Holiday Cobb Salad

This gorgeous Holiday Cobb Salad is full of flavor and loaded with fresh fruit slices, crunchy pecans, crispy bacon, dried cranberries & hard boiled eggs then drizzled with a creamy poppy seed vinaigrette. It’s perfect as a Christmas salad, a Thanksgiving salad, or as part of your regular meal rotation all year round!

holiday cobb salad gluten free dairy free

I don’t think salads get their share of the spotlight during the holiday season. Salads are usually more of a spring and summer thing and not really talked about much during the winter months.

But there are so many fresh, cool weather ingredients you can turn into a perfect salad for your holiday dinner. I took the classic cobb salad and gave it a fresh and delicious holiday twist with the addition of winter fruits, pecans, hard boiled eggs, and crispy bacon.

Holiday Cobb Salad Ingredients

The ingredients in this salad are totally customizable. Add more or less, skip or swap…use this recipe as a guide to make the best salad for YOU!

• Salad Greens. I used a spring mix, but green romaine, baby spinach, arugula, or a combo of any of the above would work just fine!
• Nuts. This recipe uses pecans, but chopped walnuts, or even almonds would be yummy too.
• Dried Fruit. I typically keep dried cranberries in the pantry, but dried cherries would also be a tasty addition.
• Fresh Fruit. I suggest honey crisp apples and/or pears are also a great option.
Bacon. Our favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until desired crispness. I have these USA baking pans with a rack so the grease drains while cooking.
Hard Boiled Eggs. We always cook our hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot! It’s super quick and they peel perfectly every time!
Dressing. Whisk together a few simple pantry staples to create an easy, homemade poppy seed vinaigrette.

holiday cobb salad gluten-free


This salad is easy to make, and you know what’s even better?! Several of the steps can be done ahead to save time! You can prep the individual components of this salad ahead of time and then assemble everything just before serving.

A day or two ahead of time:

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and store in the refrigerator. Before using, allow it to come to room temperature and then shake well.

Cook your bacon and hard boiled eggs. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Toast the pecans. This is an optional step…I just threw them on right out of the bag! But it helps to maximize the flavor of the nuts. Allow to completely cool, and store in an airtight container.

A few hours ahead of time on the same day:

Cut the apples and/or pears then shake the slices in a Ziploc bag with a generous amount of lemon juice. Squeeze the air out of the bag and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Just before serving:

Layer the ingredients in a large salad bowl, drizzle your desired amount of vinaigrette, toss everything together, and enjoy!

Let’s eat!

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Holiday Cobb Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cobb salad, holiday salad, salad
Servings: 4
Author: Thriving Gluten Free


  • 6 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • 1 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 2 Apples or Pears or a combo of both!
  • 4 Eggs hard boiled & quartered
  • 6 slices Bacon cooked & crumbled


  • 1/2 cup Mayo or unsweetened plain dairy-free yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup can sub regular granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Poppyseeds
  • 1 tbsp Water use desired amount to create a thinner consistency.


Prepare the Poppyseed Dressing

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise(or yogurt), maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and poppyseeds in a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp of water to thin. Add more depending on desired consistency. Refrigerate until serving.

Assemble the Salad

  • To assemble the salad, place salad greens in a large bowl. Top with bacon, eggs, apple, pear, pecans & cranberries. 
  • Add dressing to the salad about 15 minutes before you plan on serving it. You don’t want to add the dressing too far in advance, or the greens can get too soggy. Toss everything well & serve.


To feed a crowd, ingredient sizes can be adjusted depending on how many people you will be serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @thrivingglutenfree or #thrivingglutenfree!

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