Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut Bacon
Fresh and flavourful vegan cobb salad with coconut bacon and marinated chickpeas that’s easy to make in 30 minutes.
Today I have a plant-based twist on a popular classic for you – cobb salad! This vegan version of the traditional recipe is made with marinated chickpeas, red wine shallot vinaigrette and homemade coconut bacon.
The recipes features fresh veggies and plenty of flavour and textures paired with smoky, satisfying coconut bacon. Each bite is the perfect balance of crunch, zest and fresh flavour.
The recipe also comes along with nutritional benefits! The chickpeas add protein and fibre and the fresh veggies add vitamins and minerals for a meal that’s not only tasty but also nourishing and wholesome.
I hope you enjoy this cobb salad recipe. Have a read through the post for helpful tips, tricks and to answer and questions you might have.
When you’re ready to give it a try, use the complete and printable recipe card at the end of the post. If you have additional questions or comments, leave them in the comment section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
The complete ingredient list with measurements is located in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Oil: I would recommend using extra virgin olive oil for the dressing.
- Vinegar: Red vine vinegar is best but you could substitute white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if that’s what you have.
- Maple Syrup: You can substitute honey or agave syrup.
- Shallot: You can substitute red onion in a pinch.
- Coconut: Be sure to use large flaked coconut, not shredded coconut.
- Liquid Smoke: This is optional but adds a smoky, bacon-like flavour.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas work just fine but you could also cook your own from scratch.
- Romaine Lettuce: This is the best green for this style of salad but you could technically subsitute kale, baby spinach or mixed salad greens if needed.
- Tomato: The recipe calls for cherry tomato but grape tomato or any other fresh tomato would also be ok.
- Corn: You can use fresh, frozen or canned corn.
Variations & Additions
This recipe is quite flexible. Here are some ideas for customization:
- Greens: Feel free to mix and match greens. You can use a combination of Romaine, baby spinach, kale, or arugula for added variety and nutrition.
- Vegetables: Add sliced bell peppers, radish or shredded carrot.
- Dressing Ideas: Substitute vegan mayo for the olive oil to make the dressing creamy, or use this mayo-based sweet and tangy dressing recipe. This avocado ranch dressing, tahini ranch dressing or cilantro lime dressing would also be good.
- Toppings & Garnishes: Add more crunch with slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds or try a sprinkle of dairy-free parmesan cheese, blue cheese or grated cheddar. You can also sprinkle with finely chopped green onions or chives.
- Protein Variations: Substitute the chickpeas for this baked tofu or this BBQ tempeh.
Step 1: Make the Dressing
Add the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, shallot and garlic to a bowl or measuring cup with a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
You could also add it to a mason jar, seal it and shake to mix it up.
Step 2: Marinate the Chickpeas
To a medium bowl, add chickpeas, 2 tbsp of the dressing and the fresh herbs.
Stir to coat the chickpeas and then set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Make the Coconut Bacon
Add the coconut flakes to another bowl and drizzle with the tamari, maple and liquid smoke, if using. Add the smoked paprika and garlic powder as well and stir to coat.
Transfer the flakes to a baking sheet and spread out in an even layer.
Bake them for 8-12 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they’re dark golden brown. They may not seem crisp when they come out of the oven but will quickly crisp as they cool on the pan.
Watch closely after 8 minutes as oven temperatures vary and they can burn quickly.
Step 4: Chop the Fresh Veggies
While the coconut bacon is on the oven, chop the lettuce, tomato and cucumber and prepare the corn and avocado.
Step 5: Assemble the Salads
Divide lettuce between bowls and drizzle a little dressing over the lettuce.
Arrange the tomatoes, cucumber, corn, avocado and marinated chickpeas on top. Top with your desired amount of coconut bacon.
Drizzle the remaining dressing over top and season with salt and pepper to taste.
You could use bacon bits, tempeh bacon, mushroom bacon or a plant-based bacon alternative.
The recipe itself is gluten-free, but do double-check the labels of your ingredients, such as tamari or liquid smoke, to ensure they are gluten-free if you have dietary restrictions.
Absolutely! You can make the coconut bacon in advance and store it in an airtight container for up to a week. This allows for easy meal prep and quick assembly of the salad whenever you’re ready to enjoy it.
The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Make sure to give it a good shake before using it to combine the ingredients that may have settled.
Storing & Meal Prep
If you prefer to prepare the salad in advance for quick and easy meals, assemble individual portions in containers but leave off the avocado, coconut bacon and dressing.
When you’re ready to eat, top each serving with coconut bacon, avocado and dressing and enjoy.
You can make the coconut bacon in advance and store in a sealed container at room temperature. Make sure it’s completely cooled before storing. The dressing can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
Plant-based cobb salad recipe with coconut bacon, chickpeas, fresh veggies and a zesty shallot red wine vinaigrette.
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup (72 g) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp (15 g) whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp (15 g) maple syrup
- 1 small (20g) shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- salt and pepper
For the Coconut Bacon
- 2 cups large flaked coconut (96 g)
- 1 ½ tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp liquid smoke, optional
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
For the Cobb Salad
- 1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 2.5 cups)
- ¼ cup parsley or chives, finely chopped
- 7 cups (315g) Romaine lettuce
- 2 cups (250g) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups (225g) cucumber, cut into half-moons
- 1 cup (150g) corn
- 1 large avocado, pitted and sliced
- Prep: Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- Make Dressing: In a bowl, measuring cup or mason jar, add oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, shallot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk or seal and shake to combine.
- Marinate Chickpeas: To a medium bowl, add chickpeas and 3 tbsp of the dressing and the chives or parsley. Stir to coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally.
- Make Coconut Bacon: To another bowl, add coconut flakes. Drizzle tamari, maple syrup and liquid smoke, if using, over top. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and garlic powder. Stir to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet, spreading out in an even layer. Bake for 1o-13 min, stirring half-way through, until dark golden brown. It may not seem crisp when it comes out of the oven but will quickly crisp up as it cools on the pan. Start watching after 8 minutes as oven temperatures vary and it can burn quickly.
- Assemble Salads: Divide lettuce between bowls. Drizzle a little dressing over the lettuce. Arrange tomatoes, cucumber, corn, avocado and marinated chickpeas on top. Sprinkle with desired amount of coconut bacon. Drizzle remaining dressing over top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Keywords: vegan cobb salad, vegetarian cobb salad