Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad (Paleo, Whole30-Friendly)
Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad – This salmon Cobb salad full of colorful veggies and finished with a creamy avocado green goddess dressing we can’t get enough of! (Paleo, Whole30-Friendly)
It is HOT here lately, and when we’re looking for recipes to make when it’s too hot to cook, one of our favorites is a big, beautiful dinner salad with ALL the goodies.
This Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad has been on repeat at our house this summer. I love that so many of the components can be made in advance (veggies chopped, bacon cooked and crumbled, eggs boiled, dressing mixed), so it really doesn’t take long to pull together at dinner time. (Perfect when we’ve been at the pool or my motivation to cook has gone down as the day gets hotter–it’s a thing!)
And best of all? Everyone can build their salad just the way they like, which means more full tummies and fewer complaints. (Woot!)
Here’s what I typically put in our Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR SALMON COBB SALAD RECIPE:
- Salmon. Simple salmon fillets are the main protein in our Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad. I usually only cook 2 sockeye salmon fillets for the 4 of us since there are other proteins + goodies in this salad to fill it out, but you can absolutely do 4 fillets if you prefer.
- Cajun Seasoning. Store-bought (my favorite!) or homemade Cajun seasoning is generously rubbed onto the salmon to create a gorgeous crust when cooked. It adds flavor to every bite!
- Lettuce. The base of a good Cobb Salad! Traditional Cobb salad uses a blend of iceberg, romaine, endive, and radicchio, but I’m keeping things simple in our Salmon Cobb Salad with romaine lettuce. Feel free to mix and match greens if you prefer!
- Tomato. Perfectly ripe this time of year, colorful tomatoes add so much flavor and happy color to this salad.
- Bacon. Smoky bacon really complements the flavors of the Cajun seasoning and the richness of the salmon. 4-6 slices is usually enough for us, but feel free to scale this up or down as you see fit!
- Soft Boiled or Hard Boiled Eggs. I prefer my boiled eggs on the soft-boiled to medium-boiled side, where my kids prefer hard boiled. Either works in this Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad recipe! (Check out our blue tips box below for my favorite way to cook them.)
- Avocado. Another Cobb Salad classic, creamy avocado is a delightful addition to this salad. Sliced or diced works great!
- Green Onion or Red Onion. Lastly, I finish this Salmon Cobb Salad with a sprinkle of green onion or red onion. Red onion is more classic for Cobb salad, where green onion’s mild flavor can work well with some of the other flavors in this Cajun salmon version.
- A Yummy Dressing. Now, you’re ready to add the dressing! Our Avocado Green Goddess dressing has a bright lemon and herb flavor and feels cool and creamy next to the crispy blackened salmon. If Avocado Green Goddess dressing isn’t your jam, feel free to go with this smoky Chipotle Ranch or a classic vinaigrette instead.
MIX IT UP! TRY ONE OF THESE TWISTS ON SALMON COBB SALAD:
Now that you’ve got our basic recipe for Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad, you might be ready to mix things up by adding more veggies or making some substitutions. Here are a few of our favorite ways to mix things up…
- ADD MORE VEGGIES! Sliced cucumbers can add a cool, refreshing note. Or you can go a bit less traditional and try bell peppers, jicama, or even something like chickpeas!
- SKIP THE CAJUN SEASONING. This Salmon Cobb Salad is delicious with or without the Cajun seasoning. Try seasoning your salmon with a little salt and lemon pepper for a tasty twist! Then, you can get more adventurous with your salad dressing…
- TRY A DIFFERENT DRESSING. Traditional Cobb Salad is served with a red wine vinaigrette. Or, you can use our Chipotle Ranch, Classic Ranch, or this herbed vinaigrette (delicious if you go with lemon pepper on the salmon!)
- ADD SOME CRUNCH WITH CROUTONS. If you’re craving more crunch, try adding some homemade croutons to the salad as well. Their tase & texture is tough to beat!
A Few Tutorials To Help:
- HOW TO MAKE SOFT-BOILED OR HARD-BOILED EGGS. I’m a huge fan of steaming your eggs to hard or soft boil them. You can do this on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot.
- HOW TO BAKE YOUR BACON. My absolute favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven (fewer splatters + less hands-on!). I usually cooke extra and freeze some for another day. It works great for salads like this Salmon Cobb!
- HOW TO KEEP YOUR SALAD GREENS FRESH. I love the convenience of bags of pre-cut salad mix, but freshly prepped lettuce is tough to beat and usually lasts longer in the fridge. I swear by this method to keep my greens fresh. (I use the bag option.) They last so well this way!
- HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CAJUN SEASONING. Prefer to make your own spice blend instead of getting store-bought cajun seasoning? This blend has great flavor!
FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST SALMON COBB SALAD:
PAT YOUR SALMON DRY! I mention this in the instructions, but I’ll mention it again here. Make sure to pat your salmon dry before rubbing with the spice blend or cooking (whether you use the spices or not). It’ll help your salmon get a lovely sear and crust as it cooks and will make it easier for any seasonings to really get through to the salmon.
MORE YUMMY DRESSINGS TO TRY. I love the combination of the herby avocado green goddess dressing with our Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad, but there are lots of other tasty dressings to try! I love this Chipotle Ranch (the smoky flavors are great together!) or this herbed vinaigrette.
OUR FAVORITE STORE-BOUGHT CAJUN SEASONING. I love a good seasoning blend without a bunch of fillers or extras, so we LOVE this store-bought Cajun seasoning. It’s got a great blend of spices and seasonings and has a good kick without being *too* spicy. (I use it in our Cajun Sausage & Rice Skillet, and our Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice, too.)
CAN I MAKE THIS WITHOUT THE CAJUN SEASONING? Absolutely! We’ve done it many times. I often simply season my salmon with salt + pepper or salt + lemon pepper, then cook according to the directions in the recipe card. You’ll get more mild flavor and still end up with delicious salmon!
WHERE TO BUY SUSTAINABLE SALMON FOR A GOOD PRICE. I often order wild-caught salmon fillets from Thrive Market. They’re delivered right to your door, support small farmers & producers, and always deliver on quality! You can also order lots of other delicious staples + natural cleaning supplies while you’re at it. Get 25% off your first order at Thrive Market here! (Costco can be another good option.)
MORE MAIN DISH SALADS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH:
- Sesame Chicken Salad
- Vegetarian Black Bean Taco Salad
- Thai Chopped Salad With Peanut Dressing
- Burger Bowls With Special Sauce
- Wild Rice & Kale Salad
Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad (Paleo & Whole30-Friendly)
- Total Time: About 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Salmon Cobb Salad is full of colorful veggies and finished with a creamy avocado green goddess dressing we can’t get enough of! Or, try serving this salad with our Chipotle Ranch or a simple herby vinaigrette. (Paleo, Whole30-Friendly)
FOR THE SALMON COBB SALAD:
- 2–4 salmon fillets (about 4 oz. each)
- 1–2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil (as needed)
- 6 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado, sliced or diced
- 4 soft-boiled or hard-boiled eggs, halved or quartered
- 4–6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1–2 green onions, sliced (or 1/4 cup finely diced red onion)
- Avocado Green Goddess Dressing (recipe below), Chipotle Ranch, or Herbed Vinaigrette
FOR THE AVOCADO GREEN GODDESS DRESSING:
- 1 avocado
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1–2 Tbsp. water, to help it blend
- 2 Tbsp. chives, snipped
- 2 Tbsp. basil
- 1 Tbsp. dill
- Optional: 1-2 Tbsp. other herbs, like cilantro, parsley, or tarragon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
FIRST, MAKE THE DRESSING (IF USING):
- In a blender, food processor, or jar (to be blended with an immersion blender), combine avocado, mayo, lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. water, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Blend or puree until smooth, adding more water to thin the dressing out to a pourable texture, as desired.
- Taste and add additional seasoning, as needed.
- Store dressing covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the salad. (Dressing will keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator)
FOR THE SALMON + SALAD:
- Pat the salmon dry on all sides with a paper towel (or very clean kitchen towel).
- Rub the top of the salmon with 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning per 2 fillets. (You want it to be well coated. It’ll almost seem like too much, but will create that lovely blackened crust when cooked)
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add salmon and cook 4-5 minutes per side (don’t disturb it while it cooks).**
- When the salmon is done cooking, set it aside on a clean plate to cool slightly, then gently flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces with two forks.
- Create a composed salad by layering the lettuce on a platter and arranging all the toppings in rows and serving with the dressing, or toss the salad with dressing in a large serving bowl. Or, you can serve it family-style and let everyone build their own serving from a large platter of toppings.
**Alternatively, you can air fry the salmon. Mist the air fryer with oil, add the salmon and mist the top with oil (don’t let the fillets touch so the air can circulate). Air fry at 400 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes. Check at the 7-8 minute mark so you don’t overcook it.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: blackened salmon cobb salad, salmon cobb salad, Cajun salmon cobb salad, Cajun salmon salad, avocado green goddess dressing