A staple at every family meal and perfect for serving at potlucks and picnics, this beautiful layered salad is as delicious as it is bursting with color. Print out the recipe for grandma’s layer salad below.
My grandma’s layer salad is a tradition in our family.
Every Christmas or large family gathering, grandma would fill a glass casserole dish with her famous salad. She’d serve it with some type of meat, rolls and a dessert. Meals at grandma’s house were absolutely delicious!
I may have grown up eating seven layer salad however *spoiler alert* the recipe didn’t actually have seven layers … it had six. It wasn’t until later in my life when I looked at grandma’s original recipe did I see that the missing seventh layer called for diced green peppers. At some point in during my life that particular layer got axed and the seven layer salad became a six layer salad. I’m told that my family felt green peppers didn’t add anything special to the salad. And after only eating the 6 layers for so long, I have to agree.
Even though grandma has now passed, we still continue to make her beloved layer salad. I’m particularly fond of it at Easter dinner and during summer cookouts. It’s the kind of recipe that brings back such delightful memories.
Grab yourself a glass dish or a clear tall bowl and start layering this salad. It’s one you won’t want to miss!
What are the Layers in a 7 Layer Salad?
A traditional 7 layer salad starts with a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce. Green peas, bacon, mayo and shredded cheese are are common ingredients. Many 7 layer salad recipes also use green onion but some call for red onion instead. Other layered salad variations include green peppers, celery, hard boiled eggs and sometimes even tomatoes. My grandma’s 6 layer salad recipe is made with iceberg lettuce, peas, mayonnaise, green onions, bacon and cheddar cheese.
Can I Use Romain Lettuce Instead of Iceberg Lettuce?
Traditional layered salad recipes call for iceberg lettuce but if you don’t have any on hand or dislike the texture of iceberg lettuce you can swap it out for romaine lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, kale or any green growing in your garden.
What is the Easiest Way to Fry Bacon?
I used to fry bacon in a skillet, such as a stainless steel or cast iron skillet. But I could never get consistent results — either the bacon was over done or still chewy. On top of that there was always a mess to clean up afterwards from the grease splatters. I have found the easiest way to fry bacon is in an oven. Here is a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to cook bacon in the oven.
- Heat your oven to 400° F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Set bacon on tray, side by side in one even layer.
- Cook bacon for 15-20 minutes, until crisp.
- Remove bacon from tray and place on a paper towel lined plate or cutting board. Allow to cool before crumbling onto the layered salad.
- Don’t forget to save that bacon grease! It makes a great cooking oil, especially for scrambled eggs or sautéing onions.
Will Salad Stay Fresh Overnight?
Yes! This layered salad recipe is a great make ahead dish. Simply place the salad in a 9” x 13” glass dish, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Tip: To keep the bacon extra crisp, fry up the day before, place bacon crumbles in a separate sealed container and sprinkle on top of the salad right before serving.
How to Serve a Layered Salad
Using a large serving spoon, dish up a big spoonful of salad, making sure you grab all the layers. Traditional layer salads pair well with:
- Grilled chicken
- Thanksgiving turkey
- Roast chicken
Best Layer Salad Recipe
Colorful, crisp and flavorful, this layered salad is a perfect side dish for family get togethers, holidays, church potlucks or luncheons. Pair it with grilled chicken, smoked ham or a burger. Grab my grandma’s timeless recipe below.
Yield: 10 servings
1 large head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
How to Layer a Salad
In a 9” x 13” casserole dish, layer the salad ingredients in order starting with the chopped iceberg lettuce. Sprinkle the frozen peas on top of the lettuce then spread the mayonnaise in an even layer from edge to edge.
Add the green onions, crumbled bacon and cheese to the top of the layered salad.
Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the salad.
Note: All of these ingredients are to taste. If you want more cheese, add it! Less peas, go ahead and make it your own.
More Delicious Recipes to Make
- 1 large head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a 9” x 13” casserole dish, layer the salad ingredients in order starting with the chopped iceberg lettuce. Sprinkle the frozen peas on top of the lettuce then spread the mayonnaise in an even layer from edge to edge.
- Add the green onions, crumbled bacon and cheese to the top of the layered salad.
- Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the salad.
All of these ingredients are to taste. If you want more cheese, add it! Less peas, go ahead and make it your own.