The Fully Loaded Wedge Salad is the queen of salads ~ a salad even salad haters can’t resist! With hearts of iceberg lettuce piled high with goodies like bacon, eggs, croutons, black olives, creamy blue cheese dressing, there’s even a few healthy veggies thrown in for good measure!
This is a fun salad that can be prepped ahead of time for a crowd, and everybody gets excited when they see this platter of crunchy iceberg wedges loaded up with so many tempting toppings. It makes a vibrant centerpiece for a buffet, brunch, or barbecue, and even salad snubbers will race to grab a slice of this fresh veggie pie.
I grew up with ‘hearts of lettuce’ salads, but they weren’t nearly as tempting as this one. The main attraction back then was that they were easy, crunchy, and drenched in creamy Russian or Thousand Island dressing. I’ve swapped out a chunky blue cheese dressing for my version, and topped it with everything under the sun (or in the fridge.)
I slice my crisp head of iceberg lettuce in half, and then into 6 wedges. I keep the core intact until after I’ve sliced the wedges, which keeps them from falling apart. I’ll remove any loose leaves before arranging the wedges, cut side up, in a circle around a jar of dressing, it makes a pretty presentation.
Iceberg ~ the junk food of lettuce?
- It’s got a bad rap, but all lettuce is good for you, and iceberg is no exception.
- Iceberg’s not as nutrient dense as darker leafy greens like kale and spinach, but it still contains important vitamins, and it’s definitely not junk food!.
- It’s low in calories, high in fiber and super hydrating.
- It’s a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight because it will fill you up without extra calories.
- It keeps longer than most salad greens, which is a boon.
- Recent studies suggest iceberg might contain an important cancer-fighting compound, so don’t give up on it just yet.
- Now as for the blue cheese dressing…that’s another story :)
One of the fun things about this salad is that you don’t have to be neat, in fact, the more chaotic, the better. The colorful toppings tumbling down and around the wedges invite you to dig right in.
Toppings for my fully loaded wedge salad ~
- crisp crumbled bacon
- black olives
- red bell peppers
- seasoned croutons
- hard cooked eggs
- red onion
- garbanzo beans (canned)
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- crumbled bacon
- minced red onion
- finely chopped bell pepper
- finely chopped cucumber
- finely chopped carrots
- chopped croutons
- chopped cherry tomatoes
- finely chopped hard cooked egg
- chopped or sliced black olives
- garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cup sour cream (about 6 ounces)
- 3 ounces soft Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola
- juice of 1/2 lemon (more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put the dressing ingredients together in a small food processor and process briefly until combined, but still lumpy. Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste, and add more milk if you'd like a thinner dressing. Add more lemon juice if you like.
- Wash and dry your head of lettuce. Remove any loose or browned leaves. Slice the head in half, through the core. Slice each half into 3 wedges, so you have a total of 6 wedges. Remove any bit of core from the bottom of each wedge. Do this shortly before serving your salad, because the lettuce can start to turn brown once cut.
- Arrange your lettuce on a platter and drizzle each wedge with a little of the dressing. Scatter the toppings on top of the wedges and all around them.
- Serve immediately with extra dressing.
- Note: You can make individual salad plates instead of the platter if you like.
Make this fully loaded wedge salad your own ~
- I think I’ll try this with wedges of radicchio next time.
- Use heads of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise and grilled, as the base for a summer loaded salad. Add some grilled corn, too ~ yum!
- Go traditional with a nice homemade Russian or Thousand Island dressing.
Pin this fully loaded wedge salad so you won’t forget it
Other ‘loaded’ recipes to try ~