I have always been a fan of serving up a big hearty salad for dinner. It’s such a nice way to switch up our regular routine and there are plenty of interesting combinations to try. However, my husband can be a tough sell in this department. He’s not so keen on the salad thing. But, this vegetarian cobb salad managed to convince him to come over to the dark side. Both filling and packed with flavor, he even requested that it be added to our dinner rotation. I’ll count that as a win!
Traditionally, cobb salads are made with crisp greens, tomatoes, avocado, hard-boiled eggs and both pork bacon and chicken. In this version, we’ve swapped out the regular bacon for chickpea bacon and replaced the chicken with crunchy walnuts. The salad is also filled with crumbled feta cheese, fresh herbs and a simple honey mustard vinaigrette.
One of my favorite parts about making salads is that you can switch them up based on your own preferences. While this version uses a combination of crisp romaine and baby spinach, you could certainly use all romaine or a mix of romaine and iceberg. Or, don’t like feta? Switch it out for another cheese. You can customize as you please.
The same goes for the bacon. While I loved using chickpeas since they get nice and charred and crispy, you can use our tutorial to make almost anything into bacon. Tofu, tempeh, eggplant, coconut flakes! So many options!
A classic cobb salad made meatless with chickpea bacon and walnuts! Filled with crisp greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado and hard-boiled eggs.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetarian worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium avocado, pitted and cubed
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (or green onion)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid smoke, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil until well combined. Add in the chickpeas and toss to coat. Let the chickpeas marinate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Drain off the marinade and spread the chickpeas evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until charred and slightly crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool directly on the baking sheet (they’ll crisp up more during this time).
- Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a small bowl. Whisk vigorously until combined.
- Add some of the romaine and spinach to a serving plate. Top with some of the chickpeas, eggs, tomatoes, avocado, feta, walnuts, chives and parsley (in rows if desired). Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing and serve immediately.
Prep time includes 30 minutes for the chickpeas to marinate. Active time is only 15 minutes.