Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

A zesty recipe for cold rice salad packed with Southwestern flavors like green chiles, avocado, corn, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro lightly dressed with lemon and olive oil. The bright and fresh flavors make it the perfect accompaniment to anything grilled and it is perfect for a pot-luck, picnic or barbecue.

Rice salad may sound a little strange to you if you’ve never eaten it before. As it did to me. But I loved it and I’m certain you will too. The rice was soft and tender and completely delicious cold. An ideal dish for lunch or dinner on a sweltering summer day. To elevate it from a side dish to a main dish simply add protein like cooked shrimp or chicken. The leftovers make a great lunch-time treat the next day. 

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

Southwest Rice Salad
(loosely adapted from Bon Appetit)
(Makes 8 side dish servings)

1 cup long-grain Rice (I use Brown Basmati)
1 Avocado, diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, quartered
1 cup Corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
4.5 ounces diced Green Chilies
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup Lemon Juice
3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea or Kosher Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in a colander with cold water in a colander. Cook according to package directions. Rinse rice again after cooking to cool it down. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile make dressing by whisking lemon and oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. In a large mixing bowl toss rice with the rest of the ingredients. Pour dressing over top and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

Printable Recipe

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

This is going to my July Side Dish Showdown. Keep those side dishes coming for  – add your links here and be sure to look over the guidelines as I’ve made some small changes.

And don’t forget to send me your favorite burger (beef, turkey, chicken, bean, veggie or fish) recipes for the Burger Free For All!

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  1. says

    I love this recipe. It sounds so good with all of those southwest flavors in there. I also love the idea to add a protein and make it a main dish too. Now I know what to bring to my next barbecue…thanks!

  2. Cool Lassi(e) says

    Cold salad is what I need now. I was baking something and it increased the temp inside the house. Now I need to cool down with a cold drink and a cold salad. This looks yummy!

  3. Swathi says

    Reeni,Rice salad looks really nice. I make only with cooked vegetables this sounds good as it has southwest flavors.

  4. Kim says

    I just tried my first rice salad last week and loved it. This one looks absolutely delicious and that lemon dressing looks pretty darn creamy. Looks great, Reeni!I've got my burger picked out, just need to make a run to the store and whip it up:)

  5. Junglefrog says

    Ooo that looks really really good and indeed perfect for the current hot weather here! I don't think I ever had a rice salad before but it looks worth trying!

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