Brown Rice Salad
One night a few weeks ago, I fought my tendency to reach for white rice. I cooked brown rice instead, and this easy, healthy, and delicious salad was the result.
This brown rice salad is so good. The brown rice itself is an integral reason why. The texture and earthy flavor of the brown rice perfectly complements the tomatoes, avocado, and creamy dressing in this summery salad.
A Quick Plant-Based Meal
Even better, this recipe comes together in about 45 minutes. Just prepare the dressing, tomatoes, and avocado while the brown rice cooks. Then mix it all together, and dinner is ready.
Pair this salad with my crispy tofu and some greens, or enjoy it as a one bowl meal. With all the protein from the brown rice and chickpeas, this salad is a filling meal by itself.
This salad is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. It also makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.
Make this brown rice salad tonight. I’m sure it will become a summer favorite.
Brown Rice Salad with Avocado & Tomato
For the rice and veggies:
- 5 cups brown rice, cooked (in my rice cooker, 3 cups water and 1 ½ cups dry brown rice makes 5 cups cooked brown rice)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
For the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ½ sea salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 avocado, diced to ½ to ¾ inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
Cook the rice
- Get the brown rice cooking before you do anything else. It will be done cooking by the time you've prepared all the other meal elements. I use my rice cooker, but cook your rice using whatever your preferred method is.
Cook the onion and garlic
- In a large skillet add 2 Tbsp olive oil, and cook the garlic, onion, and ½ tsp sea salt over medium heat for 3 minutes. The onion will start to sizzle.
- Now turn the heat down to medium low, and cook the onion for another 5 minutes. While the onion cooks, you can halve your tomatoes.
Add the tomatoes
- Now add your tomatoes, 1/8 tsp pepper, the remaining ½ tsp sea salt, and the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet with the onion/garlic mixture. Turn the heat back up to medium, and cook the tomatoes for 3 minutes, until they begin to release their juices.
- Turn the heat down to low, and let the tomatoes, onion, and garlic cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes have mostly broken down, but have still retained a bit of shape.
Make the dressing
- While the tomatoes cook, make the dressing. Simply whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Whisk until the dressing emulsifies. All the ingredients will come together and make a thick liquid.
Put it all together
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked brown rice and drained chickpeas.
- Carefully spoon all of the onion/garlic/tomato mixture over the rice. Be sure to get all the tomato juice in there too. Use a spatula to fold the ingredients into the rice.
- Now pour all of the dressing over the top of the brown rice salad, and fold the dressing in. The brown rice will soak it up.
- Once the dressing is incorporated, fold in the avocado and the parsley.