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7 Layer Salad is super simple, customizable and amazingly delicious. This sensational traditional salad is a table topper as well as a scrumptious side dish.

Perfect for Holidays and Potlucks this layered salad will be a hit! It goes perfectly with ChickenSalmon and Steak.

7 Layer salad with lettuce, peas and topped with bacon.

Seven Layer Salad

7 Layer Salad is a classic salad that I remember having growing up as a kid. I actually remember loving it. It was so pretty all layered in a trifle bowl. This classy yet simple salad is still a favorite, especially with a crowd.  It is fresh and full of flavor and tons of vegetables. Layering it in a trifle bowl allows the layers to be visible. It is visually stunning as well as delightful. You are going to love how this layered salad is so customizable and easy to throw together.

There is no magic necessarily in the number 7, it can have 5 layers or it can have 10 layers, it is up to you. Just like this incredible 7 Layer Dip, you can make it the way you want it. Leave out certain vegetables or replace them with others. Add more to it either way. The dressing is at the heart of the salad. Using homemade dressing will make all the difference. It is creamy and decadent and just what the salad needs.

What You Need For Easy 7 Layer Salad

The fresher the vegetables the better the salad. Frozen peas are fine, just use the petite peas. They are sweeter than regular.

  • Iceberg Lettuce: Washed and chopped.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Sliced, can use grape tomatoes too.
  • Olives: Canned sliced olives.
  • Red Onion: Diced
  • Peas: Fresh or frozen thawed.
  • Cucumbers: Washed and chopped
  • Ranch Dressing: Use this simple homemade recipe for the best flavor and texture.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Shredded
  • Bacon: Cooked and crumbled.
  • Green Onions: These for garnish and are optional but are awesome.

Layer It Up!

Once you chop it all up, you layer it up how you want it. Although I highly recommend the lettuce on the bottom.

  1. Layer: In a large glass bowl layer the lettuce, tomatoes, olives, red onion, peas, cucumbers, ranch, cheese, bacon and green onions
  2. Serve: Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Each layer of your 7 layer salad.

Tips for the Best Layered Salad

With so many variations and ways to make this incredible 7 layer salad it is hard to mess up. Serve this up with some homemade bread and you have a perfect lunch or a light dinner ready to go.

  • Make Ahead:  This is the perfect salad for potlucks or holiday dinners because it is so easy and it is even better if you make it ahead of time. You can make it up to 8 hours in advance. This give the layers a chance to meld their flavors together.
  • Lettuce: Iceberg lettuce is recommended because it is hearty and can stand up to the layers. Romaine is ok too, but leafy lettuce can soggy and smashed. Be sure to thoroughly dry the lettuce before placing in the bowl.
  • Bacon: We love bacon in this salad, it is the perfect bit of saltiness it needs. You can use either the oven or the air fryer for hands off way to cook your bacon.
  • Cheese:  Grater your own cheese if you can. Most pre shredded cheese from the store has anti caking agents on it that can inhibit the flavor.
  • Toss it or Not: I like to serve this with long handled spoons and let people really dig in. But you can also set it out on the table and let everyone ooh and ahh over the layers, and then toss it right before serving.

Upclose picture of the salad in a glass bowl.

Variations to the Green Salad

Like I mentioned before there are no rules when it comes to this layered salad. You can have 5, 10 or however many layers you want. And they can be different from these ingredients. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

  • Protein: Substitute out the bacon and use ham, chicken or turkey.  You will find many recipes that use hard boiled eggs as well. All are yummy!
  • Vegetables: There are so many options here. Use what you and your family will eat and enjoy. Other vegetables could include broccoli, cauliflower, avocados, corn, celery, peppers, mushrooms and sugar snap peas.
  • Cheese:  This is customizable as well. Trade out the cheddar for blue cheese, feta, smoked provolone or a sharper cheddar.
  • Dressing: 7 layer salad is typically made with a mayo based dressing. Ranch is a favorite because everyone loves it. You can use a simple combination of may, sour cream, vinegar, salt and sugar as well.
  • Trifle Bowl: Not everyone has a trifle bowl laying around, no worries. You can make this in a 9×13 pan as well. You won’t get the height, but you can still get the layers. Other options are to forget about the eye appeal and mix it all together in a nice salad bowl instead.

Scooping the 7 layer salad with a spoon.

More Salads to Try and Love

Everyone loves a good salad. They add so much to a meal or they can be the meal. They bring variety, flavor and textures that can help round out a meal perfectly. Salads are a delicious way to eat more vegetables and fruit. The combinations are endless and delicious. These tried and true salad recipes are ones you can reach for and know they are going to be amazing.

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7 Layer Salad

5 from 1 vote
By: Alyssa Rivers
7 Layer Salad is super simple, customizable and amazingly delicious. This sensational traditional salad is a table topper as well as a scrumptious side dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 People


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1 Pint cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 2 (2 ounce cans) sliced olives
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 2 cups peas
  • 2 cucumbers chopped
  • Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
  • green onions for garnish optional


  • In a large glass bowl layer the lettuce, tomatoes, olives, red onion, peas, cucumbers, ranch, cheese, bacon and green onions.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate.


Calories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 14gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 384mgPotassium: 518mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1254IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 247mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!


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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Love this type of Salad, and it’s very close to the one I’ve been making. The recipe I have calls for a good quality mayo, which can be mixed with a favorite dressing (if desired), or U can just use Miracle Whip. It’s pretty & delicious, any way you decide to make it. Best served in a Trifile dish, but U can use a pretty & deep glass salad bowl, as well.