Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing
It’s sometimes nice to experiment with new ingredients. I’ve been craving a new salad recipe with substance, so this vegan red rice salad came at the perfect time!
I find that if I base it around leafy greens, it’s just not substantial enough to make it a main course. Michael and I are both big eaters so a green salad with some form of protein just won’t cut it.
It’s also quite common to combine tomato and cucumber with wild rice to make a delicious salad recipe. I wanted to step it up a notch and add more protein with the chickpeas, healthy fats with the dressing, and crunch with the walnuts.
The hero of this recipe is still the red rice. It adds a unique chewy texture and taste that’s hard to describe.
Free Recipe eBook
Join our newsletter and get our eBook featuring exclusive breakfast recipes to kickstart your mornings.
This post may contain affiliate links, for which we earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure here.
Where do you buy red rice?
I found the red rice a few months ago in the supermarket and wanted to try it. I’d never cooked with it before, and I thought that it would be interesting as a base for a cold salad.
I’ve also managed to spot it at my local bulk store so will be buying it from there in the future. I think I’ll always have some on hand, especially over the summer months when you feel like a cold salad that is filling and full of flavour.
If you’re interested in buying red rice, check out your local supermarket or bulk foods store. If you still can’t find it, usually Asian grocers will stock it. The last resort would be to source your red rice online.
Why use red rice?
I’ve chosen to use red rice because it has a wonderful earthy and nutty flavour. The rice also doesn’t go too soft which you can find with white rice and some brown rice varieties. It probably resembles black rice the most in terms of its cooking instructions and texture.
You can easily substitute this for brown rice or black rice. I personally love the red rice for this recipe. Plus the colour is fantastic!
I can see this rice being used in a lot of Asian-style desserts. I think I’ll experiment with this at some stage. Would you like to see a dessert recipe using red rice?
Substitutes for the tahini dressing
If you don’t like tahini or don’t have it on hand, you can easily swap it out for a different dressing. It’s quite a versatile salad.
Here are a few suggestions:
This vegan red rice salad is efficient to make!
This salad is incredibly easy to make. Red rice is similar to black rice in that it takes a little longer to cook (about 40 mins) than white or brown rice.
Luckily though, your salad and dressing will only take you 5-10 mins to prepare while your rice is cooking.
You can quickly run out of things to do once you get things started, as you stand around waiting for the rice to cook. So it might be worth setting a timer to ensure you don’t overcook your rice if you decide to step away from the kitchen briefly.
This vegan red rice salad is excellent as a quick and easy meal. You can take it to work for lunch or pack it in your kid’s lunchbox. If they can’t have nuts at school, swap the walnuts for toasted sunflower seeds. Easy peasy!
Other delicious recipes you’ll love:
- Rainbow Falafel Salad
- Vegan Buddha Bowl Three Ways
- Vegan Tacos with Lentils & Cauliflower (Gluten-Free)
- Spiced Carrot & Millet Salad
- Roasted Eggplant and Capsicum Buckwheat Salad
If you try this recipe, let me know! We’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest.Print
Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 3 serves
Nutty, creamy and filling vegan red rice salad. This salad is super easy to make and is substantial enough to be the main meal.
- ¾ cup / 160g red rice, washed
- 1 medium cucumber, cut into cubes
- 150g / 5.29 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 can / 425g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup / 50g walnuts, chopped
- 1 small handful of coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
- Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet.*
- Combine the cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, walnuts and coriander in a bowl. Mix well.
- Once the rice is cooked, toss through the rest of the ingredients.
- Make the tahini dressing and pour over the salad and serve.
*The red rice should take approx 40 minutes to cook. Get this on first and prepare the salad and dressing while the rice is cooking.
- Diet: Vegan
Loved this recipe, already shared with friends and family, we really enjoyed it. thank you 🙂
Yay! So happy to hear 🙂 Thanks for sharing around!
I would love to make this.
Can I use normal tahini instead of unhulled tahini
You sure can!
I have not yet made this, but it looks delicious ( I don’t like tahini at all and it’s not that healthy, so I will sub ginger dressing.)
To those who are substituting brown rice or other rice for red rice, I’d encourage you to try it with red rice when you can. Red rice and black rice are AMAZING tasting with much more flavor than other types of rice. Really worth trying! Nice recipe and thank you.
Hi Heidi, I love your passion for red rice. And I agree, it’s so tasty! Sure, tahini can be polarising that way. We personally love it, although it’s easy to overdo. Thanks for leaving a comment, and if you do try this recipe, please be sure to leave a review 🙂
I made this today! With some tweaks. Red rice was overpriced at my supermarket, and I had long grain brown rice coming out of my ears so I subbed that, and it still tastes great! I couldn’t find tahini at my supermarket, which is a huge bummer, but I had sesame oil instead and used a 1:1 sesame and olive oil dressing plus the lemon juice, and that wonderful nutty flavor still came through. Excellent dish, thank you for the fresh ideas!
Sounds great! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Glad you liked it.
I use a simplified version of this dressing (just tahini and lemon juice) over steamed vegies – tahini is a high-fat product so I leave out any addition fats (oils) as I don’t find they are necessary. The salad sounds delicious, especially with the addition of walnuts.
That’s a good point!! It is so simple, but adds so much flavour 🙂