Rotini Pasta Salad With Lettuce

Cold rotini pasta served with mixed salad greens, tomatoes, bacon and a creamy homemade pasta salad dressing is perfect for pool parties, picnics and other summer parties.

Homemade pasta salad dressing next to bowl of rotini pasta salad ingredients

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy our Pasta Salad for a Crowd of 100.

Rotini Pasta Salad

Classic salad ingredients with rotini mixed in can all be served separately so people can make a DIY salad or can be mixed together with the creamy dressing. Rotini Pasta Salad with lettuce is a favorite summer side dish salad recipe for the picky eaters in our family!

We’ve made this Potluck Pasta Salad and Linguine Salad for years and they are always popular summer treats. This rotini pasta salad with salad greens mixed in is a cross between a few classic summer salads.

Simple ingredients mixed together to make salads are one of the highlights of summer. I crave our Yogurt Salad Dressing on mixed greens with fruit and and we love this Brown Rice Salad. Whatever you look forward to in the summer the easier the recipe the better!

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Anytime dressing is mixed into salad greens it’s best eaten within a few hours, so we like to serve the salad ingredients in a divided container or in sections in a large bowl with dressing on the side. This allows people to choose how heavy to apply dressing to their own portion and increases the shelf life of the rotini and mixed greens salad.

Summer's best pasta salad in glass bowl next to homemade dressing on blue napkin

A summer picnic wouldn’t be complete without a couple of dessert salads like Watergate Salad or my absolute favorite No-Bake Pineapple Pretzel Salad.

How to Serve This Pasta Salad

There are several ways to serve this cold pasta salad with mixed greens.

  1. Make traditional layers with cold pasta on the bottom, then mixed greens, followed by tomatoes and bacon with the dressing on top.
  2. Pile lettuce in the side of the bowl, then make sections of each of the ingredients and sprinkle bacon on top. Serve dressing on the side or drizzled on top of the salad.
  3. Serve each ingredient in a separate bowl so people can build their own salads as desired.
Homemade mayo and sour cream dressing on pasta salad on white plate

Homemade Pasta Salad Dressing

Mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, a little sugar, cider vinegar, salt and pepper mix together to make a simple, yet creamy and delicious pasta salad dressing.

There are so many variations of quick homemade salad dressings for summer salads. A mayo-based dressing is used on our Overnight Salad. Our Broccoli Cauliflower Salad uses Miracle Whip. Testing is the best way to find your favorite salad dressing recipe.

This salad can be made lighter by using low-fat mayo and reduced-fat sour cream. For maximum flavor use regular mayo and sour cream because fat equals flavor. But a lighter version may be made for salad dressing that is a little bit healthier and lower in calories.

Tips For Making Rotini Pasta Salad

  • Rinse the cooked pasta immediately with cold water so that the pasta will stop cooking and not stick together.
  • Rinse and drain mixed greens well. I like to use a salad spinner to get the lettuce as dry as possible.
  • Cut tomatoes so they are easy to pick-up with a fork.
  • Bacon bits work, but we prefer fried or baked bacon that has been freshly crumbled.
  • Keep salad and dressing chilled in warm weather to keep food safe.
  • I like to serve dressing in a small bowl sitting on a layer of ice in a slightly larger bowl for food safety purposes.
  • Salad is best eaten within a few hours of adding the dressing. Any extras should be kept in the refrigerator.
Plate of mixed up summer pasta salad next to bowl with ingredients and dressing

How to Summer’s Best Rotini Pasta Salad

  1. Follow the directions on the package to cook 10 ounces of pasta. The box will typically be 16 ounces, so use a little over half of the box. Do not add salt or oil to the pasta. Whole grain or veggie pasta can be used, but may not be as popular in a crowd that isn’t accustomed to anything other than regular enriched pasta.
  2. Cook and crumble bacon.
  3. Prepare tomatoes and mixed salad greens. We prefer a spinach and spring mix, but this is truly personal preference.
  4. Stir together dressing ingredients.
  5. Mix all salad ingredients together or serve separately based on preference.

Other Easy Side Dishes for a Picnic:

Printable Rotini Pasta Salad with Lettuce Recipe

Bowl of rotini pasta salad ingredients

Rotini Pasta Salad With Lettuce

Servings 8 people
Cold rotini pasta served with mixed salad greens, tomatoes, bacon and homemade pasta salad dressing is perfect for pool parties and other summer parties.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

Pasta Salad

  • 10 ounces rotini pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens

Dressing

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to directions, but without salt or oil. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • Wash and slice tomatoes. Wash and drain salad greens.
  • Can be served in a large bowl or several smaller bowls so people can build their own salad.
  • In a small serving bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Serve in a small bowl and keep chilled.

Notes

  • Rinse the cooked pasta immediately with cold water so that the pasta will stop cooking and not stick together.
  • Rinse and drain mixed greens well. I like to use a salad spinner to get the lettuce as dry as possible.
  • Cut tomatoes so they are easy to pick-up with a fork.
  • Bacon bits work, but we prefer fried or baked bacon that has been freshly crumbled.
  • Keep salad and dressing chilled in warm weather to keep food safe.
  • I like to serve dressing in a small bowl sitting on a layer of ice in a slightly larger bowl for food safety purposes.
  • Salad is best eaten within a few hours of adding the dressing. Any extras should be kept in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 8gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 459mgPotassium: 259mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 512IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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