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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 block colby-jack or sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 ½ cups real mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ 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
- 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.
- Drain and rinse under cool water until cool enough to handle. Peel cooked eggs and cut into wedges or chop. Set aside.
- Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp then move to paper towels to drain and cool.
- To make dressing: 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.
- To assemble salad: In a large trifle or salad bowl begin with a bottom layer using ½ total amount shredded lettuce, then onion, cherry tomatoes, and eggs. Drizzle with about ½ of dressing.
- Next, begin layering again, with remaining ½ lettuce, then olives, peas and bell pepper. Spread remaining dressing evenly on top.
- Finish by sprinkling with shredded cheese and bacon. Garnish with green onion, if desired.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 8 hours or overnight.