Chicken Rice Salad
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This colorful Rice Salad is loaded with flavor and so satisfying. With chicken, brown rice, vegetables and a delicious sesame ginger dressing, this easy recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner.
Why You’ll Love this Rice Salad
- Make Ahead Lunch or Dinner. This rice salad recipe is make ahead-friendly and perfect for meal prep. I like to make it for dinner and then enjoy leftovers for lunches over the next day or two.
- Serve it Hot or Cold. Like this Wild Rice Salad, this chicken rice salad is delicious served cold from the refrigerator.
- Fast and Easy. This flavor-packed salad is quick and easy to whip up.
- Satisfying and Healthy. Made with brown rice, vegetables, shredded chicken and peanuts, this rice salad is a filling, healthy meal.
- Great Way to Use Leftover Chicken. You can never have too many shredded chicken recipes!
Rice Salad Recipe Ingredients
- Brown Rice: Chewy, nutty brown rice is so delicious in this salad.
- Shredded Chicken: Adds protein to make the salad more filling.
- Red Bell Pepper and Carrot: For pops of color and flavor.
- Green Onions: Their mild onion flavor works especially well here.
- Fresh Cilantro: The flavor pairs wonderfully with the sesame ginger dressing.
- Peanuts: Dry roasted peanuts add flavor and a satisfying crunch.
Sesame Ginger Dressing
For the dressing you’ll need:
- Lime Juice: For acidity.
- Olive Oil. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Sesame Oil. Adds delicious toasted sesame flavor.
- Soy Sauce: For savory, umami flavor.
- Fresh Ginger: Adds warm spicy notes.
- Fresh Garlic: For flavor.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: For a touch of heat.
How to Make Chicken Rice Salad
Here’s an overview of the steps to making this recipe. Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts below.
- Cook brown rice. You can do this on the stove using this easy method for How to Cook Brown Rice or make Instant Pot Brown Rice. Then transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Cook the chicken (or use leftover chicken). There are many options for how to cook chicken for shredding: Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, Crockpot Shredded Chicken or Poached Chicken. Then use these tips for How to Shred Chicken.
- Add remaining salad ingredients. To the bowl with the rice, add the cooked shredded chicken, chopped bell pepper, shredded carrot, sliced green onions and fresh cilantro. Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Make the dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the salad with the dressing.
- Top with peanuts and serve.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
You can assemble the salad ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For grab and go lunches, store the salad in individual meal prep containers. For food safety, be sure to refrigerate the salad immediately after making it, and refrigerate leftovers promptly.
More Salad Recipes
You might also enjoy these Lunch Ideas.
Chicken Rice Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 ½ cups uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup dry roasted peanuts
Sesame Ginger Dressing:
- 3 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Cook brown rice. Transfer cooked rice to a large bowl and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Add chicken, bell pepper, carrot, green onions, and cilantro to bowl with rice. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and stir to evenly distribute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve salad at room temperature or chilled, topped with peanuts.
- Rice salad may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.