Family Recipe Friday: Layered Salad

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Is there one certain recipe that seems to be at every extended family gathering you have?

For me, it’s my Grandma R’s layered salad.

Grandpa and Grandma R* with Libbie a few days after we came home from the hospital.

It is seasonless. The ingredients are nothing terribly out-of-the-ordinary. And it’s graced the buffet for every family holiday I can remember.

The crunchy lettuce, the creamy mayonnaise, and the rolly-polly peas meld together for a truly delicious bite. I am honestly not a big mayonnaise fan; I eat pasta and potato salads and the like, but if I have it on a sandwich I just spread the tiniest amount. Thinking of eating straight mayo makes me gag–it is seriously the grossest thing I can think of. But the mayo in this blends with the other ingredients and seasonings and I never think of it as anything but a good dressing for the lettuce.

This salad would be great for any 4th-of-July gatherings you’re planning this weekend. My grandma always serves it in a Pyrex 9 by 13 pan.

Grandma's Layered Salad

Layered Salad


  • 2 to 3 Romaine hearts, chopped or torn
  • 4 to 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 c. frozen peas, uncooked
  • a sprinkling of dehydrated onion flakes
  • 1-2 c. mayonnaise, spread (enough to cover)
  • 1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
  • a sprinkle of salad seasoning
  • 1/2 c. or so of Parmesan cheese


In a 9x13 pan, layer ingredients in order listed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*I always called my grandparents Grandma and Grandpa S (the whole last name) and Grandma and Grandpa R (same). NO ONE in Tennessee calls their grandparents “Grandma and Grandpa.” It’s Nana, Pawpaw, Mawmaw, Memaw, Nona, Granny… is “Grandma and Grandpa” Northern jargon? (My parents and grandparents are from Ohio.) It just always strikes me as one of those funny things.

10 thoughts on “Family Recipe Friday: Layered Salad

  1. I want to say that I have indeed eaten this dish as made by your mom and loved it, yes?

    Also– my grandparents picked what they wanted to be called, except Andaddy. He wanted Grandaddy, and all my cousins call him that, but I couldn't seem to manage the "G"… weird thing is, I got Grammy just fine. Maybe it's because she's so… only Grammy. 🙂

  2. Here's a thought for you as a parent as well as a writer. When students are asked to write about their families for school writing assignments, it becomes an interpretation nightmare. Who the heck are Meemaw and Poppy? It must be explained in the text and the reader must remember it. Also, there's the problem of correct capitalization, which in my opinion is an even greater problem. Is that grandmother's name Grandma Meemaw, as in Grandma Jennie, or does Libbie refer to "my grandmother, Meemaw"? And, when she is writing about her grandmothers, does Libbie use their real last names or their nicknames? As you can see, for a person who actually cares about the written word, the choice of nicknames for grandparents becomes tricky and a decision should not be made without some forethought. 🙂 Since obviously I feel strongly about this issue, don't even get me started on the misuse of punctuation with direct address and appositives in student writing.

    P.S. You've been asking for responses, so I did! I'm going to make the salad this weekend for a party. I'm glad you shared it.

  3. For me it is GGB (Grandma's Good Bread). Not that it gets made much anymore but I suppose that is the novelty of it. . .perhaps one of should explore swiping that recipe! 🙂

  4. Yum! Nobody in my family makes this salad, but I wish they would! 😉

    I get discouraged by a lack of comments, too. Especially when it's a post I put a lot of thought and/or heart into.

    The pics of your daugher are adorable!!

    Sorry for putting all these random comments in one place. I'm on vacation and only commenting on a handful of blogs! 🙂 Yep, you made the short list!!

  5. We make that salad, too. Good stuff.

    I'm a born and bred southerner, with a Mimi and Papa, Mamama and Pappa, and Granddaddy and Nana. My children have a Honey and Pappy, as well as Nonnie and Pawpaw and Granddaddy and Meme.

    Obviously, we're on the side of nicknames. LOL

  6. I haven't had a layered salad like this in years! What memories!

    My family is from the North and midwest, and we have all Grandmas and Grandpas (Grandma Ruth, Grandpa Ed, etc).

    My husband's family is from the south and they are all Mamaws and Papaws, and I had NEVER heard of that before. I still have trouble referring to my FIL that way for our kids – I think he might end up being a grandpa, too, if I have my way.

    Oh – a lot of people here in KY also use Grandma and Grandpa but it is with a southern twist – like saying GranMAW and GranPAW, where mine sounds more like GRAMma and GRAMpa.

  7. Yum. We do something similar, but with onion rather than flakes, and cheddar rather than Parm. Good stuff! (and I totally agree with you on mayo)

    Grandma and Grandpa for the maternal grandparents, but with the last name for the paternal side. I think that may be because we saw my Dad's side so much less frequently, while we lived two blocks from my Mom's parents.

  8. I've eaten this before but never realized it was so simple. That just goes to show you don't judge a recipe (solely) by its ingredients. If I had SEEN the recipe first, I would never have tried it; but since I KNOW it's yummy, I'm MUCH more inclined to!


  9. I would never eat it based on ingredients, either. Such is the gloriousness of combining ingredients together in a recipe, I guess! 🙂

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