Delicious (Make-Ahead) Layered Lettuce Salad

posted by Andrea | 06/5/2019

POST UPDATED: June, 2019

Over the summer months, one of my business-related goals is to update many of my recipes posts with a new recipe card plugin I’m using to make the recipes easier for you all to read, print, etc. etc. The recipe card will also include approximate nutritional information — which many of you have requested over the years! 

Throughout this process, I have come across several recipes that I’ve decided to completely revamp and re-write in an effort to healthily and/or simplify them. In those situations, my plan is to re-share the new and improved recipe with you in an updated post. 

Today’s recipe for our family’s FAVORITE Make-Ahead Layered Lettuce Salad is one I’ve been very excited to share with you for some time now. 

I originally shared it over 4 years ago, and since then, I have made some very simple changes that have drastically cut calories without sacrificing any of the flavor! 

This is one salad our kids will actually eat (in small quantities) and I think it’s because everything is chopped up so small with a thicker dressing already in place. They often eat it with spoons! πŸ™‚

I’ve made this salad countless time over the year (both for our own family and to bring to various parties, potlucks, BBQ’s and other special events) and it always goes over well.

I’m often asked for the recipe, and I rarely ever have leftovers to take home — however, if we do end up with leftovers, they keep well in the fridge for a couple of days (which is one of the many reasons I love this make-ahead salad!) 

If you’re looking for an EASY, delicious, family-friendly lettuce salad that you can make ahead, and/or use an excuse to “clean out your vegetable drawer”, this salad should cover all your bases! 

Yield: 8

Make Ahead Layered Lettuce Salad

Make Ahead Layered Lettuce Salad

This is one of our family's most favorite salads. Since it can be made ahead, it's a great option for Spring BBQ's, Summer picnics, holiday parties, and more!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 c. chopped lettuce (I used 2 heads of Romaine lettuce)
  • 1 c. chopped broccoli or brocoslaw mix
  • 1 c. chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1 c. frozen edamame or peas
  • 1/2 red onion; diced
  • 1 large carrot; shredded
  • 3 hard boiled eggs; crumbled
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. bacon pieces (cooked and crumbled)
  • 1 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. mayonaise
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
  • cherry tomatoes and/or cucumber slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chop lettuce and spread in the bottom of a 9β€³ x 13β€³ pan
  2. Layer lettuce with all veggies, eggs, cheese, and bacon

FOR THE DRESSING:

  1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, mayo, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  2. Pour/spread dressing over salad mixture.
  3. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the dressing and top with cherry tomatoes and/or cucumber slices.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

This salad works well with SO many different veggie combinations -- feel free to use up whatever you have in the fridge.

If you want to serve with nuts, seeds, or croutons, put those in a small bowl on the side as they will otherwise get soggy.

Also, if you don't like the idea of a thicker dairy-based dressing, leave the dressing off and instead, serve this salad with your own favorite store-bought or homemade dressings or vinaigrettes (keep the dressing separate instead of pouring it over the top.)

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per ServingCalories 417 Total Fat 25g Saturated Fat 9g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 15g Cholesterol 121mg Sodium 841mg Carbohydrates 21g Fiber 8g Sugar 10g Protein 28g
Nutritional information is approximate and does not account for additional ingredients or added toppings.

 

I can confidently say (after much personal experience) that this salad tastes fabulous even when made the day before. In fact, I’ve eaten it as leftovers 4 days later and it still tastes just fine.

And as I mentioned above, feel free to mix and match your favorite salad toppings.

You really can’t go wrong with this simple recipe!

Do you have any favorite make-ahead salad recipes?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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30 comments

  1. Kelly C

    06/06/2019

    It is breakfast time here but goodness, I want this salad! I have to watch sodium now and it is such an eye opener to see the sodium so high in recipes you don’t expect it to be. I am going to get the ingredients for this today, I’ll have to look for lower sodium products. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — hope you had a chance to make the salad yesterday — if not, make it this weekend!

    [Reply]

  2. J

    06/05/2019

    I’ll be watching for the recipe for pumpkin cookies with brown sugar frosting! Years ago someone gave me a recipe for pumpkin cookies, that I just made recently but was disappointed bc of not much flavor! I’m trying to find a tried and true pumpkin cookie that I can bake for my parents bc it’s not fun eating or throwing away bland cookies! My Dad loves frosting and my Mom doesn’t, so that would be a win win!
    I love reading your blog and seeing your cute kids pics too!

    [Reply]

  3. Brenda

    06/05/2019

    We made something like this when I worked in a grocery store deli. We added dry ranch mix to the dressing. It was our best selling packaged salad.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I never thought of adding the ranch mix to the dressing — my family LOVES ranch! I might just have to try that!

    [Reply]

  4. Trina

    06/05/2019

    So glad you. An now include nutritional information. I always look for that, so it’s a big win for me. Only thing I wish it included is the portion size. I know it’s 1/8th of a 9×11 pan, but it would be nice to have a weight measurement for one portion, like β€œx” number of ounces or grams. Always enjoy your recipes, Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Trina!

    [Reply]

  5. Sharon

    03/19/2018

    Made this salad this weekend for extended family. Left off eggs (husband hates), but added raisins which he loved. Great recipe for entertaining. Was delicious next day for lunch!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks for coming back to share your feedback Sharon! I LOVE this salad for leftovers and am always bummed if it’s completely gone after the first meal!

    [Reply]

  6. Mary Lynn

    05/17/2017

    This may be a silly question – after you layer it all and add the dressing on top, do you mix it all together or just let it seep into the salad and it’s mixed in before you serve it?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    the dressing is just one of the layers — it just sits on top and I don’t ever mix it in (not even before serving). You just scoop out the salad as-is and the dressing is the top layer. It sort of mixes in when you scoop it onto your plate.

    [Reply]

  7. Anneal

    03/07/2016

    Silly question… regarding the cutting of the romaine…I notice you are cutting the romaine still attached which is very efficient. But how do you wash the lettuce? I’ve always separated and washed the leaves first then cut them. Is there an easier way?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Anneal, The lettuce I buy says it’s “pre-washed” and it actually does seem quite clean. However, if I were going to wash it, I would probably chop it all up on the stalk, then us a salad spinner to rinse and spin it dry. That seems like the most time-efficient way of doing it (at least in my head!)

    [Reply]

    Anneal Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  8. Debbie

    10/30/2015

    My mom used to make these too, and everyone loves it! I say that anything with bacon seems to always be delicious. I just finally tried maple bar with bacon the other day and I was surprised that I liked it! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  9. Kelly

    02/18/2015

    My mom has been making this for a few years now (no cauliflower, and added water chestnuts) and it is delish! Everytime she invites my family over for dinner, I let her know that I’m expected the layered salad! Every one needs to try this. I LOVE it!

    [Reply]

  10. Debbie

    01/14/2015

    Love your version, I’ve been make it since the 70’s. I don’t use quite so much dressing and add more layers of the veggies I like. I’ve added pineapple and its really good. I’m going to try it with the parmesan cheese. I also don’t use sugar. I use splenda and light mayo, it’s still delish. Love your site. Debbie

    [Reply]

  11. Barbara

    01/14/2015

    Just need a little clarification–do you need to thaw the peas before adding to the salad? I’m thinking that when they thaw, it might make the salad watery.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you can do either — I always just dump them in frozen because that’s easier πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  12. Susan

    01/13/2015

    I add a package of dry Hidden Valley ranch mix to the mayo/sour cream mixture. Adds great flavor!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yum — love this idea. Dave is a huge Ranch dressing fanatic so I’m sure he would approve as well πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  13. Kathy C

    01/13/2015

    I like this idea. Kind of like a seven layer salad. While reading it, I had the idea that I bet you could layer the ingredients in quarts jars and have several salads ready for the work week.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, you could definitely put it in separate containers for lunches. The only think you might need to do is “stir” it really well before you eat so the dressing gets mixed through. I prefer making it in a flat dish so it’s easy to make it through ALL the layers with each bite!

    [Reply]

  14. rose

    01/13/2015

    I’m going to give this a try…..

    Also~ LOVE Love LOVE they way you present your recipe!

    Thanks for this easy healthy idea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Rose — hope you enjoy the salad. And feel free to make a much smaller batch if you’re feeding a smaller group πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  15. Sherry

    01/13/2015

    This is an awesome salad and I’ve made a version of this for a number of years. One tip for making this salad the day before is to chop the lettuce with a plastic knife or just tear the leaves. If you use a metal knife the leaves may turn brown at the edges. It doesn’t change the taste but it also doesn’t make your salad look as fresh.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Good tip Sherry. I didn’t even think about that — but I used a ceramic knife (so not metal) and maybe that’s why my lettuce stayed so fresh looking!

    [Reply]

  16. filiz

    01/13/2015

    It’s delicious!

    [Reply]

  17. Paulette

    01/13/2015

    Definitely going to try this. I always receive many compliments when I try your recipes!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Paulette — glad to hear my recipes go over well with your friends and family πŸ™‚

    [Reply]