7-Layer Salad – WellPlated.com

Today we’re starting old-fashioned with a Southern favorite that was a staple at our gatherings as kids: 7 layer salad. Made with lettuce, peas, tomatoes, bacon, a sweet mayonnaise dressing, cheddar cheese and hard-boiled eggs all layered on top of each other, it’s the star of any potluck or holiday celebration.

Why You’ll Love This Classic Salad Recipe

  • the hammer. When it comes to presentation, the traditional 7-layer salad is a real eye-catcher. Every beautiful layer stands out.
  • fun and different. Layered lettuce is not tossed; Diners reach through the top of the lettuce with long tongs, taking a bit of each layer. It’s unexpected and delightful.
  • Cool and refreshing. A salad stacked in a large trifle bowl may sound odd, but with this cool salad and creamy dressing, it hits the spot at a hot summer potluck or holiday dinner.
  • Make-ahead friendly. The 7-layer salad can be prepared the night before, making it ideal for guests.
  • Retro (in a good way). If you grew up in the Midwest, it probably won’t surprise you to see a “salad” that has more bacon, eggs, cheese, and mayonnaise than actual vegetables (check out healthy potato salad, ramen salad, and shrimp pasta salad , if …). you please). It’s a nostalgic throwback that hits the mark!
Easy 7-layer salad in a serving bowl

About this 7-layer salad recipe

Seven-layer lettuce is a popular potluck and picnic dish thanks to its visually appealing layers, diverse flavors and textures, and popular ingredients (cheese, bacon, and eggs, anyone?).

What constitutes each of the seven layers is different.

In fact, even “traditional” sources for a layered salad recipe (Kraft, Betty Crocker, Pioneer Woman) don’t quite agree.

The following is based on the 7-layer salad my family ate at potlucks as a kid.

If you’re a longtime lover of layered lettuce, you’ll appreciate the fresh twist I have here.

  • I swapped out the iceberg lettuce for more flavorful and nutritious romaine lettuce.
  • I added extra veggies for color and crispiness.
  • The usually mild dressing is refined with parmesan and garlic.

Those who prefer their salads to be lighter/healthier will also love my version.

  • Instead of mayo (or Miracle Whip) and sugar in the dressing, I used Greek yogurt and honey.
  • I reduced the bacon a little. The original charges a full pound, which (believe me I never thought I’d ever say that) was really too much. It disturbed the harmony of the other ingredients.
  • For the cheese, this recipe chooses a particularly sharp cheddar. You can go with less and still have the full flavor impact.
Various ingredients in bowls for 7-layer salad

How to prepare a 7-layer salad

The ingredients

  • romaine. Crispy, cool and strong – romaine lettuce is the ideal choice for this salad. Its consistency withstands the high stress of other ingredients and doesn’t get mushy as quickly.
  • bacon. Crispy, smoky bacon is a must in this salad. Bacon also helps make this salad more filling. You can also substitute diced ham for the bacon for a similar effect.
  • Hard boiled eggs. A creamy complement to crispy bacon. The eggs provide rich flavor, protein, and healthy fats.
  • Red onion. Soaking the red onion in water first takes the edge off of it, leaving just a hint of bite. You can also swap out the spring onions without having to soak them.
  • tomatoes. Juicy cherry tomatoes add a wonderful sweetness to the salad and taste fantastic with the eggs and bacon.
  • Frozen peas. An easy way to add more veggies. While not everyone loves green peas in salads, they work here.
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese. The bold, cheesy flavor of extra-sharp cheddar doesn’t get lost among the other ingredients.
  • Greek yogurt dressing. A simple concoction of Greek yogurt, parmesan, honey (my swap for white sugar), apple cider vinegar, salt, and garlic powder. It’s creamy, cheesy, tangy, salty, and a little bit sweet.

replacement tip

A traditional recipe for a seven-layer salad calls for mayonnaise or sour cream, or a mix. Greek yogurt is my favorite healthy alternative, but you can swap it out for a 50/50 mix of these two if you like.

The directions

  1. Get ready. Boil the bacon, hard boil the eggs and soak the red onion.
Mix dressing in a bowl
  1. Make the dressing. It will be thick and creamy.
Romaine lettuce in a small bowl
  1. Layer the greens. They form the fresh basis.
Place lettuce, tomatoes and onions in a small bowl
  1. Add some color. Tomatoes and red onions make for a pretty streak.
A 7-layer salad is assembled in a bowl
  1. Layer the peas and eggs. It looks pure!
Dressing is poured into a bowl with ingredients
  1. Spread the dressing over it. It will be a thick layer.
  2. Add the good. Bacon and grated cheese.
7 Layer the lettuce in a small bowl
  1. Cool. For at least 1 hour. Then enjoy it!

storage tips

  • To store. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate leftover salad for up to 2 days.

Meal prep tip

Up to 1 day in advance, hard boil the eggs, cook the bacon, and soak/chop the red onion. You can also chop the tomatoes and romaine lettuce and shred the cheddar cheese. Store each ingredient in the fridge until ready to finish the recipe.

What to serve with the 7-layer salad

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Playing around. Use this recipe as a starting point and feel free to substitute other veggies (or make more than 7 layers!). For example, you can make a 7-layer salad with cauliflower florets, broccoli, celery, cucumber, corn, red pepper, or even avocado!
  • Get the crispy bacon. You want it to be nice and crispy. See Baked Bacon in the Oven and Air Fryer Bacon for easy ways to cook perfect, crispy bacon.
  • Don’t skip the eggs and bacon. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend making this into a vegan or vegetarian 7-layer salad, as the bacon and hard-boiled eggs are what really make the salad tastes best.
  • Get ahead. This salad is simple but has a lot of ingredients. Save yourself the stress and hard boil the eggs the day before. (Recommended method: Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs.)

For the salad:

  • 8th ounces Cut bacon in half
  • 4 Big Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup chopped red onion
  • 8th cups chopped romaine lettuce about 2 romaine hearts (12 ounces chopped romaine lettuce)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 (10 ounce) packet of frozen peas thawed
  • 2/3 Cup freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese Use yellow cheddar for maximum color contrast

  • Cook and crumble or chop the bacon (see Oven Baked Bacon and Air Fryer Bacon for easy methods). Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
  • Hard Boil Eggs: Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, carefully dip the eggs into the boiling water. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle, even simmer. Simmer the eggs at this low, gentle boiling point for 8 minutes for a slightly sticky yolk (or cook for up to 9 minutes for a fully set yolk). Meanwhile, prepare a large ice bath. Using the slotted spoon, carefully transfer the eggs to the ice bath. Gently break open the shells with the back of the spoon, then put them back in the water (this will make them easier to peel). Peel and chop.

  • Prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl, stir together Greek yogurt, parmesan, honey, vinegar, salt, and garlic powder. Taste and season as desired.

  • Place the romaine lettuce in the bottom of a LARGE, shallow, clear serving bowl – you want to be able to see and evenly distribute the layers; A trifle bowl works well if you have one.

  • Next, build up the lettuce layers and spread them out evenly. Start with the tomatoes and red onions.

  • Add peas and eggs.

  • Spread the dressing evenly over it. Layer the cheese and then the bacon on top. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (or overnight).

  • To serve, use long salad tongs or a similarly long spoon that allows you to reach through the layers. Make sure each serving contains a little of everything.

  • TOP: Depending on the size of your serving bowl, you may need to adjust the amounts of each layer. Use your judgment and have fun doing it.
  • TO STORE: Cover remaining 7-layer salad and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Unused dressing can be stored in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Portion: 1(of 10)Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 12GProtein: 13GFat: 15GSaturated Fatty Acids: 6GPolyunsaturated fat: 2GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 6Gtrans fats: 0.04GCholesterol: 94mgPotassium: 404mgFiber: 3GSugar: 6GVitamin A: 3947IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 2mg

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frequently asked Questions

Which dish is best for a 7-layer salad?

I think the best dish for a 7-layer salad is a trifle bowl (like this one). If you don’t own a trifle bowl, any large, flat-bottomed clear glass bowl (like this fun option) will do just fine.

Can I use store bought hard boiled eggs?

To speed up the preparation time for this salad, you can buy hard-boiled eggs at the supermarket.

Can I swap out the ranch dressing?

Personally, I think ranch dressing alone would be too thin for a seven-layer salad that needs a dressing thick enough to stand as its own layer without dripping into the leaves. If you want a ranch version, use this ranch dip with Greek yogurt for the dressing, or stir a tablespoon or two of a pack of ranch seasoning into Greek yogurt or sour cream and use as the dressing.

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