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Chef Salad

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This Chef Salad is a medley of flavors and textures, featuring crisp romaine lettuce, flavorful rotisserie chicken, sliced deli ham, creamy avocado, and more, all drizzled with a perfect salad dressing to give you my favorite main meal salad.

Main image for Chef Salad

This is my favorite recipe today. Why is it my favorite today? Because what I make and think about are usually my favorites, so today you get this delectable chefs salad.

And there are so many things to love about this recipe.

A classic chef’s salad is supposed to be versatile. You can mix and match your favorite ingredients to tailor this salad to your preferences. Or whatever you have in season.

During the warmer months, I love using whatever is fresh from the farmers markets, but it also makes a great dish as written in the colder months.

Packed with protein, fiber, lots of veggies, and healthy fats, this is a satisfying and nutritious dish.

And this chef’s salad recipe is a leftover savior. You can easily use leftover ham or chicken to turn this into a quick and delicious meal.

Whether you need a quick and easy on the go lunch or a hassle-free dinner, this chef salad receipe is perfect anytime you need it.

All ingredients laid out on counter for Chef Salad

What is Chef Salad?

Chef’s Salad is a classic American salad that is composed of lettuce, meats, cheeses, and vegetables, tossed together and served with your chef salad dressing of choice.

What is in a Chef Salad:

A Classic Chef Salad recipe typically contains lettuce, various meats such as ham or turkey, cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and croutons.

Bed of romaine lettuce with diced ham and tomatoes spread in a line on the salad

Chef Salad Ingredients:

  • Romaine Lettuce: gives a crisp and refreshing base for the chefs salad, with more nutrients than iceberg lettuce
  • Cucumber: Adds a cool and crunchy texture.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Bursting with juicy sweetness (grape tomatoes work well too).
  • Avocado: Creamy and rich, adding a satisfying mouthfeel.
  • Ham: this deli meat brings a savory depth of flavor.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: I like to use the chicken breast for a lean protein-packed addition.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Offers a bold and tangy kick.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs: Adds a protein boost and a velvety texture to this classic salad.
  • Croutons: Provides a delightful crunch and additional flavor (try these Croutons Garlic Parmesan to take it to the next level).

Pro Tip: Choose thick-sliced ham and rotisserie chicken for added depth of flavor. And use varieties of meats! Leftover roast beef and turkey ham also make a good salad.

Croutons and cubed chicken spread in a row on next to ham and tomatoes on salad

How to Make Chef Salad:

  1. Arrange crisp lettuce in a large salad bowl or platter.
  2. Layer each ingredient side by side over the bed of lettuce.
  3. Drizzle leafy greens with your favorite dressing.
  4. Toss gently to combine.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pro Tip: Cut ingredients into uniform sizes for a visually appealing presentation.

Cobb vs. Chef Salad:

Both cobb salad and chef’s salad have lettuce, meats, and cheese, but they do have a main difference. A Cobb Salad typically includes bacon and blue cheese while a recipe for chef is more likely to include croutons and cheddar or swiss cheese.

Diced cucumber and avocado added to salad in additional rows

Is a Chef Salad Healthy?

Yes, a Salad with Ham and Chicken can be a healthy option when made with fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients and paired with a balanced dressing. Just watch that the meat portions are not more than the fresh veggie portions on your plate.

Can You Make Chef Salad Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make avocado ham salad ahead of time. Prepare all the ingredients for this salad, but store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Then assemble the salads and toss with dressing just before serving to maintain freshness and crunch.

Pro Tip: Always cut your avocado right before serving. Avocados love to turn brown as soon as they are exposed to air, so waiting to cut them is a good way to keep your ingredients fresh!

Sliced eggs and cheese spread in a row on the outside of the salad, making a rainbow salad

How to Store Chef Salad:

Store Chefs Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. Keep the dressing separate until ready to serve to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.

What Dressing to Serve with Chef Salad:

Homemade Ranch Dressing is a classic choice for this salad, but you can also try other dressings such as Italian, balsamic vinaigrette, French dressing, or even blue cheese dressing. Use what you love.

zoomed in image of chef salad in bowl without dressing

Can You Freeze Chef Salad?

No, you cannot freeze Chef Salad. Raw produce should not be frozen. 

The water inside the fresh produce freezes into ice crystals that damage the cell structure of the fruits or vegetables. Then when they are thawed they become limp, soggy, and not crisp. 

Leafy green salads should not be frozen unless you plan to blend them into a smoothie or pureed food.

Pro Tip: While you cannot freeze the produce, you can freeze homemade dressing. Whether you make a creamy ranch or a thousand island dressing, make extra to keep in the freezer until you are ready to use.

Chef Salad mixed up without dressing

What to Serve with Chef Salad:

This Classic Salad pairs well with Bread and Soup.

chef salad mixed up with a drizzle of dressing on top

Whether you need an easy side dish or a way to use up leftover chicken, this is the best chef salad recipe you can make. It will quickly become one of your favorite salads.

Yield: 2 Salads

Chef Salad

Sliced eggs and cheese spread in a row on the outside of the salad, making a rainbow salad

Indulge in a culinary symphony with our Chef Salad, a harmonious blend of fresh ingredients bound to tantalize your taste buds.

Instructions

  1. Arrange lettuce in a large bowl or platter.
  2. Layer each ingredient side by side
  3. Drizzle favorite dressing. We love Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 805Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 335mgSodium: 1230mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 15gSugar: 9gProtein: 51g

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Sandra

Saturday 18th of May 2024

This salad was so good and very filling! I could eat as a meal! It had so much flavor!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Saturday 18th of May 2024

This salad is a delightful mix of textures and flavors! And it's so easy to customize! This is begging to be remade!

Beth

Friday 17th of May 2024

I love a good chef salad. This is a really great recipe. The flavors are excellent, and it has all that nice texture that makes a chef salad to wonderful.

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