HomePork Best Wilted Lettuce Salad Recipe – Beans, Bacon and Ham!

Best Wilted Lettuce Salad Recipe – Beans, Bacon and Ham!

Posted in : Pork on by : Karen Metz Tags: , , , , , ,

My mom had the best wilted lettuce salad recipe! She would make this in the summer and use lettuce, onions, and radishes from our garden. I love getting fresh vegetables from a garden! There is nothing like growing your own, except cooking with your harvest.

My daughter is in charge of our garden this year. Unfortunately, she did not grow any of these ingredients, so I had to purchase them. I am looking forward to the produce she is growing! Especially the okra!

This is a simple recipe that can be started earlier in the day if you are using dried beans, or wait till much later and use canned/jar beans. Since I did not have the time to do dry beans, I purchased these from the store to help it go a lot quicker. But, normally, I love putting on a pot of beans and smell them simmering all day. W


What You Will Need

For the salad, you will need 3 heads of leaf lettuce. This is the amount I used for my large family, so feel free to cut it down if you need a smaller portion. Three bunches of green onions, 3 bunches fresh radishes, 2 pounds bacon, bacon grease reserved from cooking bacon, and 1/4 cup (or more) vinegar. Start with the 1/4 cup of the vinegar and then add more to your liking or put it in a vinegar bottle on the table for everyone to add as they like it.

Leaf Lettuce



Chopped green onions.

Green onions


Dry salad in a salad spinner.


Slice Radishes


Cooked bacon. Crumble and put in greens.

For the beans, you will need 2 pounds dry or 3 – 48 ounce jars Randal, already cooked great northern beans. If you are using dry, you will need salt and pepper to season with. You will also need 2 pounds of cut up, precooked ham to add to the beans. This is a great way to use up any leftover ham after a ham dinner! You can cut it up and put it in the freezer till you need it.

How To Make Wilted Salad

Wilted Salad

First wash and dry your leaf lettuce. One of the best ways to dry your lettuce is by using a salad spinner! A great time saver! Cut or tear the leaves into bite size pieces. I do not like the center, hard part of the leaf, so I take it out pinching off the outer greens for my salad. The middle goes to the rabbits or chickens.

Put your lettuce in a large bowl. Add to it, sliced green onions, and sliced radishes. Toss well.

Next, cook your bacon in a cast iron skillet till it is crisp. Take bacon out and put on a paper towel to dry and cool When it is cool, crumble and add it to the salad bowl and toss again. Reserve the grease from your bacon and keep it hot or, take it off heat and reheat it when you need it. Don’t let it burn!

Take hot bacon grease and drizzle approximately 1/4 of it on top of salad. The salad will sizzle and start to wilt. Toss again and add another 1/4th of the bacon grease. Toss again. Keep adding grease and tossing till all the grease is gone and salad is wilted.

Toss in vinegar. Taste to see if you need more or put additional vinegar on the table.

Making Beans and Ham

If you are using dry beans, soak them overnight. In the morning drain and rinse them and take out any bad beans. Put beans in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring beans to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 4 hours or until beans are soft and done. Keep a watch on them and add water as they cook so that you do not burn beans. When they are done, add salt and pepper to season to taste. Add cut up ham and let the ham get hot. Since the ham is already cooked, you do not need to cook it, just warm it up.

If you are using canned/jar beans, just dump beans in a stock pot, add cut up ham and heat till hot.

To Serve

To serve this, put a serving of salad unto your plate and top with beans and ham. I also made sweet cornbread to serve with it. Some members of my family like to put beans over their cornbread as well.


Did you get the chance make this? How did it turn out? Is there anything you would do differently? Leave me your suggestions and comments in the comment section below!

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