Southwestern Rice Salad is a yummy side or meatless main dish. Rice, black beans, corn, and peppers are mixed in a lightly seasoned dressing.
Southwestern Rice Salad is a yummy side or meatless main dish. Rice, black beans, corn, and peppers are mixed in a lightly seasoned dressing.

If you’re looking for a delicious and unique salad, side dish, or meatless main dish, I’d like to recommend this Southwestern Rice Salad. I got the original recipe about 15 years ago from one of my “Taste of Home” magazines. At the time I thought it sounded really interesting, so I saved the recipe. Guess what? It is REALLY tasty!

The salad features cooked rice with black beans, corn, carrots, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, red onion, tomatoes and wait for it… crunchy salted peanuts!!! The salad is dressed with a simple Southwest-inspired salad dressing, and then is served chilled. Who knew something so unusual sounding could taste so good? But it IS good!

The entire salad can be ready in 30 minutes. If you want to save time, prep the veggies and other ingredients while the rice is cooking. That will shave some time off the preparation! I also recommend chilling the salad after it is finished and dressed (for best flavor), but that is up to you. Here’s how to make Southwestern Rice Salad:

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At the Bottom Of The Page

Prepare The Rice

Place uncooked long grain rice in a saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer the rice (covered) on low heat for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. The rice should be tender and the water will have been absorbed.

Let the rice sit (still covered), for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water to cool it down. Drain the rice after rinsing and place the cooled, cooked rice in a large serving bowl.

Long grain white rice is cooked in water until done and fluffy.Cooked rice is rinsed then drained before adding it to salad bowl.

Time To Make The Southwestern Rice Salad

TIP: If you want to save time, do the following steps while the rice is cooking. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil until hot on medium heat. Add chopped green pepper, red onion, carrots, and minced garlic. Sauté these veggies until they are crisp-tender. Stir often while cooking so the garlic won’t burn in the skillet (and become bitter).This should take 4-5 minutes. 

 When done, add this veggie mixture to the cooled rice in the bowl, and stir well, to combine.

Chopped green pepper, carrot, red onion, and garlic are cooked in oil until tender.The cooked veggies are added to the cooled rice in salad bowl.

The next ingredients you will add to the Southwestern rice salad are corn (frozen, but thawed), black beans, tomatoes, salted peanuts and chopped fresh cilantro. Place them in the bowl with the rice and stir gently, until all the ingredients are combined. Isn’t it colorful? 

Corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and salted peanuts are added to the Southwestern rice salad.Southwestern Rice Salad is very colorful after adding all the ingredients.

Make The Salad Dressing

The last thing you need to prepare is the simple salad dressing to coat the Southwestern rice salad. It’s EASY! Use a wire whisk or a fork to fully mix olive oil, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and ground cumin in a small bowl. Mix these salad dressing ingredients for about a minute to ensure the oil and juice are fully integrated. Now you’re ready to add it to the salad!

Pour the salad dressing over the Southwestern rice salad, and toss well, to ensure all the salad is mixed well with the dressing. Once done, refrigerate the salad until it is time to serve. The flavors really come together the longer the salad is refrigerated, so if you have the chance to make this salad early in the day, the better. If not, you can certainly serve the salad right away, if that is your preference.

Salad dressing for the salad is made with lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne and ground cumin.

Ready To Serve Southwestern Rice Salad

Once the salad is dressed and refrigerated for a bit, it is ready to enjoy! Southwestern rice salad is filling, thanks in part to the black beans and rice, so it can be enjoyed as a meatless main dish, or you can enjoy it as a side dish for chicken, beef and pork. The salad has lots of flavor, and makes enough for 12 servings, so there is plenty to go around.

Store any leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. My husband keeps getting spoonfuls of leftovers out of the fridge throughout the day to eat as a snack or to have with his lunch or dinner. He definitely loves this lightly seasoned, chilled salad! The crunchy peanuts are a welcome surprise, too!

After chilling in the refrigerator, the Southwestern Rice Salad is served in a white bowl.A close up look at the Southwestern Rice Salad, full of veggies.

I hope you have the chance to make this yummy, filling Southwestern rice salad. I truly believe you and those you love will enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by today, and I sincerely hope you will come back again soon. Have a great day!

Looking For More SALAD Recipes?

You can find ALL of my recipes in the Recipe Index, which is located at the top of the page. I have lots of great tasting salad recipes for you to enjoy, including:

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Original recipe source: “Taste of Home” magazine, June/July 2006 edition, page 8, published by Reiman Publications, Inc.

Southwestern Rice Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Southwestern Rice Salad is a yummy side or meatless main dish. Rice, black beans, corn, and peppers are mixed in a lightly seasoned dressing.

Category: Main Course Salad, Salad/Side Dish
Cuisine: Southwestern
Keyword: Southwestern rice salad
Servings: 12
Calories Per Serving: 305 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cups water
  • cup long grain white rice , uncooked
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red onion (or shallot)
  • 1 medium carrot , peeled and chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves , minced
  • 16 ounces frozen corn , thawed
  • 15 ounces canned black beans , rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes , chopped
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • cup fresh cilantro , finely chopped
For Salad Dressing:
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Place rice in a saucepan with water; bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan. Simmer rice (covered) on low heat for 15 minutes; remove pan from heat. Let rice sit (covered), for 5 minutes; rinse rice with cold water; drain. Put rice in large serving bowl.

  2. TIP: If you want to save time, do the following steps while rice is cooking. In large skillet, heat vegetable oil on medium. Add green pepper, red onion, carrots, and minced garlic. Sauté until crisp-tender (4-5 minutes), stirring often so garlic won't burn. Add to rice; stir.

  3. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, peanuts and cilantro to rice; stir to combine.

  4. Use a wire whisk or fork to fully mix olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne and ground cumin in a small bowl. Mix well to ensure oil and juice are fully combined. Pour dressing over salad; toss well, to coat. Cover and refrigerate salad until time to serve. Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator up to 4-5 days. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Southwestern Rice Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/12th of total))
Calories 305 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 198mg9%
Potassium 410mg12%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1056IU21%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Southwestern Rice Salad is a yummy side or meatless main dish. Rice, black beans, corn, and peppers are mixed in a lightly seasoned dressing.

Southwestern Rice Salad

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