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May 30, 2022

Classic Wedge Salad

Nostalgic, no-nonsense, Mad Men-era steakhouse food at its very finest—we give you, the classic wedge salad!


a classic wedge salad topped with homemade blue cheese dressing, blue cheese, bacon, cherry tomatoes and fried shallots
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Literally Who Doesn’t Love A Classic Wedge Salad? WHO!?

Like a moth and a flame, like the tides and the moon, like Frank Sinatra and a tumbler full of whiskey—if there is a wedge salad on the menu you can be certain we will be ordering it. The wedge salad is a sneaky one—it’s called a ‘salad’ sure, but it’s far from virtuous. This ultra-crisp, ultra-refreshing classic salad recipe is unabashedly hedonistic. By near-decree, in fact, this is a salad that must be bacon-topped and absolutely drenched in the thickest, chunkiest blue cheese dressing that you are able to make. It’s a steakhouse salad in every sense of the word—it’s as bold and classic and spectacularly old-school as the bloody rib-eye and bone-dry martini that should accompany it. And our wedge salad recipe is here to serve up nothing but classic comfort, classic satisfaction, classic, fully-loaded joy. Grab your favorite head-o-iceberg and let’s make a salad to adore.

bacon, iceberg lettuce, shallots, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles & other ingredients in bowls for classic wedge salads
thinly sliced shallots being fried in vegetable oil in a pan
fried shallots in a pan of vegetable oil being scooped out with a spoon onto a paper towel lined plate
thinly sliced fried shallots on a a paper towel lined plate

What Is a Wedge Salad Made Of?

No ifs ands or buts, a wedge salad must be made of iceberg lettuce. There’s no room for your fancy spring mixes or delicately sweet Bibb lettuce florets here. Nope. It’s gotta be good old Big Ag iceberg lettuce. Crisp, watery—in a good way!—and uniquely refreshing, wedge salads and iceberg lettuce are basically synonymous. If you’re looking for a salad made with any other type of lettuce, just move right along. Iceberg wedge is the only wedge. You heard it here, folks!

mayo, sour cream, Worcestershire, lemon juice, white vinegar, chives, cream & blue cheese in a bowl for blue cheese dressing
homemade blue cheese dressing in a bowl with a spoon to be put on top of classic wedge salads

What Do You Put On a Wedge Salad?

Excellent question, because a wedge salad recipe is ALL about the ingredients—a wedge salad recipe is only as good as the toppings that it calls for. We have tried to keep things classic, with a slight nod to personal taste, of course. A classic blue cheese wedge salad recipe must be topped with:

  • Bacon

  • Shallots

  • Plenty of black pepper

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Lots and lots of homemade blue cheese dressing AND blue cheese crumbles

a whole head of iceberg lettuce on top of a wooden cutting board
a head of iceberg lettuce being chopped into wedges with a knife on a wooden cutting board
a platter with 6 wedges of iceberg lettuce on it
a platter with wedges of iceberg lettuce surrounded by bowls of bacon, fried shallots, blue cheese dressing & tomatoes

How to Make a Wedge Salad

A wedge salad really is a knife-and-fork situation. It’s gotta be served whole-wedge with a steak knife (ideally) for cutting. So much about this salad is how it looks—chunky, whole, big, luxurious! That hunk of iceberg lettuce, all drizzled in dressing and bacon-topped, should invite people to just dig right in! Here’s how to make a truly classic wedge salad that’ll knock everyone’s socks off:

  1. Fry bacon! If you really wanted to make this wedge vegetarian, you could always leave the bacon off. It won’t be quite as authentic, but it’d still be a darn good salad.

  2. Fry shallots!

  3. Make homemade blue cheese dressing! It’s gotta be homemade, OK?

  4. Cut a head of iceberg into wedges. Duh!

  5. Top those wedges with all the things!

  6. DIG IN!

a platter of classic wedge salads with homemade blue cheese dressing, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, bacon and fried shallots

Tools You’ll Need

More Salad Recipes to Try & Love

a platter of classic wedge salads with homemade blue cheese dressing, bacon, tomatoes & fried shallots surrounded by toppings
a classic wedge salad with homemade blue cheese dressing, bacon, tomatoes and fried shallots on a plate with a fork and knife

One More For the Road

But we don’t mean another cocktail. We mean another wedge salad! This is one of those recipes we want to make again the day after we make it. It’s that good! We hope you love it, too! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Classic Wedge Salad

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  10 min
  • Calories: 557


  • ½ cup Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup minced, fresh chives
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Blue Cheese Dressing


  1. Brown the shallots: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the shallots. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots to a towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Once the shallots are cool enough to touch, toss them a bit to coat them evenly with the salt.

  2. Cook the bacon: In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a towel-lined plate.

  3. Peel the outer layers off of the head of lettuce. Smash the core against the counter to pop it out. Halve the head of lettuce lengthwise and then slice each half into 3 even wedges. Arrange the wedges on a platter.

  4. Make the blue cheese dressing.

  5. Drizzle or dollop the dressing over the wedges. Sprinkle the iceberg wedges with the cherry tomatoes, chives, bacon, fried shallots, and extra blue cheese and black pepper, if desired. Serve family style.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories557
  • Protein12 g
  • Carbohydrates7 g
  • Total Fat56 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol35 mg
  • sodium720 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Classic Wedge Salad

Questions & Reviews

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  • Anna

    Amazing!!! Always love a wedge salad. Made your blue cheese dressing using avocado mayo…a different taste but so good!!! Will be making again!!

    Thanks Anna, so happy you loved it!

  • Jenn

    This was fantastic! The homemade blue cheese dressing is so delicious, blows store bought out of the water and the platter of all the wedge salads looked almost too beautiful to eat.

    Thanks Jenn, glad you loved it!