Classic 7 Layer Salad Is An Easy Make
A classic 7 Layer Salad recipe never goes out of style. Its popularity hasnt waned since Betty Crockers recipe was all the rage. Seven Layer Salads are perfect for entertaining. Its effortlessly made by layering simple ingredients, covering them in a thick dressing, and refrigerating overnight. An easy, yet beautiful side dish is ready to feed a crowd! It also goes great with your favorite dinner recipes, so dont feel like you have to wait for a potluck or holiday to enjoy this dish!
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Youd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasnt encountered a traditional Seven Layer Salad at a party, potluck, or funeral luncheon. Its an American staple when any sort of crowd is gathered, right up there with fudgy brownies and jello salad.
This recipe stands the test of time because no one can resist it! Ultra creamy dressing mixed with fresh greens, veggies, eggs, and salty bacon makes everyone from kids to adults come back for more.
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My mom is the queen of overnight layered salad recipes. I grew up on them. Maybe not every day, but anytime we had extended family or friends over, there would definitely be lots and lots of layered salads. Coming up with this traditional seven layer salad recipe with mayonnaise has made me proud to add to my moms collection.
Recipe For Seven Layer Salad: Instructions
Alright, its time to get to the good stuff. Here is my step-by-step breakdown of how to make the classic 7 layer salad recipe.
First, take one 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 . Feel free to add green peas and celery.
If you are waiting to serve the dish, you can add in frozen green peas . As a matter of fact, its best to just avoid using any canned food products in this dish.
In a separate container, mix together one-half a cup of mayonnaise, one-half a cup of sour cream, and a tablespoon of sugar. Make sure to blend the sugar, sour cream, and mayonnaise beforehand to ensure an evenly sweet spread .
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Recipe Tips And Variations:
- Mayonnaise dressing: Plain, good quality mayo like Hellmans or Best Foods is perfect. A little sugar makes it just slightly sweet, but even thats optional if youre watching your sugar intake.
- Miracle Whip: Substitute Miracle Whip for the mayo if you are a Miracle Whip fan. The only difference between them is that the salad dressing Miracle Whip already has added sugar, paprika, and garlic powder.
- Sour cream: Some cooks love mixing half mayo, half sour cream for a tangier dressing.
- Parmesan cheese: A few tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese taste great added to the mayo.
- Add meat: You could layer in some turkey or ham instead of the bacon.
- Extra veggies: Change out your layers for different vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, scallions
- Change the cheese: Pick the cheese you love like smoked provolone, blue cheese, or feta cheese
- More toppings: Not traditional, but avocado, olives, and crunchy fried onions are so good!
Traditional 7 Layer Salad Recipe
This traditional 7 layer salad has been popular for generations! A staple of barbecues, potlucks and church suppers this easy to make salad features layers of tasty veggies topped off with a mayonnaise based dressing. This elegant side dish will be a hit at any gathering.
This traditional side dish is one that has stood the test of time! It has been popular since the 1940s and is still a family favorite today.
Bring 7 layer salad to your next family holiday party and your grandmother or great aunt will recognize it right away! It brings back memories and yet it isnt outdated, because salad never goes out of style.
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What Is A 7 Layer Salad
Its a dish that became popular in the 70s when dinner parties were all the rage and everyone wanted budget friendly but show stopping dishes!
Its essentially a salad that is prepped with all the toppings in layers. All the fresh ingredients are sealed in with a dressing and marinated overnight.
You can make additions to it with your favorite salad toppings and make it 8 or even 9 layers!
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Making Your Seven Layer Salad In Advance
Because the ingredients in this version are pretty durable you can easily make this salad one to two days in advance and seal the vegetables in with the dressing layer on top, cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it. I made mine two days ahead and then served it and it was just as crispy as when I made it.
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The Order Of Assembly Matters
There are typically four ingredients that make up the base/body of the salad. These should always be layered in an order of lightest to most dense. The lighter items, like lettuce, will go on the bottom, and heavier items, like peas, will go on the top.
The exception to the rule are the toppers cheese and bacon.
What Is Seven Layer Salad
Seven layer salad is just what it sounds like a salad with 7 layers! There are many variations of it, but common ingredients include greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggs, peas, and a mayo-based dressing.
For this one, I took some inspiration from my moms layered salad recipes, but also kept it close enough to a traditional seven layer salad that Americans are used to.
There are actually quite a few similarities. The layers and the mayo-based dressing are a couple of the major ones, and it was perfectly natural for me to make my seven layer salad with mayonnaise, too. However, I left out the peas to make this a low carb salad.
Like I mentioned before when I talked about this Mediterranean salad recipe, lettuce and other greens are generally less common in Russian salad recipes. My moms layered salads usually omitted them. I do love my greens, though, especially the fact that they add volume to salads. So, I opted to include Romaine lettuce in this seven layer salad recipe.
Making a recipe for 7-layer salad definitely brought back those childhood memories. My moms 24 hour salads will always hold an association with large family gatherings.
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VARIATIONS ON SEVEN LAYER SALAD
- Bacon: Instead of topping the salad off with typical bacon you could use turkey bacon or add some more sweetness with candied bacon. You could also add other meats like shredded chicken, turkey, or ham.
- Cheese: Instead of cheddar cheese try using Swiss, provolone, pepper jack, or gouda cheese.
- Lightened Seven Layer Salad: Instead of using mayo, you can exchange it for non-fat plain Greek yogurt. This will make for a lighter salad but have a similar texture.
- Flavor: For some flavor additions try mixing in some lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, or lime with the dressing. You can also add seasonings like paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, or oregano.
- Add-ins: For even more layers try adding tomatoes, corn, pasta, avocado, hard-boiled eggs or potatoes.
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HOW TO STORE SEVEN LAYER SALAD
- Serve: Dont leave your Seven Layer Salad at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: If you have any leftovers or want to make Seven Layer Salad ahead of time, it will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or seal it in an airtight container.
- Freeze: Due to the mayo, this recipe wont freeze well and is best served fresh. If you dont finish it within the 4 days, its best to throw it out and make a fresh batch.
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How Far In Advance Can You Make Seven Layer Salad
This is an ideal make-ahead salad. You place the heartier layers up towards the dressing and the lettuce sits at the bottom. The dressing will cover the top of the salad to seal in the freshness. You can easily make this salad one day before serving it. Make sure the dressing covers the top and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
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Can 7 Layer Salad Be Made A Day Ahead
Yes, 7 layer salad can be made a day ahead, and thats definitely part of the appeal of this one!
Now as an adult, I can see why my mom loved layered salads so much. Being an overnight salad, this 7-layer salad with mayonnaise makes your life so much easier. And, Im aaaaaall about easy recipes, as I know many of you are.
Assembling a 24-hour salad in advance means less stress on the day people are coming over. Just make it the day before you are going to serve it, and the day of, take it out of the fridge and its ready to go!
This Retro Dish From The 70s Is A Meal In A Bowl
Remember the 7 Layer Salad? You will if you are older and a prairie child. Anyone else recall it? This is a salad that has been around the block and back, yet has held its own through time.
Shes certainly not that gorgeous to look at, unless made in a large pedestal bowl. Now, that is a stunning presentation. But, to serve, the salad needs to be tossed and returned to the cleaned pedestal bowl: it is just too deep to access all layers in one fell swoop.
And accessing all layers is key to this baby. But, that is not all. She gets all dressed up and ready to go out 24 hours ahead of time and is best served 24 hours later: no earlier and no later. Her greatest asset is also her downfall. She isnt that great left over the next day. Presentable, but barely. And the day after, not at all.
But, that is why she has the staying power she has. The perfect dish for a crowd. Make ahead. Extremely substantial. Served, she is as fresh and crunchy as if made only moments ago. And this salad has breadth and flavour. Lots of both. The serving above is a hearty lunch. Calories? Oh, dont go there. This is not a diet salad, but it is certainly healthy enough. Every item in it is a real food: Lettuce, peas, onions, hard boiled eggs, bacon, mayo and cheese. The last three ingredients raise the eyebrow, but keep calm. There is only a small amount of each, per serving.
To get the biggest visual bang for your buck , line the ingredients around the edge of the bowl for visual appeal.
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How Do You Serve A 7 Layer Salad
First of all, the bowl you use for your 7 layer salad is important! The easiest bowls to work with are ones that have flat bottoms and straight, tall sides like a trifle bowl! Thats just an example, if you dont have a trifle bowl, any bowl that matches the description will work. It doesnt have to be a glass dish either, but glass will show off the layers of your salad!So, what about the actual serving? Are you supposed to mix it all up?Nope! Instead, use a deep spoon with a long handle to reach all the way in to the salad dish. This way, youll pull out a little of each layer while leaving the rest of the salad intact!
How To Keep 7 Layer Salad From Getting Soggy
No one likes soggy salads and there is definitely a way to prevent your 7 layer salad from getting soggy. The order of ingredients is very important.
Similar to my low carb Greek Mason jar salad, you want the dressing away from the lettuce, which wont hold up as well, and next to ingredients that wont get soggy.
In this 7 layer salad without peas, the dressing is in between shredded cheese and the onion and egg layer. This dressing is also thick enough so that it isnt going to drip down to the lettuce and softer vegetables.
TIP: This recipe would also work with other kinds of thick dressing. What about homemade ranch dressing or thousand island for a variation? Just reduce the almond milk in there to keep it thick enough.
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Seven Layer Salad Dressing
The dressing in this 7-layer salad recipe is incredibly simple. Its just mayonnaise and sour cream! My mom would be proud these are the staples in Russian layered salads.
Note that some recipes for seven layer salad add sugar to the dressing. I dont find that necessary. I think it tastes delicious without any sweetener at all, but add some to taste if thats your thing.
Easy Salad Recipe To Feed A Crowd
A easy 7 layer salad recipe is excellent at feeding a lot of people and can easily be made ahead of time.
Make it the day before and store, covered, in the refrigerator.
Don’t worry about it getting soggy, because the dressing layer will keep everything underneath it fresh and crisp.
Many times I’ve made one for a barbecue party .
And I always make one for Easter dinner each year. The pretty layers make for an impressive looking addition to a buffet table when it’s made in a glass dish or trifle bowl
One of the things I love about a seven layer salad recipe is it’s versatility.
The ingredients can vary depending on what veggies are in season or just use your favorites.
There must be four layers that are, what I consider, the salad’s classic ingredients: lettuce, peas, hard-boiled eggs, and the sugar-mayo dressing.
The other three can be personalized to your liking.
My seven layers are :
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Seven Layer Salad Recipe
This Overnight Salad recipe has the traditional seven layers and more! Aside from the crunchy vegetables, it has protein from the eggs and bacon. So, this side dish could very well be the main dish if you would prefer so since it is so hearty.
I am pretty sure that we all have this recipe in our childhood memories! When I was young, I used to help my mother create this awesome dish!
What sets this apart from the traditional recipe is the dressing. It has buttermilk and savory spices in it while the traditional one is based on mayonnaise and sugar.
When arranged in a glass bowl, you get to see all those ingredients that look beautiful and appetizing. Hence, this makes this dish nice to serve at parties!
Layer Salad As An Easy Side Dish
Need a delicious salad/side dish for a BBQ or cookout this coming weekend? Try this easy 7 layer salad recipe!
You can’t beat a good seven layer salad recipe. Recently, I made it to celebrate the end of my sugar detox.
After all, it looks healthy with all the multiple layers of fresh, raw veggies. Except it’s all slathered in a dressing made of white sugar and mayonnaise.
Yes, I just said white sugar and mayonnaise. Two ingredients that should never be mixed together in the same bowl and poured over perfectly fine, completely edible, raw vegetables.
The truth lies within the flavor of the creamy sweet mayonnaise dressing. It pairs perfectly with the crispness of the iceberg lettuce and the starchy pop of the green peas.
Additionally, the crunch of the raw onions with the tasty toppings of salty bacon and sharp cheddar cheese is a combo made in heaven.
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Do You Have To Be Really Strict With The Layers
This recipe is called a 7 layer salad for a reason it utilizes some artful layering to not only evenly spread the ingredients throughout the salad but it also helps to combine different ingredients together so that they work well.
For example, the bacon and cheese on top not only look really good and inviting but also provides the correct salty flavor profile at the very top of the salad. The same thing is true for the lettuce and onion being at the bottom it not only gives the salad structural integrity but also gives you all of the satisfying crunch that you want.
Saying that, however, feel free to play around with it and do whatever you like with your salad organization. After all, its your meal!
Recipe Variations And Substitutions
- The amount of lettuce needed depends on the size of the serving bowl you are using.
- You may need to adjust the other ingredients depending on the size of your serving bowl.
- Sometimes I like to give the seven layer salad dressing a flavor kick by adding ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
- There are so many variations to this salad out there, so feel free to use your favorite ingredients. Weve seen this salad with other ingredients like chopped celery, red kidney beans, fresh herbs like dill, cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, avocado, crunchy fried onions, bleu cheese, etc.
- You can make seven layer salad with Miracle Whip or mayo. Its really a flavor preference, so use what you like!
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