If you love everything bagels, shmear and lox, but (like me) you’d like an alternative that’s not all bread and cheese and meat, look no further than my everything bagel Cobb salad with smoked salmon! It incorporates the yum of an everything bagel into a delicious new interpretation of Cobb salad – fresh greens, smoky salmon, creamy avocado, crunchy red onions and salty capers. And I haven’t left out the cream cheese entirely, either, there’s just enough to keep us all happy!
There’s just something about everything bagel seasoning, isn’t there? I don’t know who first thought to combine sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic and onion and put it on top of a bagel, but I’m so glad they did. And I’d like to marry the person who decided to put it in a jar and sell it, this stuff has changed my life! And, apparently, my approach to Cobb salad.
This is, of course, a very non-traditional Cobb salad, but I suspect Mr. Cobb wouldn’t be angry about it. Just like my unorthodox take on the BLT in my BLT Kale Caesar, it doesn’t discard anything that’s great about the original. It’s got the same great combo of fresh, crunchy, rich, smoky, and sharp.
Smoked salmon is a great source of healthy fats
The biggest departure I’ve made from the traditional Cobb salad is smoked salmon. This switch really boosts the nutrition in this recipe, and cuts out the saturated fats found in chicken and bacon. Wild salmon is chock full of heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals; so much so that it’s considered a superfood. It’s good for your heart, your eyes, your brain, your skin, your mood, your bones, your joints, and the list goes on and on. Even among the many healthy ingredients common in the Mediterranean diet, salmon is a superstar.
I love salmon any way I can get it, but smoked salmon is my favorite way of adding fish into my diet. It’s not inexpensive, but thanks to its bold, smoky flavor and meaty texture, a little goes a long way. It’s also easy to find, store, and prepare. If you can, make sure your salmon is wild-caught, and comes from a sustainable fishery. My local grocery store smokes their salmon in-house, but when I can’t get there I usually buy smoked salmon at Trader Joe’s or Costco.
Yogurt-based everything dressing tops it all off
I’m basically through with heavy, fatty, mayonnaise-based dressings. I’ve been making my own salad dressings for a decade, and I maybe go through a small jar of mayonnaise a year in my house. Maybe. Greek yogurt is my usual replacement, and its tart flavor and creamy texture are the perfect pairing with the everything bagel seasoning and lemon I've added to the dressing. I also like that using yogurt and raw honey add a dose of probiotics to the dressing to support gut health.
My everything bagel yogurt dressing is pretty versatile too. You can change out the lemon juice with red wine vinegar, add a little dijon, or mix in some chopped capers for a salty/briny kick. You can also use less of whatever liquid you choose and turn it into a dip for your next veggie platter, or a spread for sandwiches.
Tips to make the best everything bagel Cobb salad with smoked salmon
- Make sure your greens are fresh and crispy. Texture is really important in Cobb salad, and it begins with fresh, crispy greens. You can revive your greens by rinsing them well, then soaking them in a bowl of ice water for 20-30 minutes. I run them through a salad spinner to dry before using them. This also works well for the arugula in my arugula and roasted pepper salad.
- Try less-than-hard-boiled eggs in your everything Cobb salad. Hard-boiled eggs are traditional, but over the last year I’ve become a fan of eggs with jammy yolks. Guess what, they are delicious in Cobb salad! I boil my eggs using this technique from AllRecipes, and I think a 5 minute boil is absolutely perfect.*
- Take the bite out of raw onions. Raw onions are a little much for me, so I like to mellow them out a little. I slice them then put them in a bowl with some cold water and an ice cube, and soak them for 15-20 minutes. They come out crispy and sweet, but with less bite than they have before they are soaked.
*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
Q: What type of smoked salmon should I use in this salad?
The simple answer is, whatever smoked salmon you enjoy, is available to you, and fits within your budget. There are many types of smoked salmon, and my family tried this salad with hot smoked salmon, cold smoked salmon, and lox. We liked the hot smoked salmon best, but we honestly enjoyed them all. If you can, I encourage you to find smoked salmon that is wild caught from a sustainable source. If all you can find is farm-raised smoked salmon, I believe it’s safe to eat, and while it has a slightly different nutritional profile than wild salmon, it’s still healthier than eating no salmon at all.
Prep ahead and storage
All of the components of this salad can be prepped up to a day ahead, except the avocado. Store the components in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Bring the tomatoes to room temperature before assembling your salad. Prepare the avocado and add the dressing just before serving. It’ll keep for maybe a day once the dressing has been added, but mixed greens tend to break down once they are dressed, so I don’t recommend it.
I love hearing from you!
Questions, comments, and ratings are welcome and encouraged. Let me know what you think of this Everything Bagel Cobb Salad with Smoked Salmon! You’ll make my day!
Everything Bagel Cobb Salad with Smoked Salmon
For the salad:
- 2 large handfuls of mixed salad greens
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ avocado peeled and sliced
- 6 ounces smoked salmon flaked
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 hard or soft-boiled eggs peeled and halved lengthwise
- 2 ounces cream cheese cold
- 1 tablespoon Everything But the Bagel seasoning
- Optional: everything bagel chips or croutons
- Optional steps: Place the sliced onions in a bowl of cold water and set aside while you prepare the salad. If your greens need to be crisped, rinse them and place them in a bowl of ice water.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place the Everything But the Bagel seasoning into a small, shallow bowl. Cut the two ounces of cream cheese into 12 small pieces. Roll each piece between your palms to form a small ball, then roll the balls in the seasoning to coat them all over. Set aside.
- If you have crisped your greens, drain them and run them through a salad spinner to dry.
- Assemble the salad in a shallow bowl or on a platter. Start by adding the greens on the bottom.
- Over the top, either spread out or in sections, add the tomatoes, avocado, smoked salmon, eggs, and cheese balls.
- Top the salad off with red onion and capers, the bagel chips (if using), and drizzle with the dressing. Serve extra dressing on the side.