This lively chicken and rice salad is a delicious, appetizing lunch or dinner, perfect for any day of the week. It's an excellent picnic salad, too!
I used a grilled chicken breast I picked up at a local deli, but you could use a rotisserie chicken or your own roasted or baked chicken in the salad. It would be great with turkey as well. The salad is also very versatile. Below the instructions I've listed several variations and possible additions. My favorite addition to any chicken salad is toasted pecans.
Serve the salad on mixed salad greens or romaine lettuce leaves along with sliced fresh tomatoes, or use it to stuff tomatoes or small bell peppers.
- 1 1/2 cups rice, cooked and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 1/2 cups cooked English peas
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons diced pimiento
- 3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- mixed salad greens or chopped lettuce
- pimiento-stuffed olives, for garnish, optional
Put the cooled rice in a large serving bowl. Add the diced celery, diced cooked chicken, and the cooked and cooled peas. Stir in the finely chopped onion and the pimiento. Gently toss to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
Stir in 3/4 cup of mayonnaise. Add more mayonnaise, as desired, to moisten and flavor the salad.
Taste and add salt, as needed, along with the 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Mound the salad on mixed greens or chopped lettuce and garnish with pimiento stuffed olives. Serve with slices of tomatoes, cucumbers, or avocado.
- Add 1/2 cup of chopped toasted pecans or almonds to the salad along with the chicken.
- Replace the chicken with diced cooked turkey.
- Replace the rice with cooked bulgur wheat or a similar grain.
- Omit the onions or replace them with chopped green onions or red onions.
- Replace the diced pimientos with 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped roasted red peppers from a jar or use diced red or green bell pepper.
- Replace all or part of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt, and add little lemon juice, to taste.
- Add a few tablespoons of crumbled cooked bacon for some great smoky flavor.
- Dice a little cooked smoked andouille sausage and add it to the chicken mixture to spice it up and give it some Louisiana flavor.
- Add about 1/4 cup of finely chopped ham.