This cold Mexican Rice Salad is light, healthy, and delicious. Loaded with sweet grapes and robust pico de gallo, it’s perfect for summer!
Grapes were no doubt the most popular fruit in my kids’ lunches all year long and definitely now during swimming breaks. Perfectly portable for a grab-and-go snack. No peeling, no coring, no cutting. No fuss! They’re a great addition to this summer Rice Salad.
Best Cold Rice Salad
I love mixing grapes into sandwiches, sides, or salads for an added boost of flavor and nutrition and they’re right at home in this cold Mexican Rice Salad. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Light, but filling. And it tastes great warm, cold, or at room temperature. It’s perfect for lunch or a potluck!
Rice Salad Recipe
This lovely cold rice salad is super easy to make and comes together quickly. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Basmati rice: For optimal flavor and texture, we recommend using Basmati rice, which is a long grain, with a nice nutty flavor. Jasmine rice would be an ok substitute, which is slightly sweet.
- Red grapes: Fresh red grapes are the way to go for this salad. (Side note: grapes are a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, have no fat, no cholesterol, and virtually no sodium. WOOT.)
- Lime Juice: Use fresh for best flavor. It really does make a difference.
- Honey: A natural sweetener that balances out the acidity from the lime juice.
- Pico de gallo: Our homemade pico de gallo tossed in for an incredible boost of fresh and zesty flavor.
- Olive oil: For richness and moisture.
- Salt: A little kosher salt and sea salt for flavor.
- Cilantro: This fresh herb finishes off the salad. If you hate cilantro, use parsley instead.
Rinse the Uncooked Rice!
What to Serve with Rice Salad
This cold rice salad pairs well with so many things. Here are some ideas:
More Summer Salad Recipes:
Mexican Rice Salad
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cup small red grapes , halved
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Place rice in a medium saucepan; rinse and drain under cold water 3-4 times until the water runs clear.
- Bring the rice, the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 1/2 cups water to boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes without removing the lid.
- Uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a baking sheet and gently spread out to cool, 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, and sea salt. Fold in the cooled rice, grapes, and pico de gallo.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.