7 Layer Salad – Easy to Customize! +video
There are 7 delicious layers in this delicious layered salad. Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s easy to customize, and it’s great to make ahead!
This 7-layer salad is one of our favorite recipes to take to a brunch or picnic. It’s as easy and delicious as our famous potato salad, pasta salad, and broccoli salad.
Great for holidays + picnics
We love to prepare salads for special days.
From holidays to brunch to showers and picnics – we love having a variety of options. One of our top picks is this 7-layer salad with homemade dressing.
It’s simple, can be made ahead of time, and is easy to customize with your favorite ingredients. Oh yes – it’s amazing in a small glass dish. This is definitely a family favorite and we love making it for special occasions.
7 layers of salad dressing
We prefer homemade salad dressing because it’s easy, quick, and delicious.
To do this, simply whisk together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Refrigerate until you’re ready to put it on the salad.
As always, though, you can use whatever dressing you like. Ranch, Italian or vinaigrette are great. If you’re using a thinner dressing, you may want to toss the salad. If it’s creamy, it can be added as a layer on top and should set without having to be thrown away.
How to Make a 7 Layer Salad
Now just because a salad has 7 layers doesn’t mean it’s a “7-layer salad”. The traditional 7-layer salad recipes I’ve seen include lettuce, peas, tomatoes, cheese, bacon, and mayo.
Only one layer seems to vary by recipe. Many recipes, like mine, use broccoli florets, but I’ve also seen boiled eggs or chopped celery. Whatever you choose to use, make sure the flavors are complementary and that the colors in each layer contrast.
Our layers: in the order in which we layered (completely by choice).
lettuce: I prefer lettuce. The greens are vibrant and the leaves are soft, but any lettuce you like will do.
Grape tomatoes: An uncut grape tomato seemed a little too big for the salad, so I ate half. You can also use diced Roma tomatoes or diced any tomato from your garden.
pea: Do not use canned peas. Frozen peas work well. You don’t even need to cook them! You can also use freshly hulled peas from the garden.
Cheddar Cheese: Classic cheddar is my favorite for this recipe. It tastes great with dressings and other toppings, but you can easily experiment with your favorite cheese. I noticed a lot of people like to add parmesan cheese.
broccoli: I like to add cauliflower florets. I always have them on hand and I love the flavor and texture they add.
dressing: This creamy dressing is perfect for a variety of green and vegetable salads. The dressing itself can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
bacon: Store-bought bacon bits can be used, but I prefer to cook my own. I especially love roasting bacon in the oven. Once cooled, I use kitchen shears for my bacon pieces. Bacon cubes can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Recipe FAQs + Tips
How to serve 7 layers of salad? Toss, or not to toss? Honestly, I serve with a long-handled spoon and let everyone dig deep.
Can you make it ahead of time? This is a great salad to prepare ahead and layer. I will pre-cut the ingredients and store them in a separate container in the refrigerator. I layer the ingredients 2-10 hours in advance. Just make sure to spread the dressing all over the top, all the way to the rim of the bowl. This will “seal” the ingredients below. Cover and store in the refrigerator until serving time.
What goes with this salad? There are many options, but here are some of our favorites:
We know you will love this salad as much as we do. It’s so easy and always a hit with everyone!
For more salad recipes, check out:
course salad, side dish
Calories 434.52 kcal
by Lil’ Luna
- 1 1/4 cups reduced-fat mayo
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 large heads romaine lettuce
- 1 (10) package frozen green beans, thawed
- 1 package grape tomatoes halved
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 10 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- green onions optional
Stir together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make dressing
All ingredients are prepared, prepared and laid out.
Take a large flat bowl or small plate and line the bottom with lettuce, then tomatoes, then peas, cheese, and broccoli.
Top with dressing, then crumbled cheese and crumbled bacon. Refrigerate until ready to eat.