Overnight Salad

Layered with lettuce, cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet onion, peas, cheddar cheese and bacon bits are topped with a mayonnaise and parmesan cheese dressing to make this classic Overnight Salad.

Perfect for potlucks, picnics and barbecues this easy overnight salad can made ahead of time and creates a beautiful presentation when served.

Overnight lettuce and vegetable salad topped with cheese and bacon

Overnight Salad tastes great served with Easy Marinated Pork Chops, Pulled Pork, Farmhouse Potato Salad and Chocolate Syrup Brownies.

Overnight Layered Salad Recipe

This simple salad is beautiful when fresh vegetables are layered in a glass dish and topped with a simple homemade mayo based dressing. A summer party isn’t complete without a 7 Layer Salad, or however many layers you would like to include.

Crunchy vegetables mixed with creamy mayonnaise, savory bacon and shredded sharp cheddar cheese create a perfect balance for summer meals and parties. Layering all of the ingredients in a tall dish catches your eye and makes your mouth water before taking the first bite.

Save this Recipe
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Enter your email and I’ll send this recipe right to your inbox! Plus, I’ll send you new recipes every week!

My mom has made this Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with miracle whip for years, so when my sister-in-law gave me this classic recipe with real mayo we couldn’t wait to try it! Mayonnaise is richer and makes a delicious salad dressing. Recently SNL did a skit on a slightly different version (with hotdogs, Fritos and root beer) of an Overnight Salad. Nadine starred in the skit and she is a HUGE fan of mayo!

We typically take this layered salad to a party because it does need to be eaten within a few hours of the dressing being mixed into the salad. Just like our Potluck Pasta Salad and Linguine Salad this recipe is super easy to make a double or triple batch to feed a crowd.

Fork sitting on lettuce, cauliflower, tomatoes, peas, onion, cheese and bacon with mayonnaise dressing

In the summer we also love this Carrot Salad with Celery and Mangos and Summer Pasta and Greens Salad.

Layer Salad Dressing

Making a mayonnaise based salad dressing is so EASY! Mix mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, sugar, salt and pepper together.

The dressing can be mixed up the night before, but do NOT layer it on or mix it in the salad until ready to serve. Dressing can also be served on the side which will make the salad last longer.

Our family prefers to start with a thin layer of dressing, so if you really love mayo you may want to double the recipe.

Glass trifle dish with refrigerated 7 layer salad

Anytime real mayonnaise is used be mindful of keeping the dressing cold. Store in the refrigerator or in a cooler when not serving. Be sure not to leave the salad sitting out in the heat for very long.

Tips for Making a Layer Salad

  • You can add any layers that sound good to you. Other common ingredients in layer salads are chopped bell peppers, corn, broccoli, raisins or dried cranberries.
  • Chop lettuce, cauliflower and tomatoes into small pieces that easily fit on your fork. I strongly prefer taking a bite with small pieces featuring different flavors than taking a big bite of a single vegetable.
  • Lettuce and other veggies should be washed, drained and allowed to dry before layering in the dish. Extra moisture may make the bottom layer a bit soupy.
  • Layered salad can be mixed up the night before, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Dressing can also be mixed up the night before, but should be refrigerated in a separate, sealed bowl.
  • Push each layer of veggies up against the edge so that each beautiful and colorful layer is visible from the outside.
  • Cherry tomatoes that have been halved or quartered are much easier to eat with a fork.
Plate of overnight layered salad

How to Make a 7-Layer Overnight Salad

  1. Wash veggies and chop into small pieces that fit well on a fork and can be eaten gracefully. Allow vegetables to dry before placing layers in a clear glass bowl or 9 x 13″ dish.
  2. Spread lettuce evenly as the bottom layer and thickest layer in the dish. Ensure each layer is level or slightly thicker around the outer edge to achieve a pretty display.
  3. Add layers of cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet onions, and peas.
  4. Refrigerate for at least two hours up to overnight.
  5. Add layers of cold cheddar cheese and bacon and top with dressing right before serving.
Layered overnight salad with mayonnaise on a plate and red plaid napkin next to serving dish

Other Easy Summer Picnic Recipe Ideas:

Easy layered salad with fork on a rustic white plate

Overnight Salad

Servings 12 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Perfect for potlucks, picnics and barbecues this easy overnight salad can made ahead of time and creates a beautiful presentation when served.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 1 head iceburg lettuce cut up
  • 1 head cauliflower cut in small pieces
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 medium sweet onion coarsely diced
  • 1 cup peas frozen can be used
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper

Instructions
 

  • Layer clean and dry vegetables in a tall glass bowl. Make even layers of veggies so each layer can be seen in the dish.
  • Begin with iceberg lettuce, then layer cauliflower, tomatoes, onion and peas.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least two hours, up to over night.
  • The dressing can be mixed up ahead of time but should be stored in a separate bowl until just before serving.

Notes

  • You can add any layers that sound good to you. Other common ingredients in layer salads are chopped bell peppers, corn, broccoli, raisins or dried cranberries.
  • Chop lettuce, cauliflower and tomatoes into small pieces that easily fit on your fork. I strongly prefer taking a bite with small pieces featuring different flavors than taking a big bite of a single vegetable.
  • Lettuce and other veggies should be washed, drained and allowed to dry before layering in the dish. Extra moisture may make the bottom layer a bit soupy.
  • Layered salad can be mixed up the night before, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Dressing can also be mixed up the night before, but should be refrigerated in a separate, sealed bowl.
  • Push each layer of veggies up against the edge so that each beautiful and colorful layer is visible from the outside.
  • Cherry tomatoes that have been halved or quartered are much easier to eat with a fork.

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 14gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 663mgPotassium: 404mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 723IUVitamin C: 40mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

7 Comments

  1. This looks amazing! If we get to have our family reunion this summer I’ll have to this.

  2. Layered salads are the best! I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  3. I have made this for years for my family! I use Swiss cheese and cheddar on top, with cooked bacon on top of that. I also like to mix butter milk salad dressing, the powder packet, into the mayo. Always
    a real hit!

  4. I have prepared only one layered salad in my life! It was gyros salad and I really liked it – it’s with chicken, cheese, salad and other veggies. Next weekend my friends are going to visit me so this salad will definitely do the job – they’ll love it! I have a small garden in my yard where I grow vegetables..I have 6 lettuces! Do you think that this one: https://gardenseedsmarket.com/crisp-leaf-lettuce-regina-dei-ghiacci4.html will be appropriate to add? It’s crispy so I think it will taste awesome! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh my does this bring back good memories! When I was a young mother in the 80’s someone always brought this salad to church potlucks and it was so delicious. I’m not a huge fan of mayo but it’s delicious in this recipe!! I will make this soon. Thanks for posting.

  6. ALICE JOUBERT says:

    Looks lovely must the cauliflower be cooked first

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Great question – We like raw cauliflower cut into small pieces, no cooking necessary. Thanks for asking! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating