These tasty, beautiful Make Ahead 7-Layer Salads in a Jar are an updated Meal Prep version of a popular retro salad from my childhood. The classic 7-layer salad is made in a large glass bowl to showcase each and every layer, but these mini versions are perfectly proportioned for one serving!

These Meal Prep Salads have the advantage of being portable, making them perfect to take to work! One for today, then another for the next day if you don’t want to share!

Two Make Ahead 7-Layer Salads in a Jar, one with the lid off

Make-Ahead 7-Layer Salads in a Jar

I loved the original version of the 7-layer salad that debuted sometime in the 1950s if I were to hazard a guess. The salad’s history has been traced back to the south where it was referred to as a 7-layer pea salad because of the requisite layer of vibrant green peas.

The hubby is always excited when this delicious combination is on the menu; I’m pretty sure the bacon seals the deal. This “salad” is nowhere near health food, but worth a splurge every now and then.

Preferably served in a glass bowl to showcase each separate layer, this 7 Layer Salad Recipe was de rigeur in the 1970s when I was growing up. I’ve brought a modern, meal prep version to the table today by making a couple of individual servings in mason jars to have ready for lunches or a dinner side.

Overhead view of 2 Make Ahead 7-Layer Salads in a Jar

How to Make 7 Layer Salads

I started with lettuce, then salad dressing, tomatoes, peas, red onion, cheese, and finally bacon. Optional ingredients include hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, mushrooms and I’ve even added diced artichoke hearts. Whatever your heart desires.

I add the lettuce before the dressing, so you don’t lose one drop of the creamy topping. To serve, just flip out the contents of the jar onto your plate and dig in!

Make Ahead 7-Layer Salads in a Jar removed to a white salad plate

Meal Prep Dinners

Here are a few more “Meal Prep” dinner ideas that you may want to add to your menu. My 7-Layer Salads in a Jar along with a few other easy entrees will help lighten the load at the end of a busy day!

For another fun, mini salad, check out these Mediterranean Endive Boats!


Make Ahead 7-Layer Salads in a Jar - Meal Prep salad for lunch or dinner!

7-Layer Salads in a Jar

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4

The retro 7-layer salad made in single serving mason jars!



  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt (I used Morton's Nature's Seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan


  • 1-2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas, defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion (I soak in ice water while prepping ingredients to remove some of the bite)
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Taste and add more sugar or seasoning salt if needed.
  2. Divide ingredients between 2 mason jars (about 2 cup capacity), starting with lettuce, then 2-3 tablespoons salad dressing, tomatoes, peas, onion, cheese and finally the bacon.
  3. Feel free to add other favorite ingredients or add more or less of each to your tastes.


Save leftover dressing for a wedge salad or a simple green salad.

Each jar will serve 2 unless you have a very hearty appetite.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 467Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 749mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 17g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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