of packing or eating, along with sliced ½ avocado.