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!

a glass bowl of layered salad topped with bacon and cheese

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 a layered salad on a counter

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!

a layered salad being prepared in a glass bowl

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

Overnight Layered Salad

A perfect combination of layers dressing with a delicious homemade dressing makes for a gorgeous salad!

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes or sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen peas defrosted (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions or red onions
  • 8 hard boiled eggs cooled, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 8 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

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  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

  2. Place lettuce in the bottom of a large bowl (or 9×13 pan).

  3. Top with tomatoes, peas, onions and boiled eggs. Spread dressing overtop to seal the edges. Top with cheese.

  4. Cover salad and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

  5. Top with bacon before serving.

Optional add-ins for layers Bell peppers, shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, sliced celery. Optional Ranch Style Dressing
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Nutrition Information

Calories: 383, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 169mg, Sodium: 587mg, Potassium: 306mg, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 13g, Vitamin A: 1128%, Vitamin C: 15%, Calcium: 189%, Iron: 1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword 7 layer salad, layered salad, overnight salad



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