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Cafe Zupas California Protein Cobb Salad

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A delicious, filling, healthy, protein-packed Copycat Recipe of Cafe Zupas California Protein Cobb Salad. Packed with vegetables, chicken, and topped with a sweet and tangy herb vinaigrette! If you’re looking for a hearty and nutritious meal that is also full of flavor, look no further than Chicken Cobb Salad. This popular dish from the beloved soup and salad chain is a favorite among customers for its fresh ingredients and satisfying taste. And now you can make it in your own kitchen with a few simple ingredients from your local grocery store!

A white bowl filled with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, hard boiled eggs, avocado, bacon, and chicken to make a Cobb salad.

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Below you will find tips, tricks and helpful hints for making this recipe including step by step instructions with pictures. If you would like to go directly to the recipe, scroll down to the recipe card or tap “Jump to Recipe” at the top of the page.

Why You’ll Love this Chicken Cobb Salad Recipe

My husband discovered this little gem at Cafe Zupas a couple of years ago and introduced it to me. I LOVE this salad because it is so filling, healthy and delicious. It is totally packed with protein and the Herb Vinaigrette is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy.  This salad is HEAVEN in a bowl and will quickly become one of your favorite salads as well!

To avoid going broke from going out to lunch and dinner at Cafe Zupas every day to consume this classic cobb salad, I decided that I needed to come up with a recipe to make it at home.

This Chicken Cobb Salad recipe is a copycat of Cafe Zupas’ California Protein Cobb Salad, with a few minor tweaks and substitutions to make it even more delicious. You can easily customize this salad to your liking by adding or omitting any of the ingredients.

About Herb Vinaigrette Dressing

The key is the simple vinaigrette dressing. Although you have a choice between Ranch dressing and Herb Vinaigrette dressing at the restaurant, I definitely recommend the herb vinaigrette because it is so wonderfully addicting and is one of my favorite dressings. You can definitely make your own homemade ranch dressing instead.

After a little trial and error with the dressing, I believe that this homemade dressing is an almost exact replica of Cafe Zupas California Protein Cobb Salad. 

The only thing this salad is lacking, is someone to whip it up for you and do the dishes when you’re finished. But that’s what husbands and kids are for, right?

A white bowl with edamame, lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, feta cheese, avocado, black olives, chicken, and hard boiled eggs to make a Cobb salad.

Herb Vinaigrette Ingredients

*Ingredient amounts are located in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The tangy and slightly sweet flavor of apple cider vinegar is essential for the dressing.

Olive Oil: Olive oil adds a smooth and rich texture to the dressing while balancing out the sharpness of the vinegar.

Dijon Mustard: This ingredient acts as an emulsifier, helping to combine and thicken the other ingredients in the dressing.

Garlic: Just a small amount of minced garlic adds a nice bite to the dressing.

Fresh Herbs: A combination of parsley and basil or cilantro give the dressing an herby freshness that pairs perfectly with the salad ingredients.

Salt and Pepper: These simple seasonings bring out the flavors in the other ingredients.

Sugar: A touch of sugar helps to balance out the tanginess of the vinegar and adds a touch of sweetness.

Fresh herbs next to a jar of homemade Herb Vinaigrette to make a Cobb salad.

Ingredients for California Protein Cobb Salad with Chicken

Romaine Lettuce: The base for the salad, providing a fresh and crisp texture. Cut the crunchy lettuce into smaller pieces for best results.

Hard-Boiled Eggs: A classic ingredient in Cobb salads, adding protein and richness to the dish.

Bacon Pieces: Crisp bacon adds a smoky and salty bacon flavor to the salad. You can use store-bought bacon bits or cook your own bacon until crispy. You can even add extra bacon if you want!

Edamame: These little green beans pack a protein punch and add an interesting texture to the salad.

Grape Tomatoes: Sweet and juicy tomatoes are perfect for this salad, but you can also use cherry tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes.

Black Olives: Sliced black olives add a briny flavor to the salad. You can also use Kalamata olives if you prefer.

Feta Cheese: The tangy and salty flavor of feta cheese (goat cheese) pairs perfectly with the other ingredients in this salad. If your’e a fan of blue cheese, feel free to substitute blue cheese crumbles.

Avocado: Mashed creamy avocado adds a creamy and rich texture to the dish while also providing healthy fats.

Cooked Chicken: This is where the protein in this salad comes from. Feel free to use your preferred type of cooked chicken breast, whether it’s grilled, baked, or rotisserie chicken. I like to marinate chicken in some of the herb vinaigrette, then bake or grill for the salad.

How to Make California Protein Cobb Salad

[Step 1] Herb Vinaigrette: Adding all of the herb vinaigrette salad dressing ingredients to your blender and blend. Refrigerate until ready to use.

[Step 2] Chicken: Grill, bake, or use an Instant Pot to cook the chicken. Or used leftover rotisserie or cooked chicken.

[Step 3] Prepare the Salad Ingredients: Chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, like a chopped salad. Slice the hard boiled eggs, grape tomatoes and black olives. Slice open an avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and smash it to guacamole consistency.

[Step 4] Assemble the Salad: Place the lettuce and your desired amount of vinaigrette in a large bowl with a lid. Shake to toss the salad and coat the lettuce with the dressing. Divide the lettuce between four bowls. Add all of the toppings on top of the salad and enjoy!

Helpful Kitchen Tools

What to Serve with Easy Chicken Cobb Salad

Serve this salad with these delicious Honey Buttermilk Biscuits , Sweet Moist Cornbread, Lion House Rolls, Texas Roadhouse Rolls, or Rosemary Bread and your meal will be complete!

This salad is definitely a hearty main dish salad on it’s own, but you could also serve this salad along side a warm bowl of soup. Here are some of my favorites: Tortellini Tomato Soup, Mexican Corn Chowder, Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup, or Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be intimidated by all of the ingredients and steps in this recipe. It may seem like a lot, but it is actually quite simple to make and well worth the effort. Plus, making this salad at home means you can enjoy it anytime without breaking the bank! So go ahead and give this California Protein Cobb Salad with Herb Vinaigrette a try and let the deliciousness speak for itself!

A delicious, filling, healthy, protein-packed Copycat Recipe of Cafe Zupas California Protein Cobb Salad. Packed with vegetables and topped with a sweet and tangy herb vinaigrette!

Other Salad Recipes:

A copycat Zupas California Protein Cobb Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, hard boiled eggs, avocado, and feta cheese.

Cafe Zupas California Protein Cobb Salad Copycat Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Passive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A delicious, filling, healthy, protein-packed Copycat Recipe of Cafe Zupas California Protein Cobb Salad. Packed with vegetables and topped with a sweet and tangy herb vinaigrette!


Herb Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 6 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil or Cilantro
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar

Cobb Salad

  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Bacon Pieces
  • 1/4 cup Edamame, shelled
  • 1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup Black Olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Avocado, mashed
  • 1-2 Cups Cooked Chicken, diced or shredded


  1. Prepare the Herb Vinaigrette by placing all of the ingredients in a blender and blend.
  2. Chop the lettuce, peel and slice the hard boiled eggs, slice the grape tomatoes in half and slice the black olives.
  3. Slice open the avocado and remove the pit. Smash the avocado to guacamole consistency.
  4. Cook your chicken on the grill, pan, oven, slow cooker or instant pot. Dice or shred the chicken.
  5. Assemble the salad by placing the lettuce and dressing in a large bowl and cover. Shake to toss.
  6. Top the salad with chicken, eggs, bacon, edamame, grape tomatoes, black olives, feta and avocado. Enjoy!


This salad can be made quickly by using pre-sliced olives, frozen edamame, pre-crumbled feta cheese and packaged bacon pieces, and pre cooked chicken.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 Salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 652Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 697mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 27g

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Wednesday 14th of July 2021

How long will this dressing stay good in the fridge?


Thursday 22nd of July 2021

3-5 Days :)


Tuesday 25th of September 2018

OMG! I stumbled across this restaurant yesterday for the first time, while I was in an area of the city that I don't frequent that often. I ordered this salad to go. When I returned home and ate my salad...oh my goodness, was it good! I immediately started googling if there was a Zupas location near my area. As I sit here eating this salad for the second day in a row, I realized I may be developing an expensive problem. Thankfully, I found your recipe. Will be trying this asap. YUM!


Sunday 14th of October 2018

I'm glad I'm not the only one that is obsessed with it! I just had it yesterday ;)

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