By Elena Johnson

This is a convenient recipe since almost all of the ingredients can be found in the pantry. It’s also handy for using up leftover cooked rice. However, if you choose to cook the rice specifically for this recipe, I recommend substituting vegetable broth for the water to impart additional flavor to the completed dish. Some other ingredient ideas for this salad are: diced jalapeno peppers, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, shredded carrot, diced onion, chopped cilantro, or sunflower seeds. Let your fridge and pantry be your guide when making this spicy, vegetarian side dish!

Spicy Rice Salad

Spicy Rice Salad

Spicy Rice Salad

8 – 12 servings

2 cups brown rice, cooked in vegetable broth and cooled to room temperature

½ Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. salt, divided

2 tsp. black pepper, divided

2 cups corn kernels

3 cups cooked beans, such as black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas

4 oz. can diced green chiles, drained

¼ cup roasted pepitas

⅓ – ½ cup fresh lime or lemon juice

¼ cup egg-free mayonnaise

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. cumin

1 – 2 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on spice preference

1 – 2 Tbsp. hot sauce, depending on spice preference

Season rice with olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Add corn, beans, chiles, and pepitas. Mix gently with a fork until combined.

In a small bowl make the dressing by combining ⅓ cup lime or lemon juice, remaining salt and pepper, and remaining ingredients. Whisk well.

Fold dressing into rice mixture with a fork until coated. Adjust seasoning and mix in additional lime or lemon juice to taste.

About the Author

Elena Johnson

Elena Johnson

Elena Johnson is a second-generation Filipino American living in Baltimore, MD. As a vegan chef and caterer she has been reinventing her family’s recipes and sharing these vegetarian versions of Filipino comfort food with friends, relatives, and those unfamiliar with the flavors of the Philippines. Elena is also the Special Projects Manager at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal advocacy organization focusing on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promoting vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all. Elena combines her passion for vegetarian food with a love of teaching by offering cooking demonstrations to the public. To learn more about why she went veg, visit Questions/feedback: email