Overnight lettuce salad is my grandma's 7-layer salad recipe made with lettuce, cauliflower, mayonnaise, onions, celery, bacon, and parmesan cheese. This salad is always a favorite at family gatherings. It makes a huge amount of salad, so you will want to cut it in half if you are making it just for your family of four or five people. It can be made sweeter with a little sugar but without it is a perfect low-carb salad as well.
This salad is one of those that you can also alter. Want to add peas? Go for it. Would hard-boiled eggs work in this salad? Absolutely! Can regular onions be substituted for green? Sure. The concept of layering and leaving until you are ready to eat and then tossing is what makes this overnight lettuce salad one of my favorite seven-layer salad recipes.
What goes in a 7-Layer Salad with Cauliflower
To make this salad you will need to have fresh ingredients either whole or prechopped. Here is what the bowl of ingredients looked like for the overnight salad.
The seven layers of this overnight salad are:
- Lettuce - Romaine is my preference but iceberg lettuce will work also for this salad. The shredded iceberg lettuce may actually be easier to toss.
- Cauliflower - Whole head of fresh cauliflower. Frozen is not recommended. The pre-cut cauliflower would work however.
- Mayonnaise - Miracle whip will also work, but omit the optional sugar if you use Miracle Whip instead of the mayonnaise.
- Green onions - sweet onions will work as well if you don't have green onions on hand. Red onions would offer a bit more bite to the salad.
- Celery - This can be left off if you don't dig celery. But the celery offers a crisp texture that I think makes the salad even better.
- Bacon - Fried and crumbled. You can also buy prepackaged bacon bits or crumbles. I prefer freshly fried bacon
- Parmesan cheese - Grated works perfectly for this salad but shredded can also be used if it is your preference.
Optional Ingredients for 7-Layer Salad:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Shredded Colby-Jack or Cheddar Cheese
How to Make Overnight Lettuce Salad with Cauliflower
The hardest part of this salad is chopping everything up for the various layers. You will simply place the chopped lettuce in a large low profile bowl or 13X9 dish. Follow this with the chopped cauliflower and the finely chopped celery. Then spread the mayonnaise over the lettuce, cauliflower, and celery.
The next steps of the 7-layer salad are to take the chopped-up green onions and layer them over the mayonnaise. The green onions are easily cut with kitchen sheers directly over the top of the mayonnaise. Then comes the bacon crumbles. The infamous black bag of bacon crumbles works. But, I like freshly fried bacon and use the packages of scrap bacon I have been getting from Sam's club. Normal sliced bacon will work just fine too. Layer the bacon on top of the green onions.
Then spread the parmesan cheese over the top of the bacon and onions. Now, if you want a slightly sweeter salad, add sugar. But, grandma's 7-layer salad always left it out. It will be just fine with it. Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until you are ready to eat.
Toss the salad, making sure the mayonnaise gets coated throughout the salad. Finally, crack some fresh ground pepper over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.
Tips for Making Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad
- Seriously, make this and chill overnight. If you have at least 8 hours to chill that will work too.
- Low-Carb eaters can totally still enjoy this salad. Try substituting monk fruit for sugar and definitely use mayonnaise in place of miracle whip.
- Using whole romaine that you chop with a plastic knife will keep your lettuce from browning. I have found precut lettuce browns quickly once the bag is open.
Variations to 7 Layer Salad Recipe
There is no right or wrong way to make this overnight salad. Here are several ways to make this old fashioned salad recipe.
- Layer Salad with Peas - Change out the cauliflower for frozen peas.
- Cheddar cheese - If you love cheddar cheese on your salad, substitute cheddar or colby-jack cheese for the parmesan cheese.
- Meatless - Need a vegetarian salad - leave the bacon out.
- Cucumbers - If you do not like celery, leave the celery out. Still want something with crunch though, try adding diced cucumbers to the 7-layer salad
- Hard-boiled Eggs - chopped up hard boiled eggs can definitely be added to this salad to get more protein in it.
Yes, absolutely Miracle Whip can be used to make the 7-layer salad. I would definitely omit the sugar with Miracle Whip since it is already sweeter.
I definitely eat this salad for up to two days after it is originally served.
Potluck Worthy Salad Recipes
Looking for a salad recipe to take to the next family pitch-in or church potluck? These easy salad recipes are sure to be crowd pleasers.
Overnight Lettuce Salad - 7 Layer Salad with Cauliflower
- 2 hearts romaine lettuce
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 4 green onions
- 1 pound bacon
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup sugar optional
- Chop the lettuce into bite sized pieces and spread acorss a large low profile bowl or 13X9 pan.
- Chop the head of cauliflower into small pieces and finely dice up the celery. Spread over the lettuce.
- Spread the mayonnaise over the lettuce, califlower, and celery.
- Cut the green onions and spread over the mayonnaise. Then spread the fried crumbled bacon over the green onions.
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the entire salad.
- If adding sugar, sprinkle over teh parmesan cheese.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or for 8 hours.
- Before serving, toss ensuring the mayonnaise is well coated over the entire salad.
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No offence intended
This is a fairly nice take on the old 7 layer salad from the days my mother and I now a retired senior used to make. But.. unlike the old 7 layer salad where only 5 or 6 but usually only 5 slices of bacon was used, and only one cup mayo mixed with sour cream or yogurt was used. This overnight salad requiring a full pound of bacon and 2 full cups of mayonnaise is what is referred to by cardiologists who are trying their darnedest to save the younger generation from a lifestyle of obesity, as a heart attack on a plate.
This makes me chuckle. It makes a lot of salad! My grandma would make half this for just 4 people. I am sure you could reduce the Mayo and bacon but it would be hard to coat all the lettuce and cauliflower with much less than the recipe called for.