Do you need a light and refreshing meal ? Rice is the perfect side dish for any meal, and it works well with any recipe you choose to make. But instead of cooking your rice around your meat platter, why not make the rice dish the main star of the meal? With our quick and best-ever rice salad recipe, you’ll be able to make the rice your main course.

Why choose to make a cold rice salad ?

cold rice salad is a meal to have on a warm, sunny day or take on that perfect family picnic. Eating rice salad is a great way to ease your hunger without feeling like you overate. Depending on the rice type you use, you’ll find that each rice brings its unique flavour and texture to the dish.

Simple and versatile rice salad

If you’re looking for quick yet easy rice salad recipes for summer, we’ve created savoury and colourful flavours that will delight your taste buds and quickly become a family favourite. Because we used simple everyday ingredients, you’ll be able to make modifications and use it as a base for new recipes. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, for sometimes the simplest ingredients can bring out the most flavours.

Rice Salad Recipe

You wonder what to put in your rice salad ? Below, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to cook our simple yet delicious salad made with rice. Further below, we’ve included variations of this recipe and added a twist of fusion flavours. Get creative in the kitchen and explore with different ingredients.

Simple rice salad recipe



  • 1 cup of Dainty Long & Wild blend, cooked and cooled to room temperature. Produces 2 cups of cooked rice

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and ground Black Pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 large Shallot, sliced


  • ¼ Yellow Pepper, chopped
  • ¼ Red Pepper, chopped
  • ½ Green Pepper, chopped
  • 3 Green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium size Carrot, diced
  • 1 Celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • Fistful of fresh Parsley, chopped finely
  • A pinch Salt and Pepper to taste



Mix the cooked rice and the vegetables, minus the parsley, in a large bowl


Fluff rice and separate grains so that none of them are sticking together


In a mason jar, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients. Seal and shake to combine. Adjust seasoning to your liking


Drizzle vinaigrette over your rice and mix properly using two large forks. You can refrigerate the rest of your vinaigrette for 4-5 days in the mason jar


Add parsley to the mix and adjust the seasoning


Add more dressing if necessary


Serve at room temperature

If you wonder about the best timings and how many cups water are needed to cook your rice, get our best rice tips on our dedicated page!

Store and serve

This Rice Salad Recipe keeps in the fridge for a day or two. We recommend making this salad a few hours in advance and storing it in the refrigerator until 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat. Making it in advance will give the salad time to marinate so that you can enjoy the blend of the flavours.

Which rice to choose for a rice salad?

Choosing the best rice grain to make a traditional rice salad is entirely up to you. However, we highly recommend selecting a Basmati and Wild rice mix, or another blend, for deeper aroma and flavours.

However, rice salad can be very versatile and any number of different types of rice can be used because rice pairs well with many ingredients.

You might be tempted to use white Basmati rice for an Indian-inspired meal or jasmine rice for a Thai inspired meal. Alternately, brown rice might be your better option for a western or southern style. To learn quick tips on how to get the most out of your rice fragrances and flavours, check out our Dainty Rice Flavour tips.

Rice salad recipe variants

Fusion cuisine can be incorporated into any dish, and rice salad is no exception. Pair any of the following rice salad recipes with fresh herbs, grilled meat or fish and a warm piece of buttery crusty bread.

Mediterranean Rice Salad

Best made using long grain rice. Replace red wine vinegar with fresh lemon juice and add 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Substitute the carrots and celery for 1 small cucumber, 1 cup of fresh spinach and ½ cup of kalamata olives. Crumble 1 cup of feta cheese on top.

Indian Style Rice Salad

Use white or brown basmati rice. Replace the oil with coconut milk and add 1 tablespoon of curry, ½ teaspoon of cumin and ½ teaspoon of turmeric.

Adjust as necessary. Replace peppers with carrots, cucumbers, cooked cauliflower and green peas. Add ¼ cup of Sultana raisins and topple with cilantro instead of parsley.

Tex-Mex Rice Salad

Use cooked brown rice or red rice. Add ⅓ cup of lime juice, 1½ tablespoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of cumin powder to the vinaigrette. For an extra zing of spiciness, add ½ teaspoon of chipotle sauce or cayenne pepper. Add 14 oz of corn (fresh, tinned or frozen), 14 oz of black beans and garnish with 1 cup of chopped cilantro.

Lemony Rice Salad

Use long-grain white rice. Replace the wine vinegar with lemon juice and grate at least 3 tablespoons of lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of honey. For the salad, remove the tomatoes and substitute with 1 cup of leafy green vegetables, such as spinach. Switch parsley for chopped mint and add dried cranberries and almonds or pumpkin seeds for a little bit of crunch.

Rice salad as an accompanying dish

Feel free to add grilled chicken breast or strips of BBQ sirloin steaks for all you meat-lovers out there. This will add protein and texture to your rice salad. A rice salad for a BBQ is always a great idea because rice salad keeps well in the fridge, is great to eat at room temperature and won’t spoil sitting out on a table for an al fresco meal.

A delicious rice salad dish is usually finished before the end of the day, but if you’re lucky, you’ll have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.