A vegan Cobb Salad with chickpeas & quinoa, roasted asparagus, avocado, coconut bacon, and a creamy green tahini dressing. It’s all the flavor and texture of a classic Cobb, with none of the meat and dairy.
The colors! The textures! Everything about this vegan cobb salad is a 10/10. I am obsessed. Unsurprisingly, salads are my jam. I’m most likely to order them at any new restaurant we try and I always make up a giant salad or two to enjoy throughout the week for simple, ready to go lunches. (Tip: the only way this happens while keeping things fresh not soggy is to keep the components separate – tupperware is king, I like this set).
Jake is on the salad train as well, which makes it even more fun. We are both on the same page, however, that a salad must be toppingful, filling, interesting, and fresh to be considered dinner. No soggy iceberg lettuce here. We love to share a giant salad full of lots of toppings and a creamy dressing whether we make one at home. When we’re at our favorite salad shop, however, he goes for the Cobb (while I always build my own), so I thought it’d be fun to make a plant-based version of the class Cobb at home. Hit. The. Spot.
A traditional Cobb salad includes lettuce, tomato, bacon, chicken, hard boiled egg, avocado, cheese, and a creamy dressing. Delicious, right? But not exactly vegan. So I used butter lettuce as the base, which is, in my opinion, the most lovely tasting lettuce for its smooth and silky consistency. I then topped it with tomatoes and sliced avocado.
Next, I got creative. I made vegan bacon (!!!) using coconut flakes (don’t roll your eyes) after seeing the idea floating around the internet and it was AMAZING. The “bacon” tastes nothing like coconut, but everything like a sweet, salty, crunchy addition to the salad. I promise you will not regret making this. Jake ate all the leftover bits right off the tray.
Then I replaced the chicken with chickpeas + quinoa and added roasted asparagus and chopped walnuts for a bit more texture. The ingredients melded together perfectly. Crunchy, soft, rich, sweet, and hearty. For a final flavor bomb, I whipped up a green tahini dressing, although, admittedly this dressing is one I’ve been making for the past year, it’s the perfect time to share it.
The dressing is a simple combination of tahini, olive oil, lemon, cucumber, and cumin. It’s lovely on salads, as a dip for falafel or fries, and on its own with raw veggies. It’s fresh tasting, creamy, and flavorful, reminding me of spring and warmer days.
We loved everything about this salad, it was the perfect satisfying dinner for two. However, the one question Jake had was- so what did you use to replace the egg? Admittedly I didn’t. I think the salad is wonderful and balanced without it. It has plenty of flavor and richness, but no egg flavor. So if you’re missing it, a hard boiled egg could easily be added or used to replace a topping.
This salad is very forgiving. Swap out things you don’t like and replaced them with things you do. My only request is don’t skip out on the coconut bacon. I understand you may be skeptical (I was too), but it’s honestly incredible. If you don’t use it all here, I’d recommend topping anything and everything with this lovely garnish. I hope you enjoy!
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare your coconut bacon and chop your asparagus. Put both in the oven. Let coconut bacon cook for 10-12 minutes, then remove and let asparagus cook for 20 more (for a total of ~30 minutes).
- Meanwhile, cook your quinoa by adding quinoa and 1 cup water to a pot. Let boil, then remove lid and let it remain simmering for 10-15 more minutes until all water is absorbed. Drain and rinse.
- Prepare the rest of your salad ingredients, including blending up the dressing and chopping your vegetables. Divide the lettuce into 2-3 bowls and add all toppings.
- Serve immediately.
Curing the winter blues one salad at a time