Cobb Pasta Salad (with Chicken)

Cobb Pasta Salad combines all the favorite classic Cobb salad flavors of chicken, ranch, bacon, egg, bleu cheese, tomatoes and more with pasta salad!

We love making the classic summer side dishes like Coleslaw, Pasta Salad, Macaroni Salad and Potato Salad, but sometimes you just want to step outside the box and make some fun flavor combinations! Enter the Chicken Cobb Pasta Salad!

Cobb Pasta Salad with Ranch Dressing in bowl

COBB PASTA SALAD

Pasta salad is a fun, quick side dish that’s perfect for summer get togethers, potlucks and BBQs. If you’ve tried my¬†Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad,¬†Chicken Bacon Pasta Salad¬†or¬†Chicken Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad, you know how easy it is to whip up a delicious side that has a ton of flavor and not a ton of prep. Cobb salad is a classic favorite, and if you’ve never had it before you’re in for a treat.

The history of the Cobb Salad! It is a long and fanciful one to say the least. Cobb salad is an American favorite, and has been served to everyone from Hollywood celebs to presidents. It’s quick to make, fun to eat and easy to store for meals later in the week. So where did cobb salad come from? There are a few different theories about two different men, but everyone can agree on one thing: the location. Classic cobb salad was invented at the Brown Derby Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA (you I Love Lucy fans will remember the references to this restaurant).

One theory says that a man named Bob Cobb (go figure) who owned the Brown Derby invented the salad in the 1920’s. The story goes that Bob Cobb wanted to serve something that was easy to make but wasn’t a hot dog or hamburger, since all of the restaurants around him were serving them up by the truckload. Bob Cobb started experimenting with ingredients that he had laying around in the kitchen and he came up with what we know now as Cobb Salad.

The second theory is that Robert Kreis, the executive chef at the¬†Brown Derby, invented cobb salad a decade later when the¬†Brown Derby opened up a second location in Hollywood. Robert Kreis named the salad after the¬†Brown Derby’s original owner, Bob Cobb, and the rest they say is history.

The last theory is that whole cobb salad is definitely named after Bob Cobb, neither he nor Robert Kreis invented anything. This theory goes on to say that cobb salad is just a modern version of Salmagundi, which was a 17th century Italian dish made from chopped meat, eggs, onions, anchovies and dressing. I guess we’ll never know the truth, but the salad is delicious no matter who made it.

If you liked this recipe and want side dishes to serve at your next potluck, try my Southern Baked Beans, Creamy Shrimp Salad or Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

HOW TO MAKE COBB PASTA SALAD

  • Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot of boiling water according to the directions on the package.
  • Drain the water and pour the pasta into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Cook the bacon and chicken in a skillet until it’s crispy.
  • Add the ranch dressing to the pasta and mix it well until the noodles are evenly coated.
  • Mix in the bacon, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, ripe¬†avocado and blue cheese.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and mix the pasta well.
  • Top it off with another drizzle of ranch and serve it up.

Chicken Cobb Pasta Salad

VARIATIONS

  • Chicken: if you want to make your side salad into an entree, you can add a chicken breast. This is a great chance to use up that leftover rotisserie¬†chicken or yesterday’s grilled skinless cutlets. Chop it into cubes and mix into the salad.
  • Chives: you can keep them long as a classy garnish or dice them and mix them into the salad for extra flavor.
  • Vinaigrette: if you want a lighter salad dressing, you can use all sorts of sauces to give the salad a variety of flavors. You can make a red wine vinaigrette, French dressing or mix together your own variety with flavors like lemon juice and dijon mustard.
  • Veggie variations: if you don’t want tomato slices, try using whole cherry tomatoes to give your salad a fun texture. ¬†You can also mix in any assortment of veggies you want, from carrots to endives.
  • Cheese: try crumbling feta, parmesan or roquefort cheese over the top to give your salad a unique savory flavor.

Cobb Salad with Pasta and Chicken

What to serve with Cobb Pasta Salad:

  • Ultimate Sloppy Joes: sloppy joes are delicious and messy, which makes them the perfect outdoor food, and the rich, savory flavors go really well with cobb salad.
  • Baked Ziti: this recipe is simple and makes delicious comfort food that the whole family will love. Cobb salad transforms baked ziti from a hearty cold-weather dish into a fun summer dish.
  • Perfect Simple Roast Chicken:¬†If you don’t want to add chicken to the pasta salad this is the perfect recipe to serve along side a roast chicken recipe!

How to Store Cobb Pasta Salad:

  • Serve: Since there are eggs and cheese in this Cobb Pasta Salad recipe, you shouldn’t leave cobb salad out at room temperature for longer than two hours, unless you enjoy being out of commission for about 24 hours.
  • Store: Cobb Pasta Salad makes for great leftovers and you can keep them in the fridge for about 4 days.
  • Freeze: Pasta salad doesn’t freeze well, so you should enjoy your leftovers out of the fridge instead.

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Cobb Pasta Salad

Cobb Pasta Salad combines all the favorite classic Cobb salad flavors of chicken, ranch, bacon, egg, bleu cheese, tomatoes and more with pasta salad!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken breast cooked and chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the box directions, drain and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the pasta, bacon, chicken, tomatoes, avocado, bleu cheese, ranch, salt and pepper into a large bowl and combine very gently before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 767mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 17.2mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Keyword: Cobb Pasta Salad, How to Make Cobb Pasta Salad

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert ‚Äď Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. This looks so interesting! Questions:do you rinse the pasta in cool water? Also cold or hot chicken?

    1. Yes, you’ll want to rinse the pasta since it’s going into a cold dish. I added cold chicken as that’s what I had as leftovers in my refrigerator. Easy peasy! I hope you enjoy it!