Southern-Style Grilled Cobb Salad

We've given the Cobb salad a Southern twist.

Southern-Style Grilled Cobb Salad
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Active Time:
30 mins
Cool Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

When the weather is warm, the last place we want to be is trapped over a hot stove. That's why Southerners make the most of our outdoor kitchens—over the years, we've learned how to make a whole three-course meal entirely off of the grill. We're talking grilled chicken and corn, and maybe even grilled peaches for dessert. And for the appetizer? We'll be having Southern-Style Grilled Cobb Salad.

Get ready to rethink everything you know about salads. This Cobb salad with a Southern twist packs a smoky, charred flavor from grilled chicken, bacon, okra, and corn. In this version of a Southern Cobb salad, we opt for Sharp Cheddar instead of the standard blue cheese. We also add in okra, which is abundant in the South in the summer; try to get it locally grown at your farmers' market. Slicing, then grilling the okra burns off the slime that some may associate with okra, giving the vegetable a really nice texture. Dressed with a classic Dijon vinaigrette, this salad is stacked with dynamic layers of flavor. Get ready to impress the backyard barbecue crowd.


  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 ears fresh corn, shucked

  • 4 ounces fresh okra, sliced in half lengthwise

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices

  • 2 large (12- to 16-oz. each) heads red leaf or green leaf lettuce

  • 1 pound small heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

  • 3 ounces aged Cheddar cheese, crumbled into small pieces (about ¾ cup)


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) with an oiled metal grilling basket positioned on 1 side of grill grates. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl until combined. Slowly add ⅓ cup of the oil, whisking constantly to combine.

  2. Toss together corn, okra, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; push to 1 half of baking sheet. Add chicken to other half of baking sheet. Brush chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.

  3. Place bacon slices on unoiled grates. Place okra in grilling basket. Grill, covered, until bacon is lightly charred, crisp, and cooked through and okra is softened and charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove bacon and grilling basket with okra from grill. Add corn and chicken to grates. Grill, covered, until corn and chicken are lightly charred and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, 12 to 16 minutes, turning corn occasionally and turning chicken once. Remove corn and chicken from grill; cool 5 minutes.

  4. Chop chicken into 1-inch pieces. Cut corn kernels from cobs; discard cobs. Cut bacon into ½-inch pieces. Tear lettuce into 2-inch pieces; place in a large bowl or on a serving platter. Add dressing, okra, bacon, chicken, corn, tomatoes, cheese, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; toss to combine.

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