This Vegan Brown Rice Salad with Nuts and Dried Fruit can be served warm or chilled and is a perfect side dish for dinner or a cookout. Prepare this rice salad in advance to save you time when guests are over!
This recipe is sponsored by Pomora. All opinions are my own.
This little guy has been taking up the majority of my time in the last month. Blog, meet Elliot. Elliot, meet blog.
The first couple of weeks after Elliot was born were a complete blur. Now we are starting to get into some kind of routine – or at least I like to think so even though in reality Elliot is the one in control.
The great thing about having a baby is that everyone brings lots of food when they first come visit! The bad part is that people stop bringing food after a couple of weeks, but they still keep visiting.
So we’ve been on our own for food the last couple of weeks. We’ve been going back to all my “30 minutes or less” recipes regularly, and when we cook we always make sure there is enough for leftovers for the next day.
For example, when we make rice, we make a LOT of rice, so that the next day we can turn it into 10 minute fried rice, or into this gorgeous Brown Rice Salad with Nuts and Dried Fruit.
I typically cook brown rice in the Instant Pot, because it is much quicker and easier than cooking it on the stove-top. And the best part is that even if you double the amount, the cooking time doesn’t change. I don’t understand how that kind of magic is even possible, but it is! And I am glad it is.
Every bite of this rice salad is a perfect mix of crunchy almonds, delicious dried apricots, cranberries, and raisins, and fresh herbs. I dressed the salad with a simple lemon & olive oil dressing that goes perfectly with the salad.
All the ingredients for this salad are vegan and this salad happens to be gluten free, which is great for serving for parties and barbecues. Even if you don’t know everyone’s dietary preferences, a vegan brown rice salad that actually tastes amazing will always be a hit at a summer gathering.
One of the best things about this brown rice salad is that it can be served warm, room temperature, or cold right out of the fridge. Yes, cold rice salad is a thing, and it’s a delicious thing.
So you can make this salad with freshly made rice for a warm salad the first day, and then let the flavors infuse overnight and serve it at room temperature or chilled another time. Yep, this salad gets even better the next day because the rice has time to take on the delicious flavors of the dressing and the dried fruit.
It’s a great salad for a summer cookout or a party because it can be prepared in advanced and save you time when your guests are here. And it is just so festive and gorgeous to look at, with the dried fruit trio and fresh herbs.
How to make the dressing for this Brown Rice Salad:
The dressing for this brown rice salad is just simple olive oil and lemon juice. These flavors are a classic combination and make the best dressings for hearty starchy salads like this one.
I definitely recommend using the highest quality olive oil you have, and squeezing fresh lemon juice for this recipe. The bottled lemon juice just doesn’t taste as fresh. I use this lemon squeezer all the time – it only take a couple of seconds to squeeze fresh lemon and lime juice with this thing.
I also use lemon zest in this salad to give this salad a brighter, fresher flavor. Make sure you zest the lemon before you squeeze it!! Zesting a squeezed lemon half is so annoying (yep, I’ve forgotten and had to do that before!), not to mention dangerous. Here is the lemon zester I have, it makes zesting lemons so easy and fun.
You might also love these other hearty and filling recipes:
- Vegan Instant Pot Rice Pilaf – all the flavor of a traditional rice pilaf, but without the meat!
- Bell Pepper and Quinoa Pilaf
- Kamut Tabbouleh Salad– a fresh salad with Mediterranean flavor and lots of fresh herbs and vegetables
- Green Lentil Tabbouleh Salad – a twist on the tabbouleh salad above, this recipe is made with delicious green lentils
- No-Mayo Potato Salad with Feta and Olives
- Shrimp and Vegetable Couscous Salad
- Summer Chickpea Salad
If you enjoyed this recipe, please let me know with a comment or a star rating below! And don’t forget to save it on Pinterest for later.
Vegan Brown Rice Salad with Nuts and Dried Fruit
- 4 cups cooked brown rice , warm or chilled
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (about 10, tightly packed)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves , chopped
- 2 scallions , chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper , to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon each)
- In a medium pan, toast the slivered almonds over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the almonds start to turn golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Chop the apricots into small pieces the size of raisins.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Serve warm or chilled.