Vegetarian Cobb Salad with Pesto Ranch

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want a large, fresh salad for dinner. I’m talking a salad that’s a meal in itself – one that can double as a main dish. Take a cobb salad for instance. A cobb salad is the perfect light meal that is actually quite filling. It’s also well balanced with protein, fibre and fresh veggies. A traditional cobb salad generally consists of avocado, bacon, tomatoes, eggs, chicken and blue cheese. But since I’m a vegetarian, I have not had a traditional cobb salad in ages. 
When I was in Edmonton in December for work, I was lucky enough to go to a restaurant that served a fully vegetarian cobb salad. Now, it was not a cobb salad in the traditional sense. It did not have eggs, bacon or chicken. It did, however, have green lentils, fresh greens, couscous, a variety of seeds, avocado, cherry tomatoes and dried blueberries. It was wonderful and so incredibly filling. What I loved most about the salad was how creative it was. It was a great mixture of some of my favourite fresh, flavourful ingredients.
This past week, I decided to try making my own version of a vegetarian cobb salad at home. I love chickpeas, so I had to include them. I also love a blend of baby spinach and arugula, so I threw them into the mix. For some crunch, I added in a mixture of pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I also added in some cucumber slices, chunks of avocado, cherry tomatoes halves and some dried fruit. I tossed everything with a homemade basil pesto ranch dressing and had a delicious, quick weekday dinner. I highly recommend giving a vegetarian cobb salad a try at home. Be creative and have fun with the ingredients. Use what’s fresh and in season and you can’t go wrong :)
  • salad mix (romaine, arugula, baby spinach)
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 cup of canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup of diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes; cut in half
  • 1/4 cup of dried blueberries or cranberries
  • basil pesto ranch dressing


1. Place salad mix in a nice serving dish. Distribute the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, chopped avocado and diced cucumber evenly over the salad. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds, nuts, and dried fruit over top. Drizzle salad with the basil pesto ranch dressing. Serve!
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Source: Courtney Jones (inspired by Lazia Restaurant in Edmonton)


  1. says

    This looks incredible! I’ve gotta say I sometimes do miss traditional Cobb salads. A restaurant in my area serves a version that has cinnamon & sugar dusted wonton strips and mango and while nowhere near traditional, it certainly is heavenly.

  2. says

    girl, i ALWAYS want a fresh salad for dinner. i’d eat salad for all my meals if i could. this is the perfect salad for me, filled with everything i love. toasted pumpkin seeds are my crack and i love adding them to salads ;)

  3. says

    I’ve always avoided Cobb salads, even before I was vegetarian, because I don’t like hard-boiled eggs (and they always seem to be a part of Cobb salads!). So I love that you used chickpeas and avocados for protein in this salad instead! This has a little bit of everything that I like in a salad, and the creamy dressing sounds perfect to go with it!

  4. says

    I am a huge fan of hearty salads and usually make one on a Sunday night that I then eat at work for the next few lunches – this has just gone to the top of my list for next week! It looks delicious!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • thefigtree says

      Thank you for the comment :) I hope you enjoy these! I loved them. They were even better than I had expected! The cumin lime slaw with the avocado made these addictive!


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