This traditional seven layer salad combines lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, green peas, boiled eggs, homemade dressing, cheddar cheese, and bacon for a delicious side dish.
It is a favorite make-ahead dish for potlucks and cookouts.
When I had my first Seven Layer Salad I couldn't believe how much I loved it.
It was one of those things I never had as a child and wondered, "Where the heck has this salad been all my life?"
It had bacon, cheese, tomatoes, and PEAS!?!
The thought of peas in a seven layered salad threw me for a loop.
However, the sweetness of the peas really compliment the seven layered salad mixture and I was surprised that I liked them in the salad.
So if you are not a big pea person yourself, don't knock it until you try it.
Peas are a key ingredient that balances the flavors of the layers.
Watch how to make
Layered salad is one of my favorite salads for parties.
I also will make a batch to go with dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.
The salad really is delicious.
You will need the following ingredients to make seven layer salad.
- Lettuce- Traditionally Iceberg lettuce is used. You can mix in spinach or Romain for a little extra flavor.
- Red Onion- I like red onion for this recipe, but you can substitute with green onion.
- Tomatoes- Tomatoes taste beautiful with bacon and mayonnaise. For this reason, I like tomatoes best in this salad. However other recipes have substituted tomatoes with chopped bell pepper, cauliflower, or celery. You can use what you like best. They are all delicious in this.
- Frozen Peas-Please, please, please do not use canned peas in this salad. It will not be the same. The canned peas will be too mushy. Use thawed frozen peas.
- Boiled Eggs
- Bacon- I prefer fresh cooked bacon. If you substitute with precooked bacon, do not use imitation bacon bits. You must use real bacon.
- Mayonnaise- Do not substitute with fat free mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. You will ruin the salad if you do.
- Sugar- Sugar makes the dressing. If you are watching your carbs, you can use a sugar-free substitute such as Swerve.
Note: Mayonnaise and sugar is the traditional dressing recipe. However, it is also delicious if you mix in ½ cup parmesan.
Follow these steps to make the perfect layer salad.
- Mix mayonnaise and sugar to make the dressing.
- Layer in order lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and peas.
- Cut your hard boiled eggs in half, then slice. Place the sliced eggs to stand against the bowl until they wrap around the entire salad. Chop remaining sliced eggs and layer in the center of the salad.
- Layer with dressing, cheese, and bacon.
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Can you use a 9 x 13 dish?
You can use a 9 x 13 serving dish for this layer salad.
You would layer the salad the same way, except you would not need to worry about slicing the eggs. Just chop the eggs and layer them in the salad.
If you looking for a punch bowl that will hold the entire salad, this 4 quart punch bowl is a great one that will work perfectly.
Can you make this overnight?
This salad is sometimes called, "Overnight Salad" because it can be made the night before.
While you can serve it an hour after making it, is is better to wait at least 4 hours before serving.
The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better it is.
That is why many people make it at night and serve it the next day.
Do you mix layer salad before serving?
You do not mix the salad before serving.
Just use a large, long spoon for serving and carefully scoop out a big helpful with all the tasty layers.
You are welcome to mix it up on your plate after.
If you like this Southern recipe, check out these tasty Southern salad recipes:
- Creamy Southern Potato Salad
- Black Eyed Pea Greek Salad
- Southern Hoppin' John Recipe
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- Southern Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Summer Corn Salad
- Shrimp Salad with Pickled Okra
Did you like this salad? Please leave me a comment below if you make this and tell me what you thought about it. I would love to hear back, and so would my readers.
Seven Layer Salad-Traditional Recipe
- 1 head of lettuce chopped
- 2 tomatoes diced
- ¾ cup red onion diced
- ½ package of frozen peas thawed
- 5 eggs boiled
- 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
- 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix 1 ½ cup mayonnaise and 1 ½ tablespoon sugar to make the dressing.
- Layer 1 head chopped lettuce, 2 diced tomatoes, ¾ cup diced red onion, and ½ package of thawed frozen green peas.
- Cut 5 hard boiled eggs in half, then slice. Place the sliced eggs to stand against the bowl until they wrap around the entire salad. Chop remaining sliced eggs and layer in the center of the salad.
- Evenly spread dressing over the top of the eggs.
- Layer 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Layer 1 pound chopped cooked bacon.
- Cover and place in refrigerator 4 or more hours or overnight.