facebook pinterest twitter google instagram rss

Wilted Lettuce Salad & Hot Bacon Dressing. A Classic Arkansas Recipe.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase. Learn more here.

A classic recipe handed down to me by my Grandma Mary from Arkansas, you’ll love this Wilted Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing.

Wilton Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

*This post is sponsored by Blake’s. It also contains affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site.*

One dish  I remember eating over and over when I was growing up is Wilted Lettuce Salad. My mom used to make it all the time – I think because it’s a great way to use up the plethora of leaf lettuce we had in the garden when I was growing up. My mom got the recipe from her mom, my Grandma Moore from Arkansas. I asked my mom about the history of the salad and she just laughed and said it’s an Arkansas thing. It’s the only way they eat leaf lettuce down there, she said.

Blake's all natural pot pies

homemade opt in

Let me help you Cook from Scratch! Get your free weekly meal plans by clicking here.

Blake's LogoI personally enjoy the salad because it’s easy to prepare ahead of time for busy days, AND, it really does do a great job of using up leaf lettuce, like my mom said. I’m excited to share this recipe thanks to a new collaboration with my partner, Blake’s All Natural Food. I first connected with Blake’s on Instagram over a year ago and have been excited to learn more about the company. Blake’s All Natural Food started after WWII with a family owned turkey farm that won many awards for the finest free-range, all-natural turkeys in the North East (though those terms weren’t yet commonly used then). When the Blake family found themselves with extra turkeys in the 1970s, they pulled out a family recipe handed down from Grandma Clara Blake and started selling home-made pot pies in church parking lots. 

Blake's all natural pot pies and wilted lettuce salad with hot bacon dressing

My wilted salad recipe has also been handed down from my Grandma Moore! And guess what? It’s delicious with Blake’s Pot Pies. With four kids playing spring ball, May and June are crazy months for us. I’m happy to have options like Blake’s for those days when I want a break from cooking. 

Blake's All Natural Made From Scratch Pot Pies

Next time you have a busy day and want a break from cooking, pick up Blake’s Pot Pies. The Turkey and Beef Pot Pies are currently available at Meijer and Publix stores with a wider distribution coming later in the summer/early fall.  However, you can get Chicken and other varieties at Target and Walmart, even in Eastern Iowa! Check out where you can find Blake’s pot pies with this store locator.  You’ll be glad you did! The pot pies are minimally processed, cooked in a small batch process, and include ingredients I recognize and can pronounce. They’re no artifical anything, no rGBH, no antibiotics, and they taste great.

Here’s how to make the Classic Arkansas Recipe, Wilton Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

wilted lettuce salad
Head out to your garden or the farmer’s market and pick up some leaf lettuce and a few green onions. Romaine works fine too. You’ll want to wash the lettuce thoroughly, no grit in the salad please, and either tear it or cut it. Your choice. Cook up 4 slices of bacon, remove to cool, and crumble over the salad. Reserve the grease because you’ll need 1/4- 1/3 of a cup of it for the salad dressing. Over medium heat, add vinegar, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar if you want. Whisk until the sugar’s melted, then pour over the salad. Serve the salad warm and enjoy!

Wilted Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing. A Classic Arkansas Recipe.

Wilted Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing. A Classic Arkansas Recipe.
A classic Arkansas recipe - Wilted Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing. You can prepare everything ahead of time and then add the dressing when you're ready to eat. Delicious!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 10-12 cups lettuce. Leaf lettuce is traditionally used, but I also like to use Romaine.
  • 3-4 green onions with whites. Thinly sliced.
  • 4 pieces of cooked bacon.
  • 1/4-1/3 cup bacon grease
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)


  1. Cook four strips of bacon and remove to cool and drain.
  2. Ideally, your lettuce comes directly from the garden or farmer's market. Wash it thoroughly and cut it into strips, or simply tear it.
  3. Place it in a large bowl and add the sliced green onions.
  4. Crumble the bacon and add it to the salad.
  5. To the hot bacon grease, add the vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar if desired.
  6. Stir until the sugar melts, then pour over the salad.
  7. Visualize that sizzling plate of fajitas you get at a Mexican restaurant and that's what making this salad is like. The hot dressing coats the lettuce and wilts it. The salad is served warm.

Have you heard of Wilted Lettuce before? I hope you’ll try it with a Blake’s Pot Pie soon. Many thanks to Blake’s All Natural for sponsoring this post.

homemade opt in

Let me help you Cook from Scratch! Get your free weekly meal plans by clicking here.

SimplifyLiveLove is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

About Michelle

Michelle Marine is green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. Shelley Glenn says

    June 8, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    My mom makes something very similar to this and it’s delicious. When my brothers and I were just little kids, we referred to this as “garbage”. We still love Mom’s garbage. Ha!

  2. Nicky says

    June 10, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    This salad reminds me of something my mom used to make. This and the pot pie would make a great quick family friendly meal. I will have to look for this brand the next to I shop.

  3. freda tucker says

    January 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Not just An Arkansas meal. My mother couldn’t wait for her leaf lettace and green onions got big enough for her first (Meal) LOL, because she would make a meal out of it. Of course I am the same way. I will make it until the lettuse is so bitter no one else can eat it, but I’m still eating it I’m from ALABAMA. Must be an A. thing. LOL

  4. Karen says

    February 4, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I grew up eating this! Eaten along with Macaroni and Tomato, it was a staple in our house. The elbow macaroni (cooked) was mixed with fried bacon, onion sauteed in bacon grease, and canned tomato sauce. Very good by the way 🙂 My mom learned to cook through the Depression… She could make filling meals, very economically! I have revamped many of her recipes to be more healthy for our current dietary needs.

  5. Janet Parson says

    May 17, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Hello from Arkansas! I love this salad!! My mom used to make it when I was a kid, it is delicious. I haven’t had this in years, brings back some good memories. By the way, we eat lettuce all kinds of ways and a green salad is always on the menu here. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Trese says

    November 13, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I’m with Freda I’m from Missouri and I grew up on this stuff loved it ,didn’t like having to work the garden but it was worth it in the end

  7. Venton Chaney says

    January 27, 2019 at 8:41 am

    My Grandmother from Pa. use to make the same thing. I grew up eating this all the time. We happened to be talking at work about foods we grew up eating, and wilted lettuce came up. I haven’t had any since the early 90’s and didn’t know how to make it. I am so glad I found this. Thanks so much!!

  8. James Bonzon says

    March 27, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    My German aunt from St. Louis used to make this all the time. Sometimes she also made canned blue lake whole green beans with the same mixture. She would let the beans steep in the onion, drippings, and vinegar with a hint of sugar, overnight. The texture of the beans would wrinkle a bit and be delicious when heated the next day.

    What makes the lettuce wilt? How long does it take to wilt?

    • Michelle says

      March 27, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      The heated grease or oil makes the lettuce wilt and it wilts right away when you pour it over the lettuce! I love German salads. They are the best! 🙂

  9. Stacy from Missouri says

    May 12, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Our family loves us some wilted lettuce, actually making this today for mothers day. It is actually one of my oldest sons favorite things and I am going to show my New Daughter in law how to make today so he can have it more often…Thanks for the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *