Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing by The Minimalist Vegan

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.

red rice grain

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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. Last resort would be to source your red rice online.

Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing 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.

You could do a simple olive oil, garlic and herb dressing (just make sure you make heaps) or a chilli mayo style dressing. And of course, you could always whip up a peanut or almond butter sauce with some lemon and tamari. The options here are pretty endless. 

Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing

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!

Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing by The Minimalist Vegan

Other delicious recipes you’ll love:

  1. Rainbow Falafel Salad
  2. Vegan Buddha Bowl Three Ways
  3. Vegan Tacos with Lentils & Cauliflower (Gluten-Free)
  4. Spiced Carrot & Millet Salad
  5. Roasted Eggplant and Capsicum Buckwheat Salad

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would 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

Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing by The Minimalist Vegan

Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing

Yield: 3
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Nutty, creamy and filling vegan red rice salad. This salad is super easy to make and is substantial enough to be the main meal. Let me know what you think!


  • 3/4 cup red rice, washed
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into cubes
  • 150g tomatoes (preferably cherry), cut into cubes
  • Can of chickpeas (425g), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped


  • 1 tbsp unhulled tahini
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs water
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet.*
  2. Combine the cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, walnuts and coriander in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, toss through the rest of the ingredients.
  4. For the dressing, place all ingredients in a jar or a small container with a lid and give it a good shake. Once well combines, 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 you're cooking the rice.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 520Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 651mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 12gSugar: 17gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

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  1. Loved this recipe, already shared with friends and family, we really enjoyed it. thank you 🙂

  2. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

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