This classic recipe for wilted lettuce with bacon is the perfect way to eat leaf lettuce from the garden. The warm bacon dressing is a little sweet, tangy and savory all at once. It’s the perfect mix.
Have you ever had a wilted lettuce salad? It was always one of my favorite salads growing up, but I got out of the habit of making them.
When MiMi gave me a bunch of fresh leaf lettuce from the garden I knew I had to dig out the recipe and bring it back. It has always been a favorite of mine and I could easily make a meal of it.
There is just something about the slightly sweet and really simple salad that draws me in. Of course the bacon doesn’t hurt!
It always feels a little strange pouring the warm dressing over the salad. Wilting leaves is usually the enemy of salads, not the intent, but whoever came up with this one knew what they were doing!
I can’t help but wonder if the first version of this salad was a mistake though. A hurried cook realized they ran out of oil and used hot bacon grease perhaps?
Then after a bite they were hooked?! Who knows? No matter the origin, it’s a tasty creation.
My husband was quite pleased with it as well. He isn’t a huge salad fan and normally only eats them loaded with toppings.
But this simple salad won him over despite himself. Every time I make it, he is surprised how much he likes it.
I think most recipes have you include the onions raw. I am not a huge fan of raw onions, so I like to cook them until they are just translucent in the bacon grease and just stir them in as part of the dressing. It takes the edge off of them and makes them more enjoyable for me.
Luckily I just got a bunch more fresh lettuce from our CSA box, so there is more wilted lettuce in our future. That is the beauty of this time of year, there is plenty of delicious fresh produce.
Did you come here looking for ways to revive wilted lettuce?
Obviously you see by now, this recipe uses a hot bacon dressing to slightly wilt greens. The result is delicious.
The wilting action is part of what earned this salad nicknames such as killed lettuce or kilt lettuce salad. The hot bacon kills the crisp crunch of fresh lettuce.
You can use that same dressing on slightly wilted greens if you would like. Or, to try to revive wimpy greens, you can try soaking them in ice water for fifteen or twenty minutes.
If your lettuce is slimy, go ahead and toss it. It isn’t worth wasting more ingredients on greens that are already too far gone.
More great side salad recipes
Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!
- 6 slices bacon
- 8 cups leaf lettuce
- 1 small sweet onion
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- Optional: 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 2-3 hard boiled eggs
- Thoroughly wash and dry lettuce, the place in a serving bowl.
- In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to cool on paper towels, but leave bacon grease in the pan.
- Thinly slice onion and cook in bacon grease over low heat until it begins to soften.
- Carefully stir in the vinegar, salt and sugar. Add ketchup if you’d like (we like it both ways!)
- Chop bacon and hard boiled eggs and place in serving bowl with lettuce. Pour warm bacon dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please view my disclosure page for more information.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 344mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.
This recipe was originally shared on Cooking With Carlee in 2018.