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Mediterranean Side: Rice Salad

With tailgating season upon us, it's time to start thinking about delicious and portable side dishes. Sure potato and pasta salads are classics, but why not surprise your guests with a tasty Mediterranean-style rice salad? Spinach, cucumber, and fresh oregano add vibrant green goodness. Kalamata olives and feta cheese give the salad a salt kick and red pepper flakes pack in a teeny bit of heat. This salad pairs well with anything from gourmet steaks to good old burgers and dogs. It would be excellent with roasted or barbeque chicken as well. You know you are tempted by the picture, so get the recipe now!

Rice Salad
Fom Sunset magazine
Image Source

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and the rice. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, pepper flakes, and remaining tsp. salt.
  4. Add rice to dressing and toss to combine. Add spinach, toss, and let sit until no longer steaming, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Serves 6-8.

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 289(47% from fat); FAT 15g (sat 4.2g); PROTEIN 5.6g; CHOLESTEROL 15mg; SODIUM 793mg; FIBER 1.3g; CARBOHYDRATE 32g

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