Southern Wilted Lettuce with Hot Bacon Dressing Recipe

Wilted Lettuce Salad
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 17 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (51)

This wilted lettuce is also known as killed lettuce or "kilt" lettuce. The lettuce softens under the hot, tangy dressing. You might have fond memories of this famous Southern salad. And what better way to use fresh-from-the-garden spring lettuce and green onions.  Thanks to Sandy for sharing this excellent family recipe.

A hot dressing made with bacon drippings wilts the lettuce and give the salad its fabulous flavor. The sugar gives the salad a sweet and sour taste, but it may be omitted or reduced if you like a less sweet dressing. Double the bacon drippings and vinegar for a saucier salad.

Fry (or bake) 4 to 5 strips of bacon before you begin; drain and crumble the bacon and use it as a garnish. Enjoy this salad with freshly baked cornbread or cornbread muffins.

What You'll Need

  • 8 cups shredded lettuce
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons melted bacon drippings
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

How to Make It

  1. Combine the shredded lettuce and chopped green onion in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a saucepan and heat to boiling point; pour over the shredded lettuce mixture.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Toss to mix. Serve at once.


  • Replace the lettuce with spinach.
  • Add crumbled bacon to the salad or bits of diced browned ham.
  • Omit the sugar for a less sweet dressing.
  • Add a garnish of sliced hard-boiled eggs to the salad.
  • Thinly slice fresh spring radishes and add to the salad.
  • Replace the green onions with about 3 tablespoons of chopped sweet onions.


Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
32 Calories
1g Fat
4g Carbs
2g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)