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Layered Basil Salad

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


  • 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


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

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Average Rating:
  • 2124arizona
    Jun 25, 2017

    This salad taste as pretty as it looks. The dressing is good on just about any vegetable. I have fond memories of my sister in law who couldn't get enough of the salad.

  • MyCatLovesTV
    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
    Jan 17, 2015

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

  • hunkydoriest
    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.

  • scsbassford
    Apr 4, 2013

    No comment left

  • kbabe819
    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
    Jul 1, 2010

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

  • hunkydoriest
    Nov 19, 2009

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

  • cwbuff
    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
    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.