7 Layer Salad is an old fashioned salad with 7 delightful layers and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. It’s a beautiful addition to your dinner table!
Who remembers this blast from the past?? This traditional 7 Layer Salad has seven layers of veggies, hard boiled eggs, and bacon, topped with an easy mayonnaise dressing.
This salad has ALL the flavors and textures: crunchy iceberg, pungent red onions, sweet tomatoes, crunchy water chestnuts, sweet green peas, soft hard boiled eggs, crunchy bacon, and an extra creamy dressing.
And it’s absolutely gorgeous. It took my breath away every time I opened the refrigerator when I was storing it! It would be a beautiful addition to your dinner table, whether it’s a dinner party, Sunday lunch, or a holiday.
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The 7 layers include:
- iceberg lettuce (or substitute romaine)
- red onions
- water chestnuts
- frozen peas (defrosted)
- cherry tomatoes
- hard boiled eggs
- crumbled bacon
It’s all topped with a homemade mayonnaise dressing, made with full-fat mayo, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and a little sugar.
How to make 7 Layer Salad
The key to this salad is prepping all of the ingredients ahead of time.
Start by cooking a half pound of bacon. I like using a sheet pan for this—lay the strips in a single layer and bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes.
Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate to drain, then crumble it.
While the bacon is cooking, make the hard boiled eggs. There are numerous methods for this. I start the eggs in a pan of cold water, then bring the water to a boil, shut off the heat, cover, and let sit for 12 minutes.
While the eggs are cooking, prepare the veggies:
- Tear or chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces
- Finely chop the red onion
- Halve the cherry tomatoes
- Drain the can of water chestnuts
- Defrost the green peas
Then, make the mayonnaise dressing by stirring the mayo together with the sugar, seasoned salt, and garlic powder.
Then, it’s time to assemble the 7 Layer Salad!
I used a trifle dish for this recipe. You can also use a 13×9 inch pan or a glass bowl.
Layer the lettuce, red onion, and tomatoes in the dish.
Follow with the water chestnuts, green peas, mayonnaise dressing, hard boiled eggs, and crumbled bacon.
Note: if you’re making this ahead, leave off the eggs and bacon, and add those right before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This recipe works perfectly for a 9×13 inch pan. If you can, use a glass pan so you can see the layers. This recipe also works in a glass bowl.
The salad can be served right away, or you can make it up to 24 hours in advance. If making it in advance, omit the egg and bacon, cover and refrigerate. Add the eggs and bacon right before serving.
The order of the layers is key to not having a soggy salad! In this recipe, the dressing sits on top of the green peas, which will not become soggy. As a result, the salad can sit (refrigerated) for 24 hours before serving.
7 Layer Salad will keep in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours after serving.
To make this salad vegetarian, omit the bacon and hard boiled eggs. Substitute faux bacon bits, if you’d like, and swap out the mayo for an egg-free mayo.
Make it ahead
The secret to making this salad ahead of time is the green peas! The mayonnaise dressing sits on top of the green peas, which will not get soggy as it sits.
To make 7 Layer Salad ahead of time, prepare all of the ingredients and assemble the salad through adding the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Right before serving, add the eggs and bacon.
There are a variety of other vegetables that can be substituted in this recipe. Here’s a short list. Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed one!
- shredded carrots
- broccoli florets
- cauliflower florets
- cheddar cheese (usually sprinkled on top)
Serving and storage suggestions
7 Layer Salad is a show-stopper for your dinner table! It’s a beautiful salad for a holiday dinner, alongside a beef roast, ham, or lamb.
It’s also a fun dish for a potluck (in which case, I’d make it in a 13×9 inch dish).
Store any leftover salad tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. It will keep for at least 48 hours.
If you’re loving all the veggies, don’t miss my Marinated Vegetable Salad!
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
7 Layer Salad
- 4 eggs
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped into small pieces
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained
- 1 (16 oz) package frozen green peas, defrosted
- 1½ cups mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Place on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 12 minutes.
- While the eggs are cooking, place several cups of ice into a medium sized bowl. Add the eggs once they are done cooking, and let cool. Peel and chop the eggs.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, seasoned salt, and garlic powder.
- In a trifle dish or 9×13 inch dish, layer the lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, water chestnuts, and peas. Top with the mayonnaise mixture, then the hard boiled eggs and bacon. Serve.