Seven Layer Salad

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Bright, crunchy, and colorful, this easy Seven Layer Salad recipe is a fun blast from the past for any party. Make it as-is, just like you remember it, or switch up those layers in a million different delicious ways.

Seven layer salad in a glass dish.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled Seven layer salad ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Lettuce: Iceberg, crispy head lettuce, or Romaine.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs: Not in my Seven layer salad! But many people say that’s how they make it.

Step-by-step instructions:

Before you begin, you should decide on what bowl to use for your layered salad. A clear glass bowl shows off all the hard work you put into chopping the vegetables. And a clear glass bowl with straight sides makes it easy to assemble.

  1. First layer: In the bottom of the bowl, spread the shredded lettuce
  2. Second layer: A thin layer of chopped red onion
  3. Third layer: Chopped celery
  4. Fourth layer: Peas
    Seven layer salad in a clear dish.
  5. Fifth layer: Spread the mayo over everything and sprinkle with a little sugar
  6. Sixth layer: Shredded cheddar cheese
  7. Seventh layer: Crispy chopped bacon
    Seven layer salad in a glass dish.

Cover the salad up with plastic wrap and chill for a at least a couple hours.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Mayonnaise dressing: Plain, good quality mayo like Hellman’s or Best Foods is perfect. A little sugar makes it just slightly sweet, but even that’s optional if you’re watching your sugar intake.
  • Miracle Whip: Substitute Miracle Whip for the mayo if you are a Miracle Whip fan. The only difference between them is that the salad dressing Miracle Whip already has added sugar, paprika, and garlic powder.
  • Sour cream: Some cooks love mixing half mayo, half sour cream for a tangier dressing.
  • Parmesan cheese: A few tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese taste great added to the mayo.
  • Add meat: You could layer in some turkey or ham instead of the bacon.
  • Extra veggies: Change out your layers for different vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, scallions
  • Change the cheese: Pick the cheese you love like smoked provolone, blue cheese, or feta cheese
  • More toppings: Not traditional, but avocado, olives, and crunchy fried onions are so good!
    A bowl of seven layer salad surrounded by three smaller plates with servings of seven layer salad.

More delicious salads:

Seven layer salad in a glass dish.

Seven Layer Salad

Bright, crunchy, and colorful, this easy Seven Layer Salad recipe is a fun blast from the past for any party. Make it as-is, just like you remember it, or switch up those layers in a million different delicious ways.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 259 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 285

Ingredients 

  • 1 head lettuce shredded
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 2-3 celery ribs sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 12 ounces frozen peas thawed
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound bacon fried and crumbled

Instructions 

  • Spread the lettuce evenly in the bottom of a glass bowl. Top with red onion, celery, and peas.
  • Spread mayonnaise on top of celery and sprinkle with sugar. Top with cheddar cheese and bacon. Cover and chill.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Lettuce: Iceberg, crispy head lettuce, or Romaine.
  2. Hard Boiled Eggs: Not in my Seven layer salad! But many people say that's how they make it.
  3. Mayonnaise dressing: Plain, good quality mayo like Hellman’s or Best Foods is perfect. A little sugar makes it just slightly sweet, but even that’s optional if you’re watching your sugar intake.
  4. Miracle Whip: Substitute Miracle Whip for the mayo if you are a Miracle Whip fan. The only difference between them is that the salad dressing Miracle Whip already has added sugar, paprika, and garlic powder.
  5. Sour cream: Some cooks love mixing half mayo, half sour cream for a tangier dressing.
  6. Parmesan cheese: A few tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese taste great added to the mayo.
  7. Add meat: You could layer in some turkey or ham instead of the bacon.
  8. Extra veggies: Change out your layers for different vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, scallions
  9. Change the cheese: Pick the cheese you love like smoked provolone, blue cheese, or feta cheese
  10. More toppings: Not traditional, but avocado, olives, and crunchy fried onions are so good!

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 11gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 504mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 780IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. I would use romaine and some fresh spinach to include more green. Iceberg lettuce doesn’t quite do it for me. But this is the same recipe my Mom used to make. It’s a tried and true for me in all. Thank you Culinary Hill, Meggan.

  2. I do put boiled eggs in my seven layer salad. I also put bacon, tomato and cucumber. Sometimes it ends up being more than 7 layers. I sometimes put cauliflower and broccoli as well. Cheese goes on the top. I do not put any mayo but leave the salad for dressing of choice. Much better. It is delicious and very good the next day.

    1. Hi Rebecca, your additions sound really great. I make it the way my mom and grandma always made it, but I love your ideas. I do think the mayonnaise dressing can be off-putting for some (my children, for example) and so dressing on the side would fix that problem. Thank you so much for your comment! -Meggan

    1. Hi Jackie, I usually make this as written in a 4-quart bowl, so you’ll definitely need something larger, or split between two dishes. Take care! – Meggan

    1. Hi Mary, yes! Make sure the vegetables are dried before layering. Make as directed and cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate. Take care! – Meggan

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