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!
Would you believe that I first published this recipe in 2014? Over 5 years ago? Where does the time go?!
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.
Chef Salad vs. Cobb Salad
There are a lot of similarities between Cobb salad and Chef Salad, but here are some key differences:
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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!)
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- 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.
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!