We typically think of salad as being built with cool, crisp lettuce or other greens. But if you grew up in the South, especially in Appalachia, you've probably had wilted lettuce salad with warm bacon dressing. The leaf lettuce is gently wilted by the heat from the bacon drippings, and the tangy salad dressing adds just the right bite. With almost no prep time, this recipe is going to become your family's favorite salad.

To make this salad as an easy side dish for family dinner, start by cooking four slices bacon until they are extra crispy. When the bacon is done, set the slices onto paper towels to drain. While the bacon is cooking, toss the lettuce with sliced green onions in a large bowl. When the bacon is cool, crumble it over the salad.

While the pan you cooked the bacon in is still warm, add the sugar, salt, black pepper, and apple cider vinegar to the warm bacon grease. Add the ingredients gently so that you don't create grease splatters. Whisk everything until the sugar dissolves; if you need to turn the heat back on, keep it on low. Pour the sizzling dressing over the salad and quickly toss to evenly wilt. Serve the wilted lettuce salad with bacon dressing while still warm and enjoy!

Wilted Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes



  • 1 head lettuce, torn (That should get you about 6 to 8 cups)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (Add more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Cook the bacon until extra crispy, then set aside to cool and drain.

Toss the lettuce with the green onions in a large mixing bowl. Crumble the bacon over the salad.

Add the sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar to the warm bacon grease. Be careful to avoid splatters. Whisk until the sugar dissolves, turning on the heat as needed to help the process along.

Pour the sizzling dressing over the salad and quickly toss to evenly wilt. Serve warm.


There are as many versions of this salad as there are families in the South. Some popular variations call for a diced boiled egg or two, or a handful of sliced radishes.

Nutrition Facts
Wilted Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 44 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 132mg 6%
Potassium 136mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 9%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.