This Italian style rice salad recipe is packed with Mediterranean flavors, a healthy and delicious rice salad easy to prepare, a nice vegetarian main or a great side dish. A quick, easy and flexible rice salad recipe with an Italian olive oil vinaigrette recipe and a colorful mix of vegetables. Well suited recipe for doing meal prep, a simple throw together salad, change it up with your favorite herbs and veggies! This is a quick and easy no mayo salad bursting with incredible flavor; healthy, vegetarian and gluten free.
How to Make this Veggie Italian Rice Salad
Our Italian rice salad recipe is an easy throw together salad, simply add all the ingredients to a large salad bowl, splash with the salad dressing and toss. The Italian vinaigrette is simple to make, but a prepared Italian salad dressing from the store works well.
Cook your rice just past al dente. Make the simple Italian vinaigrette by mixing the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Mix the all the salad ingredients; rice, cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn, bell pepper, olives, capers, cucumber, parsley, basil and sprinkle with the Italian vinaigrette. This recipe is vegetarian and low carb, but off course you can spice it up and add some cheese or meat like bacon or salami. See our Italian style tuna rice salad.
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How to Cook the Rice
- Rinse the rice.
- Fill a sauce pan with a lid with 2 cups of water, bring water to a boil.
- Add 1 cup of rice, add a pinch of salt and simmer on low heat for 18 minutes.
- If not cooked enough place it back on the heat, constantly monitoring.
- Drain the water, let it rest for a couple of minutes with the lid on.
- Fluff it with a fork, make sure the rice does not stick together.
How to make a Simple Italian Vinaigrette
Make this simple Italian vinaigrette by mixing the ingredients below in a jar, screw the lid on tight and shake well.
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- parsley dry
- oregano dry
- salt & pepper
Italian Rice Salad Ingredients
What I love about an easy throw together salad is that it is so easy to change, use the ingredients that you love; ad or remove what you want. Think about sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, celery or some leaves, a handful of nice peppery arugula (rocket) or baby spinach.
Bell Peppers – multi-colored peppers is great to make this salad fun and colorful!
Corn – sweet corn in a can is easy to use and works very well, if you want to go fresh cut corn from the cob
Tomato – any tomato will be good in this Italian salad, we used grape tomatoes (cherry tomatoes) cut in half.
Olives – we use black olives in this salad, they usually contain more oil and less salt than green olives.
Capers – even though they are small they pack a big punch, adding a tangy, olive like and a lemony burst of flavor to the salad.
Cucumber – we love the fresh and crispiness diced cucumber brings to this rice salad.
Chickpeas – a legume with a beany, nutty flavor it ads another taste layer to this diverse salad. Chickpeas are high in protein it is an excellent vegetable replacement for meat, high in fiber they aid greatly with digestion.
Onion – Red onions is delicious in salad, being sweeter and more mild than brown onions. The purple and white color looks very nice.
Herbs – we love fresh parsley and basil in any salad, chop up the parsley, only break up large basil leaves.
Italian vinaigrette – our Italian dressing with red wine vinegar is a simple vinaigrette that tastes great. Adding a spoon of Dijon mustard works well if you want some more of a strong flavor. There are many delicious Italian dressings on the market that also suit this salad well.
Veggie Italian Style Rice Salad
- 200 gram wild rice/long grain rice mix (1 cup)
- 120 gram sweet corn or corn of the cob
- 100 gram chickpeas
- 50 gram black olives, chopped (1.5 cups)
- 30 gram capers (4 tbsp)
- 40 gram red onion chopped (1/4 cup)
- 40 gram bell pepper red chopped (1/4 cup)
- 40 gram bell pepper green chopped (1/4 cup)
- 100 gram cucumber chopped (1/2 medium size fruit)
- 10 gram fresh parsley chopped (3 tbsp)
- 8 gram fresh basil (1/3 cup)
- 150 gram cherry tomatoes (1 cup)
- 45 ml extra virgin olive oil (3 tbsp)
- 30 ml red wine vinegar (2 tbsp)
- 5-10 grams crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp oregano dry
- 1/2 tsp parsley dry
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Boil the rice
- Bring water to the boil in a large pot, add rice. Boil your rice al dente. It will take about 20 minutes. Let the rice drain and cool down, transfer to the salad bowl.
- Add a the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, screw tight the lid and shake well.
Make the salad
- Add all the ingredients to a large salad bowl, splash with the salad dressing and toss.
What did you think of our Italian Style Veggie Rice Salad ?
Did you like this recipe? Please let us know, any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!
Gaan die een binnekort maak
Thanks for reading Marista. Sure you will love it, let me know, please rate after trying it!
I am flirting with veganism but got my carnivorous family’s approval for this dish. I love the combination of flavours 🙂
I substituted baby leeks for the red onion.
Thanks for the comment! it is a nice vegetarian dish works great as a side.