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Wedge Salad

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Undeniably retro yet still fresh, the classic wedge salad with blue cheese dressing is a steakhouse mainstay.

I cut my teeth in the restaurant business at a fine dining steakhouse in Washington, DC, where this classic wedge salad was a permanent menu fixture. Made from cool, crunchy wedges of iceberg lettuce drizzled with blue cheese dressing and topped with crumbled bacon, cherry tomatoes, and chives, the wedge has long been a steakhouse mainstay. The salad became popular in the late 1950s/early 1960s and has enjoyed a bit of a comeback in recent years with lots of restaurant chefs putting their own spin on it. However, the retro version needs no improvement. It’s easy to make for a crowd when you have people over, and it makes a gorgeous presentation on a platter when served family-style. Pair the wedge with steaks, burgers, grilled or roasted chicken, or just good crusty bread.

What You’ll Need To Make Wedge Salad

ingredients to make wedge salad with blue cheese dressing

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Cook the Bacon

I use the oven method to cook the bacon, which is the way to go when you’re cooking more than just a few slices. Simply lay the slices of bacon on a lined baking sheet (I use both foil and parchment for easy clean up and to prevent sticking).

bacon on foil and parchment-lined baking pan

Bake in a 400°F-oven for 14 to 18 minutes for regular bacon and 18 to 20 minutes for thick-cut bacon, rotating the baking sheet from front to back midway through cooking.

crispy cooked bacon

Remove the bacon from the oven and, using tongs, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.

bacon draining on paper towels

Step 2: Make the Blue Cheese Dressing

Combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, salt, pepper, garlic, and apple cider vinegar in bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked blue cheese dressing baseStir in the blue cheese crumbles and chives. (Alternatively, if you’d prefer a smooth dressing with a more uniform blue cheese flavor, you can blend all of the ingredients except the chives in a food processor, and then stir in the chives.)

adding blue cheese and chives to the blue cheese dressing base

Step 3: Assemble the Salad

Cut the head of iceberg into wedges.

cutting lettuce into wedges

Slice the tomatoes and chives.

chives and tomatoes on cutting board

On a platter or individual plates, spoon the desired amount of dressing on each wedge (you may have some dressing leftover). Top with a quarter of the bacon pieces, tomatoes, chives, and crumbled blue cheese. The easiest way to eat a wedge salad is with a fork and knife.

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Wedge Salad

Undeniably retro yet still fresh, the classic wedge salad with blue cheese dressing is a steakhouse mainstay.

Servings: 4


  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 head chilled iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters, cored, and any limp outer leaves removed
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives

For the Blue Cheese Dressing

  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann’s or Duke’s
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives


  1. Cook the bacon: Preheat the oven to 400°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a 13 x 18-inch rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty wide aluminum foil so that there is some overhang on all sides (this prevents the grease from getting onto the baking sheet), then cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Lay the slices of bacon on the baking sheet and bake for 14 to 18 minutes for regular bacon and 18 to 20 minutes for thick-cut bacon, rotating the baking sheet from front to back midway through cooking.
  2. Carefully remove the bacon from the oven and, using tongs, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate or cutting board.
  3. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Make sure your blue cheese is crumbled into small pieces. Add to the mixture along with the chives and stir to combine. To incorporate some of the blue cheese crumbles more thoroughly, use the back of a spoon to mash them against the sides of the bowl, and then stir again. (Alternatively, if you want the dressing completely smooth, blend all of the ingredients except for the chives in a food processor, then stir in the chives.)
  4. To serve, on a platter or individual plates, spoon the desired amount of dressing over each wedge (you will likely have some dressing leftover). Top with a quarter of the bacon crumbles, tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese, and chives. The easiest way to eat a wedge salad is with a fork and knife.
  5. Note: If you have additional dressing, will keep nicely, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 584
  • Fat: 29 g
  • Saturated fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Sodium: 558 mg
  • Cholesterol: 42 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • I made the wedge salad yesterday, it was great! Tonight I’m trying your Cobb salad recipe! I want to say I love your recipes, I think the picture of ingredients you use is super helpful, I have tried other recipes as well and have added all to my favorites. Thank you for all the work you put into them.Mary

    • — Mary on March 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • We had the Wedge Salad for dinner tonight and everyone loved every bite! I made shrimp and garlic bread to go with it but it would have been plenty all by itself. It was beautiful and delicious! Thank you for yet another fabulous recipe.

    • — Jeannie on November 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • The dressing is the BOMB! My boyfriend said the salad was restaurant quality, and I agree. Another great recipe from Jenn!! Highly recommend!!

    • — Eileen on October 6, 2022
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  • I made this for lunch today and it was delicious! I took a shortcut and used Costco real bacon bits because I didn’t have any other bacon on hand. I also used lowfat mayo and sour cream and it still turned out great. This is a beautiful salad on the plate. I think the iceberg lettuce has a crisp, delicate, refreshing taste that is the perfect pairing with the rich, indulgent dressing and salty bacon. Can’t wait to have the leftover dressing on another salad tomorrow.

    • — Sarah Scott on September 18, 2022
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  • Oh Jenn!!!
    This is absolutely gorgeous! It’s true, we do first eat with our eyes; I actually salivated! Will buy ingredients next time I’m at the grocery store – I can’t wait! Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!
    PS – Rating is for the “eye candy”, I have not made it yet.

    • — Heather Lampman on September 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hey Jenn, I have no doubt this recipe is fantastic. However, both my husband and I are card-carrying Blue Cheese Dislikers. 😉 Would feta instead of the blue cheese work? Or do you have something else you’d recommend? Thanks in advance!

    • — Andrea on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Do you wash the lettuce? If so, how do you do it?

    • — David on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi David, It usually comes wrapped in plastic, so I just rinse the outer layer before removing any wilted leaves and coring it.

      • — Jenn on September 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • I love this recipe. Brings back happy memories.

    • — Ann on September 15, 2022
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  • Jenn I am so confused why anyone would bring back this recipe without changing the lettuce.
    Nutritionally speaking, romaine is deemed superior to iceberg. Romaine is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A and C, and good amounts of folic acid and magnesium. Head lettuce has never offered any nutritional value. So why stop at changing the dressing…change the lettuce and offer a more nutritional value. Romaine taste so much better.

    • — Marlene on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • A ‘classic’ wedge salad uses iceberg lettuce, not romaine…full stop. And are you really looking for ‘nutritious’ when you indulge in the decadent, delicious dressing?? Want romaine? Have a Caesar.

      • — Jan on November 7, 2022
      • Reply
    • Good morning Marlene,

      If this recipe isn’t for you, you don’t need to bother to make it. But for many of us, we enjoy Jenn sharing her talent : baking & cooking experiences, including the recipes.

      While iceberg may not reign superior regarding nutrition, there are worse things out there…..and sometimes nothing beats a classic.

      It sounds like you have a handle on making this in a way you feel good about. In the meantime, I’m grateful for Jenn’s cookbooks,her website & sharing all her knowledge.

      I gave this 5 Star because like everything else from Jenn, it’s outstanding.

      • — Lisa on December 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Thank you. I was wondering how the restaurants get their wedges to be so crisp and cold? I think that’s really the main trick to a good wedge salad.

    • — Anne on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, the key to that is to keep the wedges of lettuce in the fridge right up until you’re ready to top them with the other ingredients. Hope you enjoy if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    I think your recipes and both cookbooks are fabulous! However…..I’m always reducing fat amounts or substituting healthier fats to make them much more healthy. Have you considered recipe development that is moderate with the saturated fat content? I’m not talking about no fat or low fat recipes, just healthy or more moderate amounts of fat! That includes your baking recipes – they are delicious but not necessarily healthy or moderate with saturated fat content.

    • — Diana on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Diana, Thanks for your support of the cookbooks and nice words about the recipes – so glad you like them! I do try to achieve a balance when developing recipes and have some that are indulgent as well as some that are healthier with lower amounts of fat. I will keep your request in mind though, as I continue to develop new recipes – thanks for the feedback!

      • — Jenn on September 15, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,

        I hope this doesn’t get sent twice…I started it & it disappeared 😬
        Anyway! I’m writing w/a request:

        Please refrain from turning your website into a “diet” one. I’ve read where some have asked you to “offer healthier” recipes. Overall, your recipes are fine as they are. And indulging occasionally is good for the soul! I have both your books, and I truly look forward to opening your emails and reading through the list of recipes being offered.

        Making substitutions is INCREDIBLY EASY for those who feel they need to. But I’m asking you to please keep everything as is-I think there are many of us who recognize the balance you have achieved in your recipes. I also love when you provide your personal & professional experiences related to the variety of recipes. With the craziness of the last few years and I suppose where the world remains, your books & website is a comforting departure I look forward to.



        • — Lisa on December 29, 2022
        • Reply
        • I agree with you Lisa! If you’re looking for healthy recipes, I suggest buying a weight watchers cookbook. Don’t change your ingredients Jenn!

          • — Dolly on January 23, 2023
          • Reply
  • Do you need to wash the lettuce? If so, how?

    • — David on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi David, Iceberg is usually wrapped in plastic and pretty clean. I simply rinse the outer leaves.

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2022
      • Reply

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