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This Layered Rainbow Salad with a creamy buttermilk poppy seed dressing is a crowd pleasing layered salad that can be assembled ahead of time so it's perfect for picnics, potlucks, and barbecues. It's colorful and festive, and guaranteed to get raves!


serves 8

Total time

0 minutes


Sides, Lunch


  • 1 5-ounce tub of baby spinach or baby kale, or a mixture of sturdy lettuces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut in a small dice
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, blackened on a grill pan, kernels removed
  • ¼ small purple cabbage (shredded)
  • 3 hard boiled Eggs (chopped)
  • 6 ounce can black olives (sliced)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted
  • 10 pieces of crisp bacon (crumbled)
  • buttermilk dressing
  • ½ cup buttermilk (give it a shake before measuring)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Poppy seeds
  • Lemon juiced (about 2 Tbsp)
  • ½ - 1 tsp salt or onion salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • garnish
  • fresh thyme leaves or snipped chives


  1. Put down a good layer of the clean and dry greens on the bottom of your bowl.
  2. Arrange the cherry tomatoes around the edge to form the second layer, and check from the side to insure that you can see them. For each layer you will add a bit more greens to the center of the bowl to even off the layer. (This is to make sure you have enough greens in the final salad.)
  3. Repeat the layers for all the ingredients, and top with the nuts and bacon.
  4. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients.
  5. Pour some of the dressing in an even layer over the top of the salad. Scatter some fresh thyme leaves, or sniped chives, over the dressing for a garnish. Set aside the rest for serving alongside the salad.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. View the recipe instructions at The View From the Great Island

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