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Overnight Salad (Seven Layer Salad) {Make Ahead!}

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

finished 7 Layer Salad

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7 Layer Salad

A delicious medley of layers topped with a creamy homemade dressing and bacon crumbles makes for a colorful and hearty salad!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 0 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

  • In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, and seasoned salt for the dressing. Set aside.

  • Wash and dry the lettuce very well. Place lettuce in the bottom of a large trifle bowl (or 9×13 pan).

  • In order, top with tomatoes, peas, green onions, and boiled eggs. Spread the dressing on top right to the edges.

  • Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  • Top with cheese and bacon before serving.

  • Feel free to substitute other vegetables for the layers. Options include bell peppers, corn, sliced celery, mushrooms, or radishes, sundried tomatoes or shredded carrots, cabbage, zucchini, or brussels sprouts!
  • To make ahead, assemble all the layers except cheese and bacon, cover, and chill. Just before serving, layer cheese and bacon on top.

Optional Ranch Style Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Calories: 348 | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1124IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 186mg | 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



Ingredients for seven-layer salad in bowls and a seven-layer salad in a bowl with writing
Seven layer salad in a bowl with a title
Ingredients for seven-layer salad in bowls and seven layer salad in a glass bowl with text

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