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Wedge Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Balsamic

Classic Wedge salads are super simple and easy to make yet incredibly delicious and they pair well with almost any main dish.

The secret to this simple wedge salad is taking a few minutes to reduce your balsamic into a sweet, syrupy treat! Impress your guests with this restaurant quality wedge salad recipe!

A simple Wedge Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese and a 5-minute Balsamic Syrup Drizzle!

Wedge Salad Ingredients

The trick to a killer wedge salad is – wait for it – high-quality ingredients. It’s easy to forget that when you’re making something with so few ingredients, those ingredients matter much more than if you were able to “hide” one amidst the others. There’s no hiding with a wedge salad. Fresh tomatoes off the vine, crunchy fresh lettuce and way to go.

  • Head of iceberg lettuce: Iceberg lettuce is the main event of the dish! Look for super fresh, extra crisp and cold iceberg lettuce is a must in this salad.
  • Blue cheese dressing: Use your favorite blue cheese salad dressing but really, homemade buttermilk blue cheese dressing is the best way to go!
  • Fresh blue cheese: Blue cheese crumbles add tangy zing to the salad.
  • Crumbled bacon: Crumbles beat store-bought every time. See below for how make bacon crumbles.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Leave them whole and get them fresh off the vine if you can.
  • Balsamic Glaze: Balsamic dressing can be used but Balsamic glaze is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy, and adds a delicious, deep rich color and intense flavor. See below for how make a Balsamic glaze.

Pro Tip: For extra-crisp, chilled lettuce, soak the lettuce in an ice water bath for 10 – 15 minutes before preparing the wedge salad and serving.

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)

How to Make a Wedge Salad

Making a wedge salad is very easy but making the best wedge salad takes a few extra steps that are well worth it!

  1. Cut lettuce head in half, then cut each half into quarters.
  2. Drizzle each lettuce wedge with blue cheese dressing and balsamic glaze (reduction).
  3. Place on serving tray (or individual plates) and sprinkle with blue cheese, crumbled bacon and cherry tomatoes.

Serve immediately.

How to Cut the Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is the star of the show so first let’s cover how to cut this classic, restaurant-style iceberg lettuce just like you get at a steakhouse.

  1. Remove the Core by placing head of the lettuce on its side. Cut about 1 inch into the core and discard.
  2. Remove the outer leaves that are thin or even slightly wilted.
  3. Cut the head in half, then place the halves flat-side down and cut each half into quarters.
  4. Run cold water over each quarter to remove sand, dirt and bugs.

You can easily adjust the servings for this salad, too, just by cutting your head of lettuce into eight wedges instead of four. I prefer that size anyway; who needs that much lettuce? Everyone knows it’s the toppings that matter :) But however you take your wedge salad, I’m confident you’ll love this one.

Easy Wedge Salad

How to Make Balsamic Glaze (Reduction)

I like to take my wedge salad even one step further and drizzle balsamic glaze on top. Balsamic Glaze, also known as balsamic reduction, only takes a few minutes to boil down your vinegar into a sweet, syrupy treat. You can add regular balsamic but it won’t be the same; take the time to reduce it, trust me on this one!

  1. Add balsamic vinegar to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Then, reduce to a medium-low heat and simmer, stirring often so that the vinegar doesn’t burn, until the vinegar thickens to your desired thickness. Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  3. Allow to completely cool before drizzling.

How to Make Bacon Crumbles

Start with great quality bacon!

  1. Partially freeze the bacon.
  2. Stack the bacon strips directly on top of one another and cut the bacon strips into lardons (fancy word for slices). About ¼-inch thick to 1-inch long.
  3. Place the bacon into a medium-hot skillet and stir as it cooks to break the bacon apart.
A simple Wedge Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese and a 5-minute Balsamic Syrup Drizzle!

Wedge Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Balsamic

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

The trick to a Classic Wedge Salad is fresh, quality ingredients with crunchy lettuce, creamy dressing, salty bacon, sweet cherry tomatoes!


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • High-quality blue cheese dressing, preferable homemade
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2-1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup balsamic reduction (glaze)
  • 16 or so cherry tomatoes, quartered


  1. Remove core from lettuce. Cut lettuce head in half, then cut each half into quarters. Place on serving tray (or individual plates).
  2. Drizzle each lettuce wedge with dressing and balsamic reduction. Sprinkle with blue cheese, crumbled bacon and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Serve immediately.


This recipe can be made with store bought blue cheese dressing, balsamic dressing and crumbled bacon but for the ultimate wedge salad I recommend a homemade buttermilk blue cheese dressing, boiling the balsamic dressing into a balsamic glaze (reduction) and making your own bacon crumbles from high quality bacon.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 645Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 2037mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 42g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Wedge Salad Pairing Options

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Sunday 16th of February 2020

I was so excited to try a basalmic reduction rather than just drizzle it out if the bottle. I messed up somehow because once I spooned it on my wedge, it ended up hard and like caramel. I assume it was because I let it sit on the cold lettuce (I was preparing loaded potatoes!).

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

You definitely kept it on the heat too long. Try again but take it off the heat sooner as it will thicken as it cools. It's worth trying again, I promise!


Wednesday 25th of July 2018

Love the receipe! One of my favorite ! Delish !


Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Awesome!! Thank you :)

Portillo's Chopped Salad -

Wednesday 9th of December 2015

[…] dressing as it’s slightly sweet but still tangy with a garlic punch. And we all know how well balsamic goes with bacon and blue cheese. Even when it’s not in a salad it’s a great combination. You could add some of your […]


Saturday 19th of September 2015

looks great:) thanks for sharing


Tuesday 15th of September 2015

Kristy, During the last month or so before the farm share started this year, my spouse and I found ourselves craving salads and hitting the salad bar at the grocery store. I was blown away to discover wedge salads as one of the offerings. That's more creative than salad bars used to be! Now, of course, I am overrun with greens most of the time (and overrun with tomatoes and squash the rest of the time) so I'm craving fresh new ideas. I love the idea of a balsamic reduction in addition to blue cheese--thanks!

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