Chef Salad is made with just a few basic ingredients but looks different on menus nearly everywhere you go! Made with crisp lettuce, hearty toppings including eggs, ham and cheese this recipe is best topped with a homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing or Thousand Island Dressing!

This makes for a perfect lunch or a nice refreshing dinner on a warm night (and we always add in a side of Homemade Garlic Bread).

Chefs Salad in wooden bowls

Crisp, colorful, and filling, a good chef salad recipe is low in carbs while still guaranteeing the flavor! No need to feel deprived when you’re noshing on a great fresh crisp salad recipe. Whether you order out or make it yourself, this recipe takes the guesswork out of what a chef’s salad really is and what goes into it!

What is a Chef Salad?

As one of the great American salads, this salads ingredients are basically the same, a bed of lettuce, some type of cold meat (ham, turkey, chicken, tuna, or roast beef), hard-boiled eggs, cucumber, cheese, and tomatoes.  How you want to prepare and present it is up to you! Like America, be resourceful and use what you have! All you need to remember, is a true Chef Salad has lettuce, eggs, meat and cheese as the foundation!

How to Make a Chef Salad

This is the easy part! For a keto chef salad, use just the egg whites and save the yolks for another recipe.

  1. Lettuce: Clean and then tear Iceberg or Romaine lettuce. Cutting lettuce with a knife makes the cell walls of the leaves turn brown faster. Besides, why wash another knife when you can just tear the lettuce into perfect bite-sized pieces? Put the lettuce in a bowl or divide onto separate (preferably chilled) salad plates.
  2. Toppings: Top with the diced ham (or meat of your choice), the diced green onions, the sliced (or chopped) hard-boiled eggs, the tomatoes and one cup of sliced cucumber.
  3. Cheese: Add the cheddar or Swiss cheese. You could even try a blue cheese or honestly,  whatever you have on hand would work.
  4. Dressing: Serve with Thousand Island or Ranch Dressing.  Bleu Cheese Dressing is also a good alternative, but typically, a chef salad is not made with a vinaigrette.

Chefs Salad in a wooden bowlWhat to Serve with Chef Salad

Since a chef salad is a full entrée in and of itself, a simple side of homemade croutons or a crusty piece of bread with butter really rounds out the flavors and textures. A good quality of mixed olives or marinated vegetables served on the side makes for an even more colorful look! You can always top it with either an oven Oven Baked Chicken Breast or Grilled Chicken Breast to add a little bit of extra protein!

Brew up some homemade iced tea or strawberry lemonade or pop open a bottle of a bright Pinot Grigio! Then sit back and enjoy!

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Chef Salad

This chef salad is a classic dish with lettuce, meat, eggs, cheese, and a thousand island dressing.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 8 cups lettuce iceberg, romaine, or Boston bibb
  • 4 ounces ham diced
  • 4 ounces cooked turkey breast diced
  • 4 ounces cheese cheddar or Swiss cheese, diced
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • ranch or Thousand Island dressing


  • Wash and dry the lettuce. Tear into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl (or divide over 4 individual serving plates).
  • Top with remaining ingredients.
  • Serve with Thousand Island or Ranch dressing.


Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
5 from 15 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 260 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 627mg | Potassium: 510mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 15.2mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. My husband needs healthy foods
    every day. It’s hard to cook for 2,
    especially since I am a spure of the moment eater. He’s a sit at the table guy, I hate the cooking and the cleanup. Help me please!!