Overnight Salad or Seven Layer Salad

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 reviews

Appetizers Recipes Salads Side Dishes

Overnight Salad, also known as seven-layer salad, is a classic with its ease of preparation and abundance of delicious flavors and textures!

This is a refreshing side dish that you can serve easily even when you have a huge family! It pairs well with almost any main entree like Air Fryer Pork Chops, Crispy Baked Chicken Legs, and Slow Cooker Lazy Lasagna!

Seven Layer Salad Recipe

This Overnight Salad recipe has the traditional seven layers and more! Aside from the crunchy vegetables, it has protein from the eggs and bacon. So, this side dish could very well be the main dish if you would prefer so since it is so hearty.

I am pretty sure that we all have this recipe in our childhood memories! When I was young, I used to help my mother create this awesome dish!

What sets this apart from the traditional recipe is the dressing. It has buttermilk and savory spices in it while the traditional one is based on mayonnaise and sugar.

When arranged in a glass bowl, you get to see all those ingredients that look beautiful and appetizing. Hence, this makes this dish nice to serve at parties!

What is Overnight Salad?

It is a traditional side dish that is served with layered ingredients, not tossed. The primary ingredient of the dressing is mayonnaise and sometimes with sour cream.

This has been in the regular menu rotation of households in America since the 1950s and it is believed to have originated from the South.

Wondering why it is called as such? Because you can make it the night before and serve it the next day without wilting!

What is in a layered salad?

This is the breakdown of this recipe:

  • iceberg lettuce: provides crunch more than anything else, refreshing because of its water content
  • hard-boiled eggs: add protein which makes you feel fuller for longer
  • green bell pepper and sweet red pepper: add a pop of color, a bit of sweetness, and crunch
  • red and green onions: pungent and add a bit of bite
  • frozen peas: adds color and carbohydrates
  • diced tomatoes: add color, a bit sweet and sour at the same time
  • cheddar cheese: adds saltiness that keeps everything tasty and balanced
  • dried cranberries: add texture and a mix of sweetness and sourness
  • crispy bacon: adds texture, smoky flavor, and a mix of sweetness and saltiness
  • buttermilk dressing: a creamy mixture that is savory and tangy at the same time

How to keep 7-layer salad from getting soggy?

Make sure that the ingredients are dry, especially the lettuce. You can use a spinner to ensure this. You can also use a towel for the lettuce to soak up excess moisture.

And, seal the top with the creamy dressing well to ensure that everything remains fresh and crisp.

How to make Overnight layered salad

Prepare the dressing:

  • Mix its ingredients in a bowl.


  • Place the lettuce at the bottom of the glass bowl or pan. Then, add in the layers of eggs, peppers, and red onion. Spread the dressing and some bacon. Then, continue layering the other ingredients.
  • Top with the dressing and cheese. This last layer seals the whole thing.


  • Cover it and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.


  • Garnish with bacon and green onions, then, serve.

What to Serve with Overnight Salad?

This is a nice dish to serve at potlucks or barbecue parties. So, you may want to serve this alongside these:

Recipe Tips:

  • You can leave out the frozen peas if you want to make this low carb.
  • Feel free to add or omit layers. You can also add purple cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and other vegetables that you like.
  • Parmesan is a nice substitute for cheddar cheese.
  • Rinse the onions with cold water to minimize the pungency.
  • Do not toss it. Just dig deep to get a little of everything and mix on your plate.

More delicious salads:

Image of seven layer salad with bacon.

Overnight Salad or Seven Layer Salad

Overnight Salad, also known as seven-layer salad, is a classic with its ease of preparation and abundance of delicious flavors and textures!
5 from 5 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill:: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings as a side dish
Calories: 465kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet



  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce (chopped)
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs (cooled, peeled and chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups frozen peas (defrosted)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green onions (sliced)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 16 slices bacon (cooked and roughly chopped)

Buttermilk Dressing:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley


  • In a medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
  • Place lettuce on the bottom of a large bowl or you can also use a 9x13 casserole dish.
  • Top with the first 5 ingredients, uniformly layering each other on top of the other.
  • Next, top with half of the bacon and drizzle half of the dressing on top.
  • Layer the remaining ingredients in the following order: defrosted peas, diced tomatoes, diced green onions, and the cranberries.
  • Spread the remaining dressing on top to seal the edges and top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Top with the remaining chopped bacon and chopped green onions before serving.


Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 535mg | Potassium: 435mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1192IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 2mg
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Leave a reply

Amy H

I have never made a 7 layer salad! This looks so good! I can see how it can almost be a small meal in it's own


Lizzie Lau

I love the presentation for this layered salad. I've never had an overnight salad before, and this looks delicious.



I am craving for this salad tonight! I love how creamy it looks! Yum!


Cathy Mini

Oh, it looks so good and delicious! I haven't tried this yet but it seems interesting to make this at home.



What an interesting salad. I've never had anything like this before. Definitely a unique dish!


Monica Y

That looks amazing and delicious, I need to try this recipe soon, I have the ingredients at home


Michele Mcminn

Could you use nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream? It looks devine can't wait to try


yes, sure


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