7 Layer Salad
This 7 layer salad has been around for at least 50 years because I have made it since I married Mark. It was one of those salads we all took to the church for parties or family reunions. I usually end up with more than 7 layers, but that’s how I roll.
What I love about this salad is that you can change it up in so many ways. You can use your favorite lettuce, favorite cheese, or whatever fresh vegetables you have in your garden or refrigerator.
It’s an awesome salad to make when your garden is producing a lot of lettuce and tomatoes. Of course, putting cooked crumbled bacon on the top of the salad really adds a special look and flavor, what’s not to love about that?
We typically use ranch salad dressing, but you can use any salad dressing your family prefers. This salad is even better the next day, the lettuce may be a bit limp but the flavor is still there! In case you missed this post, 20 Homemade Salad Dressings, or this post, Homemade Ranch Dressing
Kitchen Items You May Need:
- Good chopping knives
- Cutting board
- Trifle Bowl
- Mixing Bowl
7 Layer Salad
Gather the ingredients and chop, prep, and get ready to layer this beautiful 7 Layer Salad!
Grab either a trifle bowl, a large salad bowl, or a 9 by 13 (inch) baking pan. Start with the lettuce on the bottom of your serving bowl, dish, or pan.
Layer the chopped purple onions on top of the lettuce layer.
Spread the frozen peas (after rinsing with water) evenly on top of the onions.
Sprinkle the celery over the onion layer.
Spread the shredded carrots over the chopped celery layer.
Pour the salad dressing over the carrot layer.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the salad dressing. Spread the crumbled cooked bacon on top of the shredded cheese.
7 Layer Salad Recipe
- 4 cups chopped lettuce (depending on how large your bowl is)
- 1 chopped purple onion
- 1 bag frozen peas (rinsed under cool water)
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1-2 cups Ranch Dressing
Grab a trifle bowl, large salad bowl, or 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan.
1. Start with the lettuce on the bottom of your serving dish.
2. Layer the chopped purple onions on top of the lettuce layer.
3. Spread the frozen peas evenly on top of the onions.
4. Sprinkle the celery over the onion layer.
5. Spread the shredded carrots over the chopped celery layer.
6. Pour the salad dressing over the carrot layer.
7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the salad dressing.
8. Spread the crumbled cooked bacon on top of the shredded cheese.
How do I store the leftover salad?
I store it in an airtight Tupperware-type container.
Can I use different cheese?
Yes, you can. I use whatever cheese I have in the refrigerator.
What other vegetables can I use?
I have used broccoli florets (lightly steamed and cooled), cauliflower florets, shredded green or purple cabbage, or finely chopped zucchini or yellow squash.
What other salad dressings work on this salad?
I’ve used balsamic vinegar, thousand island, and Catalina dressing, but ranch salad dressing is still my favorite.
Can I add some hard-boiled eggs?
The original recipe I believe had hard-boiled eggs. They taste great with ranch salad dressing.
Where did the original 7 Layer Salad originate?
I quote, Wikipedia, “Seven-layer salad is an American dish that includes a colorful combination of seven layers of ingredients: iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, sweet peas, hard-boiled. eggs, sharp cheddar cheese, and bacon pieces.”
I read where the original 7 layer salad originated in the 1950s when people would take the salad to potlucks, and church luncheons. In other words, this salad has been around for a very long time.
Does it really matter in what order the ingredients are added?
It really doesn’t matter what order you use. I’ve always started with the lettuce on the bottom, mainly so people have to “dig” a little to get to it, and usually pull out other layers in the process. The joy of this salad is having so many different flavors to savor along the way. It is one of the most healthy salads you can eat based on all the veggies that are included.
What can I serve with a 7 Layer Salad?
- Baked French Fries
- Baked Potatoes
- BBQ Hamburgers or Hot Dogs
- BBQ Steaks
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Homemade Bread
- Dinner Rolls
- Any occasion where a fresh salad is desired. On Sunday we had this salad along with a traditional “Sunday dinner” of beef roast, mashed potatoes, cheesy cauliflower casserole, and fresh homemade bread. The dinner was a true sellout since very little was left over.
I hope you enjoyed my 7 layer salad recipe today. If we have a garden or access to a Farmer’s Market, we can make this every spring or summer. Of course, we will be eating bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches this summer as well! Hopefully, the price of bacon will come down. May God Bless this world, Linda
16 thoughts on “7 Layer Salad”
Great recipe, but I only use lemon juice for salad dressing. In addition to your listed ingredients I also use snow peas, tomatoes, garbanzos, black olives, clementines or oranges, toasted sunflower seeds and sometimes dried cranberries. It’s a meal.
Hi Ray, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! Oh my gosh, I love your ingredients!! That would be delicious! Linda
I love this salad! We make it with a thick mayonnaise based dressing made from scratch. My father-in-law used to make it for family parties and I really looked forward to it. He called it 24 Hour Salad because you made it the day before and used the dressing on top to seal in the ingredients so they were fresh and then the flavor went through the salad. Yum! Thank you for sharing how you make it – I’ll have to try Ranch dressing.
Hi Kay, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! I like the name 24-hour salad! It really is good the next day and the next day!!! Linda
Hi Linda! I’ve had this before and it’s awesome! So good and healthy-ish!
Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! It really does feel like a healthy salad! Linda
Great summer meal , some homemade rolls and butter set it off. Been having as a summer meal for the last 61 years, still love to switch the veggies around to change the taste.
Hi Sally, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! Wow, you’ve been making this salad longer than me! Homemade rolls and butter are the best! I love hearing this! Linda
Yum! Another layered salad that we like is a Taco Salad. I layer(in a bowl like yours) cooked beef taco meat, lettuce, black beans, corn, and green or red onions chopped. On top I mix mayo. and salsa and cover the top. When ready to serve I top it will shredded cheddar cheese and crushed tortilla chips. This is a favorite. All layered salads are so good and very handy to change are you would like–as you mentioned.
Hi Cheryl, oh my gosh, I make a taco salad as well! I need to try the mayo and salsa!! I love it!! Linda
Yum! In my working days I would layout 7 single meal containers and fill them by layer (but omit tomato) then seal for a quick pick lunch item. I also used mayo for dressing and layered the shredded cheese and bacon on top so lid didn’t carry dressing away. I’m sort of a last minute person so it was nice to have salad, fresh tomato, fruit, yogurt and water bottle ready to go each morning. So much better than fast food salt/fats.
Hi NancyONH, I love ready-to-grab salads! Sounds like a great plan! Linda
I add chopped tomatoes, too. You can add some sour cream to the dressing if you like.
Hi Cheryl, yes, I love chopped tomatoes with it!! I need to try the sour cream trick! Linda
Amazing! I need to make this More often ❤️
I love this!
Hi Heidi, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! I’m glad you love it! Linda