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A traditional Seven Layer Salad is served in a large glass bowl or trifle dish, so you can see all of the layers. I have found that is much easier to serve when you make it in a glass 9 x 13-inch pan. You are able to get some of every layer into each serving.
Start with nice fresh crisp vegetables, try to use vegetables that will remain crisp for at least a few days. There are some vegetables that just don’t hold up well in this salad. Tomatoes and cucumbers contain a lot of moisture, so they can make the salad soggy. If you want to add tomatoes use whole cherry or grape tomatoes. Avocado will turn brown after being cut and may not look appetizing. To add cucumber or avocado do so just before serving or serve on the side.
My go-to ingredients for this salad include:
Iceberg Lettuce – One head of Iceberg Lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces. For some extra color feel free to add spinach or romaine lettuce.
Peas – I love making this salad when I have fresh peas from my garden to use, but it can also be made with frozen peas (don’t thaw them).
Celery – Celery adds a nice crunchy layer to the salad. I chop up the leaves and all for this layer.
Hard-Boiled Eggs – Eggs are awesome in a salad, I always add hard-boiled eggs for a boost of protein and flavor.
Onion – Most people choose red onion for this layer since it adds some nice color, I use whatever onions I have on hand. Usually a sweet onion or even green onions.
Dressing – The dressing is so simple, just mayonnaise and sugar (or a sugar substitute). Mayonnaise and sugar may not sound appetizing but it’s perfect for this salad. I suggest mixing it up in a small bowl before you start on the salad layers so that it has time to rest. Make sure to spread the dressing all the way to the edge of the dish. Some people like to add sour cream or Parmesan cheese to the dressing, I haven’t tried either but they do sound good.
Shredded Cheese – Layer your choice of freshly shredded cheese on top of the dressing, I usually use cheddar cheese.
Bacon – Cooked, cooled, and crumbled bacon completes this salad.
This is a great salad to make ahead of time. It tastes best when it is refrigerated for several hours before serving.
A Seven Layer Salad doesn’t have to be limited to only seven layers. Switch out ingredients for ones you have on hand or add extra layers of your favorite veggies. Any color bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, radishes, carrots, water chestnuts, or fresh sliced mushrooms would all make great additions or substitutions.
This salad does not get mixed up before serving. You want the layers to remain separate, use a large scoop to get some of each layer and mix it up on your plate. Leftover Seven Layer Salad will hold up for a week in the refrigerator, the dressing may get a little bit runny over time but it will still taste great.
Seven Layer Salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, torn or chopped
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4-6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 1 package of cooked and crumbled bacon
- In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise and sugar. Set aside
- In a trifle bowl or rectangle casserole dish, layer salad ingredients in the order listed. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight before serving.