We love this Sausage and Rice Salad! Protein, grains, veggies - all in one dish. It's perfect as a side dish, a salad, or as a wholesome lunch or dinner! The tangy balsamic dressing is a perfect finishing touch!
My kids enjoy it as a school lunch. My husband and I also like to prepare it for our lunch at work. I make a large bowl of it for dinner and then we have leftovers for lunch.
It's just so convenient. Just like our Curried Rice Sautee and this Leftover Turkey Salad (with Gnocchi), it's all in one bowl. Pack it in one container and you're good to go! Just a quick tip, though - if you are preparing the salad for lunch, omit the onion. You're welcome, co-workers! 😉
Reasons to love the recipe
- it's a wholesome salad that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner
- it's a perfect way to use up leftover rice or sausage
- takes just about 30 minutes to make
- Rice: cooked long-grain white rice or brown rice works great.
- Sausages: fully cooked sausages of your choice, cut into bite-size pieces - any sausage will be great - chicken, turkey pork, vegetarian. To make the salad a little spicy, use spicy sausage instead of mild ones.
- Cucumbers: adds freshness and crunch to the salad
- Red bell pepper - for the nice red color
- Corn: adds a little bit of a nutty flavor
- Red onion: adds more color and flavor to the dish
- Dressing: a simple dressing consisting of balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
*** See recipe card below for quantities.
- Cucumber - instead of cucumber you can use roasted or sauteed diced zucchini
- Red bell pepper - diced roasted pepper will be great as a substitute
- Vegetarian - instead of sausage, you can use vegetarian sausages made from chick peas, lentils, or tofu and other vegetarian-friendly ingredients.
- Make it spicy: give the salad a little spicy flavor by adding spicy sausage, or add some red pepper flakes to the dressing
- Olives - adding some sliced olives would work great in the salad for extra texture and tanginess.
- Chickpeas: adding chickpeas is especially great if you would like to make the dish vegetarian and will not be using sausage
- Fresh parsley or dill
- Celery: for an additional crunch
Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar or mixing bowl and whisk well with a fork.
Add all salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine.
Do not heat the leftovers of the rice salad. Take the salad out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so it warms to room temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Long-grain rice such as basmati or jasmine works great in a rice salad. It cooks fluffy and does not stick together. Brown rice will also work great.
Yes, you can. I did not try making this recipe with ground meat, but it will go well with rice and fresh vegetables. Adding a little bit of bacon bits to the ground meat will add more flavor as well.
It's best to serve the salad at room temperature.
Though it's great on its own for a filling lunch or dinner, if you are serving it as a salad or a side dish, it goes really well with a fresh salad, like our Spring Vegetable and Berry Salad and another meat dish, like these Super Easy Sautéed Chicken Thighs.
Store the salad in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you are using leftover sausages from a day or two ago, make sure to consume the salad within the next day.
Freezing: I definitely would not recommend freezing the salad once it is made. The fresh vegetables would just not be the same. If you plan to make the salad ahead and did not yet combine all the salad ingredients together, you can freeze the sausage and rice and then reheat, allow to cool, and then add the fresh salad ingredients after.
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Sausage and Rice Salad
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from fresh lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 2 cups cooked long grain white rice or brown rice cooled
- 2 fully cooked sausages of your choice cut into bite size pieces
- 2 medium cucumbers diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1 cup corn kernels thawed if from frozen
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar or mixing bowl and whisk well with a fork.
- Add all salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine.