Seven Layer Salad: A Vibrant Classic Dish

The Seven Layer Salad is a timeless, vibrant dish that has graced potluck tables and family gatherings for generations. Its visually appealing layers and delightful combination of flavors make it a favorite among many. This classic salad is not only pleasing to the eye but also a treat for the palate, offering a wonderful mix of textures and tastes in every bite.


For the Salad:

  • 4 cups chopped lettuce (Romaine or Iceberg)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup green peas, thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Prepare the Salad Layers:

  1. Chopped Lettuce: Begin by chopping the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Romaine or Iceberg lettuce works best for this salad due to their crisp texture. Spread the chopped lettuce evenly across the bottom of a large, clear salad bowl. The clear bowl is essential for displaying the beautiful layers.
  2. Cherry Tomatoes: Next, halve the cherry tomatoes and layer them on top of the lettuce. The bright red of the tomatoes adds a splash of color and a juicy burst of flavor to the salad.
  3. Cucumbers: Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds and layer them over the tomatoes. Cucumbers add a refreshing crunch and a subtle, cool flavor.
  4. Red Bell Pepper: Dice the red bell pepper and scatter it evenly over the cucumbers. Red bell peppers are not only visually appealing but also add a sweet and slightly tangy flavor.
  5. Shredded Carrots: Add a layer of shredded carrots on top of the bell peppers. Carrots contribute a vibrant orange color and a sweet, crunchy texture.
  6. Green Peas: Sprinkle the green peas over the carrots. If you’re using frozen peas, make sure they are thawed and drained well. Peas add a pop of green and a sweet taste to the salad.
  7. Red Onions: Thinly slice the red onions and layer them on top of the peas. Red onions provide a sharp, tangy flavor that balances the sweetness of the peas and carrots.
  8. Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Generously sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the onions. Cheese adds a rich, savory element to the salad.
  9. Hard-Boiled Eggs: Finally, slice the hard-boiled eggs and arrange them over the cheese. Eggs add a creamy texture and a mild flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Prepare the Dressing:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, and white vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The dressing should be creamy and slightly tangy, with a hint of sweetness.
  2. Spread Dressing: Carefully spread the dressing over the top layer of the salad, ensuring it covers the entire surface. The dressing acts as a seal, keeping the salad fresh and flavorful.

Add the Toppings:

  1. Crumbled Bacon: Cook the bacon until crispy, then crumble it into small pieces. Sprinkle the bacon evenly over the top of the dressing. Bacon adds a smoky, savory flavor and a delightful crunch.
  2. Chopped Parsley: Finish by sprinkling chopped fresh parsley over the bacon. Parsley adds a touch of freshness and a pop of green color.

Chill and Serve:

  1. Refrigerate: Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Chilling the salad allows the flavors to meld together and ensures that it is cool and refreshing.
  2. Serve: When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and use a large spoon to scoop out portions, making sure to get a bit of each layer in every serving.

Tips for Success:

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh, high-quality ingredients make all the difference in the taste and appearance of this salad.
  • Layer Neatly: For the best visual appeal, layer the ingredients neatly and evenly.
  • Customize: Feel free to customize the salad by adding or substituting ingredients based on your preferences. Common additions include sliced radishes, chopped celery, or crumbled blue cheese.
  • Make Ahead: This salad can be made a day in advance, making it a convenient option for parties and gatherings.


The Seven Layer Salad is a beautiful and delicious addition to any meal. Its colorful layers and delightful mix of flavors and textures make it a crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering, attending a potluck, or simply looking for a refreshing side dish, this salad is sure to impress. Enjoy the vibrant flavors and the satisfaction of creating a dish that’s as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

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