Seven Layer Salad

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Seven Layer Salad is crunchy, flavorful, colorful, and perfect for potlucks. With bacon, cheese, onions, peas, lettuce, celery, mayo, and a little sugar.

This easy Side Dish is sure to become a favorite for family reunions, cookouts, and picnics. Just like Macaroni Salad or Potato Salad, it’s a refreshing dish with a creamy mayo dressing that’s perfect for the spring and summer.

Seven Layer Salad side view in glass bowl


You may have enjoyed Seven Layer Salad while you were growing up. It’s such a classic for potlucks and Summer BBQs. This easy recipe makes it just how you remember with layers of iceberg lettuce, onion, peas, celery, mayo, cheese, and bacon. It’s easy to make and packed with a variety of different flavors and texture from all the layers. 

This is the perfect dish to serve at your next Summer BBQ. Make it to go on the side of your hamburgers, Grilled Chicken, or hotdogs. The easy salad goes great with any number of main dishes. It’s filling, refreshing, and a favorite with kids and adults. If you’re serving a bigger group, you may want to make it a double batch. This crowd-pleasing salad goes fast. 

Seven Layer Salad is creamy, savory, salty, crunchy, and sweet. Each layer brings its own unique taste and texture that completes the dish. The creamy layer of mayonnaise helps bring all the other ingredients together and the little bit of sugar mixed in adds just the right amount of sweetness.  

This recipe follows the traditional ingredients for Seven Layer Salad for a nostalgic and delicious side. But you can always experiment with different ingredients. Try swapping out the peas for corn or adding in some ham or potatoes. There are so many ways you change up the layers or add new ones for fun spins on this salad. 



  • Prep: Start by taking the peas out of the freezer to thaw. Then cook the bacon in a large skillet until nice and crispy. Let the bacon cool down then chop it into bacon bits to get it ready for the salad. Chop the iceberg lettuce, red onion, and celery. 
  • Layering: Begin assembling the Seven Layer Salad in a serving bowl. Start with the lettuce, then onions, peas, and celery. 
  • Dressing: For the creamy dressing whisk together the mayonnaise and sugar. Spread sweetened mayo over the celery. 
  • Final layers: Top the salad off with the last two layers, cheese, and bacon. 
  • Serve: Cover and keep the Seven Layer Salad in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

top-down view of Seven Layer Salad in glass bowl

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  • Bacon: Instead of topping the salad off with typical bacon you could use turkey bacon or add some more sweetness with candied bacon. You could also add other meats like shredded chicken, turkey, or ham. 
  • Cheese: Instead of cheddar cheese try using Swiss, provolone, pepper jack, or gouda cheese. 
  • Lightened Seven Layer Salad: Instead of using mayo, you can exchange it for non-fat plain Greek yogurt. This will make for a lighter salad but have a similar texture.
  • Flavor: For some flavor additions try mixing in some lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, or lime with the dressing. You can also add seasonings like paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, or oregano. 
  • Add-ins: For even more layers try adding tomatoes, corn, pasta, avocado, hard-boiled eggs or potatoes. 



  • Serve: Don’t leave your Seven Layer Salad at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: If you have any leftovers or want to make Seven Layer Salad ahead of time, it will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or seal it in an airtight container. 
  • Freeze: Due to the mayo, this recipe won’t freeze well and is best served fresh. If you don’t finish it within the 4 days, it’s best to throw it out and make a fresh batch.

Seven Layer Salad serving on plate

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Seven Layer Salad

  • Yield: 12 SERVINGS
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Course: Salad
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Seven Layer Salad is crunchy, flavorful, colorful, and perfect for potlucks. With bacon, cheese, onions, peas, lettuce, celery, mayo, and a little sugar.


  • 1 pound bacon
  • 6 cups iceberg lettuce , chopped
  • 1 red onion , chopped
  • 12 ounces frozen green peas , thawed
  • 3 stalks celery , chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add bacon to a large skillet and cook until brown and crispy, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

  2. Let cool then chop.
  3. Layer the salad with lettuce, then onion, peas, and celery.
  4. Mix the mayonnaise and sugar and spread it over the celery, then top with cheese and bacon.
  5. Refrigerate until serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 SERVINGS, Amount per serving: 311 calories, Calories: 311g, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 525mg, Potassium: 255mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 614g, Vitamin C: 13g, Calcium: 125g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Seven Layer Salad

Seven Layer Salad collage

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