This classic Wedge Salad features crisp, refreshing iceberg lettuce drizzled with tangy blue cheese dressing and topped crunchy bacon, juicy tomatoes, toasty pecans and a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze. Just like you’d find in a steakhouse!
Classic Iceberg Wedge Salad
Iceberg wedge salads have to be one of the most simple yet sophisticated salads out there. All you need is a head of fresh, crispy iceberg lettuce, and a few toppings to create a salad that looks like it belongs on a plate at a fancy steakhouse.
Watch The Recipe Video
This classic recipe includes homemade blue cheese dressing, which is surprisingly easy to make from scratch. In fact, if you love blue cheese, I highly recommend doubling the ingredients so you have leftovers! (Though if blue cheese isn’t your favorite, you can easily replace it with ranch dressing!)
This salad takes just a few minutes to prepare and while it’s so perfect paired with a perfectly seared steak, it also makes a lovely light lunch on its own!
What Is A Wedge Salad?
A wedge salad is a simple salad made out of a quarter head of lettuce, topped with dressing and toppings. They’re very popular in steakhouses. While you can add whatever you’d like to it, a classic wedge salad is made with iceberg lettuce, blue cheese dressing, bacon crumbles, tomatoes, and chives. With simple ingredients, they can be served as a side dish to pretty much any meal or as a light meal on their own.
Both the homemade blue cheese dressing and the classic wedge salad require just a handful of common ingredients. See the recipe card below for measurements.
For the Dressing
- Greek yogurt – The yogurt adds a nice tanginess, but sour cream can be used in place of it.
- Mayonnaise – Adds extra creaminess to the dressing.
- Buttermilk – Thins the dressing while adding a tangy flavor.
- Parsley – You can use either fresh parsley or half the amount of dried parsley.
- Blue cheese – This is referring to the actual cheese, not a bottle of blue cheese dressing (since that’s basically what we’re making).
For the Salad
- Lettuce – See notes below.
- Bacon – I usually cook a whole package of bacon in the oven (less mess) and reserve the extra for other salads, sandwiches, or to eat with breakfast.
- Tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Chives – You can use diced red onion in place of or in addition to the chives.
- Pecans – Toasting the pecans brings out their amazing flavor even more. You can substitute candied pecans if you like a little sweetness to your salad. Both are delicious!
- Balsamic glaze – Balsamic glaze can be found at your grocery store near the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You can also make your own (see below).
What’s The Best Lettuce For A Wedge Salad?
Iceberg lettuce is typically used to make a wedge salad. You want a head of lettuce that’s nice and crispy and sturdy, not flimsy or soft, making iceberg the perfect candidate.
How to Make Balsamic Glaze
If you want to make your own balsamic glaze to top this iceberg wedge salad, all you need is balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Here’s what to do:
- Bring to a boil. Pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Simmer. Turn the heat down to a simmer until the mixture is reduced by half.
- Cool. The glaze will thicken as it cools. Store in the fridge in an airtight container or glass jar for a couple of weeks.
How to Make a Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Making a classic wedge salad, including the blue cheese dressing, is quick and easy.
- Make the blue cheese dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Stir well to combine and set aside.
- Cut the lettuce. To cut the lettuce for the wedge salad, cut the head of lettuce in half then cut off the stem. Place the halves cut side down and cut each in half again.
- Assemble the salad. Place each wedge on a serving plate. Drizzle with the blue cheese dressing. Add the toppings, then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Enjoy.
This salad recipe is pretty straight forward but here are a few tips to make it even easier.
- Add more toppings if desired. I figure about 1-2 tablespoons of bacon, tomatoes, pecans, chives, and extra cheese per wedge. Adjust the ingredient amounts if you prefer more.
- Chill the lettuce. For super crisp cold lettuce, after cutting the iceberg lettuce into wedges, place on a tray and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the dressing first. Most salads you put the dressing on last, but for the classic wedge, it needs to first so your other toppings will stick to the wedge.
- Cut the lettuce so it’s easier to eat. The wedge is a beautiful presentation, but let’s be honest– it’s tricky to eat. To make that task easier, you can slice your iceberg lettuce horizontally, into thick slices so it lays flat on the plate. Then dress as directed.
- What is the proper way to eat a wedge salad? This is a fork and knife salad! Since it is served in a wedge, you’ll need to cut into it with each bite.
- How to toast the pecans. Toasting pecans is easy! Place them in a small frying pan on medium low heat and stir occasionally until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer immediately to a bowl or plate as they will keep cooking in the pan.
What Goes With A Wedge Salad?
The great thing about this simple salad is that it goes with pretty much anything.
As a classic steakhouse side dish, it’s no surprise that this wedge salad recipe pairs so perfectly with steak, whether it’s perfectly marinated steak on the grill, pan seared steak, or garlic butter steak bites.
The possibilities really are endless!
How to Store Leftovers
- Salad. Once assembled, wedge salads are best eaten immediately! If you want to pack it for lunch or save it for later, it’s best to store the lettuce, dressing, and toppings all separately.
- Dressing. If you have extra blue cheese dressing it will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
More Easy Salads:
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 4 ounces of blue cheese
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 4 strips bacon cooked crispy and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh chives finely chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- Blue cheese dressing recipe included
- Balsamic glaze
- Additional crumbled blue cheese for garnish optional
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, buttermilk, lemon juice, parsley and blue cheese. Whisk or stir well to combine, set aside.
- Cut the iceberg lettuce in half, cut off the stem, then place the halves cut side down and cut each half in half again to make 4 wedges.
- Place each wedge on a plate. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing.
- Add the bacon, tomatoes, chives, pecans, and additional blue cheese (if desired).
- Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top. Serve immediately.