Layered Salad Recipe (Layered Overnight Salad + Video!) | Seeking Good Eats (2024)

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Layered Salad (Layered Overnight Salad) is the perfect easy side dish recipe to make for dinner or take to a gathering. This salad recipe serves a crowd, it's make-ahead, easily transportable, keto customizable - AND everyone gobbles it up!What's not to love about this salad? 🙂

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Watch: 7 Layer Salad Recipe

"Sharing my grandma's 7 layer salad here! One of my all time favorite recipes - it brings back memories plus it is DELICIOUS. The crispy vegetables layers combined with the bacon, cheese, and dressing - oh so good!" -Kori

If you're looking for more make-ahead salads try my Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad, Dill Pickle Slaw, or Italian Pasta Salad! 🙂

You'll love this Seven Layer Salad Recipe

Easy overnight layer salad. You can literally make this layered salad overnight so it's perfect if you need a salad to serve during the week to your family, having company over, or need a side dish to take to a cookout or party.

Layered salad for a crowd! It serves from 10 to 12 people making it a great side dish for get-togethers and parties. Another bonus: because you can make this the day before - it is super convenient.

It's healthy! Seven layer salad is gluten free and has no added sugar. It's also low carb and adaptable to a keto diet.

What is 7 layer salad?

Seven Layer Salad is a traditional Southern dish that became wildly popular in the '50s. The original recipe often had tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggs. Our layered salad has a more modern twist with artichoke hearts, black olives, water chestnuts - and bacon.

7 Layer Salad Recipe ingredients

Here are the ingredients and equipment you will need to make this layered overnight salad:

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  • Lettuce - use a head of iceberg lettuce or a leafy lettuce, my favorite is romaine it stands up really well in this salad!
  • Onion - red onion is my favorite! You can even add in some sliced green onions.
  • Frozen Peas
  • Water Chestnuts - make sure to buy sliced!
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese - I like cheddar cheese with this salad, but you can certainly experiment! Sometimes I even add a little parmesan cheese into the mix if I have it.
  • Artichoke Hearts - I like to buy the canned quartered artichoke hearts then rough chop them.
  • Black Olives - use a small can of sliced black olives
  • Bacon - use whatever bacon looks good to you!
  • Mayonnaise - use your favorite mayo brand. You could use Miracle Whip if you like also.
  • Sour Cream

For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!

Hint: This dish can be made in a 13 x 9 glass dish, a clear flat bottom bowl, or a trifle dish. It is much easier to serve portions out of a 13 x 9 dish as the dressing distributes itself better when served.

Layered Salad Recipe variations

Here are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to this layered salad:

  • Easily substitute veggies that you love! Great substitutes for the artichoke hearts and black olives are cauliflower and broccoli.
  • If you don't love water chestnuts substitute celery. These both add a crispy crunch that's yummy.
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers add a nice fresh taste also.
  • Try it with a different creamy dressing such as blue cheese or ranch.
  • If you want more protein, add sliced hard-boiled eggs.
  • If you don't like red onions, substitute sliced green onions. The more colors you use the more dramatic the layers in your dish too. Just play around and see what works for you!
  • Another thing I often do is mix in fresh or dried herbs to my dressing. My favorites are parsley, dill, and thyme. So good!

Make this Layered Salad Keto

20.5 g fat | 7 g net carbs | 6.7 g protein

I think you will love this keto and low carb seven layered salad. Without making any substitutions the recipe has 20.5 grams of fat, and 7g net carbs, and 6.7 g protein which fits nicely in a low carb and ketogenic diet.

If you need to make more adjustments for keto, here are my suggestions:

  • 1 can water chestnuts ⇒ 1/2 cup celery
  • artichoke hearts ⇒ 1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets (small florets), or 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • black olives ⇒ 1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets (small florets), or 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • Use a keto-friendly mayonnaise with no added sugar.

Peas do add some carbohydrates to this salad. However, the amount of peas per serving is only about 1 ounce. Peas have approximately 4 grams of carbohydrates and 1.6 grams of dietary fiber, so 2.4 net carbs. If the carbs are too high remove peas and replace them with another vegetable!

How to make Layered Salad

Okay, this is so easy and good you will wonder why you have never made this before! 🙂 Here are the steps to make this easy over night layered salad:

1. Prep

Cook your bacon, cool, and crumble.

Wash your lettuce, and remove excess water. I use a lettuce spinner which makes this process super easy.

Tear lettuce into small pieces. Thinly slice your red onion.

Drain the water chestnuts, artichoke hearts, and black olives. Roughly chop the artichoke hearts. Shred your cheese.

2. Layer Salad Ingredients

In a 13-inch by 9-inch dish layer all ingredients in the order of the recipe - lettuce first, then red onion, frozen peas, water chestnuts, 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese, artichoke hearts, black olives, and 3/4 of the bacon.

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3. Make Dressing

Stir mayonnaise and sour cream together.

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4. Spread Dressing

Spread an even layer of the dressing over the top of the salad. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bacon on the top.

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5. Refrigerate

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (minimum 8 hours).

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6. Serve

Serve and enjoy. Do not toss the salad before serving.

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How to serve this 7 Layer Salad Recipe

Here are a few ways to serve your layered salad:

  • The salad that keeps on giving! Make it on a Sunday evening then serve it during the week for over several dinners. It keeps for several days as long as you don't mix the dressing into the vegetables.
  • It also makes a great lunch! You can add some diced chicken or hard-boiled eggs when you go to eat it.

Meal idea for a crowd! Try this salad along with Baby Back Ribs, a double or tripled recipe of Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff, or this Texas-Style BBQ Chili.

How to store this Layered Salad

To store this salad, cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. Do not toss the salad dressing in advance (each person tosses their own serving). This helps to preserve the salad longer and keep the vegetables crisp.

7 Layer Salad Recipe top tips

  • Most of the vegetables can be pre-washed and cut up in advance. Grate the cheese in advance, and pre-mix the dressing.
  • Add the layers of vegetables according to the recipe instructions.
  • Do not toss the layered salad before serving. This preserves the crispiness of the lettuce and other vegetables. It also allows keeps the vegetable crispy so you can serve it for several days!

Seven Layer Salad Recipe FAQs

7 Layer Salad Calories

There are 246 calories in each serving. The salad serves 10 and each serving is approximately 1 to 1-1/2 cups.

How many carbs are in 7 layer salad

There are 9.4 grams of carbs (7 grams net carbs) in each serving. Each serving is about 1 to 1-1/2 cups. This recipe can easily be adapted for low carb and keto followers.

How much protein is in a seven-layer salad?

Our recipe contains 6.7 grams of protein, but this can vary from recipe to recipe.

When was 7 layer salad popular?

7 Layer Salad originated in the 1950’s but really became a popular potluck dish in the 70’s and 80’s.

More Salad Recipes

Enjoy these low-carb and keto salad recipes!

  • Hawaiian Chicken Salad
  • Blue Cheese Wedge Salad Recipe
  • Italian Antipasto Salad Recipe
  • Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Pecans
  • Grilled Shrimp Salad Recipe
  • Thai Peanut Salad Recipe
  • Grilled Peach Salad with Burrata

If you tried this 24 Hour Salad, let me know! I'd love for you to come back and give the recipe a 5-star rating and/or a review in the comments! 🙂 Let's stay connected, so please share photos of your creations with me and others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! Don't forget to tag #seekinggoodeats

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Overnight Seven Layer Salad Recipe

This 7 layer salad recipe is the perfect easy side dish to make for dinner or take to a dinner party, potluck, bbq cookout, party, or holiday meal. Make-ahead, it's easily transportable and everyone gobbles it up!

4.53 from 68 votes

Print Recipe Save

Author Kori

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 20 minutes mins

Course Salad Recipes

Cuisine American

Servings 10 servings

Calories 246 kcal


  • 8 cups leaf lettuce (torn into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 small red onion (sliced thinly)
  • 10 ounces frozen peas
  • 1 (3-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts (drained)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (set aside 1/4 cup of cheese for top)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts (drained and roughly chopped)
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives (drained)
  • 1 pound cooked bacon (crumbled, set aside 1/4 bacon crumbles for top)
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup sour cream


  • In a 13 x 9 clear glass dish, (or a large clear glass flat bowl) layer ingredients in the order they are listed - lettuce, onion, frozen peas, water chestnuts, cheese, artichoke hearts, black olives, and bacon.

  • Mix mayonnaise and sour cream together and spread over the top.

  • Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese and ¼ cup bacon crumbles.

  • Cover the salad in plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.


Kori's Tips

  • Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
  • VARIATIONS:Feel free to substitute your favorite vegetables in this recipe. See the full post for ideas and ways to make this recipe Keto.
  • TOP TIPS: Leave the peas frozen, do not thaw or cook; Do not toss the salad before serving.
  • SERVING SUGGESTIONS: You can serve this in a 13 x 9 glass dish, a clear flat bottom bowl, or a trifle dish. The easiest and prettiest way is to use a clear 13 x 9" dish. With this size of dish the dressing distributes itself better.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 9.4gProtein: 6.7gFat: 20.5gCholesterol: 27.9mgSodium: 280.7mgFiber: 2.4gSugar: 3g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Mention @seekinggoodeatsofficial or tag #seekinggoodeats!

© 2024 Seeking Good Eats™

This layered overnight salad is 7-layers of delicious! An easy make-ahead salad recipe serves a crowd so it's perfect for your next get-together, holiday, backyard bbq, or party. 7-layer salad keeps for days so you can make it for a weeknight dinner and take leftovers for lunch. Make it low carb and keto-friendly by substituting your favorite vegetables. Everyone loves this healthy side salad!

Layered Salad Recipe (Layered Overnight Salad + Video!) | Seeking Good Eats (2024)
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