Chef’s Salad with a Garlicky Anchovy Vinaigrette

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A typical chef’s salad boasts hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and meat on a bed of dressed greens. This garlicky anchovy vinaigrette adds some punch to the mix.

Chef's Salad Recipe | Good Cheap Eats

Salads are some of my favorite healthier meals. They give you the opportunity to “eat the rainbow”, save money, use up little bits of leftover meat and cheese — and best of all, salads taste great!

One of my favorites to make for a midweek lunch or to serve to girl friends is the Chef’s Salad.

Said to have been created sometime in the 1930’s, the Chef’s Salad typically boasts a number of toppings: hard cooked eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and meat, such as roast beef, ham, chicken, or turkey. The assortment of proteins and vegetables rests on a bed of dressed greens, as a salade composee.

The traditional dressing for a Chef’s Salad is Thousand Island. Since I reserve that for my hamburgers, I’ve punched up this Chef’s Salad recipe with a garlicky vinaigrette. Several early recipes for the salad include anchovies, so I tossed a bit into the dressing for good measure.

And to be all authentic and everything.

You can this Chef’s Salad appropriate for paleo or Whole 30 diets by omitting the cheese. Easy peasy. As long as your ham doesn’t have additives, the dish is naturally gluten-free.

Chef's Salad Recipe | Good  Cheap Eats

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. The meats and the cheese are the high price items in this recipe. Watch for sales and stock up.
  • Use up leftovers! This is a great salad to toss on the little bit of last night’s roast chicken. Don’t let those little bits go to waste. You’ve got four days to use them up, so make salad.
  • Make your own dressings. Bottled dressings are either way too expensive or full of junk. I love to make my own dressings. Not only are they quick and economical to prepare, but they allow me to control the ingredients that I use.

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

Updated April 8, 2017.

Chef's Salad Recipe | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Jahnavi says

    Looks interesting.. what is anchovy paste? Where do you buy it and which brand?
    (btw, I’m also in San Diego 😀 )

    • Jessica says

      Anchovy paste is basically mashed up anchovies, sold in a tube, in the canned fish section, near the tuna.

  2. Peggy says

    I made this for dinner tonight. My hubby and I loved the salad dressing! It’s definitely a keeper. Easy to throw together at the last minute and very filling. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Alli says

    What kind of vinegar would you use to make this whole30 approved?

    • All the ingredients in this are Whole 30 except for the cheese. You can use whichever vinegar you prefer, though I like red wine vinegar.


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