Vegan 7-Layer Salad

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Ceramic dish full of Vegan 7-Layer Salad with a mayo, coconut bacon, and tomato top

Raise your hand if you A) are from the Midwest, B) have ever been to a church or community potluck, or C) have eaten at your grandmother’s table.

Hand raised on all three.

If you answered yes on any one of these, you’ve likely experienced a 7-layer salad. Say hello to its vegan cousin.

Shredded carrots, green peas, tomatoes, celery, green onion, and coconut bacon on a wood cutting board to be made into Vegan 7-Layer Salad

This recipe was actually a reader request, and seeing as I just mastered Vegan Mayonnaise and Coconut Bacon (and Eggplant Bacon), I figured it was perfect timing.

If you’ve never had a 7-layer salad (or layered salad, as some know it), it’s a layering of lettuce, vegetables, cheese, and bacon. The dressing is typically a mixture of mayonnaise (and often sour cream), and sugar. Healthy, right? ; )

My version mimics the traditional version, only it subs carrots for cheese, coconut bacon for bacon, and naturally sweetened vegan mayo dressing for mayonnaise and sugar.

Did I mention that this is a 30-minute, 10-ingredient recipe? Because it totally is.

Collection of photos showing each of the layers in our Vegan 7-Layer SaladSpreading aquafaba mayo over our Vegan 7-Layer Salad

I hope you all LOVE this modern take on a classic. It’s:

Crunchy
Fresh
Flavorful
Salty-sweet
Quick + easy
& Seriously delicious

This would make the ultimate side dish to bring along to parties or group dinners. It would pair especially well with entrées like my 1-Pot Red Lentil Chili, Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich, or Curried Potato and Lentil Soup.

For more salad ideas, check out my Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas, Creamy Kale Salad with Chickpeas & Shallot, 20-minute Asian Kale Salad, Blissed-Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh,  White Bean Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing, or Tahini Kale Salad with Kumquats.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Dinner plate filled with our Vegan 7-Layer Salad recipe

Vegan 7-Layer Salad

A modern twist on a classic salad. Veganized 7-layer salad with fresh vegetables, crunchy coconut bacon, and vegan mayonnaise dressing!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Fork resting on a plate of Vegan 7-Layer Salad
4.6 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 8
Course Salad, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

SALAD

  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 small head green lettuce (rinsed, dried, and chopped)
  • 3 stalks celery (thinly sliced)
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes (chopped // divided)
  • 2 large carrots (shredded or thinly sliced // I used this mandolin with the medium blade attachment)
  • 5 stalks green onions (thinly sliced // or sub 1/2 red onion)
  • 1 cup Coconut Bacon (or Eggplant Bacon // plus more for topping)

DRESSING

  • 1 1/2 cups Vegan Mayonnaise* (1 1/2 batches of our vegan mayo yield 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, i.e. cane sugar // plus more to taste)

Instructions

  • Add peas to a small saucepan (in a steamer basket if you have one) with a splash of water and heat over medium-low heat until just thawed and warmed through (but not cooked) - about 2-3 minutes. Then drain off any excess water and transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
  • To a large serving dish (I used this one in white), add chopped lettuce. Then top with celery, peas, tomatoes, shredded carrots, green onions, and coconut or eggplant bacon. Set aside.
  • To a medium mixing bowl, add vegan mayo (homemade or store-bought), lemon juice, and maple syrup. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity or maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Top the salad with all of the dressing and use a spoon to smooth into an even layer. Optional: top with more coconut bacon and vegetables, such as tomato or green onion.
  • You can enjoy this as is or cover and refrigerate up to 4-6 hours. Store leftovers (dressing separate from salad) in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, though best when fresh. Dressing will keep up to 1 week.

Notes

*If you're looking for an alternative to the vegan mayonnaise dressing, try my Tahini Dressing and omit the garlic. I haven't tried it on this salad but imagine it would work!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Recipe loosely adapted from Pioneer Woman.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 210 Carbohydrates: 13.6 g Protein: 2.7 g Fat: 17 g Saturated Fat: 4.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 168 mg Fiber: 3.7 g Sugar: 6.5 g

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  1. Lindsay says

    I loved this recipe! I used store-bought vegan mayonnaise instead because I had it on hand. Instead of coconut bacon/eggplant bacon I just fried up some thin slices of eggplant with lots of olive oil and salt/pepper, and scattered them on the salad. The result was so creamy, crunchy and delicious – I made a huge platter and my family ate the whole thing in one sitting! It tasted so decadent and delicious. Thanks Dana!

  2. Mary Dressel says

    I have tried recipes from many other sites and am usually disappointed. I have tried several recipes from yours and am NEVER disappointed. This recipe is no exception. Even my meat loving husband loved this salad. I ended up making a second batch within a week. My mayonnaise was much better and thicker the second time around because I used the cup of oil instead of 3/4 cup. Thanks for sharing all your recipes and keep them coming:)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the sweet note and lovely review, Mary. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  3. Beth says

    I made this last evening. I made it a single serving (o.k. maybe a triple serving) but instead of coconut bacan I crushed up some smokehouse almonds and used that as the topping. I actually liked this better then the tradidional 7 layer salad with green peppers and cheese. It was delicious thanks for the recipe!

  4. Jacki C. says

    Made this for Thanksgiving today and WOW! Whisks me right back to my childhood. I ended up tossing it because I forgot to add the “bacon” before the dressing, but tastes exactly as I remember my Midwestern great aunts making it. Awesome to revive an old family fave in vegan form and my littles are obsessed with the coconut bacon!

  5. Heather Rogers says

    Made this tonight with dinner. We all loved it! Definitely on the “make again” list! My family of four are newish vegetarians (2 of them picky teenagers) and I’m gluten free. It’s a challenge! Finding your site with all the awesome recipes, that are so quick and easy, has been awesome!!

  6. Dawna says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! It was absolutely delicious! I prepared it for our Thanksgiving meal. I was amazed how tasty the coconut bacon was! I was a bit disappointed with the aquafaba mayo recipe. It didn’t thicken well and the grape-seed oil tasted a bit strong to me. I threw that away and went with the soy-free vegenaise option and added garlic, dill, paprika, and pepper. Keep those vegan recipes coming!

  7. Roshae says

    I made this last weekend and it was great. The coconut bacon was so addicting I had to make more. My daughter has requested to have this every week lol.

  8. Stacy @ Nourishing Health says

    YAY! YAY! YAY! I remember requesting this and definitely haven’t forgotten! You completely made my day! :)

  9. Pam Barrett says

    I made this for dinner ! Awesome stuff. I cut in half because there’s only 2 of us. Instead of coconut bacon I made roasted chick peas. Next time I will make the the full recipe so there are leftovers. Thanks

  10. Shawn McLaughlin says

    YUM! made as dinner with the eggplant bacon &apples slices & some amazing “pain Pauline” bread from trader Joes- such an amazing flavor – going to try your blt sandwich with the eggplant bacon today

    halved the recipe but increased the carrots & peas as we(2) were eating eating it as our main dinner

  11. Zohan says

    I love this recipe. I will definitely try it at home to impress my children. Thanks for sharing this and please keep sharing this type of delicious recipes.

  12. Tina says

    Made this tonight and it was refreshingly delicious! My boyfriend and I both had seconds :) The coconut bacon adds the perfect touch! Thank you.

  13. Colin says

    this looks great! would this work ok in a regular ol’ 9×13 pyrex? or would you recommend maybe making more to fill a 9×13?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Colin! That should work! You may find that you’ll want to add more veggies to fill it up a bit, but it’ll be pretty close to what we used! Good luck!

  14. Durga says

    Can you suggest an alternate for bacon. Wish i could give this salad a try with a bacon substitute
    Thank you

  15. Shirleen says

    The batch of your aquafaba mayo says it makes 1 cup, but this recipe calls for 2C mayo or 1 batch aquafaba mayo. So 1 or 2 cups for the salad recipe? Thank you I am looking forward to making it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Good question! I miscalculated there on my yield :D Fixed to suggest 1 1/2 batches (1 1/2 cups) vegan mayo!

  16. Vicki Zimmerman says

    Just in case I want to speed this up a bit, with the dicing and chopping and all, isn’t there a coconut bacon on the market now that is quite tasty? I recall reading about this somewhere. I can’t wait to make this! TY! ^^

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! I haven’t heard of that but I’m not surprised! Let me know how it is if you give it a try.

  17. Anna says

    Hi, I love your salad recipe. Could I ask, what do you use for shredding carrots? I like the way they are shredded.
    Thanks

  18. Amelinda says

    Oh my gosh! I’m a midwesterner and still make 7 layer salads, but they are junkier with store-bought vegan mayo and Daiya shredded cheese. I am excited to make your version, thank you! I love that coconut bacon recipe! So addictive!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Mine doesn’t! Especially if you use the method I recommend which uses all of the oil (not the low-fat version).

  19. Emily says

    This looks so yummy! Thanks for the inspiration, will have to try this week.
    I wanted to let you know that my husband and I have made so many of your recipes from your blog and cookbook and everything has turned out fabulous.
    Thank you!!
    Em