7 Layer Salad

This classic 7 layer salad is a family favorite for a reason, it's the perfect salad - customize the layers as you like, use your favorite dressing and it's best when made a day ahead of time.

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We all love a good Caesar salad or garden salad but sometimes you need to mix things up in a retro way! This classic 7 layer salad is the perfect way to do so – you can customize and alter it however you like, allowing you to make it your own.

For more great salad recipes, try my Best Basic Tossed Salad or a Shrimp Salad.

7 layer salad in a clear bowl

7 Layer Salad                             

This recipe for 7 layer salad is less of a precise recipe and more of a general guide for building that salad that we all ate at every Tupperware party and baby shower when we were kids in the 80’s. I grew up on this salad!

The key thing to take away from this recipe is the idea of staggering your salad ingredients vertically to create a satisfying bite every single time. My version simple MUST have boiled eggs in it, some versions don’t. I have also seen chopped ham, there are so many different ways to make this salad your own.

7 Layer Salad Ingredients

Don’t forget to look at the recipe card at the bottom of the page for all of the ingredient amounts needed here.

• Bacon, diced, and cooked until crisp and drained on paper towels

• Iceberg lettuce, rinsed, dried, and chopped

• Red onion

• Package of frozen green peas, thawed

• Hard-boiled eggs

• Shredded cheddar cheese



• Sour cream

• White sugar

• Parmesan cheese

• White vinegar

7 layer salad ingredients

How To Make A 7 Layer Salad

Start by whisking together the dressing ingredients, then set them aside. Now let’s build the 7 layers!

  • Layer 1: In a trifle dish, add a layer of chopped lettuce to the bottom, covering it completely.
  • Layer 2: Chop up the red onion and add in on top of the lettuce layer, covering it completely.
  • Layer 3: Add in the package of peas that have now thawed. I recommend draining any excess water from the bag first. The peas should cover the onions completely.
peas on top of onions in a bowl
  • Layer 4: Spread the dressing on top of the peas, ensuring you cover them completely. Use a spatula to make sure it’s spread out well.
salad dressing on top of peas in a bowl
  • Layer 5: Add chopped eggs on top of the dressing layer until fully covered.
  • Layer 6: This is the cheese layer, using the shredded cheese, sprinkle it all over the eggs until they are well covered.
cheese and bacon in a bowl
  • Layer 7: Add chopped bacon as the final layer, covering the cheese layer completely.

Now place the trifle dish in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

7 layer salad with a scoop out of it

Do You Have To Use The Dressing Used In This Recipe?

The dressing used in this recipe is simple and delicious and has that retro flavor we all love that comes from combining mayo and sour cream along with some parmesan cheese and sugar of course.

However, don’t feel like you have to use the dressing given here – you could just as easily replace it with a store-bought dressing or just a simple vinaigrette made with your favorite oils and vinegar.

If you do deviate from this recipe, try and pair the flavors in your dressing with your chosen ingredients. The dressing used here works really well with all sorts of different flavors, but if you tried to force a blue cheese dressing onto every salad, you would quickly discover just how contrasting certain flavors can be.

7 layer salad in a bowl

Do You Have To Be Really Strict With The Layers?

This recipe is called a 7 layer salad for a reason – it utilizes some artful layering to not only evenly spread the ingredients throughout the salad but it also helps to combine different ingredients together so that they work well.

For example, the bacon and cheese on top not only look really good and inviting but also provides the correct salty flavor profile at the very top of the salad. The same thing is true for the lettuce and onion being at the bottom – it not only gives the salad structural integrity but also gives you all of the satisfying crunch that you want.

Saying that, however, feel free to play around with it and do whatever you like with your salad organization. After all, it’s your meal!

How to Serve the Salad

You simply take a scoop out of the salad, going all the way down to the bottom, getting every layer and place it on a plate!

It will have the dressing in a layer that you can then mix into on your own plate as you wish.

7 layer salad on a single serving plate

Looking for more delicious Salad recipes? Try these out:

Classic Wedge Salad

Creamy Bacon Cauliflower Salad

Greek Avocado Salad

Hope you enjoy!


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An absolutely delicious 7 layer salad recipe

7 Layer Salad

This classic 7 layer salad is a family favorite for a reason, it’s the perfect salad – customize the layers as you like, use your favorite dressing and it’s best when made a day ahead of time.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 pound bacon diced and cooked, drained on paper towels
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • 1 red onion diced
  • one 10 ounce package frozen green peas, thawed
  • 8 large hard-boiled eggs sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons white vinegar to taste


  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Get a trifle dish.
  • Place the lettuce in the bottom of the dish.
  • Add the red onion as the next layer.
  • Add the peas as a layer.
  • Spread the dressing on top of the peas.
  • Place a layer of chopped hard-boiled eggs.
  • Place a layer of cheese
  • Place the bacon on top.
  • Refrigerate until serving.

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Shannon Drouin says

    This was amazing! We had company for dinner, and wanted to try something a little different for a salad. This was definitely a huge hit, and we will be making it again. There wasn’t a scrap left over!5 stars

  2. Marilyn says

    I’d forgotten how good this is! Thanks for another great recipe idea!5 stars

  3. Pamela says

    This is truly a tasty treat. I generally make it as you’ve instructed but occasionally add cauliflower or take one of the layers out and sub it. Have
    Included tomato before but it’s not a good idea. They get mushy. Don’t be leery of this salad. It is very very good. Have never seen anyone who doesn’t enjoy it.

  4. Sylvia Ana Olson says

    Can you omit the bacon? Or use a substitute? I do realize there’s a lot of flavor in bacon and it would probably be missed too much. Thank you for your comments. Sylvia

  5. Gina says

    Made this today for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Added a layer of peppers. Celery and water chestnuts. No eggs bc of a family member who cannot have eggs this way. It’s beautiful5 stars

  6. LISA A BENNETT says

    how far in advance can you make this before serving?? Im going to make for Christmas!

  7. Michael says

    My 7 layer salad has celery instead of eggs and scallions instead of a red onion. I do like the sound of your dressing though. I’ve always just used that light Miracle Whip. Great, now I want salad.

  8. Jillian says

    I am obsessed with this salad! I think I may have just found my new favorite salad. I hope my Spinach/Goat Cheese/Fruit Salad takes the news okay.5 stars

  9. JENNIE BAKER says

    Our FAMILY L O V E S this salad. We use celery over the onions…but every thing else is the same ….. sooo..nummy

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