Seven Layer Salad Recipe (2024)

By: Author Karen - SoupAddict

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This show-stopper seven layer salad is a real crowd pleaser, a beautiful rainbow of vegetables served with a unique creamy salsa vinaigrette dressing.

Seven Layer Salad Recipe (1)

Here’s an odd confession that no ever quite believes is true: I love salads. I mean, I love salads like people love brownies. On this blog, I’ve probably said it dozens of times. IRL, I’ve stopped saying it altogether because, really, who loves salads? People think you’re not quite all there when your eyes go all sparkly over a bowl of mixed greens and chopped vegetables.

And they totally roll their eyes when they ask about the dressing, and I innocently reply that it’s homemade, not realizing that, to many people, “homemade dressing” is a ridiculous notion.

“Seriously,” their arched eyebrow chides, “have you not seen the full aisle at the store devoted to shelf after shelf of bottled dressing?” — and it makes them feel like I think I’m some hipster cool, Kinfolk-cover-adorning DIY’er with kitchen-counter-fermented red wine vinegar made from a local wine artisan’s organic pinot noir.

Honest-to-goodness: I just like creating my own salad dressings, ‘kay?

And the red wine vinegar fermenting on my counter in a cute little rustic crock is entirely coincidental. {Ba-dum-bump-ching! I’ll be here all week, folks. Tip your waitresses!}

Seven Layer Salad Recipe (2)

You would think that food blogging and all the food pea-oh-are-en pictures on the interwebs would make me crave things like seared strip steak, arugula, fontina and gruyere grilled cheese sandwiches with horseradish caper sauce.

Or a double-stuffed Oreo cookie tucked into chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough wrapped in a dark cocoa brownie baked in a New York style cheesecake with graham cracker crust aaaaannnd — { deeeeep wind-sucking inhale } — topped with drizzly hazelnut chocolate ganache.

But, nope, I’m all about the salads.

Seven Layer Salad Recipe (3)

I mean, have you seen these photos? I’m not talking about my photography skills (too lazy to use manual settings) or my tablescaping je ne sais quoi (if je ne sais quoi means sprinkling jagged slivers of herbs over the table and randomly draping a fabric-scrap-as-napkin, which is about the limit of my food styling eye). I mean the salad.

If this isn’t ooooh and ahhhhh worthy, then I don’t know what is.

How to Make Seven Layer Salad

  • Use a glass salad or trifle bowl. The bowl in the photos here is 96 ounces, and makes a lot of salad. Don’t hesitate to go smaller.
  • If you’re using a wide, flared bowl (as in the photos), you’ll need a lot of vegetables on the upper layers. As alternative, you can plan to ring the outer edges of the bowl (against the glass) with the vegetables, and then fill the center with romaine lettuce. This actually creates a nice balance of vegetables-to-lettuce.
  • If assembling the salad a little ahead of time, toss the sliced avocado in lemon juice, or a solution with Fruit Fresh (Amazon affiliate link), to prevent browning.
  • The salsa vinaigrette recipe includes vegan/dairy-free options, to accommodate a variety of needs. The salad is naturally gluten-free, too.
  • Serve extra well-seasoned (salt and lemon juice), lightly olive-oiled mixed greens in a separate bowl, and let your peeps dig into the seven layer salad beauty like it’s an experience.

Why a vegetable-heavy Seven Layer Salad instead of the traditonal mayo-goopy concoctions? Because vegetables are beautiful. They’re beautiful to observe, they’re beautiful to serve, and they do a body good. And this bowl gets me all excited about the summer growing season, and all the rainbow vegetables that will come from the dirt in my yard.

Show-stopping 7-layer salad with a scrumptious salsa vinaigrette dressing is where it’s at. Yo.

Karen xo

Seven Layer Salad Recipe (4)

Print Recipe

4.67 from 9 votes

Seven Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Vinaigrette

The veggie amounts are based on a 96 ounce salad bowl (the bowl in the pictures). Scale up or down according to the size of your bowl.

Prep Time20 minutes mins

Total Time20 minutes mins

Servings: 10

Calories: 275kcal

Author: Karen Gibson


for the dressing

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup your favorite mild or medium Salsa
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or vegan mayo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

for the salad

  • 1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced or chopped, your choice
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels, sliced from the cob
  • 1 avocado, pit removed, peeled and chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (about 2 cups after slicing)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, dill, and/or basil minced


make the dressing

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste, and add more salt as needed. Set aside (refrigerate if making ahead).

assemble the salad

  • General note: if your bowl is wide, ring your ingredients against the glass and fill the center with romaine lettuce as you build the layers. This creates a nice balance of greens to veggies when you spoon down into the bowl.

  • In a medium glass salad bowl (about 90 ounces), spread a thin layer of romaine lettuce. Spoon black beans over the lettuce. Add red onions over the black beans, followed by a layer of olives, then corn, avocados, bell peppers, and top with cherry tomatoes.

  • Sprinkle herbs over the cherry tomatoes.

  • If you're not using romaine lettuce to fill the center of the bowl, serve lettuce in a separate bowl tossed lightly with extra virgin olive oil.

  • Serve the creamy salsa vinaigrette dressing on the side.


Calories: 275kcal

Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

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Seven Layer Salad Recipe (5)

Seven Layer Salad Recipe (2024)


What is 7 layer salad made of? ›

A fabulous 7-layer salad consisting of Romaine lettuce, peas, red onion, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, cheddar cheese and green onions. The dressing is killer!

How many calories in a serving of 7 layer salad? ›

Seven-layer Salad (lettuce Salad Made With A Combination Of Onion, Celery, Green Pepper, Peas, Mayonnaise, Cheese, Eggs, And/or Bacon) (1 cup) contains 7.3g total carbs, 5.7g net carbs, 25.9g fat, 5.6g protein, and 281 calories.

What is the history of the 7 layer salad? ›

The dish may have originated in the South and was called the "seven-layer pea salad" for its main layers of peas. The traditional seven-layer salad is covered with a coating of mayonnaise (and sometimes sour cream) and includes eggs and bacon. It has been said to have "helped give salads of the 1950s a bad name...

What are the 5 components of salad? ›

There are five elements to a perfect salad: greens, sweetness, creaminess, crunchiness, and dressing. Let's talk about each one.

What are the 4 elements of a salad? ›

The basic parts of a salad are the base, the body, the garnish, and the dressing.

Is 500 calories a lot for a salad? ›

If you're following a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet and are enjoying the salad as a meal, says Siegel, aim for no more than 500 to 600 calories per serving.

What is a serving size of salad? ›

The serving size of a salad can vary based on factors such as the type of salad, its purpose (appetizer, side dish, main course), and individual dietary needs. However, as a general guideline, a typical serving size of salad is often around 1 to 2 cups (240 to 480 milliliters).

How many calories is a full plate of salad? ›

Different salad recipes have different amounts of calories. They usually range between 300 and 500 calories per recipe.

What gives good flavor to salad? ›

Try different types of vinegar, such as balsamic, red wine, or apple cider vinegar, and experiment with adding different herbs or spices like garlic, mustard, or honey to create your desired flavor. Add fresh herbs: Chopped fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, or mint can add a burst of flavor to your salad.

What lettuce is best for salads? ›

Great Greens to Add to Your Salad Bowl
  • Romaine Lettuce. The crisp, elongated leaves of this lettuce are the main ingredient in classic Caesar salad.
  • Butterhead Lettuce. These beautiful rosette-like heads have soft, buttery-textured leaves. ...
  • Iceberg Lettuce. ...
  • Mâche. ...
  • Watercress. ...
  • Dandelion Greens. ...
  • Belgian Endive. ...
  • Frisée.
Jul 21, 2023

What is the oldest salad dressing? ›

French dressing is the oldest one on our list, but vinegar and oil dressing goes back nearly two-thousand years to ancient Babylonia.

Who ate the first salad? ›

Ancient Roots:

The ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were known to consume mixed greens with a combination of salt, oil and vinegar. These early salads were often made with ingredients like lettuce, celery, radishes, and onions, which were considered beneficial for digestion and overall health.

What was the first salad called? ›

Back in the 18th century, the first-ever chef's salad was gaining popularity. It was common to use whatever ingredients you had in your kitchen to create them. The chef's salad of the day was then called “salmagundi” and they typically included some kind of meat.

What is the main ingredient of bound salad? ›

Bound salad: ingredients such as meat, poultry, fish, egg, or starch such as potato, pasta, or rice and bound with mayo. Vegetable salad: cooked and/or raw vegetables (coleslaw); can be bound with mayo or mixed with vinegar/oil dressing.

What is composed salad made of? ›

It shows off the intense, irresistible vegetables, herbs and fruits of the season — but can also have rich components like cheese, eggs, toasted nuts and smoked fish or meat. With a loaf of (preferably grilled) bread, it is a meal in itself.

What is a main course salad composed of? ›

A main course salad should be large enough to serve as a whole meal. It should contain protein ingredients, such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, legumes, or cheese. It should also contain a variety of vegetables, greens, and/or fruits.

What does a salad consist of? ›

Most leafy vegetables that can be eaten raw are used: all varieties of lettuce, garden cress and watercress, endives, cabbage, spinach, escarole, romaine (cos), arugula, and fresh herbs. Other vegetables, raw or cooked—tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, peppers, beets, and so on—may garnish the green salad.

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