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Summer Chicken and Rice Salad is a wonderful way to use up the bits and pieces of veggies in your crisper drawer. This makes a great lunch or potluck dish!
Summer fever continues in our house. We are all practically chomping on the bit for summer vacation to begin. It’s not just the kids who are excited, we are excited, too. Of course, for my husband and I it’s also about the warm weather and the ability to get out in the garden or the yard and putter around, soaking up the sunshine and pulling a few weeds. For the kids, it’s more about Summer camp and swimming pools, but either way we all are looking forward to what the next couple of months holds.
With the lifestyle change of summer comes a shift in the meals we make ourselves. I won’t deny that there are more bowls of cereal eaten for a breakfast that may not be eaten until 10AM, and there are more hot dogs and Little Debbie’s, but there are also a lot more veggies. Having a vegetable garden will do that to you. As the warm months start to kick into gear, the garden forces upon you heaps of fresh flavors and tastes. I’m in love with the abundance, really. I look forward to it every year as I plant my handful of seeds in the ground.
So, with the plethora of fresh vegetables of spring and summer (whether you grew them or not) comes the little bits and bobs of things floating around in the crisper drawers of your fridge. A couple of carrots, a stray zucchini, a handful of radishes can all be put to good use in a simple yet satisfying salad that will make the lazy lunches of the season even more enjoyable. That’s where this easy Summer Chicken & Rice Salad comes in. I’m not going to dictate too much the veggies you choose to throw in, just use what you have. Make sure to pull out your box grater and your vegetable peeler and cut everything down to size before throwing it all together. And be prepared to fiddle with the seasoning a bit, too. This kind of cooking is all about tasting and adjusting so keep a fork ready!
- 1 small shallot , chopped
- 2 Tablespoons parsley , chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 2 cups cooked jasmine rice , cooled
- 2 cups of assorted veggies cut into bite size pieces ( I used sliced radishes, carrots, zucchini, spinach, green onions, and cherry tomatoes)
- 1 large cooked chicken breast , shredded
- ½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 2 Tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
- Combine the shallot, parsley, thyme, vinegar and oil in a small blender or food processor. Add in a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Blend until smooth and emulsified.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and toss together briefly. Pour the dressing over and then toss to combine and coat everything.
- You are going to have to do some tasting for seasoning here. You will most definitely need more salt and pepper and maybe more vinegar or oil. It’s going to be a little different every time you make this salad.
- This will keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. It’s a wonderful lunch/picnic/potluck dish.