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+ servings
glass bowl filled with rice salad topped with halved hard boiled egg

Italian Rice Salad Recipe (Insalata di riso)

The perfect hot weather meal, Italian Rice Salad is quick and easy to prepare and makes the perfect satisfying and refreshing lunch or dinner!
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian rice salad,
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 379kcal


  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cooked ham (prosciutto cotto) cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup Italian giardiniera (pickled vegetables) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 tbsp reserved oil from the pickled vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 hard boiled egg


Cook the rice:

  • Prepare your rice several hours before assembling the rice salad. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and the rice and lower to a simmer. Cook with the lid on for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on for about 5 more minutes, until the rice is cooked. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl or spread on a cookie sheet to cool. Place in refrigerator and cool completely.

Prepare vegetables:

  • If using frozen peas and corn, blanch the vegetables (separately) in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and plunge in an ice bath to cool completely.

To assemble:

  • Add all ingredients to the rice and toss well to combine.
  • Cut hard boiled egg in half or quarters and place on the salad before serving.


This is my interpretation of the rice salad I enjoyed in Italy, however this recipe can be endlessly varied to suit your taste or what you have on hand.  Here are a few suggestions:
Protein:  cubed ham; chopped salami (or any other cured meat); leftover chicken; canned tuna; shrimp; cubed or crumbled cheese; hard boiled eggs.
Vegetables:  pickled vegetables (giardiniera); sliced black or green olives; corn; peas; sun-dried tomatoes; artichoke hearts;  or any other leftover vegetables lurking in your fridge!
Fresh herbs: fresh herbs give this salad a fresh bright flavor.  I used parsley and chives, which are available in my garden. 


Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 555IU | Vitamin C: 15.1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1.4mg