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Layered Pea Salad Recipe

This traditional Seven Layered Pea Salad recipe is layered high with crunchy lettuce, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, peas, and more! The perfect side dish for a barbecue or potluck!  

7 layer pea salad recipe in a trifle dish

I do not know what screams a big family gathering or a church potluck more than the layered pea salad recipe, also known as the famous seven layer salad recipe! This classic recipe is one of the top perfect summer salad recipes we enjoy throughout the summer months! It is also the perfect side dish to take to any special occasions you may be attending in the coming months!

seven layer pea salad in a dish with a wooden spoon nearby

The delicious salad ingredients is what makes this such a great salad! This is another recipe that I love using my fresh garden vegetables for, so if you have a vegetable garden, this may be the perfect salad for you! It takes pretty standard ingredients, give or take a few of favorites like crispy bacon and hardboiled eggs.

The layer pea salad with it’s crunchy texture always takes center stage at family gatherings. Sometimes, even at home I can make this salad and suddenly dinner feels a little more fancy! Maybe it’s the large glass bowl or the large trifle dish I put it in, either way being able to see the colorful layers before you mix it up is really the only difference because the ingredients are just basic salad ingredients!

You can easily add it your favorites or substitute with veggies, cheese, or proteins of your choosing. I know some people even tweak their dressing a little, which is totally fine!

What is a Seven Layer Salad

Seven Layer Salad or the Layered Pea Salad, is a traditional American dish that is often served in a some kind of glass bowl, mainly so that you can see all of the colorful layers. Although the traditional recipe has changed slightly over the years based on what individuals likes, there is one thing that has always been true of it–people LOVE it!

Why Does my Salad Get Soggy in the Fridge?

Often times salads get soggy from the dressing. Dressings with acid bases or citrus juices in them tend to wilt any chopped lettuce it is mixed in with. It breaks down the cell structure of the leaves, releasing water trapped in the greens, making your salad soggy.

Another reason so many people love this layered pea salad because the dressing does not sit on your lettuce when you add it, so it won’t get soggy sitting in your fridge if you make it ahead of time.

If you find that the layers are still in tack, you can enjoy leftovers easily the next day. But again if your lettuce gets mixed with your dressing too much, it could cause the greens to wilt slightly. If we have leftovers, which we rarely do, I just chop up some extra romaine lettuce and it seems to pull the salad together for at least one more round!

Layered Pea Salad Ingredients

  • Iceberg Lettuce: you can definitely use other types of lettuce, but Iceberg will hold it’s crunch the longest.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: the size of the cherry tomatoes helps to prevent your salad from getting soggy.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Red Onion: you can totally use a white onion or yellow onion as well
  • Frozen Green Peas: since green peas can be hard to come by fresh, frozen (and defrosted) peas work great
  • English Cucumber: a regular cucumber is a great substitute
  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese: taking the time to grate your cheddar cheese will take this dish to the next level. You can definitely use pre-shredded cheddar cheese in a pinch as well.
  • Crumbled Bacon: the crumblier the better!

Layered Pea Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Mayo: you can also swap it out for Miracle Whip
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: this will give your dressing the perfect kick to it.

Putting Together the Layered Pea Salad

Putting this salad together is so simple! Take your delicious ingredients, chopping all the veggies, and set aside. Mix your dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisking until mixed.

Take a clear glass bowl of your choosing and start to assemble your salad! On the bottom start with your chopped lettuce, and then layer the following on top: red onions, cherry tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, dressing, and then, your shredded cheese and bacon.

Often times the bowl or serving dish you are using holds about 4 quarts. If you want to make individual salads–maybe for a cut baby shower snack, you can always serve in mason jars, allowing the layers to still be seen.

We love our traditional Mason Jar Cobb Salads, but every now and then I will make this layered pea salad as a treat in our mason jars!

It is that simple! You will see the beautiful layers in your salad which makes it stand out. It easily organically mixes up as people dish up enjoying this delicious salad!

Other Fresh Veggies or Tasty Additions

  • Chopped Green Pepper
  • Black Beans
  • Blue Cheese
  • Baby Spinach
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Grilled Meats (this grilled chicken is divine with it)
  • Avocado
  • Maple Flavored Bacon
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Green Onions

Main Dishes that Pair well with the Layered Pea Salad

We love having this salad with grilled meat of any kind. Again, we enjoy our Pollo Asado Grilled Chicken and find that this salad is the perfect addition.

Even a main dishes like your traditional summer grilled hamburger and hot dog meal can pair well with this salad! More of our favorites main dishes to go with this salad would be Smoked Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken Thighs, and Grilled Brats!

Bring on the summer time foods!

7 layer pea salad recipe in a trifle dish

Layered Pea Salad Recipe

This traditional Seven Layered Pea Salad recipe is layered high with crunchy lettuce, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, peas, and more! The perfect side dish for a barbecue or potluck!  
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 small head of iceberg lettuce or 4 cups of lettuce of your choice
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 5 hard boiled eggs chopped
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas defrosted
  • ½ english cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices crispy bacon

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ cup mayo
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sugar, salt and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for the top of the salad.
  • In a trifle dish (or a large clear bowl), layer the ingredients in this order. Lettuce, red onion, cherry tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, dressing, shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

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