Romaine Wedge Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

5 from 1 vote
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Romaine Wedge Salad is a modern update combining two retro recipes into one easy and impressive side dish. Hot bacon dressing, jazzed up with real maple syrup instead of refined sugar, is drizzled over a wedge salad.  Only this one uses Romaine lettuce instead of iceberg. It’s a combination of two vintage dishes, and it is absolutely delicious!

Romaine Wedge Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing recipe image with title text

Is that nostalgia in the air? Or do I just smell…

It’s time for some Retro Recipes for #SundaySupper. You know, those recipes that bring us back to mom’s or grandma’s kitchen, or just remind us of a time gone by. This week we are sharing our favorites, either made as we remember them, for the sake of nostalgia and sentimentality, or remixing them to update them to be more modern, whether it is taste, ingredient availability, or healthy and nutrition considerations.

I sort of remixed two recipes in one – the classic lettuce wedge salad, and an old fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch Hot Bacon Dressing.

While not “bad” for you, I think we all know that iceberg lettuce is pretty much void of any nutritional value. Not only for the health benefits, but also for the flavor, I do prefer darker leafys, like romaine, baby spinach, arugula, or mixed greens. There are two places where I will consciously make the choice to get a wedge of iceberg. One is a restaurant near my mom’s, Irish Eyes, in Lewes, DE, where they load up the wedge with blue cheese, bacon, and tomatoes. I usually opt for the blue cheese dressing over their recommended Ranch (since I swear I am one of the few Americans who hates Ranch dressing). This is my meal, it is so huge and tasty!

The other is a great local pub, Tumulty’s, in New Brunswick, NJ with amazing burgers. I have been going there since I was a kid, and actually went for a burger when I was in labor with The Bug (talk about nostalgia!). Their house salad is a plain old wedge, but served with one of their delicious homemade dressings. I usually opt for their pungent honey mustard, or creamy and tangy blue cheese.

Half a head of romaine lettuce drizzled with hot maple bacon dressing and topped with halved grape tomatoes

Hot Bacon Dressing was first introduced to me in the form of a jar of gloppy stuff from my mother-in-law’s fridge.

It was warmed in the microwave and served over iceberg lettuce. But then I was digging in a box of recipes she had given to The Hubby years ago, and found a recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Hot Bacon Dressing scrawled on a scrap of paper. I use the term “recipe” loosely, because it was basically a list of ingredients and some vague instructions. So one day, I decided to wing it, and the dressing, in its “original” form, turned out delicious! It is definitely a favorite of The Hubby.

So how did I remix these two classics?  Instead of a quarter of a head of iceberg, I gave you half of a romaine heart with some halved grape tomatoes. The dressing is made gluten free by using cornstarch instead of flour, and made without refined sugar, by using super-flavorful real maple syrup. A leaner center cut bacon is also used, though I have made the original recipe with turkey bacon in the past, and have been quite pleased with the results. We also like a little more tang, so I upped the vinegar. Perfection!

I will admit though, hot bacon dressing is quite tasty over plain old iceberg and is lovely with the romaine. But I am thinking it would be perfect to slightly wilt a bed of baby spinach with either some raw button or cremini mushrooms, or some grilled portabellos. Oh, the possibilities! While the leftovers taste fine cold, heating it really does bring out the sweet, sour, smoky, and salty flavors. There really is no need to have anything other than some lettuce and this dressing. Though some blue cheese could never hurt…

No recommendations from The Bug, because while he is a pretty good eater, I cannot do anything to get him to eat anything raw, green, and leafy.

Even if I cover it in sweet, creamy, hot bacon dressing goodness….

Hot bacon dressing, jazzed up with real maple syrup and NO refined sugar, then drizzled over a classic romaine wedge salad. |

Crazy kid! But from The Hubby – big thumbs-up! I also managed to polish off the leftovers for lunches the rest of the week. I will never turn down hot bacon dressing!

Make sure to check out all of the other super-fun Retro Recipes at the bottom of this post!

What is your favorite “retro” dish? Do you like the classic version, or have you updated it?

Please let me know what you think of the maple twist on the hot bacon dressing!

Plated salad with a fork and a glass of red wine
5 from 1 vote

Romaine “Wedge” Salad with Hot Maple Bacon Dressing

A warm dressing that is sweet, salty, smoky, sour, and... BACON-Y!


For the dressing:

  • 2 c water
  • 1/4 c real maple syrup or 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 egg or 1/4 c egg substitute
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4-1/3 c cider vinegar
  • 6 slices well-cooked crumbled bacon (I used center cut. Regular bacon or turkey bacon works fine, as well)

For each salad:


For the dressing:

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the water, syrup, cornstarch, egg, and salt.
  • Heat over medium low heat to a simmer, then cook, whisking frequently, until it is hot and starts to thicken.
  • Increase the heat and allow to boil slightly to thicken completely.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and crumbled bacon.
  • Serve while still warm, or reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

For each salad:

  • Lay the romaine heart on a plate, cut side up.
  • Top with the tomatoes, pepper, and a few spoonfuls of the warm dressing.



Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:

Sunday Supper Retro Salads:

  • Coca-Cola Salad by Magnolia Days
  • Salmon Salad | Retro Tuna Salad by Family Foodie
  • Ambrosia Salad by Simply Gourmet
  • Romaine “Wedge” Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
  • Carrot & Raisin Salad by The Roxx Box
  • Sweet & Smoky Broccoli Salad by In The Kitchen with KP

Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:

SundaySupper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:

Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:


  1. Renee

    I’m curious,

    What is the purpose of the egg in this recipe? If the cornstarch is what acts as the thickener, is the egg just to add depth of flavor? I’m going to make it this weekend for Mother’s Day brunch and I’m really looking forward to it.

    1. It helps with thickening a bit without having to use more cornstarch which can make it gluey, and it adds to the richness and flavor. While I did make a few changes to the classic recipe I got from my mother-in-law, this is a super old recipe and egg has always been part of it so I didn’t want to change too much to keep it true to the orignal.

  2. I remember my mother making what she called wilted salad with a hot bacon dressing…and I loved it! This one sounds great, and I love the idea of using Romaine instead of iceberg, though it may be hard to give up the blue cheese dressing I love!

  3. Im with you on the whole iceberg lettuce thing. I might as well not even bother eating a salad because when I do, I barely eat the lettuce! However, I do love other leafy greens and of course bacon, so I can eat this and call it healthy right 😉

  4. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    I love eating lettuce and it saddens me that there’s so little nutritional value. Oh well – greens are greens in my opinion! And this hot maple bacon dressing sounds to die for! I’d eat any salad if it were smothered…er, I mean, lightly drizzled with this dressing 😉

  5. What a great post & fantastic pictures :))) the romaine wedge sounds divine. We have not had iceberg in years and we also love dark, greens over the barely green iceberg 🙂

  6. Wow – what a great combination. I love making homemade dressings and this one is making my mouth water. I had an amazing salad years ago that plagues my memory. It combined bacon with blue cheese, and I’m trying to imagine if this dressing would work with blue cheese… thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    This dressing would be great over arugula. It all sounds interesting with the maple syrup, so very retro! Lettuce is so plain it really needs bacon!

  8. Looks delicious! I also like the non-nutritional iceberg, slathered with blue cheese and bacon with tomato wedge on the side. very 50’s-70’s old steakhouse. You are too young to remember! 😉 Think I will try your version tonight!! YUM!

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