Wilted lettuce salad has always been my favorite summer salad.

Wilted Lettuce Salad - The Southern Lady Cooks

This wilted lettuce salad is easy to prepare using fresh garden vegetables and the dressing makes it delicious.  The first time I have this salad in summer, I cannot quit eating it.  When I was young, my father always grew a huge garden each year and we all looked forward to this salad.  You can double the recipe if you need more but this salad does not keep well refrigerated and should be served immediately after adding the dressing.  You might also like our recipe for Tomato Zucchini Salad. If you have not tried this salad, you are missing out on a real treat your family will love and enjoy.

Wilted lettuce garden salad Ingredients needed:

1 bunch of fresh leaf lettuce

bacon, cooked, crumbled

green onions with tops


bacon drippings

white granulated sugar

apple cider vinegar

Equipment needed:

Stove top pan

Large mixing bowl

This salad makes about 4 servings so you can always double it for a larger crowd. The dressing really does make this one delicious! Some people don’t add the radishes to this salad but I think they make it even better and my mother always added radishes from the garden. We love to serve this with our grilled chicken.


Wilted lettuce salad

Wilted lettuce salad

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Wilted Lettuce Salad

This Wilted Lettuce Salad is a classic! It's absolutely delicious!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: easy salad, hot salad, wilted lettuce salad, wilted salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: The Southern Lady Cooks


  • 1 bunch of fresh leaf lettuce or about 4 or 5 cups of chopped lettuce
  • 4 or 5 slices bacon cooked, crumbled and set aside (save drippings)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions with tops
  • 4 or 5 radishes sliced
  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Combine lettuce, bacon, green onions and radishes in a salad bowl.
  • Heat bacon drippings, sugar and vinegar on top of the stove until sizzling and sugar is melted.
  • Pour over salad and toss.  Serve immediately.  Makes about 4 servings.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Karen willis says:

    When I was growing up in NW Alabama, we always had a big garden to feed our family of 8. When the baby lettuce, green onion, and radishes started coming in ( typically the first wave of harvest in late spring/ very early summer) , my little German Mutti would make this salad. She used white vinegar, which was all we ever kept on hand, and no sugar, and would pour hot bacon grease over the salad, then add vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. When tomatoes starting ripening she’d sometimes dice one up and add it, but mostly it was baby lettuce, green onions with tops, and radish. So delicious, I make it still today, 60 years later! Thank you for sharing your version!!5 stars

  2. Diane Hinz says:

    Really great salads and bars

  3. Noel Brannum says:

    Oh the memories! I forgot about this salad. Will be on my to do list this summer. Thanks!5 stars

  4. Anne Hunt says:

    My absolute favorite meal! Add cornbread muffins and fried potatoes and you are in heaven.5 stars

  5. Hey Pa! Guess what Ma’s cookin’ for supper…Jowl Bacon, Wilted Bibb Lettuce Salad (no sugar), Skillet Fried Silver Queen Corn, Vinegar Vidalia Onions and Cucumbers, Pickled Beets, Sliced Beef Steak ‘Maters, Fried ‘Taters and Onions, Fried Hot Buttered Cornbread (no sugar) and lots of Sweet Ice Tea!! …and if you’re still hungry, slap some Blackberry Jam on a piece of that leftover cornbread! Good Kentucky eatin’! Southern Lady, you sure know your stuff!

  6. Carol Waits Duke says:

    we ate this with tender young mustard greens instead of lettuce. yum

    1. Ned McPherson says:

      You just made my heart melt and a tear to my eyes reading your post ! Growing up going to my GranMaws always would eat good! Texas Country Cooking is what I like to call it! It’s 630 AM and I’m planning the Wilted Greens for tonight, can’t wait 5 stars

  7. Kentuckylady 717 says:

    We used to just fry some bacon, and use the bacon grease….just make sure it is hot and when you pour it on it sizzles and omg you will love it just like this…..we only put lettuce & onions in it, when the lettuce & green onions just started coming in the garden….. salt and pepper, you won’t need anything else to eat….

    Making me want some now…..I just may go to store and pick up some left lettuce & green onions and make some….I’ve made it and just used hot olive oil and it is good also…..much better for you than the bacon grease…..but we all know bacon makes anything better LOL enjoy it this way too, just give it a try…..never had it with all these other things in it….. I just like the taste of lettuce & onions….can’t find a decent tomato here where I live now…..maybe a little later when the Amish starts selling theirs…..i

  8. Noel Brannum says:

    I had forgotten about this salad, only to remember how good it was. Will make this for my young DIL she will love it!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Wonderful! So glad you are going to make this salad. Enjoy!

  9. DEBBIE BISHOP says:

    Yes this is delicious and just the way my family always made it. We always had cold pork n’ beans and fried potatoes as sides with this salad and always fried corn bread. Yummy. I’ve not had this meal for many years since those I enjoyed it with have since passed on to their heavenly homes but your post brought back a flood of precious memories. I even remember that the leaf lettuce was named “Black Seeded Simpson” and yes radishes and green onions are a must. Happy Day to you !

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      So glad this recipe brought back great memories! Have a wonderful day.