Seven Layer Salad is a myriad of color and flavors. It’s a potluck classic that spans generations and gets better and better every time it’s made. I must admit, I’ve added a couple of extra layers to my seven layer salad to show the flexibility you have and the ability to personalize the ingredients. The flavors meld together beautifully and it’s bound to become a family favorite.

Seven Layer Salad

Easy And Beautiful Seven Layer Salad

I’m certain you’ve heard the old adage that we eat with our eyes first. It’s completely true, the more attractive and eye catching a dish is, the more people are enticed to try it. I suppose that fact has influenced my love of savory and sweet recipes to make using my trifle bowls. Savory layer salads like my Chicken Bacon Ranch Layer Salad and BLT Penne Pasta Layer Salad are examples of some of my favorites. Not only are they scrumptious but, they also add an element of height to the table that makes them so attractive to include on the menu.

Step-by-step images to prepare Seven Layer Salad

Seven Layer Salad Tips

When making this kind of layer salad there are a few things to remember:

  • It’s best to use a hearty lettuce so it maintains its integrity. Green leaf lettuce, romaine or iceberg works best. This is the one salad that doesn’t do well with a gourmet Spring mix.
  • The dressing can be made in advance if needed, and chilled until you’re ready to assemble.
  • Instead of frying the bacon, I bake it while I prepare the rest of the ingredients for a timesaver. See how to do that here.
  • Classic Seven Layer Salad is supposed to chill overnight. If you plan on having it for dinner, it’s perfectly fine to assemble that morning then cover and chill. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • If I’m planning on serving this the same day, I sometimes choose to thin the dressing just a bit more. Pour half on top, then save the rest for serving on the side for those who may want a bit more on their salad. Plus, it prevents the salad from becoming soggy.
  • Have fun and add ANY vegetables that you like. Switch out the bell peppers for chopped poblano or jalapenos to add a little kick. You can also add a layer of sliced mushrooms in place of the olives, if you prefer. No matter how many layers it ends up having, I still call it Seven Layer Salad. After all, who’s counting, anyway.

Seven Layer Salad

More Eye Catching Layer Salads

I have trifle bowls in a plethora of sizes specifically for dessert trifles and layer salads. Some of my visitors tell me they use my Layered Southwestern Cornbread Salad as a dip with tortilla chips. How fun! A couple of other recipes to add to your layer salad menu is this Layered Greek Salad and Layered Taco Salad perfect for your next potluck party.

Seven Layer Salad

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Helpful Kitchen Items: 


Seven Layer Salad

  • 8 large eggs (boiled and quartered)
  • 12 oz bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 10 cups roughly chopped green leaf lettuce
  • 1 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 12 oz frozen petite peas (thawed)
  • 1 4 oz can sliced black olives (drained)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 8 oz colby-jack or cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups real mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 green onion (thinly sliced)
  1. Place eggs in a large pot in a single layer. Fill with enough water to cover tops by one inch. Heat to boiling, then remove from heat and cover. Let stand 12 minutes.

  2. Drain and rinse under cool water until cool enough to handle. Peel cooked eggs and cut into wedges or chop. Set aside.

  3. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp then move to paper towels to drain and cool. 

  4. In a large trifle or salad bowl layer 1/2 lettuce, onion, cherry tomatoes, egg, light drizzle of dressing. Remaining  lettuce, olives, peas, bell pepper. 

  5. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, cider vinegar, sugar, garlic salt, lemon pepper and onion powder until fully combined. Spread on top.

  6. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese and bacon. Garnish with green onion, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 8 hours or overnight. 

I recommend that you season the egg layer with salt and pepper then continue with the layers per the recipe. Avoid adding salt to the tomato layer or it can make the salad soggy.

Seven Layer Salad

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