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!
    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.

More delicious salads:

Seven layer salad in a clear 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.
5 from 27 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 diced red onion
  • 2-3 stalks celery 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
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. My great-aunt Ethel used to make this very salad for our family parties. Her salad included 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper layered between the onions and celery, and 1/4 cup Parmesan mixed in with the mayo and sugar for the dressing. Other than that, it was exactly the same recipe we’ve loved for decades!5 stars

  2. I love this salad. We have been making this for years and everyone loves it. As you said you can change up the ingredients a bit to your liking. We use chopped cauliflower in place of the celery. And I put equal amounts of wine vinegar and sugar into the mayonnaise. Then I mix in about a half a cup of grated parmesan. I am making it now and can’t wait till it is ready.5 stars

  3. We used to eat this! My Mom would serve with pita pockets. So good with this salad stuffed inside.

    1. Ooooh!! That sounds wonderful! I will add pita pockets to my grocery list next time I make this salad! :)

    2. My mom used Swiss cheese and not cheddar. No egg either although I am a fan. 24 hr salad is what she called it, always assembled the day before. I remember complaining about it as a kid but I love it now.5 stars

    1. Definitely not! I just did that so you could see the layers and know how to arrange it. My mom usually made it in a plastic green bowl and you couldn’t see inside. But where I come from, everyone knows what 7 layer salad is so the bowl doesn’t matter. :) Good luck and thanks!

    1. Glad that you love it! I know the feeling of not being able to stop, it happens to me every time!

    1. Hi Keith! You should use as much cheese as you want. There is no upper limit on the amount of cheese you can add (or kinds). Any chance you’re from Wisconsin? I like you’re style. :D

    1. Yes, you definitely can! That’s a good way to make sure everyone gets some of everything. Because when I’m at a party, I just scrape ALL the bacon and cheese right off the top…. just kidding. But if I’m honest, I want to.

  4. I forgot the sugar on top of the mayo, so I sprinkled it over the bacon. Sure hope it doesn’t ruin the flavor. What do you think?
    I’m taking it to a ladies card night .

    1. Hi Kay, it won’t really ruin the flavor. However, the sugar on the mayo sweetens it a bit. I think you’ll be fine though. If people like mayo, they’ll love it no matter what.

  5. I had no idea layered salads were an American classic, Meggan!

    You can buy them from a ‘posh’ supermarket here in the UK, but it isn’t something people usually make at home.

    Love all the goodies you’ve chosen (well, that your mom chose!) to put in this. :-)5 stars