What Is In A Layered Salad
This is the breakdown of this recipe:
- iceberg lettuce: provides crunch more than anything else, refreshing because of its water content
- hard-boiled eggs: add protein which makes you feel fuller for longer
- green bell pepper and sweet red pepper: add a pop of color, a bit of sweetness, and crunch
- red and green onions: pungent and add a bit of bite
- frozen peas: adds color and carbohydrates
- diced tomatoes: add color, a bit sweet and sour at the same time
- cheddar cheese: adds saltiness that keeps everything tasty and balanced
- dried cranberries: add texture and a mix of sweetness and sourness
- crispy bacon: adds texture, smoky flavor, and a mix of sweetness and saltiness
- buttermilk dressing: a creamy mixture that is savory and tangy at the same time
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.
How To Make 7
Assembling the layered salad is incredibly easy. Here is how to make seven layer salad:
- Cut up all the veggies. Bite-sized pieces work best!
- Layer all the veggies in a large trifle bowl, or simply a glass bowl. If you dont have hard boiled eggs ready, you can use my easy peel eggs method here or even make hard boiled eggs in the oven.
- Whip up the 7-layer salad dressing and spread it over the last layer. Im not sure if we can even call it a dressing its really just sour cream and mayo mixed together.
- Finish by sprinkling shredded cheese and bacon on top. If you dont have cooked bacon yet, here is how to cook bacon in the oven.
- Cover the salad and refrigerate it for a couple of hours. Overnight is even better. Thats why they call it an overnight salad, right?
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What Is In Seven Layer Salad
Youll find different ingredients in just about every seven layer salad recipe you look at. When we make our salad we think about 2 things. The first is color. We want our salad to be pretty! The second is protein. I like to sneak extra protein into any recipe I can. My kids are active and its hard to get enough protein in them at times.
One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, plus no sugar and no carbs. Adding eggs to this salad is a GREAT way to add not only protein, but other important dietary needs to this salad.
Here are the layers:
Seven Layers Total! Now lets talk about each one.
What Is Pea Salad
This recipe was simply known as Pea Salad in our family. And when mom said she was making pea salad, this was the salad she meant.
You might also know it by similar names such as 7 layer pea salad, overnight 7 layer salad, or even make ahead layer salad. No matter what you call it, this pea salad recipe is a classic for a reason!
This traditional overnight salad was something my mom made for special occasions such as cookouts or large family gatherings. I started doing the same when I was a young wife and mom in the 80s and 90s.
This pea salad has stood the test of time weve been making it for 40+ years and is still a family favorite.
Like most of the recipes from my mom , I have a few lines jotted down on a recipe card. My original recipe only has the ingredients listed in the order you should put them in the bowl.
Despite lack of measures, Ive always made it by putting in enough of each ingredient so that it looks right.
For you my reader, Ive measured and tried to get a good estimate of how much of any one thing you need. You can adjust for your own personal taste or that of your family.
Related: Be sure to try our Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad too! Its my Aunt Fannys recipe and its been a family favorite for over 30 years!
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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.
Seven Layer Salad Dressing
The first step to making seven layer salad is to mix up the dressing. Allowing the dressing to rest while you prepare the rest of the salad helps the flavors to blend together beautifully.
Our recipe calls for mayonnaise, a little sour cream, a touch of sugar for flavor and heres our powerful secret.parmesan cheese. Guys.I could add parmesan cheese to every.single.thing I eat. I find it adds amazing flavor and richness to recipes. And this seven layer salad dressing is no different!
**Pro Tip: Use freshly shredded Parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Buy a block of Parmesan and use a cheese grater to grate it finely. Its so much better than pre-shredded Parmesan.**
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Can This Salad Be Made A Day Ahead
Yes! I usually make this salad the night before or the morning of the day itll be served. Seven Layer Salad will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving, even with the dressing.
Simple And Easy Side Dish
When it comes to backyard BBQs, potlucks, or serving a big family, easy to make recipes are a must at my house. No need to drive myself crazy trying to make something super fancy that eats up a whole afternoon. Thats why I love this 7 Layered Salad so much!
You do need to make it ahead of time. Okay, need might be a strong word, but it definitely gets better when you let it sit for at least 6 hours before serving. No rushing around last minute, and plenty of time to get myself ready for company.
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Key Ingredients For This 7 Layer Salad
Iceberg Lettuce With a crunchy texture and solid form, iceberg lettuce holds up well under all the ingredients without getting soggy.
Red Onion So perfect for salads, red onions hold up well with dressing and are the quintessential astringent taste of onions, but just a little sweet.
Tomatoes For my 7 layer salad, I used traditional, full-sized tomatoes chopped into cubes. You can absolutely use smaller tomatoes like cherry or grape chopped in half if you prefer. You could also use red bell peppers instead of tomatoes for a different flavor.Peas Green peas add a layer of juicy texture and sweet flavor. You can use the frozen variety , but we love our peas fresh!English Cucumber Sweet, thin, and seedless, English cucumbers dont have the bitter flavor of their traditional cousins.Hard-boiled Eggs Buttery yolks and tender egg whites finish off this salad with a kick of protein and texture.Cheddar Cheese With a sharp and buttery taste, cheddar is a nice strong component to this 7 layer salad that complements the more mild flavors.Bacon Crispy, salty bacon is one of the best parts of a salad, so we couldnt leave it out! Since it goes on last, bacon literally completes your 7 layer salad!
Colorful Layers In A 7 Layer Salad
At its most basic this dish is really just a salad that is arranged in layers. Prep for the dish is mostly washing and chopping the vegetables.
Here are the seven layers I use in my salad, in order from bottom to top.
- Lettuce Iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce are a great choice. You want the lettuce to stay crisp so a more delicate leaf lettuce wont work as well.
- Hard boiled eggs The eggs add protein and flavor to the salad. And if you arrange them up against the sides of the bowl they add some nice visual interest to the side dish.
- Bacon The bacon adds crunch to the salad. For a 7 layer salad the bacon needs to be very crispy. Making air fryer bacon is a great way to quickly and easily get the crispy bacon needed for this recipe.
- Tomatoes I prefer to use cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half for this recipe. If you are using full size tomatoes drain them after slicing them so that they drip and make the lettuce soggy.
- Onion Red onion is the best choice because it is not as strong and pungent as yellow or white onions.
- Peas A layer of peas adds some bright green color and texture to the salad. Canned peas dont look as good and tend to be mushy, so use frozen or fresh peas.
- Cheese I like to use a nice aged cheddar cheese. The yellow color of the cheese adds to the vibrant color. But any kind of cheese will be delicious!
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Bowl For 7 Layer Salad
Ideally this salad is best in a glass bowl with straight sides so that you can show off pretty layers. A large trifle bowl works great if you have one.
You can also make the salad is smaller bowls or wide mouth mason jars. This is especially nice if you are making modifying the recipe to have some that are vegan or leave out a vegetable one member of the family is allergic to.
Dish Pointers And Also Variants:
- Mayo clothing: Level, top quality mayo like Hellmans or Finest Foods is excellent. A little sugar makes it simply a little wonderful, yet also thats optional if youre seeing your sugar consumption.
- Wonder Whip: Alternative Wonder Whip for the mayo if you are a Wonder Whip follower. The only distinction in between them is that the salad clothing Wonder Whip currently has actually sugarcoated, paprika, and also garlic powder.
- Sour lotion: Some chefs enjoy blending fifty percent mayo, fifty percent sour hanker a tangier clothing.
- Parmesan cheese: A couple of tbsps of newly grated Parmesan cheese preference fantastic contributed to the mayo.
- Include meat: You might layer in some turkey or pork rather than the bacon.
- Additional veggies: Adjustment out your layers for various veggies like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, baked red peppers, scallions
- Adjustment celebrity: Choose celebrity you enjoy like smoked provolone, blue cheese, or feta cheese
- Extra garnishes: Not standard, yet avocado, olives, and also crispy deep-fried onions are so great!
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How To Prevent 7 Layer Salad From Getting Soggy
First, dry the lettuce thoroughly and remove excess moisture. The best way to do this is by using a salad spinner and then laying the lettuce on a dish towel to soak up any remaining water.
Next, use veggies that maintain crispness, even after a day or two. Although some recipes use chopped tomatoes and mushrooms, I dont recommend this because they contain too much moisture. If youd like to add tomatoes use uncut grape tomatoes.
Lastly, when serving the salad its not necessary to toss the dressing with the lettuce and veggies. The dressing, veggies, and lettuce all come together perfectly when scooped out with a large spoon. Plus this ensures any leftovers stay just as crisp and delicious!
More tasty, make-ahead salads perfect for parties and potlucks!
Tools used to make this 7 Layer Salad recipe
Large Skillet: This skillet is my go-to kitchen tool. Its large circumference and high sides make it perfect for cooking anything from one pan meals to soups and sauces.
Trifle Bowl: This bowl is my favorite way to show off layered recipes. From desserts to salads its always beautiful on our table!
Mixing Bowl: These mixing bowls are perfect for mixing and serving. I love the varied sizes so I always have to right size bowl for all my mixing needs.
Whisk: This is my favorite set of whisks. Theres a size for every job and the thicker handles give me a good grip.
More Salads To Try And Love
Everyone loves a good salad. They add so much to a meal or they can be the meal. They bring variety, flavor and textures that can help round out a meal perfectly. Salads are a delicious way to eat more vegetables and fruit. The combinations are endless and delicious. These tried and true salad recipes are ones you can reach for and know they are going to be amazing.
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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 .
Perfect For A Crowd And Easy To Adapt
The thing I like most about this seven layer salad besides the flavor, of course, is that you can feed a crowd with it. Its great for potlucks, picnics, cookouts, and other holiday celebrations like Memorial Day and the 4th of July.
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How many reunions have you been to where a classic seven-layer salad recipe has shown up? For me, its been more than I can count, but Ive got to say that there are so many different seven-layer salad recipes out there.
In fact, there are probably as many variations for the classic seven layer salad recipe as there are cooks who make them. And that is the fun part.
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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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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.
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