7 Layer Salad Recipe

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5 from 4 votes
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This crowd-pleasing 7-layer salad features a layer of crunchy veggies, crispy bacon, boiled eggs, and a creamy mayo dressing. It’s elegant and SO easy to prepare.

Love easy and elegant salad recipes? Try my avocado chicken salad, kani salad, rotisserie chicken salad, and steak salad next.

7 layer salad.

Salads, picnics, and potlucks don’t often go hand-in-hand…until my 7-layer salad recipe enters the picture. It’s impressive to look at but most importantly, tastes delicious. Seriously, it never lasts long!

What is a 7 layer salad?

A 7-layer salad is a traditional American salad featuring seven colorful, distinct layers of crunchy lettuce and red onion, sweet cherry tomatoes and green peas, crispy bacon, sharp cheddar, and boiled eggs, topped with a creamy, sweet, and sour dressing. Unlike most salads, it is not tossed together but layered beautifully in a clear trifle bowl.

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients Needed
  3. How to make a seven layer salad
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. Serving suggestions
  8. 7 Layer Salad (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Customizable. You can make the OG salad with the classic ingredients or tweak the layers to your liking.
  • Make ahead. I often assemble the salad the night before. It keeps well in the fridge overnight. 
  • Textures. Can we take a moment to appreciate the soft, crunchy, crispy, and bitey textures in the salad?
  • Refreshing. This salad is a savior, especially during summer when you run away from hot and hearty meals. Each bite is a small party in your mouth.
7-layer salad.

Ingredients Needed

  • Iceberg lettuce. Remove the wilted leaves and the top layer of the lettuce head and chop or tear it into bite-sized pieces. Rinse thoroughly and dry well before layering. Of course, any mixed greens or romaine lettuce can be used.
  • Cherry tomatoes. Halved. They are easier to layer and also naturally sweeter than whole tomatoes.
  • Green peas. I make this salad with frozen peas as they are readily available, but fresh peas also work. Avoid canned or jarred peas, as these are too soft and will seep into the other layers.
  • Red onion. Milder than traditional onion and adds some crunch. Swap it out for green onion if you want it even more mild.
  • Eggs. Hard boiled and chilled.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese. My preferred shredded cheese as it has a very strong flavor. Other options include Gouda or Monterey Jack.
  • Fried bacon. You NEED a crispy and meaty layer. Keep things lighter by making either my air fryer bacon or air fryer turkey bacon.
  • Salt. To season.
  • Garlic powder. For the nutty, bold, garlicky flavor. 
  • 7 layer salad dressing. A combination of mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. You can swap out the yogurt for equal parts sour cream.

How to make a seven layer salad

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Make the 7 layer salad dressing. Mix mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl until smooth.

Step 2- Layer the salad. Start with lettuce, and top it with tomatoes, green peas, and onions. Arrange the eggs and pour the dressing over it.

how to assemble a 7 layer salad.

Step 3- Add the toppings and serve. Finish the salad by topping it with bacon and cheese, and serve!

how to make a 7 layer salad.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Use chilled eggs. Hot eggs don’t sit well in this salad, so always use cold, hard-boiled eggs. 
  • Adjust the layer sizes. Depending on the size of your bowl, use as much of each ingredient as you wish to make the layers.
  • Only add the dressing at the end for maximum crispness throughout.
  • Use your leftover veggies. If you have any leftover vegetables in the fridge, like red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, or carrots.
  • To make it healthier, instead of using mayonnaise and Greek yogurt, use only Greek yogurt and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Storage instructions

To store: In my experience, a one-day-old salad tastes way better than a fresh one. When stored covered in the refrigerator, this salad keeps well for 3-4 days.  

seven layer salad.

Frequently asked questions

I don’t have a trifle bowl. What can I use to assemble it?

Use a clear glass bowl or a large glass bowl instead.

Can I make it vegan?

Sure, you can! Use a plant-based Greek yogurt, skip the bacon, and substitute cheese and mayonnaise with dairy-free versions. 

Serving suggestions

Enjoy this salad as a hearty side dish and pair it with one of these BBQ favorites:

7 layer salad recipe.

7 Layer Salad

5 from 4 votes
This crowd-pleasing 7-layer salad features a layer of crunchy veggies, crispy bacon, boiled eggs, and a creamy mayo dressing. It's elegant and SO easy to prepare. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 large red onion sliced
  • 6 large hard boiled eggs quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup bacon fried and chopped

Instructions 

  • Make the 7 layer salad dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sugar, vinegar, salt, and garlic. 
  • Place lettuce in the bottom of the trifle bowl. Top with tomatoes, followed by green peas and onions.
  • Place eggs around the bowl and pour the dressing over the salad. Finally, top the salad with cheese and bacon and serve.

Notes

TO STORE. In my experience, a one-day-old salad tastes way better than a fresh one. This salad keeps well for 3-4 days when stored covered in the refrigerator.  

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 15gFat: 17gSodium: 587mgPotassium: 287mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 911IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 208mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 7g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published June 2023, updated and republished May 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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