This easy turkey Cobb salad recipe takes just 20 minutes to make and it’s perfect for the Whole30 diet.
Today I’m going to show you how to make a turkey Cobb salad recipe that’s not just delicious, but also healthy and perfect for the Whole30 diet.
And of course, I’m going to speak a bit about this diet too.
But first, let me tell you a few words about this easy turkey salad recipe.
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This is based on the classic Cobb salad which is an American salad, usually made with chopped greens (like iceberg, lettuce, watercress etc) tomatoes, crispy bacon, chicken breast, cheese, avocado, chives and vinaigrette.
However, the classic version didn’t really fit with the Whole30 diet so I had to make a few tweaks to follow the rules. And I gotta say (brag 🙂 ), it came out super delish.
Actually, this turkey Cobb salad is one of the few dishes that makes you happy and excited to be on a diet.
The ingredients are pretty simple but one, in particular, makes this salad delicious, textured and filling. As you might have guessed, I am talking about bacon.
But it actually boils down to the way you cook the bacon. That’s ‘the secret’ of this easy turkey salad recipe and I’ll explain to you more about it in the Tips & Tricks below.
Now let’s bring everybody on the same page by explaining what the Whole30 diet is.
What is the Whole30 diet and what does it imply?
Whole30 is a diet which eliminates certain food categories which might have a negative effect on our health and wellbeing. Among them are sugars, grains, dairy and legumes.
Yes, I know, these are some of the most popular foods and giving them up seems nearly impossible.
But the Whole30 diet doesn’t cut them for good, just for a 30 days period (hence then name Whole30).
Basically, what the Whole30 proposes is to give up on the ‘hard to give up foods’, for a whole 30 days. The reason for that is to reset our bodies and give them time to heal from the inflammatory effects of these foods.
But what are the foods with such inflammatory effects?
Well, here is a list of foods that Whole30 rules out:
- Sugars (Natural or not, and even artificial sweeteners).
- Grains – yes, this includes quinoa and all other pseudo/super grains.
- Legumes – no tofu, chickpeas, beans, corn… you get the point.
- Processed additives – Sulfites, Carrageenan, MSG. So read the label carefully. Bear in mind that wine usually has sulfites, but there’s no need to worry about that because of the next no-no.
- Alcohol – yaay… no need to worry about the sulfites in wine.
I know, I know. This list is quite extensive and it’s not going to be easy. But the good news is that unlike other diets, Whole30 stops after 30 days. And the benefits and plenty and real.
Consider it as some sort of fasting which gives your body the chance to recover.
Oh, and there’s something else you need to keep in mind. After completing the 30 days diet, don’t try to recover ‘what you’ve lost’ by over-indulging in those craving-inducing foods. Especially sugar… and alcohol!
Now that you have a better idea of what Whole30 is, let me tell you how I tweaked this turkey Cobb salad recipe to fit within the rules.
Is the turkey Cobb salad Whole30-approved?
No, and yes! The classic Cobb salad is not, because it contains cheese, which is dairy and a big No-No under Whole30.
A creative foodie might say ‘Aha, I’m gonna replace that with tofu’. Unfortunately, that’s not approved either as it belongs to the Legumes.
So there was only one way to do it.
I have removed the cheese from this easy turkey salad completely. Instead, I added almond flakes to give it some texture and to trick the eye into believing that there’s some cheese :).
So yes, this easy turkey salad recipe is Whole30-approved.
Now let’s see where lies the secret of making it the best turkey salad recipe.
What makes the best turkey salad recipe?
As I said above, the bacon makes a real difference. First of all, it needs to be Whole30-approved. This means that it has to be pastured, sugar and additive-free. The next important thing is how you cook it.
The bacon in this turkey Cobb salad has to be exactly how you like it. And there are two types of people when it comes to cooked bacon.
Ones that like it crispy and others that can’t imagine it other than loose and tender. As for me, I am part of a third special category, that likes it extra crispy.
It’s worth noting here that the best way to cook thin slices of bacon is to start with a cold pan. Usually, when you cook something in a pan you need to heat it first, but that’s not the case here.
Bacon is best cooked slowly at low temp so that it can release its fats without drying or burning it.
And the cooking time depends on which category you fit into. If you like it loose and tender cook it until it gets a little browned on the sides and it has just lost that meat redness.
If you like it crispy, then cook it a little longer until it gets all browned.
So now that you know what makes the best turkey salad recipe, it’s time to see which ingredients you can change.
Adapt this easy turkey salad recipe to your taste
You can replace some of the ingredients with your favorites as long as you follow the Whole30 rules.
I made this Cobb salad with turkey but you can make it with chicken. It’s easy to cook, it’s within our diet’s rules and it will get an amazing flavor from the bacon.
As for the veggies, you can replace them with your favorites like bell peppers, onions, shredded carrots etc. Not sure how much of a Cobb salad it will still be, but it should pass if you arrange it in the Cobb style 🙂
Also, if Whole30 is not what your thing, then you can add the cheese back according to the classic turkey Cobb salad recipe.
So that’s about it for today. Those were my best tips and tricks for making this easy turkey salad recipe.
Now it’s time to make it and don’t forget to snap a few shots, post them on Instagram and tag me with @theblondelish.
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Easy Turkey Cobb Salad Recipe
- 1Lb (450g) turkey or chicken breast - sliced to a 0.5'/1cm thickness
- 1 avocado peeled - pitted and sliced
- 4 cups chopped mixed green lettuce
- 2 hard boiled eggs - peeled and sliced
- 6 thin slices of pastured bacon
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes - chopped
- 1/2 English cucumber - sliced
- 2-3 Tbsp almond flakes - to garnish
- sea salt and black pepper - to taste
- 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- In a large bowl, add the lettuce, then top with turkey, crumbled bacon, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. Sprinkle with almond flakes, then drizzle olive oil and vinegar.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste and gently toss to combine.Enjoy!
- I have removed the cheese in this turkey Cobb salad recipe to make it within Whole30's rules. Instead of cheese, I added almond flakes. If you don't mind the Whole30 diet, you can add the cheese back.
- You can replace the veggies with your favorites like bell peppers, onions, shredded carrots etc.
- Instead of turkey, you can make this Cobb salad with chicken.