I am going retro! I am revisiting this Seven Layer Salad that my mother made frequently during my childhood. She often brought this salad to church potlucks. This salad was a fixture on the table of our family gatherings in the Midwest. Making this salad was definitely nostalgic for me.
What is a Seven Layer Salad?
A seven-layer salad is exactly what the name implies. It’s a salad of seven ingredients that are layered rather than tossed together. Typically, the ingredients are layered in a glass bowl for presentation, so the layers are visible. Then, the salad is topped with a layer of mayonnaise which serves as the dressing. As I understand it, the seven-layer salad originated in the South. You will likely find variations in the ingredients in other regions of the country.
The recipe from my childhood
My mother’s recipe is comprised of the following layers:
- iceberg lettuce
- water chestnuts
- mayonnaise sprinkled with sugar
- toppings – parmesan cheese, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, croutons
This salad is best made a day ahead of time. Before serving, top the mayonnaise with the parmesan cheese, eggs, bacon, and croutons. Try this salad for a retro twist and maybe it will become a new family favorite.
For another delicious make-ahead salad, try Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad.
Seven Layer Salad
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, washed and drained
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, sliced
- 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed and drained
- 1 1/2 -2 cups mayonnaise, like Hellman's
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- parmesan cheese
- Cut iceberg lettuce into pieces and layer in the bottom of a glass bowl. Layer onion, celery, water chestnuts, and peas.
- Spread mayonnaise over the top of the peas. Sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate (preferably overnight).
- Before serving, top with bacon, hard-boiled eggs, croutons and parmesan cheese.