24-hour Salad Recipe with Lettuce, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese

24-hour Salad

24-hour Salad Recipe with Lettuce, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Servings: 6-8


24-hour Salad
24-hour Salad

The 24-hour Salad is a delightful and refreshing dish that combines the crispness of fresh vegetables with the richness of a creamy dressing, topped with the savory crunch of bacon and the subtle sharpness of Parmesan cheese. This salad is perfect for those who appreciate a dish that not only delivers on flavor but also presents beautifully as part of a meal. Its preparation, although simple, requires a bit of patience, as the flavors meld and intensify over a 24-hour period in the refrigerator, making it a unique dish that's worth the wait.


The origins of the 24-hour Salad can be traced back to the early 20th century, where it gained popularity as a make-ahead dish that could easily serve a large number of guests. It was a staple at potlucks, picnics, and family gatherings, appreciated for its convenience and the way it allowed flavors to develop over time. The recipe has evolved, with variations appearing in community cookbooks and family recipe collections, but the core concept of layering ingredients and allowing them to marinate remains unchanged.



How to prepare

  1. Place lettuce, celery, peas, water chestnuts, and Bermuda onion in layers in a salad bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing.
  3. Scrape the dressing over the top, making sure it covers the salad completely to prevent air from getting in.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and egg.
  5. Place the salad in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  6. Any combination of vegetables can be used, but always include celery and water chestnuts.


  1. Mix sour cream with mayonnaise.


  • There are numerous ways to vary the 24-hour Salad to suit your taste:
  • Add a layer of sliced tomatoes for a burst of color and flavor.
  • Incorporate shredded carrots or red cabbage for additional crunch and nutrients.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon or replace it with a vegetarian bacon alternative.
  • There are countless ways to vary the 24-hour Salad to suit your taste preferences or dietary requirements. Some popular variations include:
  • Adding grilled chicken or shrimp for extra protein.
  • Using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a lighter dressing.
  • Incorporating different vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or cucumbers for added color and crunch.
  • Consider adding or substituting ingredients based on preference or availability. Avocado, cherry tomatoes, or cucumbers make great additions. For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon or use a plant-based alternative.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results for your 24-hour Salad, consider the following tips:

- Use fresh, crisp lettuce and thoroughly dry it after washing to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.

- Layer the ingredients carefully to ensure each serving gets an equal share of the flavors.

- The dressing should be evenly spread to seal the top layer, keeping air out and flavors in.

- For an extra flavor boost, let the bacon and Parmesan cheese come to room temperature before adding them to the salad.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is best served chilled, straight from the refrigerator. It pairs well with grilled meats or can be enjoyed as a standalone dish for a light lunch.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is layering the ingredients to ensure even distribution of flavors and textures. The dressing acts as a sealant, so spreading it evenly is crucial.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a healthier version, Greek yogurt can replace sour cream, and a light mayonnaise can be used. For a dairy-free option, consider using vegan mayonnaise and omitting the Parmesan cheese.

Make Ahead Tips

As the name suggests, this salad is designed to be made ahead of time. It's best prepared 24 hours in advance, but it can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours without compromising quality.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a clear glass bowl to showcase the layers. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh herbs for color and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, which complements the creamy dressing and savory bacon.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

The 24-hour Salad should be stored in the refrigerator and is not suitable for freezing. It does not require reheating; serve it chilled for the best taste and texture.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of the 24-hour Salad contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a moderate option for those watching their calorie intake.


The primary source of carbohydrates in this salad comes from the peas and the water chestnuts. One serving of this salad contains approximately 10-15 grams of carbohydrates, making it a relatively low-carb dish suitable for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


The fats in this salad are primarily found in the dressing, which is made from sour cream and mayonnaise, and from the crumbled bacon. A serving of this salad contains about 15-20 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats. Using a low-fat sour cream or mayonnaise can reduce the fat content.


The proteins in this salad come from the hard-boiled egg and the bacon. Each serving provides approximately 7-10 grams of protein, contributing to the dish's overall nutritional balance.

Vitamins and minerals

This salad is a good source of vitamins A and C, thanks to the lettuce, celery, and peas. It also provides minerals such as iron and potassium, particularly from the vegetables and eggs.


The main allergens in this dish are eggs and dairy (from the sour cream and mayonnaise). Those with sensitivities to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Overall, the 24-hour Salad is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. It's relatively low in carbohydrates and provides a moderate amount of proteins and fats.


The 24-hour Salad is a versatile and flavorful dish that combines the best of fresh vegetables, creamy dressing, and savory toppings. Its make-ahead nature makes it perfect for gatherings, offering a blend of convenience and taste that's hard to beat. With options for customization and a balance of nutrition, it's a dish that can be enjoyed in many forms, making it a timeless favorite.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was captivated. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting my friend Margaret's house for a potluck lunch. As we all gathered around the table, she unveiled a beautiful glass bowl filled with layers of colorful fruits and creamy dressing.

"What is this delicious looking salad?" I asked, my mouth watering at the sight of it.

Margaret smiled and explained that it was her famous 24-hour Salad. She went on to describe how she had learned the recipe from her grandmother, who had passed it down through the generations.

I was intrigued and couldn't wait to try it. And let me tell you, that first bite was pure bliss. The sweet fruits, crunchy nuts, and creamy dressing all blended together perfectly to create a symphony of flavors in my mouth. I knew right then and there that I had to learn how to make this recipe myself.

Over the next few months, I visited Margaret often, watching as she made the salad and taking notes on each step. I asked her questions, I measured out ingredients, and I even helped chop the fruits and nuts. I was determined to master this recipe and make it a staple in my own kitchen.

Finally, after much practice and trial and error, I felt confident enough to make the 24-hour Salad on my own. I gathered all the ingredients, carefully following the instructions I had written down from Margaret's guidance. I layered the fruits, nuts, and dressing in a glass bowl, just like she had shown me, and placed it in the fridge to chill for 24 hours.

The next day, I eagerly took the salad out of the fridge and served it to my family for dinner. The looks on their faces as they took their first bites told me everything I needed to know - I had succeeded. The salad was a hit, just as delicious as I remembered from that first potluck lunch at Margaret's house.

From that day on, the 24-hour Salad became a regular dish in our household. I made it for family gatherings, potlucks, and even just for a special treat on a hot summer day. Each time I made it, I thought of Margaret and her grandmother, grateful for their guidance and for introducing me to such a wonderful recipe.

As the years went by, I continued to make the 24-hour Salad, passing down the recipe to my own children and grandchildren. It became a tradition in our family, a dish that was always requested at gatherings and celebrations. And each time I made it, I felt a sense of pride and joy, knowing that I had learned how to create something so delicious and special.

So now, whenever I make the 24-hour Salad, I think back to that warm summer day at Margaret's house, where I first saw the recipe that would become a beloved tradition in my family. And I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from such wonderful friends and to pass on the joy of cooking to future generations. Cooking is not just about preparing food - it's about creating memories, traditions, and connections that last a lifetime. And I am grateful for every moment I have spent in the kitchen, learning and sharing the magic of good food with those I love.


| Bacon Recipes | Bermuda Onion Recipes | Cathy's Recipes | Celery Recipes | Hard-boiled Egg Recipes | Lettuce Recipes | Mayonnaise Recipes | Parmesan Cheese Recipes | Pea Recipes | Sour Cream Recipes | Water Chestnut Recipes |

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