This 7 Layer Salad has seven layers of fresh salad fixings displayed in a glass bowl. Plus, you can make this classic recipe ahead of time!
We love making this salad, as well as potato salad, coleslaw, and broccoli salad, for potlucks, backyard barbecues, and holidays since you can prepare them the night before.
We use the classic 7 Layer Salad ingredients, but we’ll share lots of options for how you can make different varieties. That way, you have endless combinations for every occasion.
Here’s What You Need To Make 7 Layer Salad
How To Make Seven Layer Salad Dressing
You have to start by making the dressing so that it is ready when you assemble the salad. To make 7 layer salad dressing, put mayonnaise, sour cream, grated parmesan, sugar, and onion powder in a bowl and stir to combine.
We opted to make this seven layer salad dressing similar to the dressing we use on our Bacon Cranberry Salad which is a family favorite. One of the changes you can make is to use all mayonnaise to make this dressing, as we did in that recipe. Here are some more options:
- replace some of the mayo with greek yogurt
- add ranch dressing mix
- skip the onion powder
- add minced dill
- use more or less sugar
- add black or white pepper
- Lettuce: For this recipe, we chose to use chopped romaine. Iceberg lettuce is a popular choice but any lettuce would work.
- Tomatoes: We used three medium vine-ripened tomatoes that we seeded first to keep them from being too juicy. You can use whatever kind of tomatoes you prefer when making a seven layer salad. Roma tomatoes, cherry, and grape tomatoes hold their shape well. You could also choose to use a variety of colors of tomatoes for a more colorful salad.
- Onions: For this recipe, we chose sliced green onions, but you could also dice white or red onions and use them instead.
- Eggs: We chopped the hard-boiled eggs, but they would also look pretty when sliced for the salad.
- Peas: Frozen peas work great in this salad. If you are making it the night before, you can add them frozen. Otherwise, you’ll need to thaw them beforehand.
- Cheese: We chose shredded cheddar cheese for its flavor and color. You could also use shredded colby jack, parmesan, or pepper jack.
- Bacon: Don’t skimp on the bacon! Making your own bacon and crumbling it into bits rather than buying bacon bits will bring this appetizer to the next level. We always make bacon in the oven because it is so easy, and we can prepare the other ingredients while it is cooking.
How To Make 7 Layer Salad
Start assembling the 7 Layer Salad by covering the bottom of a glass trifle bowl (or a large glass bowl with straight sides) with chopped romaine.
Reserve some of the chopped romaine to fill in the center of the salad. One of my biggest tips is to focus on layering the remaining ingredients around the outside edge of the bowl so that they are visible from the outside. Then, fill in the middle with additional romaine to keep the layers even.
7 Layer Salad Variations
This 7 layer salad recipe is easily customizable to fit your family’s tastes or simply because you want to try a new combination. Another popular option is to make the salad in a 9×13 casserole dish so the dressing is evenly distributed and it’s easy to serve.
Add More Vegetable Layers
We added the classic vegetable layers, but there are so many other options if you want to add more layers or replace ingredients with others.
- Chopped celery
- Broccoli florets
- Cauliflower florets
- Cucumber slices
- Diced bell peppers
- Shredded carrots
- Sliced mushrooms
Add Meat Layers
Adding a layer of meat, in addition to the bacon, is a great way to make seven layer salad more filling and turn it into a light meal. You can add the meat instead of one of the layers or simply make additional layers to the salad. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make Ahead: You can prepare 7 layer salad ahead of time, cover the bowl, and store it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Leftovers: Once the dressing has been mixed into the salad, the leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
We use romaine to make our salad. Other options include iceberg lettuce, spring mix, spinach, or a combination of lettuces.
Yes, you can make it ahead of time, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator. That is one of the awesome things about a 7 layer salad! It is perfect for bringing to dinner parties, potlucks, holiday dinners, and backyard barbecues.
Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hard-boiled eggs, peas, cheddar cheese, and bacon.
A Tomato Cucumber Salad is popular at summer barbecues and picnics since it is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time.
Italian Pasta Salad includes veggies, pepperoni, cheese, and Italian dressing. It goes well with sandwiches and burgers.
This fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad is topped with chicken, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, glazed pecans, and homemade poppy seed dressing!
We think this is the best Cobb Salad recipe, and it’s topped with homemade croutons and homemade ranch dressing!
7 Layer Salad
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 5 cups chopped romaine
- 3 medium tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1 bunch green onions sliced
- 8 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped
- 2 cups frozen peas thawed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
- Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, grated parmesan, sugar, and onion powder. Set aside.
- In a clear glass trifle bowl cover the bottom with most of the chopped romaine, reserving a little to fill in the center of the bowl.
- Layer diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and peas on top of the lettuce. Concentrate ingredients on the other edges of the bowl and use reserved chopped romaine to fill in the center to keep the layers even.
- Spread the prepared dressing over the peas layer.
- Top with the shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Toss before serving, if desired.
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