Italian Cold Rice Salad
I’m a huge fan of rice salads for summer! This easy Italian Cold Rice Salad recipe features fresh garden tomatoes and basil, sharp parmesan cheese, crisp romaine, and radicchio lettuce, and a simple Italian style dressing to pull it all together.
ITALIAN COLD RICE SALAD
If you are wondering what you can add to rice to make it healthier, the answer is salad! This Italian style cold rice salad is a delicious side dish alongside some grilled protein or enjoy it as a light vegetarian lunch.
INGREDIENTS FOR RICE WITH SALAD
The ingredient list for this dish is a summer garden spectacular.
- romaine lettuce
- cherry tomatoes or cocktail tomatoes
- fresh basil
- shallot (or red onion)
- pepperoncini peppers
- parmesan cheese – the real stuff! I insist!
Meal prep tip! Always make extra grains or legumes. If you are cooking rice, quinoa, lentils you name it, make extra. It always comes in handy for dishes like this salad to have cooked rice ready to toss right in.
Fresh basil is my ABSOLUTE favorite fresh herb. It is total aromatherapy for me and I always stick my face right into the pant and breathe deeply.
So calming yet invigorating at the same time!
IS RICE SALAD SAFE TO EAT?
100%! There can be trepidation due to bacteria worries but the key is not to leave the rice at room temperature. The rice must be kept refrigerated – which is what you want for rice with salad anyway!
HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP RICE SALAD IN THE FRIDGE?
This rice salad recipe is great for meal prep as it keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.
MORE COLD RICE SALAD RECIPES:
How to Cook Brown Rice – the easiest method ever!
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Italian Cold Rice Salad
FOR THE SALAD
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 cups chopped radicchio
- 2 cups cold, cooked brown rice
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 pepperoncini peppers
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1/4 cup oil (olive, grapeseed, avocado)
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp mustard (grainy is best)
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp sugar (I use maple syrup)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- In a large mixing bowl add the salad ingredients except for the pepperoncini peppers and parmesan cheese. Toss to combine.
- In a small mason jar add the ingredients for the dressing and shake it vigorously for about a minute to emulsify.
- Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the mixing bowl and toss it well.
- Cover the bowl and let the salad sit in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Serve the salad topped with a pepperoncini pepper and parmesan cheese.
- Leftovers can be stored covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.