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+ servings
overhead shot of southern wilted lettuce salad in gray bowl with blue napkin
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5 from 1 vote

Southern Wilted Lettuce Salad

Delicious in an unforgettable way, made with fresh crisp buttery lettuce and homespun bacon grease is simply the best summer salad you’ll ever try!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: wilted lettuce salad, killed lettuce salad
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker
Cost: $5


  • Frying Pan
  • spatula
  • measuring cup
  • bowl
  • knife
  • whisk


  • 4 Slices of bacon - crumbled.
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 head of butter lettuce - torn into into bite sized pieces
  • 2 green onions (whites and top- chopped small
  • Kosher or Sea salt for sprinkling


  • Fry the bacon until crisp in a large frying pan. Remove to a paper towel to drain then crumble. Reserve the grease in the pan.
  • To the bacon grease and drippings, add vinegar, sugar and black pepper. Set stove top on medium. Whisk together while heating over medium heat until mixed well and hot.
  • Place the lettuce and onions into bowls. Top with the bacon crumbles.
  • When bacon grease mixture is heated through, pour over the lettuce and onions. Lettuce will wilt immediately. Sprinkle with a dash of kosher or sea salt. Serve immediately.



  • Use the freshest lettuce that you can find.  Butter lettuce is the best option, but if that isn’t available, use a fresh, crisp romaine.  You want to wilt the lettuce with the bacon vinaigrette so don’t start with a wilted lettuce. 
  • You’ll want to use simple ingredients in this salad, nothing fancy.  All you really need is lettuce and onion but you can also add radishes, tomato or carrot for color.
  • Bacon grease is an essential component of the dressing, don’t skimp by trying to use olive oil or vegetable oil, it won’t taste the same. The bacon grease adds smokiness, salt and a heap of flavor, its more than just the oil/grease. 
  • After you have whisked the bacon grease, you are going to want to taste it before applying it to the salad. You should get a sweetness, acid, smoky and salty flavor.  If you are lacking any of those components, you’ll want to adjust the ingredients. Do so by tiny increments because you will only have a set amount of bacon grease.  
  • When drizzling over the lettuce, use care.  The grease is hot and it only takes a tiny bit to dress and entire salad. 
  • We find that this salad works best if it is already portioned out into bowls rather than trying to do a large family style salad bowl to serve from.
PRO TIP:  To save money, buy the "ends and pieces" box of bacon to use for this recipe.  Just use an approximate similar amount to 4 pieces of bacon.  Also, the thinner less expensive bacon works just fine in this recipe. 


Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 736IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg