Vibrant and colorful Seven Layer Salad is a delightful medley of fresh ingredients that will captivate your taste buds! Each layer reveals a new texture and flavor, from crisp lettuce and crunchy veggies to creamy dressing and tangy cheese. Dig in and savor the delicious harmony of this timeless classic.
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Why You Will Love This Seven Layer Salad Recipe
The cooks in the South have come up with so many great dishes, but folks in other parts of the country don't always appreciate them. A great example is the old fashioned 7 Layer Salad.
This composed salad contains layers of vegetables and eggs stacked in a glass bowl and topped with a creamy dressing, crunchy bacon, and shredded cheese. It's time to start bringing this easy 7 Layer Salad to your next barbeque or get-together, no matter where you live!
What Is Typically in a Seven Layer Salad
It is tough to say what the authentic original Seven Layer Salad recipe was since it seems like everyone has her own version. But you'd be hard-pressed to find one without some sort of lettuce, onions, peas, eggs, and a mayo-based dressing on any table in the South.
What comes on top of the dressing is where people like to get creative. Check out the "Possible Ingredient Variations" section below for some of the more common alternatives.
Seven Layer Salad Ingredients
For a traditional 7 Layer Salad dressing, you'll need:
- White sugar
For the salad, you'll need:
- Red onion, chopped
- Iceberg lettuce shredded
- Hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cold
- Frozen peas
- Bacon, cooked until extra crispy
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Seven Layer Salad Dressing
Iceberg may not be the healthiest lettuce, but it works the best in this salad because of its crunch. However, you can swap romaine, mixed greens, or even spinach for it if you prefer.
If you have a pressure cooker, you can make these perfect Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs. The hard-boiled eggs must be cold before using them for the salad.
Cooking the bacon in the oven is a terrific, worry-free way to get your bacon extra crispy.
How to Make Seven Layer Salad
To prep this easy 7 Layer Salad:
- Chop the red onions. If you prefer a milder onion flavor, you can soak them in ice-cold water for 30 minutes. Just make sure to dry them thoroughly before using. Reserve.
- Rinse, dry, and shred the iceberg lettuce. Use a salad spinner to get the leaves as dry as possible, and lay the spun lettuce on a paper towel-lined plate for later.
- Thinly slice the eggs the long way. Save the sliced eggs.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces and reserve.
- Make the mayonnaise dressing by placing mayo and sugar in a small bowl and stirring until it is combined and smooth.
To assemble a Seven Layer Salad with mayo dressing:
- Place the shredded lettuces on the bottom of a large glass bowl (preferably one with straight sides like a trifle dish). Gently press down to flatten the lettuce.
- Add the diced red onions on top of the lettuce. Be careful that the layers don't mix.
- Place a row of sliced eggs around the edge of the bowl, pressing against the glass to allow guests to see the yolks. Lay the rest of the sliced eggs flat to cover the diced red onions.
- Cover the sliced eggs with the frozen peas.
- Spread the mayo dressing over the top of the frozen peas. Use an offset spatula to help you spread the dressing to the edge of the bowl. There shouldn't be any spaces. The dressing helps to keep the veggies underneath fresh and crispy.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
- Top the cheese with bacon.
- Cover the salad and put it in the fridge for at least 8 hours to allow the flavors to combine before serving.
Possible Ingredient Variations
Don't fear tradition; make a 7 Layer Salad your way. Try some of these different ingredients:
- Red and green peppers. Don't like eggs? Some people replace them with bell peppers.
- Add dried cranberries on top. Seven or eight layer salad? Who cares when dried cranberries add an addictive sweet and sour component that goes so well with the smoky bacon and salty cheese?
- Swap green onions for red onions. Green onions aren't as pungent as red onions.
- Replace the bacon with ham or turkey. Don't feel like making bacon? Use diced ham or turkey instead.
Do I Toss the Salad Together Before Serving?
No! Part of the appeal of the original Seven Layer Salad recipe is that it's served in a glass bowl so that everyone can see the beautiful layers of ingredients.
Can You Make This Recipe Ahead of Time
Yes, you can make up to a day before you serve. In fact, another name for this dish is Overnight Salad since the flavor will improve while sitting in the fridge. Making the salad 8 to 12 hours before serving it is best.
How Do You Store It
Keep this salad covered in the fridge, but take it out about 30 minutes before serving since it tastes better when it isn't ice-cold.
How Long Does It Last
Although the salad tastes best on the second day after making it, it will last a day or two longer. Once the lettuce starts to wilt, it's time to throw the salad out.
More Salad Recipes
Seven Layer Salad
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 head iceberg lettuce shredded
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 4 hard-boiled eggs chopped
- 1 10-ounce package frozen peas
- 12 ounces bacon cooked until crisp and crumbled
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
- In a large clear bowl or trifle dish, layer the shredded lettuce, followed by the chopped red onion, eggs, and peas.
- Carefully spread the mayonnaise dressing over the salad and top with bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. Do not mix the salad until you are ready to serve.