Quick Mexican Brown Rice Salad & Dressing is a cold Mexican rice salad that bursts with fresh chopped veggies, brown rice, warm spices, and black beans. You can make this Mexican-Inspired rice salad in under 20 minutes using my shortcut tips.

This Mexican rice and bean salad is a hearty dish made with black beans, whole grain brown rice, and colorful veggies, all tossed in a cilantro lime dressing.

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mexican rice salad in a bowl

Love Mexican Food? Be sure to visit my how to Host A Mexican Dinner Party and 50 Mexican Party Theme Ideas and Recipes. Get Mexican-inspired appetizer ideas and more hearty salad recipes for your next Mexican-themed dinner.

Why This Mexican Rice Salad Will Be A Favorite

  • Mexican rice salad is simple to make and perfect for serving cold as a side dish salad or warm side dish.
  • It takes less than 20 minutes to make!
  • There are a variety of chopped peppers, tomatoes, beans, and corn to make this a fresh-tasting salad.
  • It’s a salad your entire family will enjoy.

Smart Shortcut: 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.

Groceries Needed For Mexican Brown Rice Salad

This salad is packed with nutritious ingredients that are easy to keep on hand for a quick hearty salad.

Cilantro Dressing Tips

  • Olive oil: Be sure to use a good quality cold-pressed olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Lime juice and zest: Only use fresh squeezed lime juice and zest. No green bottle!
  • Cilantro: Only use fresh cilantro, not dried.
  • Garlic: Peel and chop your garlic cloves. The precut in a jar does not have the same flavor.
ingredient list pictures

Rice Salad Ingredient Tips

  • 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. If you are interested, you could also can your own beans.
  • Tomatoes: For this recipe, I suggest using Roma because they have meatier flesh and fewer seeds.
  • Bell peppers: Use a variety of colors, such as red, green, yellow, and orange.
  • Jalapeño: These add a little heat punch to the recipe. If you have family members that don’t like spicy, then try using my pickled jalapeños recipe. They are a sweet heat that is perfect for this cold Mexican rice salad.
  • Corn: I like to use small shoepeg corn for this recipe. It’s sweeter. You could use frozen or canned.
  • Tomatillos: They give the salad an extra fresh zip of flavor. Peel off the husk, wash the sticky coating off, and dice into dime size pieces.

👀 See the recipe card for full ingredients and instructions.

🇲🇽 How To Make Mexican Rice Salad

Prepare your rice salad dressing first. This will give it time to infuse the flavors together. This step could be done the day before. Keep the dressing in your refrigerator in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Prepare Dressing

  1. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, zest, cilantro, cumin, and garlic in a small mixing bowl. Another option would be to put all the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
  2. Set the dressing asside while preparing the rest of the salad so the flavors can infuse.

Brown Rice Salad

  1. Cook brown rice. Allow cooling for. a few minutes before mixing with other ingredients unless you make this a warm salad. Both warm and cool rice would be good.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, add cool brown rice, rinsed and drained black beans, diced tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, jalapeños, corn, and onion.
  3. Shake the dressing well and pour over the rice and vegetables. Toss well to coat evenly.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Rice Salad Add-In Ideas

This is a flexible recipe, allowing you to get creative. Try mixing in one or two of these.

  • Slices of grilled chicken
  • Any variety of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained
  • Diced avocado
  • Top with sour cream, a bit of shredded cheese, or salsa
  • Diced jicama, nopales, zucchini, yellow squash, radish, or carrots.

How To Make Mexican Rice Salad A Main Dish Meal

This Mexican rice and bean salad makes a great no-meat, budget-friendly, warm main dish.

  1. Instead of adding raw veggies, 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.
  2. Then add the tomatoes, tomatillos, and beans, heating just until warm.
  3. Toss the warm rice and veggies with room-temperature cilantro dressing.

Leftovers

You could double this recipe so you have leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Place in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 4 days. You can eat it cold or warm it up slightly in a microwave.

Need a big batch to feed a crowd? You can easily change the number of servings in the recipe card below by tapping 2x or 3x. The ingredient measurements will automatically double or triple. You can then tap print and there you have it, a recipe for a crowd.

More Salad Recipes

Mexican Brown Rice Salad in bowl and ingredients needed to make salad
5 from 3 ratings

Quick Mexican Brown Rice Salad and Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Quick Mexican Brown Rice Salad & Dressing is a cold Mexican rice salad that bursts with fresh flavors. You can make this salad in under 20 minutes using my shortcut tips.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, cold-pressed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, be sure to wash your lime before zesting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, Chopped into fine pieces.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic, peeled and minced fresh garlic

Rice Salad

  • 2 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled
  • 14 oz black beans, canned, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup orange bell pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup tomato , Roma, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup tomatillos , remove husk, wash off sticky coating and dice into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeño, finely chopped, seeds removed; you can add more or less depending on how you like your spiciness
  • 1 cup corn, Frozen: shoe peg frozen corn that has been blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds then drained with cold water. Canned: drained
  • 1/2 cup onion, sweet yellow onion, diced into very small pieces

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, zest, cilantro, cumin, and garlic in a small mixing bowl. Another option would be to put all the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
    3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Set the dressing asside while preparing the rest of the salad so the flavors can infuse.
  • Cook brown rice. Allow cooling for. a few minutes before mixing with other ingredients unless you make this a warm salad. Both warm and cool rice would be good.
    2 1/2 cups brown rice
  • In a medium-sized bowl, add cool brown rice, rinsed and drained black beans, diced tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, jalapeños, corn, and onion.
    14 oz black beans, 1/3 cup red bell pepper, 1/3 cup green bell pepper, 1/3 cup orange bell pepper, 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, 1/2 cup tomato, 1/4 cup tomatillos, 1 teaspoon jalapeño, 1 cup corn, 1/2 cup onion
  • Shake the dressing well and pour over the rice and vegetables. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Leftovers: You could double this recipe so you have leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Place in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 4 days. You can eat it cold or warm it up slightly in a microwave.
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Salad
Author: Gina Dickson

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