Easy Summer Rice Salad

summer rice salad

Last Updated on March 12, 2023 by Jacqueline Rafidi

Move over, pasta salad! Rice salad is about to be the go-to for spring and summer! This rice salad recipe is jam packed with tons of veggies and color and is perfect for the warmer months. Pack this up with you for a picnic or a trip to the beach as a lunch or side dish. Add some protein to this rice salad with some grilled chicken, steak or shrimp, or keep it vegan and vegetarian friendly by using chick peas!

Summer rice salad

This Mediterranean summer rice salad can be eaten right away while the rice is still warm and soaks up all of that delicious, lemony dressing, but is also AMAZING eaten room temp or cold straight out of the fridge. The pistachios give some added crunch, but you could also substitute them for sunflower seeds.

The entire rice salad comes together while the rice is on the pot! Prep all the veggies while the rice is on the stove, and bring them all together in a giant bowl. Once the rice is ready, prep the dressing and add it all in with the veggies.

As this sits at room temperature, the flavors develop even more. Once it sits overnight in the fridge, it may reach a point of needing a bit more dressing to waken up the flavors, or even just a squeeze of lemon juice!

When you make this recipe, share a picture or tag me on Instagram @thebitewithjackie and leave a comment below to share your thoughts!

What to eat with this summer rice salad

Blackened salmon with walnut date gremolata
Greek chicken
Mediterranean shrimp with tomatoes and feta
Creamy white wine scallops

summer rice salad

Summer Rice Salad

This colorful and vibrant rice salad will be your new favorite spring and summer lunch!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 6


For the salad:

  • 1 cup jasmine rice uncooked, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers halved and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes halved (or quartered if large)
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 5-6 raddish chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley finely chopped
  • Small handful of mint leaves finely chopped
  • ½ cup pistachios roughly chopped

For the dressing:

  • Juice from ½ lemon about ¼ cup
  • 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses* See notes
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Begin by cooking the rice according to package directions. While the rice cooks, prep the additional salad ingredients and place in a large bowl. Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  • When the rice is done, add to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients. Top it off with the dressing and toss well while the rice is still warm. Enjoy right away while the rice is warm, room temp or cold straight out of the fridge!


*Each brand of pomegranate molasses tastes a bit different. Some are more sour and others are on the sweeter side. My favorite brand is Cortas which tends to be a bit more sour. Taste the dressing once you make it to be sure its to your liking.
Keyword Rice Salad, Summer Rice Salad, Summer Salad

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  1. Hi! Is there a substitute for the pomegranate molasses? I can’t find it anywhere local and am making this now. 😁 Thanks!

    1. Hi! You could always try cooking down some pomegranate juice with sugar to achieve a thicker texture, but it may be sweeter than actual pomegranate molasses. Tamarind paste mixed with water is also a good substitute! You can buy it at Middle Eastern grocery stores and online – I have a link for it in the store section of my website! Let me know if this helps and what you think of the salad after you make it! Its one of my faves!

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