This Italian Rice Salad is perfect for a light and healthy lunch or dinner. It's simple to make and tastes delicious. Best of all, it's really versatile: adding some protein makes it a complete meal.
It is very quick and easy, it comes together in only than 20 minutes and I bet It’s going to become your new go for summer lunch.
What makes this recipe great
Rice Salad is perfect for hot summer days
This salad is full of such amazing flavor!
The leftovers are perfect for the next day!
To make the rice salad a unique dish, add a protein
- Rice: Parboiled rice is suitable for salad, it does not overcook.
- Zucchini: It's important to choose fresh zucchini
- Capers: add flavor to the salad, choose quality salted capers
- Parsley and Sage: fresh is best
See recipe card for quantities.
Cook the rice in a large saucepan.
Grate the courgettes, wash and cut the cherry tomatoes into wedges. Rinse the capers and drain. Chop parsley and basil leaves
Mix all these ingredients into a large bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Drain the rice “al dente” and leave it to drain a few seconds.
Pour the rice into the bowl and gently mix all together.
Substitutions & Variations
- Rice - Choose brown rice if you want a healthier solution, brown rice has more nutrients and is more satisfying than white rice. Arborio or Vialone nano are good as well.
- Cherry Tomatoes - grape tomatoes also work
- Capers - capers can be replaced with black olives
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes or some spicy oil to imbue heat into the dish
- Dressing - use any other dressing you like.
- Add - pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for the day after. Do not keep it longer than 2 days and preferably eat it at room temperature. Before serving, give it a good stir.
Rice salads are perfect for trips out of town, picnics, to go to the beach. It is important to use the right rice, one that doesn't become too soft and overcooked.
Make sure you use fresh ingredients instead of ready-made condiments since although these are more convenient and practical, they often use low-quality oil and unhealthy ingredients.
Before cooking, rinse the rice with water in a fine-mesh strainer and a bowl or pot under running water. Repeat the operation by moving the rice with your hands until the water is clear. This allows to remove a part of the starch and have rice more suitable for salads
The best way to enjoy rice salad is at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge about an hour before serving.
To make the rice salad a unique dish, add a protein such as mozzarella, chicken, tuna or salmon.
Frequently asked question
There are two things to keep in mind if you want to know if they are fresh. They need to be firm and compact.
You can check if they are sweet by looking at their size and color. The size should be medium to small and the color should be a light green.
Yes, it’s a balanced meal. You can make it healthier using brown rice.
This summer salad doesn't stand up well to freezing.
Yes, absolutely. Rice and vegetables are gluten-free.
I'd like to know what you think. Also, if you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Recipes you might enjoy:
Zucchini Rice Salad with Capers and Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 saucepan large
- 1 grater large-hole
- 1 knife
- 1 bowl
- 250 gr paraboiled rice
- 5 small and tender courgettes
- 350 gr cherry tomatoes
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- Some fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp. salted capers
- ⅚ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the rice in a large saucepan of salted boiling water.
- Trim the courgettes, then grate with a large-hole grater. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes into wedges. Rinse the capers under current cold water and drain.
- Finely chop parsley and basil leaves.
- Tip all these ingredients into a large bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
- Drain the rice “al dente” through a colander and rinse under cold running water immediately, to stop the rice cooking. Leave rice to drain a few seconds, shaking the colander a few times.
- Pour the rice into the bowl and gently mix all together.
- Once ready serve immediately.