Rice or pasta salads are the perfect solution for a summer meal that does not involve too much cooking and you can store in the fridge for up to 3 days!

Indeed my favorite allied for beach or park picnics, it is extremely versatile because you can entirely customize it based on your taste or nationality.

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For this Italian Style recipe  I use rice because it is lighter and lower in carbs. Italians cook it in boiling water for 15 minutes and drain all the water out, this way eliminating most of the starch.  Beware, this method does not apply to the traditional Risotto!

I suggest to enhance your REINVIGORATING rice salad using at least 2 fresh vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers, where cucumbers are very popular in the mediterranean cuisine, for its water content and digestion aid.

I also use a small amount of Mayo (organic), to dress it.  It’s ok to add a little egg element but not mandatory, in my opinion. You may in fact use a drizzle of olive oil instead.

Are you ready for a great full meal that will cool you off and keep you out of the kitchen for a bit?

Here it is!

Easy, Light Rice Salad - Italian Style

Delicious summer meal perfect for picnics or simply to keep you from cooking in the heat!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy cooking, Italian Style, Light, Rice Salad, Summer meal
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erika Price


  • 1 and 1/2 cup Arborio or White Rice
  • 3 cans Solid Tuna in Olive Oil
  • 6 small Cucumbers (I use organic Persian Cucumbers) Diced
  • 1/2 cup Sugar Plum Tomatoes Cut in halves
  • 1 cup Whole Corn Kernel (canned)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted Cut in halves if whole
  • 1 cup Artichokes Hearts, (marinated in oil) Cut in halves
  • 1 jar Roasted Bell Peppers in oil (circa 3 halves) Cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes Cut in small pieces (vertical)
  • 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • In a medium sized pot, bring salted water to a boil and add the rice. The water must submerge the rice entirely. Cook for 15 minutes or until soft (not overcooked) and drain all the water out. Let the rice fully cool off at room temperature;
  • Meantime, in a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients as follows:
  • Drain the oil from the tuna cans and with a fork, break it into pieces directly into the bowl; the reason of draining the oil out is that I prefer to dress my salad with the olive oil of my choice. You could buy the tuna in water but the one in oil tastes better;
  • In a small strainer, drain all the liquid from the corn can and rinse the corn; you will so eliminate the slimy preservatives. If you wish to save some of the corn you can do so using a container and adding regular water to it;
  • Add all the remaining ingredients (previously cut and drained of their original liquid or oil as much as possible), add the cooled rice on top, dress with the EVOO and Mayonnese and toss well.
  • Let cool in the fridge for 30/45 minutes.

Happy picnics everyone! Stay cool!

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2 Replies to “EASY AND LIGHT RICE SALAD – Italian Style!”

    1. Pretty bad here in SoCal too and I just had mine:). Let me know how my recipe turns out for you and if you have any questions please contact me, Ill be happy to help! Thank you for your comment!

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