In partnership withSuccess Rice

Try This Roasted Veggie Rice Salad for Its Creamy Avocado Dressing — and a Chance at $2,500

published Aug 22, 2022
California Rice Salad Recipe

This herb and vegetable packed rice salad is made even easier with the help of Success Rice's Boil-In-Bag White Rice that cooks up light and fluffy in 10 minutes!

Serves4 - 6

Makes5 cups

Prep20 minutes

Cook28 minutes to 30 minutes

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Credit: Meghan Splawn

Have you ever been traveling and eaten something so good that you wanted to rush home and recreate it? That’s what happened to me with this California rice salad. I spent a few weeks this spring in Southern California, and a lunch with friends introduced me to a roasted vegetable salad with an avocado and lime ranch dressing that I could not stop thinking about. So when Success Rice invited me to create a recipe as part of their Share Your Success contest, I drew on my salad dreams for inspiration.

Whether you’re also feeling inspired by a recent dish or you’ve got a go-to recipe that uses boil-in-bag rice as a cooking hack, you could win $2,500 by entering the Share Your Success contest. Just share your recipe using any Success Rice product (quinoa included!) on the contest entry page or, even easier, post a picture of your dish on Instagram and tag @successrice (be sure your profile is set to public and include #shareyoursuccess and #contest in the caption). Runner-up gets $500, so give it a try!

Credit: Meghan Splawn

Success Rice is one of those pantry staples I grew up eating without realizing just how convenient it is for home cooks. There is no measuring or guessing with boil-in-bag rice. Just put the bag of rice in a pot of water and bring it to boil — no waiting on the water first — and the rice cooks up perfectly fluffy. Cooking right in the bag also means you barely need to clean the pot.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

My SoCal-Inspired Salad

My recipe is a one-bowl meal that I can’t stop cooking and eating. And with the rice practically cooking itself, you can focus on making all the other parts of your dish extra flavorful.

Give the sweet potato, peppers, and red onions enough time to roast in the oven and become tender and golden; they’ll develop a wonderful sweetness that adds a great depth.

Fresh herbs also add a ton of flavor, but don’t worry about reserving them for garnishing the finished dish! Prep enough cilantro and chives to pack a wonderful herbaceous flavor into the dressing (which gets its thickness from avocado and yogurt instead of cream).

Finally, finish the whole bowl — rice, roasted vegetables, tons of herbs, and the avocado dressing — with salted, roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh chunks of avocado before serving. The result is a salad that is nutty, crunchy, creamy, sweet, and tangy all at once.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

My 3 Food Photography Tips

Since Success Rice will consider both the taste and presentation of your recipe, here are a few simple tips for taking prize-worthy photos.

1. Plate your food in a wide, shallow bowl or dish so it’s easy to see the fluffy rice along with your other ingredients. If your recipe uses a sauce or dressing, save some to drizzle at the end.

2. Take photos during daylight hours near a window. Natural light is even and makes food look extra tasty.

3. If you’re shooting photos with your phone, remember to wipe off the camera lens before snapping pics. My phone’s lens almost always has food or fingerprints on it, so don’t worry if yours does too!

The Share Your Success contest closes September 30, 2022, so be sure to grab your Success Rice, get cooking, and share your most inspired recipe. I can’t wait to see it!

California Rice Salad Recipe

This herb and vegetable packed rice salad is made even easier with the help of Success Rice's Boil-In-Bag White Rice that cooks up light and fluffy in 10 minutes!

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 28 minutes to 30 minutes

Makes 5 cups

Serves 4 - 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)

  • 1

    small red onion

  • 1

    large red bell pepper

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 quart

    water

  • 1 bag

    Success White Rice (from 1 (14-ounce) box)

  • 1/2 bunch

    fresh cilantro (about 2 1/2 ounces)

  • 1

    medium bunch fresh chives (about 1 ounce)

  • 1/2 cup

    roasted, salted shelled pumpkin seeds (about 2 ounces)

  • 1

    large ripe avocado

  • Grilled chicken, crispy tofu, or cooked black beans, for serving (optional)

For the avocado ranch dressing:

  • 1/4 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (from the bunch used in the salad)

  • 1/4 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh chives (from the bunch used in the salad)

  • 1

    large ripe avocado

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2

    large limes

  • 1/2 cup

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup

    buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon

    honey

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    chipotle chile powder

Instructions

Make the salad:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. Meanwhile, prepare the following, adding each to the same rimmed baking sheet as you complete it: Peel 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups). Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Finely dice 1 small red onion (about 1 cup). Finely dice 1 large red bell pepper (about 1 cup). Place the onion and bell pepper in a medium bowl.

  2. Drizzle the sweet potatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss to combine and spread into an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1 quart water and 1 bag Success White Rice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove the bag from the water. Cut the bag open and transfer the rice to a large bowl.

  3. Scatter the onion and bell pepper evenly over the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender and beginning to brown, 18 to 20 minutes more.

  4. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems of 1/2 medium bunch fresh cilantro (about 1 1/4 cups). Transfer 1/4 cup to a blender and add the remaining to the bowl of rice. Finely chop 1 medium bunch fresh chives (about 2/3 cup). Transfer 1/4 cup to the blender and add the remaining to the bowl of rice. Make the dressing.

Make the dressing:

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the blender of herbs as you complete it: Peel and smash 2 garlic cloves. Finely grate the zest of 1 of the large limes. Juice the zested lime plus the remaining 1 large lime until you have 1/4 cup.

  2. Add 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon honey, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder. Blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.

  3. Halve and pit 1 large avocado. Scoop the flesh out in large chunks and add to the blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the jar as needed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Finish the salad

  1. Add the roasted vegetables and 1/2 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds to the bowl of rice and toss to combine. Right before serving, halve, pit and dice 1 large avocado. Add to the salad and gently toss to combine.

  2. Serve the salad with the avocado ranch dressing drizzled over each portion. Alternatively, mix about 1/2 cup of the avocado ranch dressing into the salad, then serve the remaining dressing at the table. Serve with grilled chicken, crispy tofu, or cooked black beans if desired.

Recipe Notes

Herbs: Fresh basil, parsley, or mint leaves can be substituted for the cilantro and chives.