Classic 7 Layer Salad
Classic 7 Layer Salad is an easy salad to add to any meal and makes a nice change from the standard chopped green salad.
Layers of crispy lettuce, fresh colorful veggies, creamy mayo, and salty bacon and cheese make this salad a crowd-pleaser! Serving it in a glass dish makes it a stunning addition to any holiday table, backyard BBQ, or gathering.
Looking for more salads to serve up for meals? This Cucumber Tomato Salad is a simple one to make that’s big on flavor! Or you might love this Easy Bacon Ranch Broccoli Salad.
Table of contents
Why We Love Classic 7 Layer Salad
- Travels great making it perfect for potlucks and parties.
- Simple ingredients that you can find at any grocery store.
- Even with the chopping, it takes just minutes to prepare.
- A versatile salad to serve with a wide range of meals and main dishes.
Ingredients for classic 7 layer salad
- Lettuce: The classic lettuce for this salad is iceberg lettuce because it holds up best with all the ingredients piled on top. You could also use romaine but I’d stay away from more delicate types of lettuce such as bibb lettuce or leaf lettuce.
- Green Onion: We will just be using the tops. Save the white part and use it in place of onions in another recipe.
- Bell Peppers: Use a combination of yellow, orange, red, and green peppers for more variety of colors in the salad.
- Sugar: Added to the top of the peas to sweeten them up a bit more.
- Peas: This recipe uses frozen peas. No need to thaw them, just add them to the salad while they’re still frozen.
- Hard-boiled Eggs: These air fryer eggs are a quick and easy way to make them! It’s a game-changer.
- Mayonnaise: Use your favorite high-quality mayo. I always use Hellmann’s.
- Marble Jack Shredded Cheese: This blend of Monterey Jack and Colby cheddar works great giving the layered salad some color and more depth of flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: I prefer using a block of parmesan and grating it for the best flavor!
- Bacon pieces: Using pre-cooked bacon pieces makes this salad easier to assemble. You could also chop bacon strips and cook them until crispy for the salad. Just be sure they are fully cooled and well drained.
There are really a lot of ways you can change up this salad. Feel free to add your favorite vegetables like corn, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, or broccoli. Options are endless but try to use a variety of colors when possible.
Here are a few more ideas for some inspiration.
- Lower in fat. Replace the mayonnaise with light sour cream or Greek yogurt instead.
- Use different cheeses. Swap the Marble Jack cheese for cheddar cheese or even blue cheese crumbles.
- Vegetarian: Swap the bacon for some crispy chickpeas or sunflower seeds.
- Add another protein: If you’re looking to make the salad a bit heartier, add a layer of shredded or chopped chicken.
7-layer salad is all about chopping, so to make it easier to chop all the vegetables I use this chopper. You also want to serve it in a pretty glass bowl or a trifle-style bowl but you can use a deep casserole baking dish too.
How To Make Old Fashioned 7 Layer Salad
Grab your glass bowl and let’s get started layering up this delicious salad! Before you get started chop all your ingredients as indicated in the ingredient section of the recipe card. Assembling the salad takes just a few short minutes.
- Chop: The lettuce into bite-size pieces and layer them in the bottom of the bowl.
- Sprinkle: The chopped green onions over the cut lettuce.
- Mix: Combine the four colors of peppers in a bowl and mix together. Then add them on top of the green onions.
- Add: The green peas on top of the bell peppers and sprinkle the peas with the sugar.
- Spread: The mayonnaise over the top of the frozen peas. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out.
- Add: The chopped egg over the mayo.
- Sprinkle: Both kinds of cheese over the top of the egg in an even layer.
- Top: Finish off the salad by adding the bacon pieces evenly over the top.
- Cover and chill the salad for at least one hour.
Expert Tips For Making Classic 7 Layer Salad
- Give it time to sit before serving. This really allows the flavors to come through and if possible it’s even better the more time you give it.
- Chop the veggies small. I like to keep them all about the same size as the peas.
- Don’t worry about thawing out the peas before layering them into the salad. They will thaw out as the finished salad sits in the fridge. Also, don’t cook them! You want them nice and crisp for the salad.
- Use a trifle bowl for layering all the ingredients for a stunning look. You can use others but the salad may not look as amazing as a dish that’s smaller in diameter and taller like a trifle bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! It works great in a rectangle 9 x 13 dish too.
There are lots of different variations but in general, it’s a layered salad made with lettuce, chopped veggies, a mayonnaise-based dressing, cheese, eggs, and bacon.
What To Serve With 7 Layer Salad
This salad goes with a variety of different dishes and types of meals.
It’s an easy dish to prepare for a crowd so use it for family dinners, BBQs, cookouts, and picnics, as well as holidays and special occasions.
I love it with this Cheesy Ranch Chicken or homemade Chicken Pot Pie.
For holidays, serve it up with Crockpot Boneless Ham and all your other favorite sides such as Easy Green Beans and Homemade Cranberry Sauce.
- Make ahead: Store it covered in the fridge and wrapped with plastic wrap overnight before serving. This salad is even better when it sits overnight.
- Store leftovers: The salad is best served within the first 24 hours but may last up to two days. For leftovers, if possible maintain the layers for storing to keep the lettuce and veggies from becoming too soggy.
- This salad doesn’t freeze well.
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More Salad Recipes
If you’ve tried this Classic 7 Layer Salad recipe, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing about your experience making it and it also helps anyone else making the recipe too.
Classic 7 Layer Salad
- 1 head of lettuce, chopped
- 2 bunches green onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 orange pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 12 oz. bags of frozen peas
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, lightly chopped (Air Fryer Eggs for a quick way to make hard-boiled eggs.)
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 2 cups marble jack shredded cheese
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 4.3 oz. packet of bacon pieces
- In a small bowl, add all the chopped peppers and mix them up. Set aside.
- Spread the chopped lettuce evenly in the bottom of a glass bowl. Top with green onions, peppers, and peas.
- Sprinkle the top of the peas with sugar.
- Spread mayonnaise on top of the peas.
- Add chopped eggs.
- Top with marble jack cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and bacon. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour but overnight is the best!
- Uncover and serve cold.
- Substitute Vegetables: Feel free to add your favorite vegetables like corn, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, or broccoli. Options are endless.
- Make Ahead. This salad can be made 1 day ahead, it actually tastes the best when you let it chill in the fridge overnight.
- Store. Cover the bowl or dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate any leftover salad for up to 2-3 days.
- Don’t have a large bowl. You can also make this in a 9×13 baking dish too.
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I love how refreshing and flavorful this salad is and how easy it was to prepare. Thanks for sharing!
I love a good seven layer salad! I usually use tomatoes, but really enjoyed the chopped bell peppers, and the dressing was perfect! This is great for a picnic or potluck!
I love all these flavors together, but find that using a trifle dish makes it hard to get everything easily, so I just layer in a large bowl and give it a nice toss before serving!