Mexican Rice Salad is the perfect budget-friendly salad bursting with flavor and is a hearty dish made with black beans, whole grain brown rice, colorful veggies all tossed in a cilantro lime dressing.
Mexican Rice Salad is simple to make and perfect to serve cold as a side dish salad or warm as a vegan main course. The whole grain brown rice makes it very filling and nutritious with a variety of chopped peppers and corn. It’s a salad your entire family will enjoy, and you can feel good about serving a healthy meal. Be sure and make a lot so you can have leftovers, it keeps several days in the refrigerator.
I like to use Success Boil in Bag Brown Rice for this recipe. The rice turns out perfect each time I cook it, and it’s quick and easy. I always keep several boxes on hand. Brown rice, unlike white rice, has the hull (a hard protective covering) removed, leaving the nutrient-packed bran and germ. This results in the brown rice retaining its nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
🥘 Ingredients tips
- Brown rice: Using leftover chilled brown rice helps it absorb the dressing better, which makes for a more flavorful salad.
- Black beans: The easiest way to make this salad is with canned black beans. Just be sure to rinse and drain them well. If you leave the juice, they will make the salad look mushy and have too creamy a texture.
- Tomatoes: I like to use Roma because they have a meatier flesh and fewer seeds. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer cells from developing and spreading.
- Bell peppers: Be sure and use a variety of colors to make this salad festive, I like to use red, green, yellow, and orange. One medium red bell pepper has 169% of your daily vitamin C need and packed with B6, K1 folate, and potassium.
- Jalapeño: These add a little heat punch to the recipe. If you have family members that don’t like spicy then try using pickled jalapeños, they are much milder but still full of flavor.
- Shoe peg corn: I like the small frozen shoepeg corn for this recipe. It’s sweeter and has vitamin C and fiber.
- Sweet onion: I like using a sweet onion like Vidalia. If it makes you cry while cutting it, you can remove some of the heat by rinsing the pieces and patting dry before placing it in the salad.
- Tomatillos: They give the salad an extra fresh zip of flavor. They are cholesterol-free, sodium-free, low calorie, and a good source of vitamin C.
- Olive oil: Be sure to use first cold-pressed.
- Lime juice and zest: Be sure and wash the outside of your lime before zesting.
- Fresh cilantro: Can you really have a Mexican dish without cilantro? Be sure and use fresh, dried is not the same.
- Cumin: This gives the salad a genuinely authentic Mexican flavor.
- Fresh garlic: Mince it fine, so you do not get a big sharp bite when eating the salad.
- Salt and pepper: Taste and season to your liking.
Prepare dressing: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, cumin, and garlic. Allow setting while preparing the rest of the salad so the flavors can infuse.
Mix main ingredients: In a medium-size bowl, add, cool brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, jalapeños, corn, and onion.
Toss with dressing: Pour dressing over the rice and vegetables, toss well to evenly coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Can this be a vegan meal?
Yes, Mexican Rice Salad makes a great no-meat budget-friendly main dish. Instead of serving veggies raw, sauté the peppers, onion, and corn in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Only saute for a short time, you wanted vegetables lightly cooked, not soft and mushy. Then add the tomatoes, tomatillos, and beans, heating just until warm. Toss with warm rice and room temperature dressing.
More salad recipes
- Bread Salad
- Genesis 9:13 Rainbow Detox Salad
- Cauliflower Salad
- Roasted Potato Salad Recipe
- Corn Salad With Cilantro
Mexican Rice Salad
- 3 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
- Salad Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups cool cooked brown rice
- 1 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped variety of red orange, yellow and green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup of Roma tomato cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup tomatillos cut into small cubes
- 1 small jalapeño finely chopped, seeds removed
- 1 cup shoe peg frozen corn that has been blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds then drained with cold water.
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- Prepare dressing: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, cumin, and garlic. Allow to sit while preparing the rest of the salad so the flavors can infuse.
- Mix main ingredients: In a medium-size bowl, add, cool brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, jalapeños, corn, and onion.
- Toss with dressing: Pour dressing over the rice and vegetables, toss well to evenly coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.