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An 80’s Delight – Sarah’s Salad!

layered salad

There is a cafeteria-type restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City called The Lion House. My family has been eating there for as long as I can remember. We would dine there when we went on ski trips to Utah when I was younger, and we always manage to eat there a couple of times a year since we moved here 18 years ago from California. It is FAMOUS for its delicious, homestyle fare! Don’t get me started on their pie!!!! :-)

One of the salads they used to serve back when I was in college was a layered green salad called Sarah’s Salad. The original recipe can be found in the Lion House Classics Cookbook. The first time I had this salad it instantly became a favorite of mine!

I have since had it many times both at the Lion House and at many picnics and potlucks I’ve attended. Each one always has a bit of a variation depending on the “cook”, but it basically involves LAYERING the salad ingredients in a pretty glass bowl (I didn’t have a “pretty” one unfortunately) and then spreading the simple dressing evenly over the top to seal in the ingredients. It’s great for taking to a picnic or potluck because you can make it ahead, refrigerate it, and then toss it all together just before serving.

layered salad

Sarah’s Salad

adapted from The Lion House Classics Cookbook

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 10 whole hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) package bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag frozen peas (10 oz), partially thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar (optional)

Preparation:

Wash and drain lettuce; dry thoroughly. Dice the bacon and saute until crisp; drain on paper towels. Run hot water over frozen peas and drain.

In a salad bowl, tear the iceberg lettuce into bite-sized pieces, then add the baby spinach. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Now start layering on top of the lettuce in this order: eggs, bacon, tomatoes, green onions, cheddar cheese, and peas.

layered salad

layered salad

layered salad

layered salad

Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour over the top of the peas and spread it out all the way out to the edges of the bowl.

layered salad

layered salad

Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Toss just before serving.  Makes 8 servings

layered salad
Photos by Anna Gleave

This salad is a crowd-pleaser! Don’t be surprised when everyone is asking for the recipe!

Layered Salad

Layered Salad

Sarah’s Salad

Jill Nystul
One of the salads they used to serve back when I was in college was a layered green salad called Sarah’s Salad. The first time I had this salad it instantly became a favorite of mine! It is FAMOUS for its delicious, homestyle fare!
3.29 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cool 8 hours
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 421 kcal

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 10 eggs hard boiled and chopped
  • 12 ounce package bacon cooked and chopped
  • 4 Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 bag frozen peas 10 oz partially thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar optional

Instructions
 

Salad

  • Wash and drain lettuce; dry thoroughly. Dice the bacon and saute until crisp; drain on paper towels. Run hot water over frozen peas and drain.
  • In a salad bowl, tear the iceberg lettuce into bite-sized pieces, then add the baby spinach. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Now start layering on top of the lettuce in this order: eggs, bacon, tomatoes, green onions, cheddar cheese, and peas.

Dressing

  • Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour over the top of the peas and spread it out all the way out to the edges of the bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Toss just before serving. Makes 8 servings

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 23gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 225mgSodium: 858mgPotassium: 584mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3320IUVitamin C: 14.9mgCalcium: 201mgIron: 2.2mg

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • […] This is a favourite of mine- my sister-in-law makes a version of this I can’t get enough of. One Good Thing calls it an 80′s Delight, I call it summer layered […]

  • My mom makes this salad but has modified it because I am not much on plain mayo. She uses the Hidden Valley Ranch packets you mix up yourself in the mayo. I love it and so does the whole family.

  • If you think Amber`s story is great…, a month-ago my girlfriend’s mum also broght in $5999 putting in a thirteen hour week in their apartment and there buddy’s sister-in-law`s neighbour was doing this for 9-months and got paid more than $5999 in there spare time on their labtop. apply the information available on this page, BAM21.com

  • This 7 layer salad (with a little variation) was a fav that my mom served back in the 80’s and into the 90’s until she passed away. Thanks for this fond reminder of her and maybe I’ll add it to my repertoire too! Good memories!!

  • My family calls this seven layer – we are from Colorado. My sister was just here visiting (I’m in Texas now) and she made Sarah’s Salad. Same dressing but the salad was broccoli floretts, dried cranberries or raisins, chopped cashews and shredded mozarella. My kids loved it. They also serve it at Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant and call it Sarah’s salad. Funny how things change across the country and generations!

  • The dressing is the same one my mother made, and taught me to make, for coleslaw and cucumber salad. My whole family loves it! I’ll definitely be making this layered salad soon!

  • Yep….grew up in Wisconsin and we called it 7 Layer Salad as well. I still make it on occasion, my kids love it and ask for it often. I’ve learned over the years to use Romaine lettuce instead of Iceberg. If you have leftovers, it keeps much better, You don’t get all the water in the bottom of your salad the next day. Not to mention, better flavor and a bit better for you. Our layers consisted of: The lettuce, peas, chopped celery, chopped green onions, the dressing, shredded Cheddar and the crumbled bacon. We usually have it for Thanksgiving, everyone always asks for it. :)

  • A friend of mine was just telling me about layered salads, and how nice they were to bring to potlucks. So happy to find a recipe. Thank you!

  • Oh yay!! Thank you for posting this. I discovered this ages ago when someone brought it to a potluck. I got the list of ingredients and promptly lost it. No one I know makes it – my friend called it Seven Layer Salad too – and although I always search the internet for recipes, I have never looked this one up. Once again, you’ve made my day! Keep up the great work, Jillee!

  • Jillee,
    I love this salad and haven’t thought about it in years..thanks for the reminder and now I can make it once again. It was so popular at EVERY covered dish and then it kinda went away..It needs to be revived in our house.. :-)
    Love,
    Mona

  • So glad to see this post today! We just moved to Salt Lake City and are still getting our bearings. I will be getting my family to that restaurant ASAP hoping to establish some favorite spots in our new city!

  • Had this as much as I had that Green Bean Casserole–can no longer eat either!
    But I have a Mexican inspired version–lettuce, black beans, sliced avocado (instead of eggs), chopped chorizo, tomatoes (or roasted tamatillos when we have them), cheddar cheese, green onions & hot peppers and add some taco seasoning to the dressing. Layer them alternating colors.
    In place of the green bean casserole, I make Apricot Candied Carrots. Steam carrots & a few pearl onions; in sauce pan heat to combine-apricot All Fruit preserves, brown sugar & butter, Place carrots & onions in casserole dish, smother with apricot glaze & stir some, add fresh thyme sprigs on top, cover w/ foil & bake until bubbly. Remove thyme before serving. So sorry–but I don’t measure. The brown sugar can be left out, just use more preserves & add some water to thin the preserves some. Sooo much better & healthier than green bean casserole.

  • This looks SO good right now and it’s only 8 a.m. where I am… haha! It’s the peas that sealed the deal. I love that it’s an “80’s” salad – cute :D

  • In my family this is known as “dreaded pea salad” because my siblings and I hated it when we were kids. Now that we are all adults we don’t mind it, but the name stuck.

  • Someone usually makes this when we have our homecoming service at church. It’s so good! I think I will try it, but use greek yogurt instead of mayo for the dressing.

  • We call it the 7-layer salad on the East Coast as well. The variation that I started doing was making a thin layer of each layer and repeating it 3 times to make a 21 layer salad! My family loved it because they got so much more of each layer in each bite! I really enjoy your posts, thank you!

  • Jillee,

    The mention of the The Lion House brings back memories of 1994 when I made the trip to the national bowling tournament in Salt Lake City with my Grandmother, Mom and an Aunt as well as a couple of my Grandmother’s bowling buddies. Here was this 20-something with her mom and this group of crazy old ladies. I loved spending time with my grandmother but I really didn’t expect to have a whole lot of fun. Let me tell you I had a blast, it was probably one of the funnest weeks of my life. They had me laughing so hard I don’t remember how many times I had to pull over, and told stories that would curl your hair.

    We were in Salt Lake City for four days and we did all the sight seeing and even managed to bowl pretty decently. I remember eating at The Lion House and we had the salad because after that trip 7-Layer Salad became a regular at all family get together’s at my Grandmothers request. To this day my Aunt still brings it. We have pictures of our group sitting outside eating.

    Since then we’ve lost both my Grandmother and my Mother but thanks for the reminder of what turned out to be one of the most educational and fun vacations of my life.

  • Jillee, Pampered Chef has recipe for a dip-style “spread” based on this recipe and it is wonderful. I love it even though I’m no fan of peas.

  • I’ve been making a seven layer salad very similar to this my whole adult life, my mother gave me the recipe. I use swiss cheese on top of the dressing, it’s so good! Now that we are vegetarians, we substitute garbanzo beans for the bacon. Very yummy!

    • Yep! I was just thinking that LOL. My mom’s family comes from Iowa and this is a family favorite. We always request that my grandmother brings it to family functions :) Ours doesn’t have tomatoes though, but that would be a yummy addition!

  • well, that is different but the same. ours had the frozen peas on the bottom of the bowl because they were acting as little green ice cubes to keep the salad cold and fresh. otherwise, pretty much the same.

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