This Warm 7-Layer Salad is addicting and gorgeous. There’s so much going on here. Layers and layers of going on. Every bite is unique and delicious. All credit to Rachel Ray for this fabulous recipe. I must admit I was a bit skeptical the first time we made it, but once we took the first bite we were all in. That may have something to do with the wonderful bacon flavor infused throughout the layers.
Let’s build this salad. Shall we?! Which by the way I did in 37 minutes from start to finish, including taking pictures of each layer. You can do it in 30. To begin, cook 6 slices of bacon until crispy. Remove to drain on paper towels. Pour off bacon drippings into a heat proof bowl and reserve. While the bacon is cooking, prep your next ingredients.
Layer #1 ~ Green Beans
Into the same skillet that the bacon was cooked in, add about a 1/2 cup of water and the green beans and simmer over medium heat until the water has evaporated and the green beans are crisp tender. Season with salt and pepper and add those to the bottom of your oven proof bowl. I used my trifle dish to show off these gorgeous layers.
Layer #2 ~ Summer Squash
Remember the reserved bacon drippings? Add 1 1/2 tsp. of drippings into the same skillet with your diced summer squash. Cook for 4-5 minutes until beginning to lightly brown. Season with salt & pepper and add the squash on top of the green bean layer.
Layer #3 ~ Cherry Tomatoes
Add 1 1/2 tsp. of reserved bacon drippings to skillet. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes until warm. Season with salt & pepper and add on top of squash layer.
Layer #4 ~ White Beans
That’s right, add 1 1/2 tsp. of bacon drippings to the skillet, then add the drained and rinsed white beans. Saute for a couple minutes until heated through then add on top of the tomato layer. This is the point in the original recipe where I veered off course. The recipe instructs you to now place the dish in the oven for 10 minutes to heat the veggies. I was fighting the light needed for good pictures. The way I saw it, my veggies all went in hot, so I skipped this step. Warm is key though, so if your layers have cooled off I recommend warming them in the oven.
Layer #5 ~ Romaine Lettuce
Layer chopped romaine lettuce on top of the warm veggies.
Layer #6 ~ Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese is the next layer and goes right on top of the lettuce.
Layer #7 ~ Greek Yogurt
You can see from the picture that I got ahead of myself and started adding the bacon before taking a picture of the Greek yogurt layer. Which illustrates my confusion as to why this wonderful salad is called 7-Layer Salad. The Greek yogurt is essential and becomes the dressing for this salad. Trust me, you will not need any other dressing. The yogurt mixes with the juices of the warm veggies and is fabulous.
Layer #8 ~ Crispy Bacon
The last step to complete this salad is to sprinkle on the crumbled crispy bacon. It’s how we started this dish and it is the icing on the cake that finishes it!! Here at Lemony Thyme we’ll call this the Warm 8-Layer Salad, giving full credit and praises to Rachel Ray for creating the recipe.
- 6 slices bacon
- 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 2 medium yellow squash, diced
- 20 (1 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 heart romaine lettuce, chopped
- 4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain; pour the bacon drippings into a small, heatproof bowl. While the bacon is cooking, prepare other ingredients.
- Add the green beans and ½ cup water to the skillet and simmer over medium-high heat until the water evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof glass bowl (Layer #1).
- In the skillet, heat 1-1/2 tsp. of the bacon drippings. Add the squash and cook over medium-high heat until light brown; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the squash over the green beans (Layer #2).
- Add 1½ tsp. more of the bacon drippings and the tomatoes to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes; spoon over the squash (Layer #3).
- Add another 1-1/2 tsp. of the bacon drippings and the white beans to the skillet and heat through; season with pepper and spoon over the tomato layer (Layer #4). Bake the vegetables until warmed through, 10 minutes.
- Top the baked vegetable bowl with layers of the lettuce (Layer #5) and cheddar cheese (Layer #6). Top with the yogurt (Layer #7), then crumble the bacon and sprinkle on top (Layer #8).
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