How to Make a Chef Salad 

This Chef Salad is one to prove that salads aren’t just reserved as side dishes. No, this one is definitely the star of the show and is a refreshing yet filling meal in and of itself! 

This summer salad is loaded with various meats, hard-boiled eggs, fresh and crispy lettuce with juicy cucumber and tomato and of course, a healthy dose of cheese! While the typical American Chef Salad calls for lettuce, eggs, cold meat and cheese as the traditional foundation of this summer salad, you have free range to add in additional ingredients or substitute ingredients for others based on your own preferences.  

Whip your Chef Salad up in just 15 minutes for an easy, healthy, and refreshing meal on a hot summer’s day! 

Recipe Notes:

  • While you may prefer to cut your lettuce with a knife, it’s worth noting that this will cause the lettuce to brown faster which is something to consider if you aim to make this salad in advance or store any leftovers.
  • Leftover Chef salad that already has salad dressing added will last in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Store it in an airtight container or wrap your salad bowl tightly in plastic wrap. 
  • Easily modify your chef salad by swapping out the meat called for in this recipe for other meat such as chopped chicken breast (shredded chicken also works well). You can also use another cheese of your choice. 

1. The great thing about a Chef Salad is that it’s pretty much a meal in and of itself. With that said, you could add the following to your chef salad as optional extras:

2. Serve freshly baked Homemade Dinner Rolls or Cheesy Pull Apart Bread alongside your chef salad

3. Adding crunchy croutons to this salad is another delicious option that’ll provide another layer of crunchy texture
Marinated vegetables as a side to your salad is a great way to bulk up your meal, especially helpful if you need to stretch this meal out to accommodate more people. 

4. Get a protein boost by serving your Chef Salad with oven baked chicken breast or these Lemon Grilled Chicken Kabobs


1. Yes, you can, although I always prefer salad that is as crisp as possible and therefore serve it immediately after assembling.

2. If you do opt to make this salad ahead of time, it’s best to do so the night or day before, storing it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or in a salad bowl with plastic wrap covering the top tightly.

3. You could also prepare the salad ingredients separately and then leave the assembling of your Chef Salad just prior to serving. 

Here are the perfect knives for chopping up all your yummy ingredients!

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How to Make a Chef Salad 

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.

  1. Clean and prep all ingredients.chop salad ingredients on cutting board
  2. Begin by adding the lettuce to a large platter or bowl. Then add the rest of the ingredients.chef salad in a bowl
  3. Serve immediately with your favorite salad dressing and additional toppings if you like. Store leftovers in refrigerator.Chef Salad on a plate
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How to Make a Chef Salad

Whip your Chef Salad up in just 15 minutes for an easy, healthy, and refreshing meal on a hot summer’s day! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 large head lettuce your favorite, we used romaine hearts
  • 8 grape tomatoes
  • ½ English cucumber or 2 small cucumbers sliced thinly
  • 3 slices red onion
  • ¼ pound ham cubed or sliced
  • ¼ pound turkey cubed or sliced
  • 4 strips bacon cooked and crumbed
  • ¼ pound cheese your favorite, we used Swiss and Cheddar
  • 4 hard boiled eggs peeled and cut in half or quarters
  • Croutons optional
  • Black olives optional
  • Hot peppers optional
  • Green peppers optional
  • Salad Dressing your favorite


  • Clean and prep all ingredients
  • Begin by adding the lettuce to a large platter or bowl
  • Then add the rest of the ingredients
  • Serve immediately with your favorite salad dressing and additional toppings if you like
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator


Note: nutritional value will change based on your optional toppings and dressings.  


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 261mg | Sodium: 756mg | Potassium: 461mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1025IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 248mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: Family Fresh Meals is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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