Ree Drummond's Major Tip For A Successful Layered Salad

Layered salads are one retro food that's due for a comeback. Aesthetically pleasing and delicious, these 1950s-era dishes are similar to a seven-layer dip. Layers of veggies, cheese, and more are assembled in a clear bowl or trifle dish to show off each ingredient. Since '50s foods are having a revival, why not try your hand at making this show-stopper using pro chef Ree Drummond's help?

Whether you have a beloved family recipe for layered salad or you're a newcomer, you'll want to try the Pioneer Woman's savvy tip to ensure your salad remains crisp and sturdy, even after a stint on the table or in the fridge. It all comes down to your base layer of greens. In a YouTube recipe video, Drummond uses iceberg lettuce to line the bottom of the dish and act as the foundation in her salad.

Iceberg lettuce is far crunchier than romaine and most other greens. This ultra-hydrating addition to a salad can support all the layers above it, while its mild flavor also lets the other ingredients shine. More delicate greens like spinach can certainly join the mix, but Drummond prefers to add them higher up in the salad, where they won't be squished.  To further preserve the salad's structural integrity, make sure to save your dressing for the last layer to keep the dish from getting soggy.

Classic and modern layered salad ideas

Not a fan of iceberg lettuce? Never fear — other robust greens like massaged kale or blanched and cooked collard greens can support your layered salad. Grains like quinoa or legumes like chickpeas provide less traditional but wholly effective bases. Once you have a sturdy foundation, the number of ingredients you stack on top is entirely up to you. If you want an even amount of each component, you can weigh the ingredients as you portion them out.

Classic layer ideas include chopped hard boiled eggs (which Ree Drummond uses in her version), chopped onions or scallions, sliced celery, bacon bits, shredded cheese, and cherry tomatoes. Some recipes also use a layer of sweet peas; corn can provide similar bite-size bursts of flavor. Another popular move is to spread mayonnaise, a sprinkle of sugar, and sometimes sour cream over a layer of peas, but you're welcome to use ranch dressing or any other creamy condiment. Want to get more creative? Add grilled seasonal vegetables for a mix of raw and cooked goodness.

While layered salads are a traditional potluck or party dish, they prove surprisingly useful for balanced meal prep planning. Consider assembling small portions in mason jars to refresh your routine. Many layered salad fans swear this dish is tastes even better when it's made ahead and left to sit in the fridge overnight, making it ideal for future lunches.