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Wedge Salad with Crispy Fried Shallots

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Take a classic Wedge Salad recipe and add Crispy Fried Shallots to make the most perfect, elegant salad that rivals any served at the very best steakhouses. This ultimate iceberg wedge salad is fully loaded with crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes and red onions, drizzled with a delicious homemade blue cheese dressing with buttermilk, and garnished with crispy fried shallots.

Serve Wedge Salad with Crispy Fried Shallots as a side dish or as a light lunch on chilled plates with extra blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of a good quality aged balsamic vinegar for an ultimate culinary experience you can easily create at home.

wedge salad on a withe plate with chopped tomatoes, bacon, and crispy shallots

Wedge Salad with Crispy Fried Shallots

I ate my first wedge salad at a dinner I co-hosted for out-of-town clients a few years ago at the trendy Bistro by the Tracks, then Knoxville’s most popular upscale restaurant. What I remember most about the salad was the perfect combination of gorgonzola, Benton’s bacon, tomato, tangy buttermilk dressing, and balsamic vinegar on a crisp lettuce wedge.

First off, I’ve never been a big fan of blue cheese. Second, I thought the only tasty way to eat an iceberg lettuce salad was with fresh tomatoes, garden cucumbers, and Ranch dressing. Third, I was very, very wrong. Wedge salad is seriously good!

Thankfully, the waiter that evening insisted the wedge was definitely the best choice for our table and so my LOVE for the classic wedge and a good blue cheese dressing was born, right then and there.

slicing shallots on a cutting board
Though onions and shallot are related, they are not always interchangeable in recipes. A shallot is milder and sweeter when cooked.

Crispy fried shallots take it over the top

Mind you, that first wedge salad I had at Bistro by the Tracks was near perfect, but when I went to recreate the recipe myself, I decided to add even one more delicious component — fried shallots.

When cooked, shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and make a delicious accompaniment to salads and other dishes.

To fry shallots, always start in a cold pan with vegetable oil. This helps ensure the shallots get crisp and golden brown without burning. As the oil and shallots heat up, stir gently with a spatula or fork to separate the rings or slices.

Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the shallots are brown and crispy. Watch carefully during the last couple of minutes as the shallots can quickly go from perfect to burnt!

crispy shallots on a wedge salad with buttermilk blue cheese dressing

Prepping the wedge

A full head of iceberg lettuce will make four salads. Choose a head that is large and firm, without any noticeable dark spots.

  1. First, remove any of the outermost leaves that appear wilted. Give the lettuce head a quick rinse under cold water and dry it off with paper towels.
  2. Slice the head in half from top to bottom through the core. Place each half cut side down and cut it in half again through the core.
  3. Now you have 4 wedges. Slice off a thin section of core stem end and place the wedges on salad plates, or chill until ready to use.
homemade buttermilk blue cheese dressing in a mason jar with blue cheese crumbles

The dressing

My wedge salad boasts a Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing with Buttermilk that you can make in under 10 minutes. It’s creamy with some chunks of blue cheese and is not overpowering on this salad. Choose the blue cheese flavor profile that best fits your taste for this dressing. If you like the stronger, more pungent blues, try Stilton blue cheese. For a milder flavor, use Danish Blue or Gorgonzola.

There’s no judge zone here, though. You can always make this salad using a bottled blue cheese dressing, too!

wedge salad with buttermilk blue cheese dressing

How to eat a wedge salad

Now that all that goodness is on the plate, how exactly does one eat a wedge salad? Unlike chopped salads where a lot of the work has been done for you already, you’ll need to grab a knife and fork to tackle a wedge.

The best way is to start by cutting the wedge down the middle so you have two large pieces on your plate. From there, cut bite size pieces as you go, drag them through the blue cheese dressing and toppings, and savor the flavor with every forkful!

Related recipes

  • Insalata Della Casa. Bravo’s signature copycat recipe with a creamy homemade Parmesan Ranch dressing with tangy buttermilk.
  • Asian Chicken Salad. Lots of color and crunch combine to create a beautiful and delicious, not to mention healthy, version of Asian Chicken Salad that you can make at home.
  • Citrus Grilled Shrimp Salad. A light and refreshing dinner that uses orange juice and fresh lime juice are the base for its light vinaigrette.
  • Chopped Chicken Salad with Fresh Peaches. The BEST chopped chicken salad! with fresh peaches! Add Feta cheese, smoked almonds, and a sweet citrus vinaigrette for a perfect light and healthy dinner!

Let’s cook!

A wedge salad is the perfect salad to make with iceberg lettuce. If you’re not a fan of iceberg lettuce, try this recipe with a head of romaine instead. You won’t get the same crisp wedge of lettuce, but you will still have the delicious crumbled bacon and blue cheese combo.

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Yield: 4 servings

Wedge Salad with Crispy Fried Shallots

wedge salad with buttermilk blue cheese dressing

This ultimate iceberg wedge salad is fully loaded with crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes and red onions, drizzled with a delicious homemade blue cheese dressing with buttermilk, and garnished with crispy fried shallots.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing with Buttermilk (or store-bought)
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • blue cheese crumbles (optional)4

Instructions

  1. Slice the shallots either crosswise into thin rings or lengthwise into thin strips. Add the shallots and vegetable oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Use a spatula to stir the shallots until the slices are separated. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes until tender.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking and stirring a couple more minutes, until the shallots are golden brown. Watch carefully and do not burn! Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and cool completely.
  3. Rinse the head of lettuce and remove the outermost leaves. Cut the lettuce in halve through the core, then cut each half into two wedges. Trim the bottom core and place each wedge on a plate.
  4. Drizzle each wedge with 2 tablespoons (or more) of the blue cheese dressing. Evenly sprinkle the diced tomatoes, red onion, and bacon over the dressing. If desired, drizzle 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar over top.
  5. Garnish each salad with a mound of crispy fried shallots. Add extra blue cheese crumbles, if desired.

Notes

Prepping the lettuce

  1. Remove any outermost leaves that appear wilted. Give the lettuce head a quick rinse under cold water and dry it off with paper towels.
  2. Slice the head in half from top to bottom through the core. Place each half cut side down and cut it in half again through the core.
  3. Now you have 4 wedges. Slice off a thin section of core stem end and place the wedges on salad plates, or chill until ready to use.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 647Total Fat: 60gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 47gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 811mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 11g

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ABOUT SHEILA
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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