Home Recipe Roundup 13 Rice Salad Recipes (+ Easy Meal Ideas)

13 Rice Salad Recipes (+ Easy Meal Ideas)

If you’re looking for delicious, healthy meals, look no further than these rice salad recipes.

They’re filling, and flavorful, and they’re sure to become a regular addition to your menu.

For many, rice is a pantry staple. And that totally makes sense because rice is cheap, tasty, nutritious, and versatile. 

Rice Salad with Corn, Peas and Tomatoes
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I’ll let you in on a secret, I never thought to make salads with rice. That is, until I had some of these, and now, I’m never going back! 

So, I had to share some of my favorite rice salad recipes with you! I’ve gathered 13 for you to try.

1. Italian-Style Rice Salad

Say hello to fresh flavor with this Italian-style rice salad!

It’s loaded with veggies, so it’s seriously nutritious. Plus, it’s super customizable to numerous diets. 

You start with a bed of cooked and cooled rice. Then, you top that with all of the yummy things! 

This salad features sundried tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, pine nuts, basil, and parsley. I mean, how good does that sound? 

It’s topped with homemade Italian dressing. It’s fresh, flavorful, and super yummy.

This salad is naturally vegan, but you can certainly add cheese or meat.

Personally, I love it with mozzarella and rotisserie chicken. I could eat this every day! 

2. Cowboy Rice Salad

Yeehaw, this salad is tasty! It’s full of American Southwest flavors that will rock your tastebuds. It’s also quite nutritious, so you really can’t go wrong. 

This salad is based on cowboy caviar, a popular southwestern salad/dip/salsa.

But it features rice instead of black-eyed peas. And it is scrumptious! 

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In addition to the rice, this salad has red and green peppers, tomatoes, and corn.

It also has black beans, cilantro, and red onion. Everything is dressed in a honey-chipotle lime dressing. 

3. Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

Holy healthy, Batman! This salad is chock-full of whole grains, vitamin-rich veggies, and fresh herbs. Did I mention that it tastes amazing? 

Because it does. It has brown rice, carrots, cucumber, onion, radish, celery, and fresh herbs tossed in a dressing.

That dressing is sweet and tangy and so, so yummy.

Feel free to add protein to bulk up this salad! If you want to keep it vegetarian, nuts and chickpeas are great options.

If you eat meat, chicken or flaky salmon would be delicious. 

4. Wild Rice Salad

It’s getting wild over here! This salad is as exciting as a trek through the untouched wilderness.

Every bite is sweet, it’s savory, it’s tangy, and it’s fresh. 

Honestly, this salad is kind of special. First, it’s made with wild rice. Wild rice is super nutty and earthy, with a fantastic slightly crunchy texture. 

But then there’s the rest. Arugula adds more nuttiness and pomegranate seeds and cranberries add tart sweetness.

Feta adds salty tang and green onions add more flavor. 

Pecans add buttery flavor and additional crunch and the simple vinaigrette ties everything together. What’s not to love?

5. Mediterranean Rice Salad

The Mediterranean boasts a myriad of diverse flavors.

You’ll find cuisines from Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Greek Isles. But they all have one thing in common.

All of the cuisines from around the Med are bursting with freshness and bold flavors. This rice salad is no exception. 

Rice, onions, peppers, chickpeas, and cucumbers come together to create flavor fireworks.

But the grand finale is the lemon, dill, and parsley dressing that just oozes freshness.

Though it’s not part of the recipe, I’d add feta for good measure. 

6. Mediterranean Bean and Rice Salad

While the previous salad elicits more Middle Eastern flavors, this one tastes more like Italy. 

It has white rice, tomatoes, cannellini beans, carrots, onions, and pumpkin seeds.

It’s dressed with a flavorful Italian-inspired vinaigrette. It’s fresh and super tasty! 

7. Chicken and Rice Salad

This salad is simple, healthy, and delicious. It features cooked rice, cooked chicken, and veggies of your choice.

It’s dressed in a lemon dressing that adds tons of brightness. 

You can whip it up fresh for a quick dinner or make it with leftovers. Also, this is an excellent option for meal-prepping!

8. Savory Pickled Cherry Cold Rice Salad

Take your taste buds on a ride with this D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S salad!

It tastes like something you’d get at an expensive farm-to-table type of restaurant. 

It’s hearty, savory, and slightly surprising. I’ve never thought to pickle cherries, let alone put them in a salad. But, it’s amazing. 

It’s made with a wild rice blend, scallions, parsley, pistachios, and cherries, of course.

But the dressing kicks it up a notch. It’s tart and sweet, with lots of tanginess. 

9. Chorizo and Apple Rice Salad

This salad is like a spotlight on juxtaposition. It’s full of contradicting things that somehow work together. The result is delicious! 

First, let’s talk about the flavors. It’s spicy but it’s also sweet, and somehow, completely savory.

There’s a little smokiness, a little tanginess, and a little nuttiness. 

Then, there are the textures. 

The rice is soft and fluffy, with a bit of chew. There are cooked peppers and baked apples that add softness.

But pecans and chunks of fresh apples add so much delicious crunch.  

10. Tuna Rice Salad

This salad is kind of like a pseudo-ceviche with rice.

Because although the tuna is cooked, it has all the other delicious tenets of ceviche. And it’s scrumptious! 

With every bite, you’ll get tuna, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onions, and sweet corn.

It’s dressed in a tangy, mustard and lemon vinaigrette that you definitely will love. 

11. Black Rice Rainbow Salad

They say that a healthy diet means you eat the rainbow.

So, it’s safe to say that this colorful salad is quite healthy. It’s also absolutely tantalizing. #winning

There are lots of green ingredients like cucumber, parsley, avocado, and pistachios. Red comes from fresh tomatoes.

The rice is black and crispy chickpeas add a lovely golden color.  

White feta rounds out the colors and flavors of the main ingredients.

But feel free to add more veggies for more color. Personally, I would add some carrots. 

Everything is tossed in a nutty and garlicky tahini yogurt dressing. Bon appetit! 

12. Moroccan Rice Salad

Moroccan food is one of my favorite types of cuisine. Every dish is insanely flavorful and fresh. This Moroccan-inspired rice salad fits right in. 

It features your favorite rice, grated carrots, sweet corn, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. See, it’s fresh and flavorful. But it ain’t done yet! 

Now, it’s time for the dressing.

Roasted garlic, lemon, olive, oil, salt, and pepper combine to create this simple, delectable dressing. It’s O-M-G good. 

13. Crispy Rice Salad with Kale

If you like tahdig, you’ll definitely appreciate this crispy rice salad with kale. It’s not tahdig, but it takes inspiration from the Persian playbook. 

Specifically, the part where you crisp up your rice on the bottom of the pot. And let me tell ya, it’s fantastic!

But this dish features Thai-inspired flavors and lots of yummy extras. These include kale, bell peppers, a shallot, cilantro, and peanuts. 

To top it off, it has a tangy, Asian-flavored dressing that adds so much umami. I’m drooling already. 

This is a naturally vegan salad, but feel free to beef it up, literally! Or you could add chicken or shrimp as well. 

13 Easy Rice Salads

These rice salad recipes are a welcome addition to any table. From Italian-style to wild rice to Mediterranean, these sides are sure to delight.

Ingredients

  • Italian-Style Rice Salad

  • Cowboy Rice Salad

  • Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

  • Wild Rice Salad

  • Mediterranean Rice Salad

  • Mediterranean Bean and Rice Salad

  • Chicken and Rice Salad

  • Savory Pickled Cherry Cold Rice Salad

  • Chorizo and Apple Rice Salad

  • Tuna Rice Salad

  • Black Rice Rainbow Salad

  • Moroccan Rice Salad

  • Crispy Rice Salad with Kale

Instructions

  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a rice salad in 30 minutes or less!
Rice Salad Recipes

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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