The Wedge Salad is a classic American restaurant salad that is as easy to make at home as it is delicious! Crunchy iceberg lettuce, crispy bacon and the quintessential wedge salad dressing: creamy-tangy blue cheese. Make Wedge Salad for a couple or a crowd in minutes.
If you grew up in the United States and this Wedge Salad makes you feel nostalgic, it should. It's been on restaurant menus here since 1916. But why leave it to restaurants when you can make it at home in 15 minutes flat if you have cooked bacon, less than 30 minutes if you don't. Guests coming? What a fun way to begin a meal. Who doesn't want to slice in to their own big wedge of lettuce, scooping up tangy blue cheese crumbles and salty bits of bacon? And if you want to embellish these salads, halved cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion are tasty additions.
Ingredients You Need to Make Wedge Salad
- Sour Cream: ideally full-fat sour cream
- Garlic: fresh garlic clove
- Blue Cheese: gorgonzola, roquefort, or stilton are also great options. For those who don't like blue cheese, feta is a good substitute here.
- Lemon Juice: freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Fresh Chives: or finely chopped green onions for a stronger onion flavor
- Milk: or buttermilk
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Iceberg Lettuce: look for a large, firm, bright green head of iceberg lettuce - it's the star of the dish!
- Bacon: cooked and crumbled
Wedge Salad FAQ
Remove any brown or wilted leaves from the outside of the head and then cut it into 4 equal wedges top to bottom with the core intact. Rinse each wedge in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Then carefully cut out core with a paring knife and place on a serving plate, cut side up. (See recipe video and step by step photos below.)
I think that the Wedge Salad is a steakhouse favorite not only because it pairs beautifully with a steak, but because you need a steak knife to eat it! I like to start at the pointed end of the wedge and cut one bite at a time with a knife and fork, making sure to get some blue cheese and bacon on every bite!
Iceberg lettuce may not have the vitamin and fiber content of other lettuce varieties, but it's crispy, delicious and filling at just one calorie per leaf! It makes sense to fill your diet with other more nutritious lettuce and vegetables, but iceberg can have it's place too!
A little bit of bacon goes a long way.
Bacon, that's the other thing I want to talk to you about. Have I told you that I love bacon for recipes? It's amazing how a tiny bit of bacon (or pork belly!) can transform salad, soup, pasta, breakfast frittata; shall I continue?
We buy bacon from a local farm and I don't want to admit what we pay per pound. But it's worth it to know that during the pig's lives they get to root around outside and do piggy things. Because of the expense and because it's probably not healthy to gorge ourselves on bacon, I use it sparingly. The best way I know to do this is to cook it up all at once, crumble it or cut it into lardons (thin crosswise slices), and keep it in the freezer.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
It's simple to cook bacon in the oven: place an oven safe rack in a baking sheet and arrange bacon slices in a single layer, giving each slice some room all the way around. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 400˚F, depending on how crispy you like your bacon.
If you've never cooked bacon in the oven, I recommend trying it. There are many benefits: the bacon cooks evenly; there's no splatter around your burners; you can work on something else while it cooks; it's a great way to cook bacon for a crowd.
What to Serve with Wedge Salads
Pair with a main like Carne Asada, Baked Lamb Chops, or Pan-Fried Lamb Chops, or Meatloaf with Oatmeal and Tomato Bisque or, another restaurant classic, Twice Baked Potatoes (or Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes).
How to Make Wedge Salad
Make Blue Cheese Dressing: Add sour cream, minced fresh garlic, blue cheese crumbles (reserving some for garnish) and lemon juice to a small bowl, mash together with a fork. Add chives to dressing and milk to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
From a head of iceberg lettuce, remove any wilted or brown leaves. Cut into 4 equal wedges from top to bottom, leaving core intact. Rinse wedges with water and pat dry with paper towels. Carefully cut core from each and place on separate salad plates.
Spoon desired amount of blue cheese dressing over each wedge. Sprinkle each wedge with ¼ of the bacon crumbles and ¼ of the remaining blue cheese. Serve.
Classic Wedge Salad
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 3 ounces blue cheese crumbled and divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- milk for thinning dressing
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
For the Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing:
- To make the dressing, add sour cream, garlic, two ounces of the blue cheese, and lemon juice to a small bowl. Use a fork to combine the ingredients, smashing the blue cheese crumbles against the side of the bowl to infuse the sour cream with flavor.
- Add chives to dressing and stir to combine. Add milk a teaspoon at a time until the dressing reaches your desired consistency. Season dressing to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To Assemble Wedge Salad:
- Remove any wilted or brown leaves from the head of lettuce.
- Cut the head in half starting from the top and slicing down through the core. Then cut each half in half again so that each wedge has ¼ of the core. Rinse each wedge and pat dry with paper towels. Carefully cut core from each keeping wedge intact and place on separate salad plates.
- Spoon desired amount of dressing over each wedge. Sprinkle each wedge with ¼ of the bacon crumbles and ¼ of the remaining blue cheese. Serve.
- Note that cook time doesn’t include bacon.
- If you'd like to cook your bacon in the oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set an oven proof rack on top. Arrange bacon slices on the rack, giving them a bit of space between. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or to your desired crispness. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.