A make-ahead recipe for a Southern classic Easy 7 Layer Salad that's perfect for large gatherings. Delicious layers of lettuce, sweet onion, green peas, hard boiled eggs are topped with a homemade dressing, cheddar cheese, and crispy bacon!
7 layer salad as an easy side dish
Need a delicious salad/side dish for a BBQ or cookout this coming weekend? Try this easy (and my family's favorite) 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.
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 (along with my Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad).
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 (and in order):
- sweet Vidalia onion
- frozen green peas (no need to thaw first)
- hard boiled eggs
- shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
- lots of crumbled crispy cooked bacon
So when you need an easy side dish recipe, make this Easy 7 Layer Salad for holiday cookouts, barbecues, or any other special occasion. Enjoy and please let me know in the comments below what salad layers you used!
Easy 7 Layer Salad
- 2 cups mayonnaise (homemade or a good quailty store bought)
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 large head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1 medium Vidalia or red onion, diced
- 12 ounces frozen peas, (keep frozen and do not thaw)
- 5 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 pound bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and sugar to make the dressing. Set aside.
- Using a 9x13 glass baking dish or trifle bowl, layer the salad in the following order: lettuce, onion, frozen peas, and sliced eggs. Completely cover top of salad with the dressing. Sprinkle top with the cheese and bacon. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
I love this , easy and all like it! My aunt wanted me to put corn instead of peas , is that ok?
Thanks Jean and yes, you can add corn instead of the peas! Defrost the corn first, if frozen, or rinse well if using canned.
One of my favorite recipes to make and the family loves it too!
This is a gorgeous salad to bring to cookouts.It's always the first to go and everyone always ask me for the recipe.Thanks for posting.
Love this salad! We make it with shredded swiss cheese and Miracle Whip (that way you don't need to add any sugar).
This recipe is the only reason I found out I don’t hate peas!
Well ok I hate them in any other form!
Great recipe and makes me think of someone I absolutely love! She was not a great chef but she sure got this right every single time!
Everyone has their signature dish and this certainly was hers!
This salad is SO good! Very easy to make and I eat the leftovers for lunch several days after.
I have loved this salad every since I bought it from the Kroger deli. Then they stopped getting it in. I don't even like sweet peas but they are great in this dish. So glad I found this recipe and so glad it's not the seven layer dip.
Kathy In Shorewood
An all time favorite I had forgotten about til now. Gonna add it to my Easter dinner line up.
Happy Easter from hopefully sunny. Wisconsin
Well here we are in Jamuary and sib zero weather here in Mimnesota, and yet ot is always a good time for a good salad. I grew up with this 7 layer salad and I'm 74 years old... there is nothing better. When we lived in Texas for 4 years I introduced this wonderful salad to family members down there, they fell on love with it and now make it often themselves. I pulled this up to check to see if it had changed at all and so happy it hadn't. Thanks so much for sharing!
I can't wait 8 hours . Can I go with 7 hours>
Katie Crenshaw | A Fork’s Tale
I made this salad for Easter for my family. Mine wasn’t as pretty as yours, but it was a big hit. The flavor combinations were perfect. Everyone loved it. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!
Can I use miracle whip instead of mayonaise.
Yes you can Cindy! Although you might want to reduce or leave out the sugar in the recipe, since the Miracle Whip can be sweet.
Great presentation and it's perfect for a summer party.So delicious!
I cant find white sharp cheddar cheese at my local grocery store can i use mozzarella shredded instead?
this 7 layer looks soooo good cant wait to make it. thank you janet
Yes, you can use any kind of cheese in this salad. I think a mild cheddar or sharp cheddar works best in this, but feel free to use any type of cheese you prefer. Hope you like the salad!
This is my favorite salad! An ongoing family discussion: do you serve this salad from the trifle bowl or dump it in a big serving bowl and toss all the layers together?
Hi Maggie! This is my favorite salad too! I serve it right from the trifle bowl into individual bowls for guests, but you can also mix it all together in a separate larger bowl before serving. The only disadvantage with mixing it all together is the salad leftovers will become soggy due to the dressing.
Can I use anything else besides peas?
Hi Eleanor, Please feel free to adjust the recipe's layers to your tastes. You can leave out the peas and substitute whatever veggies you like (raw sliced carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, etc.)
I have used thinly sliced radishes and that works great too and adds another color