This 7 Layer Salad is as easy to put together for a potluck as it is striking in presentation! Layers of fresh and colorful ingredients like crisp lettuce, bright red onions, juicy red tomatoes, sharp cheddar cheese and savory bacon come together with a sweet salad dressing to make this dish simply delightful! Make it ahead of time, serve and watch as your guests scramble to get a taste of this classic Seven Layer Salad.
Seven Layer Salad Recipe
Old Fashioned Seven Layer Salad is a staple of southern potlucks. The beautiful layers of fresh ingredients are what really make this salad shine (so remember not to toss it when serving!). The light vegetables mix wonderfully with the savory bacon and sharp cheddar layers. Plus that sweet, creamy dressing can’t be beat!
Whether you have a brunch, lunch, potluck, or party, this retro salad will stand out and quickly become a crowd favorite. Grab some tongs, dig deep, and make sure you get a little bit of every layer!
Don’t Trifle With These Lovely Layered Desserts
Layered recipes are always stunning and so well received by friends and family. Here are some of our most popular layered desserts to try:
- Brownie Strawberry Shortcake
- Chocolate Mint Dessert
- Rainbow Jello
- Raspberry Mango Trifle
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle
- Strawberry Blueberry Mini Cheesecake Trifle
Seven Layer Salad Ingredients
Chopped, fresh ingredients abound in this traditional 7 Layer Salad recipe! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
For the Salad Dressing:
- mayonnaise – Traditional, or low fat will work for this recipe. You can use your favorite brand.
- sugar – White, granulated. This adds just a hint of sweetness to the dressing.
For the Salad:
- lettuce – Iceberg or Romaine, rinsed, dried, and roughly chopped. Make sure to dry the lettuce very well before assembling the salad.
- red onion – Diced or sliced, the red onion provides a robust flavor and crunch.
- bell pepper – Preferably green but you could try this with a red, orange, or yellow pepper.
- Roma tomatoes – Diced Roma tomatoes are the perfect size and flavor. You could swap in cherry tomatoes if needed. Place cut tomatoes on a paper towel to absorb extra liquid.
- hard boiled eggs – You’ll need half a dozen. After boiling ang shelling, the eggs can be cut into quarters. eithers, or slices depending on how you prefer this layer.
- peas – Frozen but thawed prior to mixing. You can use additional peas to top the salad as a garnish.
- shredded cheese – Cheddar or Colby Jack work best with the flavor pallet of this layered salad.
- bacon – Cooked and crumbled for a salty touch on top!
The amounts of each ingredient will vary slightly depending on the size of your trifle dish.
How To Make Seven Layer Salad
- Whisk together the mayonnaise and sugar until thoroughly combined and set aside. This will be your dressing.
- Layer the salad itself. Start with the lettuce, then the red onion, green bell pepper, Roma tomatoes, sliced hard boiled eggs, and the thawed peas.
- Cover the salad with an even layer of dressing over the peas.
- Complete the dish with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. For an extra bit of color you can also add on some chopped green onions. Enjoy!
Save time by using store bought hard boiled eggs in this recipe!
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- The best way to serve this salad and showcase its colors and layers is in a trifle dish that you would typically use for dessert. A large glass serving bowl would work as well.
- To make a slightly spicy version of the salad dressing, add a drizzle of sriracha when mixing in the sugar.
- Feel free to customize the layers if there are any you aren’t fond of. Or add more layers to create your own combinations.
- The air fryer can be your best bet when making both hard boiled eggs and bacon for your salad. Perfectly cooked every time and so much faster!
- You may not need the full amount of each ingredient depending on how big you want your salad or even how large your serving bowl is. You can always adjust the quantities to your needs.
For best results, assemble the salad and refrigerate for several hours so each layer can get nice and cold.
The great thing about this 7 layer salad is that it can easily be prepared in advance. Wash, chop, cook, prep, and layer all your ingredients the day before. Whip up the salad dressing and store separately or toss to let the flavors sink in. Keep the dish covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
Because of the mayonnaise base to the dressing, it’s best to only let the salad remain unrefrigerated for no more than two hours.
For leftovers, store covered in the fridge for up to four days.
Seven Layer Salad FAQs
Can I make this salad in advance?
If you want to save yourself some time, this salad can easily be prepped and layered prior to serving. However, if you want the bacon to stay nice and crisp, I recommend holding off on cooking and crumbling the bacon slices until the day of serving. You can pop a few slices into your air fryer and quickly cook the bacon to add as the final layer just before your guests arrive. The dressing should be added just as you are ready to serve.
Can a 7 Layer Salad be made vegan?
It can! Switch to a vegan cheese, omit the hard boiled egg layer. There are plant based bacon bits that can be used for the top layer. As for the dressing, there are vegan mayo options, or you could use your favorite salad dressing instead. A few minor adjustments and you’ve got a dish fit for anyone in the crowd!
More Side Dishes To Enjoy
- Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Pastry Bites
- Rice Pudding
- Broccoli Salad
- Waldorf Salad
- Turkey Pesto Appetizer Bites
- Salsa Cream Cheese Chicken Wraps
How To Make 7 Layer Salad
Seven Layer Salad
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
7 Layer Salad
- 5 cups lettuce rinsed, dried, and chopped (about 1 small head of iceberg lettuce, romaine can also be used)
- 1 small red onion chopped or thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- 2 green bell peppers chopped, about 2 cups
- 3 Roma tomatoes diced
- 6 large hard-boiled eggs cut into quarters, eighths, or sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed, plus more to top the salad if desired
- 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese or Colby Jack
- 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
Prepare Salad Dressing
- Prepare the salad dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise and sugar in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Layer the salad ingredients in this order: lettuce, red onion, green bell peppers, tomatoes, eggs and ending with the peas. Reserve a few tablespoons of peas to garnish the top of the salad.
- Spread in an even layer of the salad dressing on top of the peas.
- Sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese and bacon. Add additional peas for a pop of color or you could add sliced green onions if you prefer.