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12 Hour Salad

A make-ahead salad with so much flavor and crunch.

A salad that takes twelve hours might seem like a terrible idea, but all ’12 Hour Salad’ really means is that this is a crisp layered salad that you can make well ahead of any event you might need it for. And trust me, even if that event is just a lunch all by your lonesome, it’s well worth it. It’s a cool, leafy green salad with just the right combo of fresh and vibrant crunch added in (as well as some salty bacon and cheddar) and a dressing that’s a little sweet, a lot creamy, and entirely delectable.

The method here isn’t all that different from other layered salads we’ve made before like Make-Ahead Salad Casserole or Seven Layer Salad, but what is different is the irresistible combination of ingredients and dressing. You can start with any greens you like, but try to use something with a little crunch in your mix like iceberg or romaine. On top of that, there’s green bell pepper, celery, red onion, (I told you there was plenty of crunch), peas, bacon, and cheddar cheese.

But mostly I want to tell you about the dressing. It’s a simple one – just mayo, sour cream, and a touch of sugar. It doesn’t seem like much, but as it sits for those twelve hours, it really melds into a sweet and creamy mixture that’s the perfect complement to the rest of the cool crunchiness. And after all that chilling time you can be sure there is plenty of cool crunch! The key to success here is that all these ingredients are sturdy enough to stand up to the chilling time so they’re just as fresh as when you chopped them up.

Serves 12

10m prep time

12h inactive

Rated 4.4 out of 5
Rated by 16 reviewers

Allergens: Milk

  • 8 cups mixed lettuces, torn
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Place greens in a trifle dish or 3-qt bowl.
  2. Layer with celery, peppers, onions, and peas.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, and sugar and spread over the top.
  4. Top with cheese and then bacon.
  5. Cover and chill, 12 hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

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