This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. Full Disclosure Policy.
This 7 layer salad recipe is a colorful and delicious addition to a potluck, party or family gatherings. Easy to throw together, the colorful layers will make everyone want some!
Step by step photos and instructions below!
Looking for a tasty and easy-to-make salad recipe that will impress your guests? Look no further than the 7 layer salad. This yummy side dish is a classic that has been enjoyed for generations and is perfect for any occasion, from family dinners to potlucks.
Layers of fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, sweet peas, hard boiled eggs, crispy bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and a creamy dressing come together to create a beautiful and flavorful dish.
Serve this great salad in a glass trifle bowl or trifle dish to show off the layers and impress your guests. Perfect for summer gatherings, picnics, and family dinners!
In this post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect 7 layer salad recipe. We also answer some common questions about this dish and provide you with some tips for making it your own.
So, put on your apron and let’s get started!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- This is a crowd pleasing salad that always disappears quickly!
- Easy to make.
- Common ingredients, no specialty stores needed!
Frequently Asked Questions
A 7 layer salad is a classic American salad that consists of seven layers of ingredients stacked on top of each other in a glass bowl. The layers typically include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peas, cheese and bacon, topped with a tangy dressing.
Yes, you can customize a 7 layer salad by adding or removing different ingredients based on your preferences. For example, you can add chopped hard-boiled eggs, english cucumber red bell peppers, sliced carrots, sliced black olives or avocados, or remove the bacon bits for a vegetarian option.
Some popular dressings that go well with a 7 layer salad include ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, Italian dressing, and Thousand Island dressing. You can also use homemade dressings or other dressings of your choice.
A 7 layer salad can last in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but it’s best to consume it within a few hours of assembling for optimal freshness. If taking this somewhere other than home, I keep the components in a separate container and assemble right before serving. It’s important to keep the salad chilled until ready to serve to prevent the ingredients from wilting or becoming soggy.
How to serve 7 Layer Salad
- Use a large glass bowl: A clear glass bowl is perfect for showcasing the beautiful layers of the salad. It also adds a touch of elegance to your presentation.
- Serve chilled: Make sure to refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and ensure that the salad is nice and chilled.
- Use a serving spoon: When serving the salad, use a large spoon with a long handle to scoop out each layer. This will help keep the layers intact and make sure that each serving has a little bit of everything.
- Garnish: If desired, you can garnish the top of the salad with some additional shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and/or green onions.
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
Tips for Making the Perfect 7 Layer Salad
Use a clear glass bowl to showcase the layers of the salad.
Make sure to chop all of the ingredients into bite-sized pieces.
Use fresh ingredients whenever possible for the best flavor.
Make the salad ahead of time and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
Add some extra flavor by mixing herbs, spices, or other ingredients into the mayonnaise mixture.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Swap out the lettuce for a different type of greens, such as spinach or arugula.
Add some crunch by topping the salad with croutons or nuts.
Use a different type of dressing, such as a vinaigrette or ranch dressing, instead of the mayonnaise and sour cream mixture.
Add some protein by layering cooked chicken or shrimp in between the other ingredients.
Use different vegetables like red bell pepper, cucumbers or carrots to add color and flavor to the salad.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Lettuce. I use romaine lettuce hearts, but iceberg lettuce or bagged salad mix works fine.
- Tomatoes. You can dice roma tomatoes, or just halve some cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes if that’s what you have.
- Onion. I use red onion, diced up pretty finely. No one likes a whole mouthful of onion!
- Green Peas. I use frozen peas. I pull them out of the freezer and let them thaw.
- Boiled Eggs. Use your favorite method, or use my Instant Pot Boiled Eggs recipe.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Bacon. Cooked and crumbled, or grab a bag of bacon crumbles from the store.
- Salad Dressing: Mayonnaise (can sub greek yogurt, sour cream or Miracle Whip if you prefer), parmesan cheese, white sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Optional: Green onions sprinkled over the top.
Styled Pin Header
- Chopping Board
- Salad bowl
How to make a 7 layer salad
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Wash and shred the lettuce, dice the onion, dice the tomatoes, thaw the peas, dice the boiled eggs, and cook and crumble the bacon.
Make the homemade dressing
Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl, whisk until thoroughly combined.
Layer the salad
In a large glass dish, layer the ingredients in this order:
Lettuce, onions, tomatoes, (add a little more lettuce here),
Add the peas on top of the lettuce/tomatoes/onion, then place the eggs facing outward to the edge of the glass bowl. Keep any remaining eggs for another use. You can also chop/dice the eggs.
Layer salad dressing over the top of the eggs, smooth with a spoon.
Add the cheddar and cooked bacon.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours.
More delicious salad recipes:
Some of our favorite salad recipes:
- Summery White Bean Salad. Served chilled or at room temperature, this Summery White Bean Salad is great to make ahead, or to grab and go! A short prep time means you can have it on the table fast!
- Easy Southwest Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing. Black beans, corn, red peppers, jalapenos, cilantro and red onions feature in this easy to make pasta salad. With the addition of the lime vinaigrette… oh, myyyyyyy.
- Crunchy Curried Chicken Salad. A brilliant make-ahead curried chicken salad balanced with tart apples, sweet raisins, and finished with cilantro, this is one you will make over and over!
- Caprese Orzo Salad (Basil Tomato Mozzarella). An easy side, this salad combines tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil with a yummy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Make ahead!
- Arugula Salad (with Lemon Vinaigrette). This is the one you’ve been looking for! Peppery arugula mixed with bright tomatoes, parmesan, and dressed with fresh lemon vinaigrette. Perfection!
- The Best Tuna Salad Ever. Crunchy, spicy and full of flavor – this is not your average tuna salad recipe! Jalapenos, onion, tomatoes, and celery all feature in this super easy to make recipe!
- Bacon, Parmesan & Arugula Potato Salad. A combination of tiny buttery potatoes, peppery & spicy arugula, salty bacon, parmesan…. this extra special potato salad is out of this WORLD.
- Easy Italian Salad (from Spend with Pennies)
- Chopped Asparagus Salad (from View from the Great Island)
7 layer salad
- 2-3 Romaine lettuce hearts
- 1 red onion (diced)
- 3-4 tomatoes (you’ll need about 2 cups)
- 10 oz frozen peas
- 6 boiled eggs (sliced)
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese
- 12 oz bacon
- Wash and shred the lettuce, dice the onion, dice the tomatoes, thaw the peas, dice the boiled eggs, and cook and crumble the bacon.
Make the dressing
- Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl, whisk until thoroughly combined.
Layer the salad
- In a large glass bowl, layer the ingredients in this order:
- Lettuce, onions, tomatoes, peas, (add a little more lettuce here), then place the eggs facing outward to the edge of the glass bowl.
- Add the dressing over the top of the eggs, then add the cheddar and cooked bacon.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.