Layered Salad

This beautiful layered salad will receive oohs and aahs at any potluck and it’s no wonder. The secret to success here is color, color and more color! Okay, there is one other critical factor, and that’s the simple, fresh salad dressing, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Shop for beautiful colors and textures in the grocers’ produce section or at your local farmers’ market and make a creative, edible masterpiece… Or follow my lead with the ingredients listed in the printable recipe. You can’t mess this up.

Layered Salad Recipe

When shopping for your layered salad, look for a varitiey of textures as well as bright colors for visual appeal. Then just layer each ingredient out to the sides of the bowl.

Layered Salad Recipe

The dressing is a simple mixture of mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest and a tiny bit of sugar. Super simple, but this creamy blend works. The dressing recipe as written makes two cups, but if you like less dressing, decrease the mayo to about 1 1/2 cups. The cheese on top serves two purposes. Yummy added flavor of course, plus when you put a lid on the salad while storing in the refrigerator, the cheese prevents the dressing from coming off on the lid when it’s removed.

Layered Salad Recipe

One final note: If you don’t have a clear salad bowl, I have a recommendation for you. This trifle bowl from Pampered Chef is THE BOMB! A removable stand is perfect for using or not. It nestles perfectly under the bowl for display and serving. And the snug-fit lid is just right for storing in the refrigerator and also for traveling. It is a bit pricy at $40+, but you’ll use this bowl over and over. You might even serve actual Trifle in it. (I received no compensation from Pampered Chef for this plug.)

Layered Salad
Prep time
Total time
Perfect for pot luck or for any crowd, this salad makes a beautiful presentation and can be made and refrigerated for up to 8 hours ahead of time. The ingredients can easily be changed up to your liking.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce or other favorite greens
  • ½ small head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1½ cups sliced or chopped celery
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced thin
  • 6 scallions, diced plus more for topping
  • 1 cup frozen peas, quick thawed under warm water
  • For the Dressing:
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (or 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup Greek yogurt) Vegannaise is easily substituted as well
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 scant tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or other cheese of your choice
  • Extra scallions
  • Additonal optional toppings:
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • Crispy onions
  • Croutons or walnuts
  1. Assemble the salad:
  2. In a deep sided glass salad or trifle bowl, layer all the vegetables in the order listed above. The quantities are approximate and you can adjust as you like. The lettuce comes up almost a third of the way before layering the other ingredients.
  3. Make the dressing:
  4. Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and spread over the salad. Sprinkle with cheese and additional scallions for garnish.
  5. If making the salad ahead of time, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
  6. Just before serving, toss the salad and serve with additional condiments, if desired.

Recipe adapted from my Aunt Pat’s original “Sarah’s Salad”.

Beautiful colors in a trifle bowl make this Layered Salad the centerpiece for any dinner party. Use whatever veggies you like.

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