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Chef’s Salad is a classic salad made with lettuce, sliced meats and cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and other delicious ingredients.

Chef's Salad

We’ve been craving salads lately – and Chef’s Salad is one of our favorite salads of all-time!

What is a Chef’s Salad?

A Chef’s Salad is essentially a salad consisting of hard-boiled eggs, a variety of julienned meats (such as ham, turkey, chicken or roast beef), tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese, all served on a bed of lettuce or other leafy greens.

Chef’s Salad is specifically assembled as a “composed” salad, with each ingredient on display as it is brought to the table. It will impress any guests at your table, and it has enough ingredients to be a filling lunch or dinner!


Chef’s Salad

What is the origin of the Chef’s Salad?

According to Wikipedia, food historians disagree on the origin of a Chef’s Salad. Some trace it back to 17th century England and a dish called Salmagundi – which was a variety of sliced meats, stewed vegetables and other ingredients that were assembled on a plate before eating.

Some American food lore gives original credit to Victor Seydoux – who worked at both the Waldorf-Astoria and the Ritz Carlton, before becoming chef at the Hotel Buffalo in Buffalo, New York in the early 1920’s. Victor’s wife claimed that customers started requesting an off-menu salad comprised of meats, cheese and hard-boiled eggs. It became such a popular request, it was added to the menu. Victor was given the honor of naming the salad – and he referred to it as a Chef’s Salad.


Chef’s Salad

The popularity of Chef’s Salad grew with the publication of a cookbook of recipes from the restaurants at the Ritz-Carlton – and that cookbook included a Chef’s Salad by chef Louis Diat. His version was definitely more upscale – with boiled chicken, smoked ox tongue, smoked ham, hard-boiled eggs and watercress greens. It was served with French dressing.

Today, Chef’s Salads are often on the menu, and the ingredients can change from restaurant to restaurant based on the Chef’s preference (or more likely the ingredients the restaurant has on hand.)

How do you serve a Chef’s Salad?

You can prepare a Chef’s Salad as individual servings in small bowls or plates, but the most impressive way is to bring it to the table in one large bowl or platter. Then, each dinner guest can choose the ingredients for their own plate.


Chef’s Salad

We like to drizzle a bit of the dressing over the salad on the platter, then serve more dressing on the side. (We show our Chef Salad with our Honey Dijon Ranch Dressing recipe from earlier this week, but feel free to serve it with any of your own favorite dressings instead.)

You can also change up the meats, greens, or the dressing  – and even add additional items such as olives, Pepperoncini and thinly sliced red onions like we did.  You are the chef here – and this is your Chef’s Salad, done your way! Use our Chef’s Salad recipe below as a guide and have fun making yourself and your guests the perfect salad.

This recipe appeared on A Family Feast in December 2013.

You may like these other Salad recipes:

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Chef's Salad

Chef’s Salad

  • Prep Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings


1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

I small or half of large head of iceberg lettuce, chopped

1/3 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced thin

A few very thin slices of red onion

1 small stalk of celery, cut into thin slices

Few very thin slices of green bell pepper

¼ pound Black Forest ham, sliced ¼ inch thick and cut into strips

¼ pound deli chicken or turkey, sliced ¼ inch thick and cut into strips

¼ pound Swiss cheese, sliced ¼ inch thick and cut into strips

2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into eight wedges each

Three hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters (see here)

16 pitted black olives

16 Pepperoncini peppers

Our Honey Dijon Ranch Dressing (see here or your favorite salad dressing)

Slices of good crusty bread, for serving


In a large bowl, toss both lettuces together, then place on your serving platter.

In any combination you want, add each of the salad ingredients and top with our Honey Dijon Ranch Dressing – or serve on the side.

Serve with a good crusty bread.

Keywords: chef salad, chef's salad


Chef's Salad

Chef's Salad

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  • J Pratt wrote:

    I have no interest in cooking or preparing food. I work for pay so I can go to a restaurant to be served after work. I like a salad. Not one as a side, but as a meal. Lately have been disappointed with the salads from my favorite restaurant. The new owners charge more, put more ingredients on, but use much less greens, (lettuce/romaine, etc ). How many cups of greens constitutes a proper salad bed?

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi, this is Jack. I don’t know that there is a standard measurement. I think it is up to the individual food establishment. The patrons can decide to pay a second visit or not depending on the quality, quantity and service.
      However, I pulled out my Professional Chef and looked at the salad section. In almost all of the writing on the subject, as well as the recipes, they list two pounds of greens for 10 portions, which would be 3.2 ounces. I pulled some red leaf lettuce out of my fridge and measured out 3.2 ounces on the kitchen scale and then placed into measuring cups and it came to three cups packed. So I guess, according to the Professional Chef, three cups looks to be standard. This was on page 797, 7th edition of the publication.

      Hope this helps,

      P.S., I like a lot of greens as well so I hear ya.

  • Robyn Hausmann wrote:

    This was the perfect warm weather dinner salad. The dressing though just knocks it out of the park! Together, absolutely delicious.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Robyn!

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