Seven Layer Salad

Take this delicious Seven Layer Salad Recipe to your next potluck. It’s the perfect make-ahead dish to feed a crowd and with layers of peas, ham, macaroni, and more…it looks so pretty in a trifle bowl.

seven layered salad

Seven Layer Salad

If you do take this to a picnic, hopefully, you’ll have leftovers. This layered salad tastes even better the next day.

It’s even a snap to put together. The only part you’ll have to cook is the macaroni noodles. Easy, Peasy!

I love old-fashioned side dishes like this 7-layer salad, and I have loads more to share with you. You might like this Mexican twist on layered salad in my  Mexican Layered Salad  or this Macaroni Salad that is always a big hit! 

What I love about this layered salad: 

  • It’s an old-fashioned recipe from my grandma’s era
  • seven layer salads are easy to make ahead of time which saves on time the day of your party
  • you can mix and match the layers – if you would rather use bacon in place of ham, then swap it out
  • it’s pretty and always a hit at any potluck
  • perfect for the holiday table
What is a Seven Layer Salad?

A seven-layer salad usually has lettuce as the base and six more layers that can include items like, cheese, peas, bacon or ham, boiled eggs, noodles, celery, red onion, or tomatoes

What is in a traditional seven-layer salad?

While there are many variations, the most common layered salad is made up of lettuce, bacon, cheese, peas, red onion, boiled eggs, and tomatoes

Where did the layered salad originate?

The layered salad most likely originated in the United States

Substitutions and Other add-ins for a Layered Salad

  • use ham or bacon – either one is great
  • hard-boiled eggs- sliced in half and pointing outward on the see-through
  • tomatoes – cubed
  • hard-boiled eggs sliced in half and set in the see-through bowl to showcase the yellow center
  • broccoli bits
  • bell pepper – green bell pepper or red bell pepper
  • celery – sliced
Basil Layered Salad Recipe

Tips and Tricks for this Layered Salad recipe

  • you do not have to cook the peas, but make sure they are thawed and drained
  • do not mix the layers – the salad will last longer if the layers are kept separate
  • if you are adding something juicy like tomatoes, be sure to place it between layers that it won’t drip into and ruin your beautiful design
  • use a clear trifle dish to get the full effect of this show-stopper salad
  • cover and store in the refrigerator for up to one day before your party

If you are ready to make this delicious layered salad with peas, let’s make sure you have everything you’ll need:

layered salad ingredients


  • lettuce – traditionally iceberg lettuce is used as a base, but you can add other greens for added color and texture
  • macaroni noodles – cook, drain, rinse with cold water, and let these noodles cool before adding them to your lettuce. You don’t want the lettuce to wilt
  • frozen peas – thaw these completely and place them in a colander to drain
  • red onion – this adds a delicious taste, crunch, and color to this cold potluck salad
  • ham – cooked and cubed. You can buy pre-packaged ham or get a ham steak that is fully cooked to cube yourself
  • cheddar cheese – sharp shredded cheddar cheese adds a nice strong flavor to this salad
  • green onion – green onion provides another layer of color and flavor. Make sure you layer this far away from the lettuce for contrasting colors
making layered salad


This dressing is full of flavor and is just the right amount for us, but you can double it so you have extra – just in case

  • mayonnaise – mayonnaise is the base for this creamy dressing
  • sour cream – sour cream cuts through some of the tang you’ll find in the mayonnaise and provides more creaminess
  • Dijon mustard – a great way to add bold flavor to your dressing
  • fresh basil – basil adds another layer of flavor
  • salt – this is the start of the seasonings for this delicious salad dressing
  • garlic powder – you’ll love this additional seasoning
  • onion powder – this is a dried ground onion that adds amazing flavor
  • ground black pepper – classic black pepper is a great way to enhance this dressing
making layered salad

How to Make Seven Layer Salad

  • cook the macaroni noodles, drain, and let completely cool
  • in a clear trifle bowl, layer greens, noodles, peas, diced onion, cubed cooked ham, shredded cheddar cheese, and green onion
  • spread the salad dressing on top

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~ Melissa – Kid Friendly Things To Do

Basil Layered Salad Recipe in a Trifle Bowl

Seven Layer Salad

A delicious cold salad that is layered with pasta and vegetables
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 382cal
Author: Melissa


  • 4 cups salad greens like iceberg lettuce
  • 1&1/2 cups macaroni noodles cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 2 cups frozen peas thawed and drained
  • 1 red onion diced
  • ¾ cup cooked ham cubed
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 3-4 stalks green onion sliced


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil shredded
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • tsp. ground black pepper


  • Cook the macaroni noodles as directed, drain, and cool
  • Layer in the trifle bowl…
  • Greens,
  • Cooked Macaroni Noodles
  • Peas
  • Onion
  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Green onion
  • In a small bowl, Mix the dressing ingredients
  • Spread the dressing across the top of the layered salad
  • Optional – place fresh basil on top for decoration


nutrition facts are only and estimate 


Calories: 382cal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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