24 Hour Salad

With creamy dressing, crispy bacon, and fresh vegetables, this 24-hour salad recipe is low carb and perfect to make when you don’t have a ton of time.

wood spoon with a scoop of salad

If you’re looking for great recipes for a delicious layered salad, this one’s for you!

As a family favorite, this make-ahead salad recipe has become my go-to for large gatherings, thanks to the rich flavor that it brings.

24 Hour Salad Recipe

This great salad is the best to make for get-togethers like holiday parties or baby showers, with crunchy lettuce, salty bacon, a thick dressing, and fresh toppings like black olives and peppers.

I highly recommend making this 7-layer salad when you don’t have a lot of time on those busy weeknights but still want to have something healthy and fresh ready for the family.

labeled picture of 24 hour salad ingredients

Ingredients Needed

Iceberg Lettuce – Choose a medium head of iceberg lettuce for this recipe. No iceberg? Try swapping for romaine lettuce or spinach.

Celery – If the grocery store is out of celery, try using green onions.

Red bell pepper – Swap for green pepper if you can’t find red.

Frozen peas – I opt for frozen green peas for this recipe, but use fresh if you can’t find frozen.

Black olives – Black olives are best, or choose green olives if you prefer them.

Bacon – Swap the pound bacon for turkey bacon if you prefer a healthier option.

Cheddar cheese – Replace cheddar with parmesan cheese or the cheese of your choice.

Mayonnaise – Substitute the ¾ cup mayonnaise with sour cream as needed.

Pantry staples – Sugar, lemon juice, salt, black pepper.

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How To Make 24 Hour Salad

First: In the bottom of a large bowl or baking dish, layer the chopped medium head iceberg lettuce. On top, layer celery, pepper, peas, and olives.

Second: In a small bowl, combine cups mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour on top of the salad in an even layer.

Third: Cover with a layer of bacon and cheese. Wrap large glass dish tightly with plastic wrap. 

Fourth: Chill overnight (for at least 4 hours) in the fridge. Unwrap and serve!

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

angled casserole dish with salad in it and a blue napkin

How long does it last in the fridge? 

Since this side dish is an overnight salad it needs to be chilled until the next day before serving. It will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Store leftovers in the same clear glass bowl or large trifle bowl that they were served in.

Make sure to cover tightly with the plastic wrap, pushing it against the edge of the bowl to make sure no air can get in. 

Can I make it ahead of time?

To make this ahead of time, begin assembling the 24 hour salad ingredients, including the lettuce base and small pieces of peppers, olives, celery, and peas.

Break your bacon and cheese into bite sized pieces, keeping separate until it’s time to serve.

Create your salad dressing in a separate bowl with the rest of the ingredients, and store in a container on its own until you’re ready to serve. Combine into a trifle dish and serve! 

clear casserole dish with a layered salad

What are the 6 types of salads? 

There are six types of salad out there and it’s important that every cook know what they are. 

  • Green salad – These salad recipes include your traditional lettuce or spinach based salads. Usually they have carrots, cucumbers, tomato wedges, red onion, and other vegetables. For protein, they can also include hard-boiled eggs or Swiss cheese on top. This is the 24 hour salad category.
  • Fruit salad – With fresh fruit including red grapes, mandarin oranges, sweet blueberries, and chopped strawberries, creamy fruit salad is a well known staple at parties, and brings a healthy sweetness to the table.
  • Rice and pasta salad – Although not what you would traditionally think of when someone says “salad”, rice salad and pasta salad can both be really good when made the right way.
  • Bound salad – This delicious salad features ingredients like potatoes, meat, and hard-cooked eggs for a well rounded combination. To create this type of salad, mix the egg slices with the other ingredients. Afterwards, layer eggs with a high protein dressing for the final touch.
  • Dinner salad – For dinner salads, you traditionally serve these before your main course. This is where a Caesar, Cobb, or Chinese chicken salad comes in.
  • Dessert salad – As one of the most well loved types of salad, dessert salads usually have whipped topping, crunchy ingredients, and are very sweet.
fork with a bite of salad over a plate with salt and pepper shakers

Tips for No Leftovers

  • To avoid soggy salads, make sure to only put the dressing and toppings (like cheese and bacon) on right before serving.
  • This is an overnight 24 hour salad so be sure the dressing is thick. Drain it from the rest of the salad before serving if too much water is released.
  • For a crunch and a healthy fat, add in some water chestnuts or other nuts. 
  • To make sure that your large salad has the best dressing, mix the ingredients in a food processor. 
  • Cook your bacon in a skillet on medium-high heat with a little bit of oil for the crispiest version.
  • If the lettuce gets a little limp before making, submerge in ice cold water to crisp it back up.
  • Make this in mason jars. Start with dressing on bottom, layer lettuce on top of it. Top with remaining ingredients. Store overnight in the fridge and then turn upside down before serving.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

wood spoon with a scoop of salad with white banner and text

This 24 hour lettuce salad recipe is perfect when you want something with a good mix of flavors. Featuring salty, crisp bacon, crunchy fresh lettuce, and a thick, creamy dressing, this is the perfect go-to when you want to make something that you know will be a hit.

wood spoon with a scoop of salad

24 Hour Salad

This layered 24 Hour Salad is perfect for prepping the night before! Makes putting dinner on the table easier the next night!
Give me a rating:)
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 301kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce roughly 6 cups
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¾ cup frozen peas defrosted
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ¾ cup cooked bacon chopped
  • 2 ½ cups cheddar cheese shredded/grated
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • In a large, deep 9 x13 dish, layer the chopped lettuce.
  • On top, layer the celery, bell pepper, peas, and black olives.
  • In a small bowl, combine the mayo, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Pour over the salad spreading as evenly as possible.
  • Cover with cheese and top with chopped bacon.
  • Cover or wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Chill overnight (or at least 4 hours) in the fridge.
  • Serve:)

Notes

  • To avoid soggy salads, make sure to only put the dressing and toppings (like cheese and bacon) on right before serving.
  • This is an overnight salad so be sure the dressing is thick. You can also drain it from the rest of the salad before serving if there is too much water released.
  • For a crunch and a healthy fat, add in some water chestnuts or other nuts. 
  • To make sure that your large salad has the best dressing, mix the ingredients in a food processor. 
  • Cook your bacon in a skillet on medium-high heat with a little bit of oil for the crispiest version.
  • If the lettuce gets a little limp before making, submerge in ice cold water to crisp it back up.
  • Make this in mason jars. Start with dressing on bottom, layer lettuce on top of it. Top with remaining ingredients. Store overnight in the fridge and then turn upside down before serving.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 580mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

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    2 Comments

    1. Clarification please…you say to put the dressing and toppings on, cover and refrigerate overnight, and then in another place you say don’t add the toppings until just ready to serve. Which is it? Assemble all of it, or only part of it? Also, if low carb, why are there sugar and peas as ingredients? Sugar and peas are both loaded with carbohydrates. Thanks for your answer in advance.

      1. The old fashioned version of this recipe says to add everything and wrap and store overnight. I prefer to have my bacon and cheese have some texture so I leave those off until right before serving. You can do either of these. In terms of the low carb, some would consider this low carb but not necessarily keto. I am currently on keto so I use a sugar substitute like monkfruit sweetener in my dressing. I also substitute the peas for either more green pepper, celery, or cucumber for the texture. I hope this helps! I will also go in and make some notes for low carb/keto substitutions. Enjoy!

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