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Vegetarian Cobb Salad Lentil Bowl

A healthier alternative to the classic salad, this Cobb Salad Lentil Bowl is served vegetarian over wonderful black beluga lentils. It’s protein-loaded and incredibly tasty and beautiful in the bowl.

Overhead view of Cobb Salad Lentil Bowl.

Salads and me are bffs. I like salads the way some people like big, drippy burgers stacked high with bacon and cheese.

I know. Weirdo.

That’s not to say I’m all prim and proper about it. As in, a big bowl of greens with chopped carrots and peppers and other super healthy veggies with just a squeeze of lemon to dress. Oh, I like those, too, but I really like big piled-on salads.

A-little-bit-of-everything-salads. Kitchen sink salads. Like the cobb salad. Avocado, eggs, bacon, olives, tomatoes, blue cheese. Perfection in a bowl.

Except … it’s not all that healthy. Not terrible — especially if you opt for the traditional red wine vinaigrette instead of, say, a creamy poppy seed (my current dressing crush) — but not something to brag to the doctor about.

But as a long-time fan of salads, I’ve figured out ways to have my cobb salad and eat it, too.

My go-to method is to vegetarianize this meat-filled salad with hunger-quelling ingredients. Not that salads with smoked turkey or roasted chicken or poached salmon are a problem per se, but since we’re talking about a cobb salad, we have to do something about that delicious but health-pesky bacon. And maybe the cheese.

Ingredients for Cobb Salad Lentil Bowl spread out on a pan.

No biggie: I simply swap out bacon with vegetarian bacon — in my case, tempeh. Tempeh is a lovely food product, imo. It’s soy, but with fewer of soy’s controversial issues because it’s fermented, less processed than most soybean products commonly found in U.S. groceries, and closer to its natural “whole” form. And like tofu (made from unfermented soy), it’s a wondrous sponge for absorbing flavors.

Many grocery stores sell tempeh bacon in the health or vegetarian aisle, already seasoned and ready to heat up.

For the cheese issue, I don’t swap out blue cheese, I simply use less of it. Its strong, in-your-face flavor means that a light dusting of blue cheese crumbles is entirely sufficient to get the point across. Feta is also quite lovely here, btw.

Finally, I love to add to lentils to my salads in general, and this cobb salad in particular. Fiberfiberfiberfiber. Fiber. ‘kay? Fiber. Fiber is your health bff, and legumes are healthy in general for most people anyway.

I have a deep affection for the black beluga and French du puy lentils. They hold together extremely well when cooked, with a nice little al dente bite. Unlike red lentils, which fall apart just looking at them crossways. If you can find them in your area, I highly recommend them. They cook super quick — just a 15-minute simmer — and you’re good to go.

How to Make Vegetarian Cobb Salad Lentil Bowls

Step 1: Cook the Lentils & Veg Bacon

In a small pot, bring water to a boil Add the lentils, cover, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside to cool.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the vegetarian bacon according to package directions. Set aside.

Step 2: Assemble the Salad

This recipe makes two servings, so divide the ingredients between two bowls, layering them in the following order: lettuce, lentils, tomatoes, avocado slices, eggs, veg bacon, and olives. Sprinkle herbs over the top, followed by the dressing.

Cobb Salad Lentil Bowl in a white bowl with a fork.

I hope you’ll try this healthy and filling salad on your next Meatless Monday!

Karen xo

More Healthy Salads to Enjoy

Overhead photo of Vegetarian Cobb Salad Lentil Bowl in a white bowl.
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5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Cobb Salad Lentil Bowl

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Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Karen Gibson

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cups black beluga lentils or French du puy lentils
  • 2 heaping cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 10 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 avocado peeled, pit removed, sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 3 slices vegetarian bacon I used Fakin Bacon tempeh
  • 1/4 cup pitted and sliced castelvetrano or kalmata olives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  • 2 heaping tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
  • your favorite red wine vinaigrette

Instructions

  • Bring the water to a boil in a small, lidded pot. Add the lentils, cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  • While the lentils simmer, cook the vegetarian bacon according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  • Build the salad, dividing the remaining ingredients between two serving bowls. Start with the lettuce, then spoon in the cooled lentils. Arrange the tomatoes, avocado slices, eggs, bacon, and olives on top of the lentils. Sprinkle with the herbs and drizzle with a bit of vinaigrette. Serve with additional vinaigrette.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
Recipe Rating




Dance of Stoves

Saturday 13th of March 2021

Hi Can You Tell Me How Much SaturatedFat Does It Contain? Thanks

Best Classic Vegan Cobb Salad With Dressing (Healthy!)

Cher

Tuesday 25th of March 2014

For me, the head-exploding moment occured when they took the second space out after a period. It stillkind of freaks me out. I am not sure I could forego the bacon (although, I am so happy you left in the blue cheese). The lentils & tempeh are a great addition.

Rocky Mountain Woman

Monday 24th of March 2014

I need to give tempeh a try now that there are over a jillion reasons why I should. If you say it's so, then I believe because you have never steered me in the wrong direction.

Velva

Monday 24th of March 2014

I am a bff of salads too and this one is beautiful. It has a little bit of everything.

Velva