Make this Overnight Layered Salad for every holiday from now on for the rest of your life! Made with layers of delicious crunchy vegetables and topped with a to-die-for sauce (and BACON), this might just be the best salad in the world.
We have this traditional layered salad for every holiday. Thanksgiving. Easter. Mother’s Day.
My husband loves it so much that he’ll even eat it for breakfast. Or a midnight snack. All I know is that when I wake up in the morning, it’s gone.
Why Does it Have to Chill Overnight?
I’m not entirely sure on this. The only reason I can think of is because you use frozen peas, and they need a chance to thaw. But one could easily solve this problem by using not-frozen peas. So if you don’t have all night to wait for this amazing salad, go ahead and use fresh peas.
Ingredients for Overnight Layered Salad
You can vary the ingredients in traditional layered salads. Here’s what I use in mine:
- iceberg lettuce
- green pepper
- red onion
- water chestnuts
- hard-boiled eggs
- frozen peas
- Parmesan cheese
What do I Make Overnight Layered Salad In?
(Please excuse me for ending that sentence with a preposition. I know that is not proper English).
I highly suggest you make this salad in a large glass bowl. I have seen some layered salads made in 9×13 pans, but this causes at least two problems (in my book):
- The presentation is not as pretty.
- You have to use twice the amount of dressing in order to cover the larger surface area.
I think my recipe has the perfect amount of dressing. The original recipe calls for twice as much, but I think that is WAY too much dressing for this salad. You don’t want people to say, “Hey, would you like some salad with your dressing?” There has to be the right salad to dressing ratio. (It’s a thing, o.k.)
How to Make Overnight Layered Salad
Wash and dry some iceberg lettuce. Cut it into bite-sized pieces and fill up your bowl about 2/3 to the top. For me, I used about 3/4 of a head of lettuce. You may need more or less, depending on how big and dense your head of lettuce is.
Sprinkle some chopped green peppers and red onions over the lettuce. The amount you use is up to you. I used about 1/2 cup green peppers and 1/4 cup red onion.
Now possibly my favorite ingredient in the whole salad–water chestnuts! If you don’t like them or don’t have them, that’s o.k. You can just leave them out. But I love the extra crunch they give the salad.
Just drain a can and put all the water chestnuts on top.
Next is the layer of hard-boiled eggs. If you have an Instant Pot, I HIGHLY recommend you make hard boiled eggs in it! I have tried every method under the sun for hard boiling eggs, but my shells always stuck! With the Instant Pot, my shells come of perfectly every time! Here’s a tutorial for you.
I also highly recommend the Norpro Mushroom and Egg Slicer to slice your eggs. This thing is so great! Super well-built (with blades instead of wires). I use it all the time for strawberries, too!
Next you’re going to pour a bunch of frozen peas over the top. Again, the amount you use will depend on the size of your bowl. I would estimate about two cups. Just pour on enough to cover everything.
Now it’s time to spread the yummy dressing made of mayonnaise, a bit of sugar, and Parmesan cheese. Spread that all over the top of the peas to the edge of the bowl. There should be a thin layer. It’s o.k. if some of the peas are peeking through.
Now all that’s left is the bacon! I cooked up two pieces of bacon and crumbled them on top. Really, I could have used twice as much bacon, because–BACON.
Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.
When serving, use tongs and reach clear down to the bottom of the bowl so you can get all the layers.
Don’t stir the salad before serving. Everything is supposed to stay in layers. Once served, people can mix the dressing around if they wish.
I’m not sure what makes this salad so addicting, but man, is it ever addicting! Make some for your next holiday and people will be begging for more!
For more amazing salad recipes, check out my Soups and Salads section!
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- At least eight hours before serving, fill a large 9-10-inch glass bowl 2/3 to the top with the chopped lettuce.
- Add the chopped green pepper and chopped onion.
- Cover with the sliced water chestnuts.
- Add a layer of sliced hard-boiled eggs.
- Pour the frozen peas over the top and spread out.
- In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and Parmesan cheese. Then spread over the top of the peas, extending to the edge of the bowl.
- Sprinkle the bacon over the top. Do not mix.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least eight hours, or overnight.
- Use long tongs to serve.
Feel free to add or swap out ingredients and amounts.