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My mom is the queen of overnight layered salad recipes. I grew up on them. Maybe not every day, but anytime we had extended family or friends over, there would definitely be lots and lots of layered salads. Coming up with this traditional seven layer salad recipe with mayonnaise (7-layer salad recipe for short!) has made me proud to add to my mom’s collection.
What Is Seven Layer Salad?
Seven layer salad is just what it sounds like – a salad with 7 layers! There are many variations of it, but common ingredients include greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggs, peas, and a mayo-based dressing.
For this one, I took some inspiration from my mom’s layered salad recipes, but also kept it close enough to a traditional seven layer salad that Americans are used to.
There are actually quite a few similarities. The layers and the mayo-based dressing are a couple of the major ones, and it was perfectly natural for me to make my seven layer salad with mayonnaise, too. However, I left out the peas to make this a low carb salad.
Like I mentioned before when I talked about this Mediterranean salad recipe, lettuce and other greens are generally less common in Russian salad recipes. My mom’s layered salads usually omitted them. I do love my greens, though, especially the fact that they add volume to salads. So, I opted to include Romaine lettuce in this seven layer salad recipe.
Making a recipe for 7-layer salad definitely brought back those childhood memories. My mom’s 24 hour salads will always hold an association with large family gatherings.
How To Make 7-Layer Salad
Assembling the layered salad is incredibly easy. Here is how to make seven layer salad:
- Cut up all the veggies. Bite-sized pieces work best!
- Layer all the veggies (plus eggs!) in a large trifle bowl, or simply a glass bowl. If you don’t have hard boiled eggs ready, you can use my easy peel eggs method here or even make hard boiled eggs in the oven.
- Whip up the 7-layer salad dressing and spread it over the last layer. I’m not sure if we can even call it a dressing – it’s really just sour cream and mayo mixed together.
- Finish by sprinkling shredded cheese and bacon on top. If you don’t have cooked bacon yet, here is how to cook bacon in the oven.
- Cover the salad and refrigerate it for a couple of hours. Overnight is even better. That’s why they call it an overnight salad, right?
Seven Layer Salad Dressing
The dressing in this 7-layer salad recipe is incredibly simple. It’s just mayonnaise and sour cream! My mom would be proud – these are the staples in Russian layered salads.
Note that some recipes for seven layer salad add sugar to the dressing. I don’t find that necessary. I think it tastes delicious without any sweetener at all, but add some to taste if that’s your thing.
Can 7 Layer Salad Be Made A Day Ahead?
Yes, 7 layer salad can be made a day ahead, and that’s definitely part of the appeal of this one!
Now as an adult, I can see why my mom loved layered salads so much. Being an overnight salad, this 7-layer salad with mayonnaise makes your life so much easier. And, I’m aaaaaall about easy recipes, as I know many of you are.
Assembling a 24-hour salad in advance means less stress on the day people are coming over. Just make it the day before you are going to serve it, and the day of, take it out of the fridge and it’s ready to go!
How To Keep 7 Layer Salad From Getting Soggy
No one likes soggy salads and there is definitely a way to prevent your 7 layer salad from getting soggy. The order of ingredients is very important.
Similar to my low carb Greek Mason jar salad, you want the dressing away from the lettuce, which won’t hold up as well, and next to ingredients that won’t get soggy.
In this 7 layer salad without peas, the dressing is in between shredded cheese and the onion and egg layer. This dressing is also thick enough so that it isn’t going to drip down to the lettuce and softer vegetables.
TIP: This recipe would also work with other kinds of thick dressing. What about homemade ranch dressing or thousand island for a variation? Just reduce the almond milk in there to keep it thick enough.
More Overnight Salads & Make Ahead Recipes
This is the first overnight layered salad on the blog, which is a little surprising. I’m always looking for low carb make-ahead recipes like this! Here are a few more to try:
This is my first layered salad, though, and it’s the first overnight salad I’ve made that works well with lettuce. Greens don’t usually do too well when stored too long, but in this traditional seven layer salad, it works!
Tools To Make Overnight Salad
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Glass Trifle Bowl – This bowl is a must for showing off layered salad recipes.
- 10-Inch Stainless Steel Salad Serving Set – The perfect length to get all of the layers in this salad. Plus, they look modern and sleek!
Easy Traditional Overnight 7-Layer Salad Recipe
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Easy Traditional Overnight 7-Layer Salad Recipe
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Spread over the top of the salad. (It can be a little hard to spread over the onions without sticking. Just dollop a little at a time and spread a little, add a little more, and repeat.)
- Sprinkle shredded cheese and cooked bacon bits on top.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
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Serving size: 1 cup
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