This Seven Layer Salad is the perfect overnight salad! It’s a make-ahead, family-pleasin’, easy to make side dish! Layers of crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, sweet peas, and eggs are smothered in an easy creamy dressing and topped with cheese and bacon.

We most often make this for potlucks, picnics and of course next to our holiday ham with scalloped potatoes!

The perfect layered salad topped with bacon

What’s in a Layered Salad

Almost any fresh veggie can go into a seven layer salad, but this is the recipe we like the best. Think of how colorful the layers are in this recipe and feel free to add something a little extra to make your own signature salad!

My go-to list of toppings (plus the dressing).

  1. Lettuce
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Peas
  4. Eggs
  5. Onions (red or green)
  6. Cheese
  7. Bacon

While this is a seven layer salad… there’s no reason it can’t be a 10 layer salad if you want! Why not add in shredded zucchini, purple cabbage, or carrots for a little extra color? Chopped celery, water chestnuts, and diced red, yellow or orange bell peppers add a little extra crunch, too!

Layer all of these delicious ingredients in a lovely trifle dish for a fancy display, or try a 9×13 glass dish for convenience!


This recipe uses a classic mayonnaise based dressing (although I do love a good Ranch 7 Layer Salad too)! I do not suggest using reduced fat or light ingredients as they can become watery in this recipe.

Ingredients for the perfect layered salad in bowls on a marble board

How to Make Overnight Layered Salad

This layered salad is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and is best prepared the night ahead making dinner a breeze!

  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Layer ingredients over a bed of lettuce in a salad bowl (reserve the cheese and bacon for just before serving).
  3. Spread the dressing over the top of the salad all the way to the edges of the inside of the bowl.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Top with cheese and bacon and serve!

The perfect layered salad in a glass bowl with bacon and cheese on the side

How Far In Advance Can You Make It

The best time to make overnight layered salad is the night before or a minimum of four hours. Much earlier than that and the dressing could make the salad a bit soggy.

Be sure to layer it carefully, scoop the dressing over the top, seal with plastic wrap or in a container with a tightly fitted lid and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Garnish the top with bacon bits and get ready to watch it disappear!


Sadly it’s not a good idea to freeze a layered salad (or any salad recipe). Frozen vegetables become mushy and the sour cream and mayonnaise will break and separate once it is thawed as well.

Leftovers will keep for up to a week. The dressing may get a bit watery as the veggies lose some of their moisture but the flavor is always still amazing!

Easy and Delicious Salads

The perfect layered salad in a glass bowl garnished with parsley
5 from 14 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Overnight Salad (Seven Layer Salad)

A perfect combination of layers dressed with a delicious homemade dressing makes for a gorgeous salad!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 2 cups tomatoes diced, or sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen peas defrosted (uncooked)
  • ½ cup green onions or red onions, sliced
  • 8 hard boiled eggs cooled, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 8 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled



  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Place lettuce in the bottom of a large bowl (or 9x13 pan).
  • Top with tomatoes, peas, onions and boiled eggs. Spread dressing overtop to seal the edges. Top with cheese.
  • Cover salad and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Top with bacon before serving.



Optional add-ins for layers: Bell peppers, shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, sliced celery.
Optional Ranch Style Dressing
¾ cup sour cream
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
5 from 14 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 383 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1128IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Ingredients for seven-layer salad in bowls and a seven-layer salad in a bowl with writing
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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. THIS SALAD IS AWESOME! We love it We also loved your Dorito Taco Salad. My husband adored it. Thanks so much and I lovve your blog!5 stars

  2. I’ve always seen (& made) this salad with the dressing on top, and the cheese under the dressing. It’s a terrific salad, and best presented in a Trifle dish.

      1. I made it using the same ingredients, but added a layer of sliced mushrooms and a layer of yellow bell pepper and it was great.

  3. We’re having a busy weekend, full of family and fun. I offered to bring salads to two events. I made this one, yesterday, and it was such a hit, that my husband asked me to make it, again, today! This is going into my regular rotation!

  4. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you enjoy your New Red Plate and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  5. Your salad is delicious looking. I can see it at a big get-together or for our next barbecue.