There is a wonderful restaurant in Carmel that’s aptly named Carmel Belle. It has delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, pastries, etc., and was a fan favorite of mine growing up. So much so in fact, that we used to call ahead to place our lunch orders senior year of high school and one time (that will forever live in my memory’s hall of fame) they even reserved a table for us!
My absolute favorite lunch there is tomato soup, crostini, and the Cobb salad. I dream of this salad to this day. And so I figured, why not try to re-create it at home? I also figured for me to actually start making this routinely I’d have to find an easier way of making it that didn’t also involve roasting a whole chicken. And so the idea for a sheet pan salad was born! This salad is super easy to pull together- you throw half the ingredients on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes and you throw the rest of the ingredients in your bowl. After 20 minutes, you’re ready to have your mind and taste buds blown!
(Serves 2 as a main)
- 5 strips of bacon
- 1 chicken breast (~1/2 lbs)
- 2 Roma tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 tsp cooking oil
- 1 avocado, pitted then sliced (see notes for a hack)
- 3 tbs goat cheese
- 3 cups preferred greens
- 1 small Meyer lemon, juiced (see notes)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Slice tomatoes in half horizontally. Place on baking sheet with chicken breast and bacon slices. Drizzle cooking oil on tomatoes, then sprinkle both tomatoes and chicken with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20 min— checking at the 10 and 15 minute marks to see if anything is ready to be removed (meaning the chicken is cooked through, tomatoes are shriveling, and/or bacon is your desired crispness). I pulled my bacon at the 15 min mark and left the tomatoes and chicken in for the full 20 minutes.
- Once everything it out of the oven, move your bacon to a paper towel and let the tomatoes and chicken sit for a bit. Cut avocado and add to your serving bowl with goat cheese and greens.
- After the chicken has rested for 5 min, shred it using two forks. Add chicken and tomatoes to salad, and use fingers to crush bacon to pieces on top.
- Dress salad with lemon juice and olive oil directly before serving and enjoy! If you are splitting this into two meals, I’d recommend dressing each serving separately so your leftovers don’t get soggy.
On the lemon: I always cook with Meyer lemons, which are slightly sweeter. If you don’t have a Meyer lemon on hand, you may want to drizzle a small amount of honey on your salad to add some sweetness.
On pitting & scooping your avocado: I use a 3:1 avocado tool, which you can get on Amazon for $6, which makes my life infinitely easier. It also works incredibly well for scooping out the gross insides of gourds (squashes & pumpkins I’m looking at you!).
What am I listening to as I make this? “Little Dark Age” by MGMT
What can I learn while I make this? Why you should bake your bacon! In my mind, the reasons are endless. It’s crispier (YAY), the cleanup is way easier, and it cooks more evenly. For even healthier bacon, use turkey bacon (I’m not evolved to this point yet though, I’ll be honest, when I have bacon it’s a rare occasion and I want BACON) or bake the bacon on a rack with the baking sheet below it so the fats drip off the bacon. I also did not go this route because I wanted the bacon flavors in my chicken and tomatoes 🙂
What if I want an easy and delicious lunch salad but not this one? Don’t worry– I won’t be offended! Check out these other ideas below:
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