Ree Drummond’s Layered Salad Is ‘Perfect for a Picnic Side Dish,’ According to the Pioneer Woman

TL; DR: 

  • Ree Drummond has a layered salad recipe.
  • The Pioneer Woman once called it “perfect for a picnic side dish.”
  • Ree Drummond’s layered salad is a combination of lettuce, cheese, peas, bacon, green onions, and more, topped with a sour cream dressing. 

Sure, there are many Pioneer Woman salad recipes. But Ree Drummond’s layered salad is the one she once described as “perfect for a picnic side dish.” An adaptable make-ahead dish that can be tossed together in 30 minutes, it’s easy to see why the Food Network star loves it. Ahead, find out how to make Drummond’s layered salad. 

Ree Drummond’s ‘simple and beautiful’ layered salad

The cookbook author praised layered salad in a March 31 post on her Pioneer Woman website. Describing it as “simple and beautiful,” Drummond said the salad’s “a staple at potlucks and luncheons” in Oklahoma. 

She explained what’s so great about it is that there’s no need to follow the recipe exactly. “You can vary the ingredients according to your taste and what you have in your fridge,” she said. “And you can dress it up a bit with fresh herbs, Gorgonzola cheese—whatever makes your skirt fly up!” 

Drummond also shared that the “standard ingredients” in typical layered salads are as follows: lettuce, spinach, or a combination of the two, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, grated cheese, green onions, and peas. Everything is “layered in a pretty glass bowl so the layers can be seen in all their colorful beauty,” she explained. 

However, the “true sign of a layered salad” is, according to Drummond, the “incredibly simple salad dressing” spread on top to “seal” in the ingredients. “After that, it’s refrigerated, then tossed on-site just before serving,” she said, calling it “perfect for a picnic side dish” and the “perfect cool, crisp complement to all the grilled meats.”

Ree Drummond’s tips for making layered salad: don’t skimp on seasoning, concentrate the ingredients on the outside of the bowl

Drummond is another of the many Food Network stars who stresses the importance of salt and pepper. For this particular recipe, it’s a crucial step in avoiding a bland salad. 

“This seasoning is important; it’ll give the salad more flavor once it’s all tossed together,” she said. As a result, she sprinkles salt and pepper after adding a layer of spinach and iceberg lettuce.

Next, a note on layering from Drummond. “Here’s a little trick I do: since I want the ingredients to really show on the outside of the bowl, I concentrate them around the perimeter, then fill in the center with more lettuce or spinach,” she explained. 

Ree Drummond keeps the dressing simple 

Lastly, for the layered salad-defining dressing. Drummond combines sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl with sugar. The sugar is “totally optional,” per the Super Easy! cookbook author. “I really like what the sugar does to the dressing,” she said, noting it “doesn’t make it overly sweet, just gives it a little dimension.”

Although Drummond admitted the layered salad dressing can be dressed up with fresh herbs or garlic, she’s a “purist.” 

“For this salad, I like things plain,” she said. “Let the salad ingredients—not the dressing—take center stage!”

After spreading the dressing over the top, being sure to get the edges, Drummond covers it in plastic wrap and leaves it in the fridge. “When it’s party time, garnish the top with a little of whatever leftover ingredients you might have,” she said. “Then just toss it at the party and add a little color to everyone’s plate.” 

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