I was never a big fan of salads as a child. As I got older, I began to appreciate all the fresh vegetables. And since going gluten-free, my body seems to better handle all the fiber. Recently, this salad has become a favorite of mine.
The ingredients are layered in a 9 x 13 pan, covered with my own dill dressing, and topped with shredded cheese and bacon bits. It’s perfect for entertaining or taking to parties. It makes 12 large servings and you can make it the night before. I love to make it for dinner and have leftovers for lunch later in the week. You can choose your favorite salad ingredients and even your favorite dressing, but here is what I do:
2 Cups lettuce, chopped (iceberg, Romaine, Cosmopolitan — you choose)
2 Cups baby spinach
2 Cups frozen peas
1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
1 Cup (8 oz.) diced ham
2 Cups (4-6 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. bacon (8-10 slices), fried crispy and crumbled into bits
Creamy Dill Salad Dressing (recipe below)
- Cover bottom of 9 x 13 pan with chopped lettuce, then add layers of baby spinach, chopped cucumber, peas, and diced ham. This should make the salad almost fill up to the top of the pan.
- Next, pour and spread the dressing evenly over the salad.
- Top salad with shredded cheese and bacon bits.
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. The salad can be chilled for an hour, or even overnight.
- Choose your ingredients carefully. Tomatoes don’t do well overnight: they add too much water to the salad. If you want tomatoes in your salad, I suggest adding them right before serving.
- No need to defrost the peas. They defrost quickly in the refrigerator and help keep the salad cool.
- Other ingredients to consider: Green onions and celery add great flavor. Red cabbage, carrots, and yellow sweet peppers add bursts of color.
Creamy Dill Dressing
1 Cup mayonnaise
1 Cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP dried dill weed
- Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Keep chilled.
- Feel free to add fresh herbs from your garden instead of dried dill, but you may want to increase the amount for freshly chopped herbs.
- I’ve recently been introduced to delicious Greek yogurt and found that it makes a thicker, creamy dressing — perfect for this recipe. For a thinner dressing use plain yogurt, or consider adding a couple tablespoons of milk.