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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!
    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 205 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
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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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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. Delicious and I love it with the eggs. Just an oldie but yummy salad. I just made it and taking it to prayer group tomorrow night. Some have never had it. Can’t wait for them to try it.God Bless.5 stars

  2. I also grew up with this salad, my grandmother was from Kentucky. Over the years we changed a few things. the dressing uses 50-50 ratio of mayo and sour cream plus some of a packet of ranch dressing and some pressed fresh garlic cloves. The biggest change was to grated swiss cheese rather than cheddar, as much as we love cheddar the swiss works better. And a key to layering is to have the onions and bacon in direct contact with the dressing so the dressing absorbs some of their flavors. So I layer it lettuce, peas, onions, dressing, bacon, and then swiss cheese. No eggs as my wife doesn’t like them…and no celery as I’m not a fan. I love this salad so much it have it for breakfast the next day!5 stars

    1. Hi Douglas, me too! The leftovers are absolutely delicious! Thank you for the tips, I’ll have to try it with Swiss the next time I make this. Take care and thank you! – Meggan

  3. Vegetables weep when salted. Frozen peas can produce liquid as they eat, so I put the frozen peas in a strainer and run hot water over the, then let them drain and dry a bit. Make sure your veg in the salad are completely dry before layering. The only thing I do differently is use green onions instead of red. The green onions won’t put out liquid, either.

    I LOVE this salad as leftovers the next day for breakfast with coffee and sourdough toast, lol. I just mix the liquid back into the salad up the next day.5 stars

  4. Love this salad, but by the next day….there is water in the bottom of the bowl which is gross. How to prevent weeping??5 stars

    1. Hi Jacqui! I’m so sorry it was soggy the next day! Making sure the vegetables (especially the lettuce) are as dry as possible after washing is the key to preventing it from becoming soggy. I hope this helps. Take care! – Meggan

    2. I haven’t tried this but an upside down saucer put on the bottom would help with that. It was suggested on a different site. The liquid seeps under it.

  5. This sounds so good!
    Two questions: 1. Do leave the salad in the refrigerator overnight before serving? 2. Do you toss the salad just before serving?
    Thank you so much.
    fayecrews@gmail.com

    1. Hi Faye, you need to chill this for at least a few hours before serving but you can definitely leave it in the fridge overnight if you need to. No tossing, the separate layers are what it’s allll about. Hope this helps! – Meggan

    2. The layers are beautiful and make a great presentation! I make sure people see it before I take it back to the kitchen and mix it all up in a huge steel bowl then put it back into the clear bowl for serving. This salad is excellent as leftovers (if there are any).

  6. I really like the variety of choices of toppings in this recipe. Gives me more ideas to make it a little different each time.

  7. I have been looking for an AUTHENTIC 7-layer salad recipe from the 60’s and this is it – Thank you! Too many recipes add eggs, ham, and other stuff – not the original! Thanks again – I can’t wait to make this!

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