Feb 17, 2021

Tex-Mex Cobb Salad

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
This protein-packed salad puts a Tex-Mex spin on a classic Cobb salad with romaine, buttermilk cilantro ranch, chicken thighs, bacon, diced green chilies topped with soft-boiled eggs.

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This salad is inspired by Tex-Mex flavors with a buttermilk cilantro ranch dressing and loaded with soft-boiled eggs, tomatoes, green chilies, pepper jack cheese and bacon. The ingredients for this salad can easily be meal prepped and assembled as needed for quick weekday lunches.

Tex-Mex Cobb Salad

About Tex-Mex Cuisine

Tex-Mex cuisine is rooted in Tejano culture (Texans of Spanish or Mexican heritage who lived in the territory of Texas before it became a part of the United States in 1845). This cuisine is marked by the melding of Mexican ingredients and those found more commonly in the Southern US, blending the two cultures.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Chicken thighs – Cooking boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a cast iron pan gives it a golden brown crust and juicy meat. Chicken thighs are much more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts making them an easy choice for most recipes. They are also much cheaper than chicken breasts!
  • Cilantro – Wilting, “almost-too-far-gone” cilantro is perfect for blending into dressing like this buttermilk cilantro ranch. It will keep the color and flavor and save it from getting tossed in the trash.
  • Green chilies – Canned mild green chilies are typically made with Anaheim chilies. These popular California peppers have a smokey, sweet and tangy flavor. Anaheim peppers are mild so even if you aren’t a spice fan it provides subtle flavor to this salad. I like to keep a can in the pantry to easily add flavor to recipes like salads and soups.
  • Egg – A soft-boiled egg is the perfect topping for this salad recipe. Soft-boil an egg for 6 minutes to obtain the perfect jammy consistency. Peel under cold running water so the shell removes from the egg more easily.
closeup of Tex-Mex Cobb salad 
chicken thighs, bacon, diced green chilies topped with soft-boiled eggs

How to Make Tex-Mex Cobb Salad

For the buttermilk cilantro ranch dressing:

  1. Add ingredients to a food processor. Add the buttermilk, sour cream, jalapeño, cilantro and garlic powder to a blender or a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  2. Blend dressing. Pulse until smooth and season to taste with salt. Set aside until ready to use or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

For the salad:

  1. Cook the bacon. Add the bacon to a large cast iron skillet. Cook the bacon over medium-low heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, reserving as much fat in the pan as possible.
  2. Cook the chicken. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Return the cast iron pan to medium heat and cook the chicken thighs in the remaining bacon fat without touching them for 5 minutes.
  3. Flip and continue cooking the chicken. Flip the chicken thighs over, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until they are completely cooked through, about an additional 7 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs then chop them into 1” pieces.

For serving:

  1. Toss romaine in dressing. Add the romaine to a large salad bowl and pour ½ cup of the dressing over the lettuce (add additional if desired), then toss to combine.
  2. Add the toppings. Next, add the bacon, chicken, green chilies, tomatoes and pepper Jack cheese, tossing once more. Divide among salad bowls and top with the soft boiled eggs.
closeup of Tex-Mex Cobb salad with romaine, buttermilk cilantro ranch, chicken thighs, bacon, diced green chilies topped with soft-boiled eggs

Tex-Mex Cobb Salad

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the buttermilk cilantro ranch dressing:

  • ½ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed
  • ½ cup (packed) cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt, as needed

For the salad:

  • ½ pound thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into ½” wide strips
  • 1 pound chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ¾ cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs, halved

Instructions:

For the buttermilk cilantro ranch dressing:

  • Add the buttermilk, sour cream, jalapeño, cilantro and garlic powder to a blender or a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  • Pulse until smooth and season to taste with salt. Set aside until ready to use or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

For the salad:

  • Add the bacon to a large cast iron skillet. Cook the bacon over medium-low heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, reserving as much fat in the pan as possible.
  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Return the cast iron pan to medium heat and cook the chicken thighs in the remaining bacon fat without touching them for 5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken thighs over, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until they are completely cooked through, about an additional 7 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs then chop them into 1” pieces.

For serving:

  • Add the romaine to a large salad bowl and pour ½ cup of the dressing over the lettuce (add additional if desired), then toss to combine.
  • Add the bacon, chicken, green chilies, tomatoes and pepper Jack cheese, tossing once more. Divide among salad bowls and top with the soft boiled eggs.

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