Layered Basil Salad Recipe
Layered Basil Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Layered Basil Salad Recipe

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The basil in the dressing makes this salad stand out from the usual layered ones. The colorful ingredients look beautiful and taste wonderful together. It's especially impressive on a potluck buffet. -Marcy Cella, L'Anse, Michigan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling
MAKES:12-14 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling
MAKES: 12-14 servings


  • 4 cups torn assorted salad greens
  • 4 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked macaroni shells
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3/4 pound fully cooked ham, cubed
  • 1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 hard-boiled large eggs, cut into wedges, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 224 calories, 17g fat (4g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 501mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.


  1. In a 3-1/2-qt. glass bowl, layer greens, carrots, macaroni, peas, onion, ham and cheeses. In a small bowl, combine the first six dressing ingredients; spread over salad. Garnish with eggs if desired. Cover and chill for several hours. Yield: 12-14 servings.
Originally published as Layered Basil Salad in Taste of Home June/July 1996, p37

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

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MyCatLovesTV User ID: 8417153 227987
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2015

"This recipe was in the first Taste of Home cookbook I ever purchased and so happened I needed a salad for a work "food day." It was a MAJOR hit and I've been making it ever since. You can also doctor it with different tastes that meet your family's desires....for example we replace the carrots with another veggie. In addition, I make a very simple light macaroni salad (with a bit of the basil dressing or even ranch) to use instead of the plain macaroni. If you use only a bit of dressing, it won't sog the salad. That way the problem of only the first scooper getting some dressing is lessened. Love this recipe!"

BoiseNoise User ID: 7854035 218084
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2015

"I love this recipe. and my kids do, too. It's one they request when they come home to visit."

hunkydoriest User ID: 4515323 10218
Reviewed May. 27, 2013

"I have been making this since I saw it in the magazine many years ago. Like another reviewer, I also use bacon instead of ham. It's beautiful as well as delicious."

kbabe819 User ID: 3846515 3743
Reviewed May. 31, 2012

"I found the dressing to be way to mayonnaisey. Also, the thing about layered salads is how to get some of the bottom veggies when you are the first person to scoop from the bowl. That person gets all the dressing."

Deester User ID: 119142 14660
Reviewed Jul. 1, 2010

"I have made this salad many times and everyone has loved it!"

hunkydoriest User ID: 4515323 9397
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2009

"I also have been making this salad for years. I use cooked bacon instead of ham and it's great."

cwbuff User ID: 441425 23523
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2009

"This is one of the best ways to use leftover ham I have found. Layered salads are great as they are made ahead and save you so much time the next day. Also, they look spectacular. Whenever you have leftover ham and pasta, make this. I used sweet onion instead of red, and I cut the mustard in half since I like just a hint of it. Using fresh basil really makes this recipe. Terrific for a summertime main dish."

teadreams User ID: 3085408 10768
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2008

"I've been making this salad since it's debut in Taste of Home almost 10 years ago. It has never disappointed and has been dearly loved by all. It is best made and refrigerated the night before you wish to serve it. Made exactly like the recipe instructs, it is most delicious."

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