The Cozy Cook

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Chef Salad

This Classic Chef Salad recipe is full of healthy, energizing ingredients and includes a simple homemade salad dressing! This is easy to make ahead of time and makes a great lunch or dinner!

Be sure to try my Classic Wedge Salad and Crispy Chicken Salad next!

Overhead view of a white plate full of colorful chef's salad with a hand holding the side of the plate. The background is dark blue, there is a cup of ranch dressing to the side of the plate.

Would you believe that I first published this recipe in 2014? Over 5 years ago? Where does the time go?!

Of all of the salad recipes that I like to make, this one is perhaps my favorite. (Other than my cheeseburger salad, which has an actual cheeseburger on top of it, so, no contest.)

The beauty of this salad is that you can assemble the whole thing ahead of time and save it for later.

So, what exactly goes into a Chef salad?

Chef Salad Ingredients

  • Chef Salads typically include the following ingredients:

Lettuce, Hard Boiled Eggs, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Cheddar, Swiss, Ham, Turkey, Croutons, and typically creamy Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing.

You can also serve this with my Honey Mustard or Caesar dressing and homemade croutons with this too!

Overhead view of ingredients to make a Chef salad on a dark blue surface

Chef Salad vs. Cobb Salad

There are a lot of similarities between Cobb salad and Chef Salad, but here are some key differences:

Chef Salad

  • The meat for Chef Salad is sliced or diced cold meats, such as ham/turkey.
  • The cheese in a Chef Salad is typically Swiss and/or Cheddar.
  • The dressing for a Chef Salad is commonly creamy Ranch or Blue Cheese, but can be a vinaigrette.

Cobb Salad

  • The meat for a Cobb Salads is often grilled chicken.
  • The cheese in a Cobb Salad is typically crumbled blue cheese.
  • Cobb Salads typically include bacon and avocados.
  • A traditional Cobb salad is served with vinegrette, as a creamy consistency is already achieved by the avocado.

Both usually include hard boiled eggs.

How Long to Hard Boil Eggs

As I’ve learned from Martha Stewart, if you make your eggs this way, they’ll come out perfect every time!

  • Submerge the eggs in 2 inches of cool water in a pot on the stove-top.
  • Gradually bring them to a boil.
  • Once the boil is reached, cover the pot and remove them from the heat.
  • Let them sit for 12 minutes.
  • Place them in a colander and rinse them under cool running water to stop the cooking process. Then peel and slice.

PRO TIP: Spin your hard boiled eggs on a hard surface. If they wobble when you spin them, the yolk isn’t cooked yet. If they spin nice and fast, they’re done!

Overhead view of a cast iron pot filled with water and 4 hard boiled eggs on a dark blue surface.

Type of Lettuce for Chef Salad:

  • Iceberg and/or Romaine Lettuce make great choices for Chef Salads.

PRO TIP: Be sure to avoid choosing lettuce that is pale in color, as that means it’s not as fresh.

Collage of a Chef Salad Being Assembled, part 1.

Collage of a Chef Salad Being Assembled, Part 2.

By the way, this makes a perfect lunch on the go or at the office!

(Check out this idea for sticking it in a jar!)

Try These Next!

overhead view of a loaded, colorful chef salad on a white plate with a ramekin of ranch dressing and a fork next to it on a dark blue surface.

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Chef Salad

5 from 1 rating
This Classic Chef Salad recipe is full of healthy, energizing ingredients and includes a simple homemade salad dressing! This is easy to make ahead of time and makes a great lunch or dinner!


  • 1 ½ cups romaine lettuce, chopped (can also use iceberg)
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 slices cucumber
  • 2 slices turkey
  • 3/4 cup cubed ham steak
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • ¼ cup cubed cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
  • 1/3 cup croutons
  • 2 Tablespoons salad dressing of choice


  • Layer the lettuce on the bottom of a large plate.
  • Arrange all of the toppings on top as desired. Drizzle chilled dressing over the top when ready to serve.


It’s best to boil the eggs and let them chill prior to serving.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

• 3 ⁄4 cup mayonnaise
• 3 ⁄4 cup buttermilk
• 1 ⁄2 cup blue cheese crumbled
• 1 ⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 ⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 ⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until well incorporated. Chill for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to serving. Yields 16 servings of salad dressing @ 2 TBS per serving.
Be sure to check out my homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing and Homemade Croutons too!


Calories: 527kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 280mg, Sodium: 607mg, Potassium: 516mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 7246IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 543mg, Iron: 3mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!

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6 comments on “Chef Salad”

  1. I am very grateful that this page help me a lot with my foods assignment/practical. I am a grade 10 student that is very pleased with the instructs of how to prepare a meal

  2. I noticed your picture has ham? But the recepie doesn’t call for it. So do we add or leave out? 

  3. This Chef Salad was SO good, I loved the tips about making hard boiled eggs, that’s going to be my new go-to method! I made this with your homemade Caesar Dressing, talk about delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Hi Sasha! I’m so happy that you loved this and that you made my Caesar dressing too! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review! -Stephanie

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