Lettuce and Tomato Salad with Mayo

Old school mayonnaise salad with lettuce and tomatoes is a Southern favorite recipe

Please Share Y'all!

In this post I’m sharing a vintage recipe for Lettuce and Tomato Salad with Mayo.

This old fashioned recipe is many decades old and I recall my mother making it when I was growing up.

The basic recipe is quite simple and you’ll find slight variations such as the addition of onion or a boiled egg.

I honestly don’t know if this was just a Southern thing or not but I know many Southern folks grew up eating this mayonnaise based salad.

Mayonnaise was a popular “dressing” back then and you’ll find it in many old school recipes such as classic pea salad, pear salad, pineapple salad and Waldorf salad.

I’ve mentioned before that I think using mayonnaise was so popular because that is what was available, there weren’t the many varieties of salad dressings that we have available today.

This particular mayonnaise salad also happens to be one of my husband’s favorites. He requested that I make one over the weekend and I thought I should share it with y’all too because I haven’t done that yet.

Vegetable Salad with Mayonnaise Dressing

Recipe for how to make a classic mayonnaise salad with photos of mayonnaise salad served in a white platter

Can I substitute Miracle Whip for Mayonnaise in this salad? You can if you’re fond of Miracle Whip since it is technically a salad dressing. I do recommend trying it with mayonnaise first. 

Which mayonnaise is best? For us the best mayonnaise is Duke’s but that is what I grew up with. It will vary according to your own personal tastes and likely what you have available in your area.

How to make mayonnaise salad? This salad is very simple to prepare and it is as easy as tossing the ingredients with a small amount of mayonnaise, just enough to lightly glaze the vegetables then season with salt and pepper.


Creamy Lettuce and Tomato Salad

Printable recipe for an old fashioned mayonnaise salad with lettuce and tomato

“Traditions are part of the illustrious monogrammed fabric that make up our DNA. They are the core building blocks of our Southerness. When we bleed, we bleed the colors of our football team and an excess amount of sweet tea. We do not take traditions too seriously at all because we are Southern. We are tradition.” ~ Jacklyn R.

Did you grow up eating this old school salad recipe? I’d love to know if you did, so leave me a comment and share your memories with us.

I don’t think that myself nor my husband are the only folks who have fond memories of the foods that we grew up with. That is something instilled in all of us.

I will always cherish the memories of recipes, cooking, and sharing meals with the wonderful cooks in my family.

Variations of this salad: add diced onion (my husband’s favorite, top with a sliced boiled egg, or add bacon to make it a BLT salad.

Yield: 6 Salad Servings

Lettuce and Tomato Salad with Mayo

Old school mayonnaise salad with lettuce and tomatoes is a Southern favorite recipe

Vintage recipe for a Southern mayonnaise salad with lettuce and tomatoes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 Head of Crisp Iceberg Lettuce, chopped
  • 4 Beefsteak Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 c Mayonnaise
  • 1 Small Onion, diced (optional)
  • Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, to taste


  1. Add the chopped lettuce, tomato and onion (if using) to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Next add the mayonnaise, beginning with a quarter cup, and lightly toss then add another quarter cup if needed so that the salad is lightly coated.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour before serving.


Mayonnaise salad can be topped with sliced boiled egg, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 246mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
How to make an old school mayonnaise salad with lettuce and tomatoes. This easy vintage recipe is a favorite side dish that our mother and grandmothers used to make. Serve is as a side dish or light dinner #salad #vintagerecipes #lettuceandtomatoes #mayonnaisedressing

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Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

See this recipe shared at these delicious food parties: Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday.

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  • Reply
    Bill U.
    September 3, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    I thought I was the only one on the planet who grew up eating this “salad”. It was exactly as you describe yours, Julia! Dad would plant 3 – acre sized gardens and we’d live off the harvest throughout the year. The main meal, besides corn, peas & potatoes was the ever present “lettuce salad” as Mom would call it. I never knew there was a salad dressing besides mayonnaise until I went to college. Mom got fancy in her golden years though – she added Onion! Thanks for the post, Julia, brought back a lot of memories.

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      September 3, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      I’m so glad you shared your happy memories of this recipe. I think it was a staple back in the day.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    We had this often back in my childhood. Mama called it “Poor Man’s Salad”….not sure why. I still make this salad and enjoy it so much. Nothing fancy….just good eats!

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      September 4, 2019 at 7:30 am

      Sometimes the simple things are the best.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Sometimes simple food like this is the best. I am going to have to put some hard boiled egg in mine though!

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    September 9, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    One of our favorite salads, it is always so good! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday,448 and hope you will come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Reply
    October 23, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    My mom (now 70) grew up with my grandma making this salad and my mom made it my whole life too. We are from WA state with no family in the south so I don’t think it’s just a Southern thing. However, no one I know ever knows about this salad so I’m glad to see we aren’t the only ones! We add dill to it & it is a staple when we have anything pork (dipping the pork in it is so good!). Thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      October 23, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that y’all enjoy this recipe too. It’s an old school one for sure and probably enjoyed by many. Possibly before the days of salad dressings. It’s certainly one of my earliest memories and we still make it.

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