The Best Traditional Seven Layer Salad Recipe (2024)

Are you struggling to find a dish for an upcoming potluck? Have no fear! Instead of stressing over what to bring, try this classic seven-layer salad recipe.

It’s super easy to make, looks pretty on the table, can be made ahead, and is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

The Best Traditional Seven Layer Salad Recipe (1)

During the summer months, I often make a meal of salad by incorporating the season’s freshest vegetables. The layers of goodness in this classic salad dish go together deliciously. And while it can be made in any season, it is best in summer when tomatoes are at their ripest.

Imagine that: lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon (we cook ours in the oven), chopped tomatoes, green onions, grated cheddar cheese, and peas.

Related Read: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

The dressing is a simple combination of mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, salt and pepper, shaken in a jar.

7 Layer Salad

This seven layer salad recipe is bursting with vibrant tastes and rich, dramatic colors. This traditional 7-layer salad has lasted through the years with each crunchy taste. Layered salad is a bright, crunchy, and delicious throwback for any gathering. You can make it exactly as you remember it or you can change the layers in a thousand delightful ways. This simple side dish recipe is higher in protein than a regular seven-layer salad since it has a tone of cheese, bacon, & eggs. The flavor of the creamy dressing is fantastic. This layered salad is ideal for barbecues and picnics.

The best part is that you canuse any veggies you have on hand in your kitchen to makeit. This creamy dressing contains the flavor that pulls you in. It goes incredibly well with the iceberg lettuce’s crisp texture, the salty bacon, and the green peas on top.

This classic side dish has been around for decades! It has been a family favorite since the 1940s and continues to remain so.The seven-layer salad is smooth, savory, spicy, crunchy, and sweet. The dish is completed by the different flavors and textures that each layer adds. All the other ingredients are brought together by the dressing’s creamy layer, and the small amount of sugar that is stirred in provides the ideal level of sweetness.

The Best Traditional Seven Layer Salad Recipe (2)

A Seven-Layer Salad Recipe You Can Prepare Ahead of Time

Here’s something we can all appreciate about it: this 7-layer salad recipe keeps very well in the refrigerator. While you might expect it to turn brown, the lettuce to wilt, or for it to spoil fast, it does not.

Since the lettuce is on the bottom of the salad, it is protected from the dressing. Plus, iceberg lettuce does not get soggy as fast as romaine lettuce does. Since it is nestled underneath the crunchy layers of green onions (and celery if you would like), it has a shield.

If you can manage to keep the layers intact as you eat from the bowl, the 7 layered salad will be as good as leftovers the day you made it. It only takes two hours to chill before eating.

It’s a fun way to spice up your salad rotation.

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Perfect for a Crowd and Easy to Adapt

The thing I like most about this 7 layer salad – besides the flavor, of course, is that you can feed a crowd with it. It’s great for potlucks, picnics, cookouts, and other holiday celebrations like Memorial Day and the 4th of July.

How many reunions have you been to where a classic seven-layer salad recipe has shown up? For me, it’s been more than I can count, but I’ve got to say that there are so many different seven-layer salad recipes out there.

There are probably as many variations for the classic seven-layer salad recipe as there are cooks who make them. And that is the fun part.

Let’s Get Started

My method is here to get you going in the right direction. If you would like, you can add your fun twists to this classic dish.

I will walk you through those options as we go along. I will also give you a step-by-step guide on making the salad, including what to chop up, portions, how to make the dressing, and how to cook the bacon. Are you ready? Let’s go. I hope you came hungry.

The Best Traditional Seven Layer Salad Recipe (4)

7 Layer Salad Instructions

Alright, it’s time to get to the good stuff. Here is my step-by-step breakdown of how to make the classic seven-layer salad recipe.

First, take half a head of iceberg lettuce and cut it up into small pieces. Spread it as a layer on the very bottom of the bowl. Top the lettuce with six green onions (thinly sliced). Feel free to add green peas and celery.

If you are waiting to serve the dish, you can add in frozen green peas (you don’t want to use canned peas or it will make the dish too soggy). It’s best to just avoid using any canned food products in this dish.

In a separate container, mix one-half a cup of mayonnaise, one-quarter cup of sour cream, a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of dried dill, a dash of dried parsley, salt and pepper. Make sure to blend the sugar, sour cream, and mayonnaise to ensure an evenly sweet spread. The simplest way is to add all dressing ingredients to a lidded jar and shake until blended.

A Real Crowd-Pleaser

The flavor that hooks you lies in this creamy dressing. It pairs so well with the crisp iceberg lettuce and the topping of green peas.

Your friends, neighbors, kids, and co-workers will be hooked. Set the mixture aside. We are going to add it on at the end, topped with some shredded cheddar cheese and fully-cooked bacon.

Add in those raw, green onions, cooked salty bacon, and cheddar cheese, and you have yourself a delicious piece of heaven. But I am getting ahead of myself. This dish does require a little bit of patience.

Next, you are ready to add some sliced, hard-boiled eggs on top of the iceberg lettuce, green peas, onions, bacon, and cheddar cheese.

Top It Off

Alright, it is time for the grand finale. You are almost done with your 7-layer salad recipe. You are going to add your dressing on top of all of the other layers, but feel free to add another layer of veggies before we do. A layer of chopped fresh broccoli florets, diced pimiento peppers, or sliced cucumber make nice additions.

It’s always fun to improvise a little on a recipe to make it more your own. Once all the veggies have been added in, it is time to pour the dressing on top and add a garnish if you’d like.

Feel free to add another layer of shredded cheese, another sprinkle of green peas, parsley, or bacon if you would like for a garnish.

Cool the seven-layer salad overnight or for a few hours. Just try not to eat it as soon as you finish making it- it is best when all ingredients have chilled. This trifle dish is more than worth the wait.

Why Do I Love Seven Layer Salad?

  • Flavorful and simple to feed a crowd!
  • It tastes best when prepared in advance so that the flavors may mingle.
  • Ideal for hosting parties so you have less to do on the actual party day.
  • There are so many alternatives for layers that you can customize with your preferred components!
  • Easy to make
  • Created as a dish to prepare in advance.
  • Delicious
  • Appears impressive
  • Complements everything

Health Benefits

Although salad is considered a side dish to the main course, it can be a necessary component of your meal. Eating salad may be very healthy for you in many ways, including physically & emotionally, you can add proteins and carbohydrates to it to make it more substantial.

1) Improves digestion: green salad is a great source of fiber. High-fiber foods can facilitate better digestive processes.

2) Weight loss support: When compared to diets high in fast food and sweets, those high in fruits and vegetables are usually associated with lower body weight. While this salad is not low fat, it does have several servings of vegetables.

3) Heart & muscle development: Salad greens are a great source of calcium, which can support cardiac muscle strength and boost heart muscle contraction during exercise.

4) Blood pressure management support: When regularly eaten, leafy green vegetables have been demonstrated to lower blood pressure in some people. Additionally, since having high blood pressure increases your chance of developing other conditions like diabetes and a stroke, it’s critical to maintain it under control through a healthy diet.

5) Increased energy levels: Some people have even been shown to have more energy after eating fresh salads (particularly vitamin-rich veggies). Participants reported increases in clarity of mind, stamina, and an overall feeling of well-being after just one meal.

How to Serve 7 Layered Salad?

Lettuce will start to get soggy when the dressing combines with it, it is better to serve and serve this within a day. When the salad is ready to be served, top it with additional cheese, bacon, and green onions. Extra peas are a lovely garnish for the salad.

How to Store Layered Salad?

After it is made, this salad keeps for around 24 to 48 hours, but after it is served and the layers are combined, it doesn’t stay fresh. The lettuce will immediately begin to turn brown. Therefore, eat it within 24 hours of being served.


Refrigerate the 7-layer salad for at least 4-5hours before eating. Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap.


By varying the ingredients in the layers, this salad can be modified in countless ways. And no one will object if you add a few more layers to make a 9-layer salad.

Nutrition Information

Per serving:

Calories237 kcalCholesterol94 mg
Calcium164 mgFat14 g
Saturated Fat5 gPolyunsaturated Fat2 g
Sugar6 gPotassium404 mg
Vitamin A3947IUVitamin C24 mg
Iron2 mgProtein13 g

Final Thoughts

It’s a classic recipe that everyone loves, and honestly, it couldn’t be easier to make — especially when you can even cut up all the layers the day before and just put together the salad several hours before serving.

Be sure to add this seven-layer salad to your upcoming BBQ parties as well.

The Best Traditional Seven Layer Salad Recipe (5)


The Best Traditional Seven Layer Salad Recipe (2024)


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