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14 Rice Salad Recipes For A Quick & Hearty Meal

14 Rice Salad Recipes For A Quick & Hearty Meal

Rice lovers, heads-up! Today I’m going to give you a present. TA-DA! Rice salad recipes!  

I have been such a big fan of rice salads ever since we put together the Rice & Fruit salad, a lightly sweet mix of grains and nuts with berries.

Serve it warm like a pilaf or chilled and it’s just so lovely.

I think you will love these rice salad recipes, too, and there is one for every palate and desire.

They’re fairly quick and easy to make, yet filling and big on flavor.

All you need is to cook the rice, prep the dressing, mix all the ingredients, stir them, and you’re done.

They are so great if you have leftover rice also. 

Easy peasy!

Many cooks throughout the culinary world unleash their creativity and have their own versions of the dish.

In my case, I always opt for these 14 hassle-free recipes for rice salad every time I’m in a hurry. 

If you love everything about rice, then consider this recipe guide as a gift.

From Trail Mix Rice Salad to Italian-style Rice Salad, here are some of the best rice salad recipes that can turn boring into BONANZA!

1. Trail Mix Salad

How about we turn a popular snack into a full-on meal?

Among those cold rice salad recipes, this recipe caught my attention the most.

It offers a nice crunch from a nut mixture. 

The vinegar and lime create that sweet and tangy taste while the coconut sugar balances the dish’s overall flavor.

Also, the inclusion of dried fruits makes the recipe quite fit for people trying to avoid carbs. 

Quick tip: You can toast walnuts to improve the flavor.

2. Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice

This roasted butternut squash wild rice is perfect for your upcoming holidays!

Though you’re probably intimidated by its ingredients, don’t worry! From the salad to the dressing, everything in this dish is a huge hit. 

It’s also best served when warm; but chilling them is delicious too. 

3. Orange Rice Salad

If you love brown rice and orange flavors, then you’re in for a treat!

You’re about to stumble upon a rice salad that’s perfect for you. 

This one combines celery, dried fruits, vinegar, parsley, onions, oranges, and chopped nuts.

The result is a light, crisp meal.

The dish is also easy to put together.

All you need is to mix all the ingredients, chill them, and you’re good to go!

4. Fresh Corn-Rice Salad

The highlight of this next rice salad is the corn.

The ingredient gives that sweet flavor and crisp texture that blends well with the neutral taste of rice. 

Aside from the corn, the dish also features tomatoes, arugula, onion, and jalapeno that offer a zing of heat. 

Don’t forget to drizzle the vinegar and olive oil! 

5. Rice & Fruit Salad

This rice and fruit salad recipe is wonderful alongside a piece of light fish, pork chop and poultry or so good on its own too.

It’s super bright and tasty!

Plus, it’s easy to put together, and the ingredients are flexible—serve this warm like a pilaf or chilled.

But I love the combination of fresh berries, toasted almonds, fresh peach, shallots, and orange juice. 

And oh, the addition of butter to the dish adds a wonderful richness.

6. Cowboy Brown Rice Salad

Turn your simple rice into something extraordinary by mixing fresh veggies and spices!

This Cowboy brown rice salad has sweet and spicy dressing from fresh lime juice, maple syrup, chili powder, and cumin.

Adding corn kernels offers crunchiness that blends perfectly with brown rice. 

If you’re planning to make big batches, prepare for leftovers.

The salad is good to eat for up to four days if you store it properly. 

7. Jeweled Black Rice Salad

Like its name itself, this jeweled black rice salad is sure to catch the attention of your guests and family at the holiday table. 

It’s a subtle and slightly sweet dish packed with primary ingredients such as forbidden rice, roasted butternut squash, apples, fresh mint, and pomegranate arils. 

The recipe also has a little hint warm flavor from cinnamon and cayenne, and crunch from chopped pecans. 

Quick tip: This salad can be made ahead. Just be sure you toss in the fresh mint right before serving. 


8. Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Wild Rice Pilaf

This recipe is infused with exciting fall flavors and textures, making it a perfect dish for a Thanksgiving feast!

Its savory flavor cannot be achieved without its key ingredients: pecans, cranberries, sweet potato, wild rice, and herbs. Yum! 

The remaining ingredients, such as parsley, oregano, and thyme, also get added to the dish to enhance its overall flavor. 

9. Million Dollar Rice Salad

Looking for a recipe for your upcoming family gathering?

How about we make this million-dollar recipe?

This dish is great to serve in summer or winter.

I love how cream cheese, sugar, mayonnaise, pineapple, and oranges offer that creamy and sweet flavor. 

Meanwhile, the inclusion of miniature marshmallow and chopped nuts provides an interesting fluffy and crunchy flavor to the dish. 

Quick tip: You can add any fruit to your salad, like fresh grapes or bananas. 

10. Moroccan Chickpea Rice Salad

Chickpea lovers, your next favorite salad is here! 

This version of rice salad has two primary ingredients: chickpea and rice.

Combining the two gives so much flavor and freshness. 

But the dish is more hearty when filled with fresh veggies, raisins, lemon juice, and a splash of olive oil.

To balance out the earthy flavor of chickpeas, fresh cilantro is added.

This salad is best to serve at your summer BBQ or family get-together. 

11. Curried Wild Rice Salad

Are you craving a bowl of rice and curry?

Why not mix them to create a rice salad? 

This dish features savory curry-based vinaigrette that mixes white wine vinegar, olive oil, granulated sugar, curry powder, and black pepper.

This mixture blends well with rice and other ingredients. 

Quick tip: It’s recommended to chill the salad after preparing it to let the flavors blend even more. 

12. Lemon Rice Salad

Lemon isn’t the only star of this rice salad.

The parmesan cheese takes the whole dish to the next level as it gives a delicate, sweet, and buttery flavor. 

Cooking the rice with chicken broth, sauteed shallots, and olive oil results in a perfect firm, chewy texture. 

13. Brown Rice Salad

This variation has a special place in the top list when it comes to easy rice salad recipes. 

This recipe salad features brown rice, fresh vegetables, and drizzled with vegan sour cream-based dressing, resulting in a filling dish!

You can add more flavors with fresh herbs, cilantro, mint, or any ingredients you have in the kitchen.

Include chopped chilis or chili flakes if you want a zing of heat. 

14. Italian-style Rice Salad

This rice salad version has an Italian touch that’s fantastic to serve anytime, but especially with other Greek or Italian sides and mains.

Cook the rice, make the Italian dressing, then mix the cooked rice and all ingredients! 

Quick note: Use long grain rice to ensure that they don’t stick together once cooked. 

The bottom line

So, what looks good? 

Have you picked one to try? 

My personal favorite is the CookingChew Rice & Fruit Salad.

It’s only lightly sweet and goes with every protein.


Rice Salads

Rice Salads

Here are some of the best rice salad recipes that can turn your meal into a hearty one. Follow this recipe guide to unlock them all.


  • Trail mix salad
  • Roasted butternut squash wild rice
  • Orange rice salad
  • Fresh corn-rice salad
  • Rice and Fruit salad
  • Cowboy brown rice salad
  • Jeweled black rice salad
  • Cranberry pecan sweet potato wild rice pilaf
  • Million dollar rice salad
  • Moroccan chickpea rice salad
  • Curried wild rice salad
  • Lemon rice salad
  • Brown rice salad
  • Italian-style rice salad


  1. Pick a few recipes to try 
  2. Gather the ingredients and start making one
  3. Please share with us your rice salad cooking experience

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