Summer Dinner Recipe

All summer long we eat salads for lunch and dinner. All. Summer. Long. I know some people are not of the mind that salads = a substantial meal, but luckily my boys have been well-trained in the salad-for-dinner arena.

Chicken and Rice Salad

Chicken in Salads

The chicken can be cooked in any way you can think of, and therefore any simply cooked leftover chicken is fair game.  

For this salad, I like to dice it pretty small, so that it stays in harmony size-wise with the rice and vegetables but if you prefer big cubes of chicken, have at it.  This is not a rigid recipe by any means, either in the ingredients called for (use diced bell peppers in addition to or instead of the zucchini, for instance) or suggested sizes of the ingredients.  

Chicken and Rice Salad: A very flexible recipe, meant to get you poking around in your fridge and pantry, and a perfect way to use up leftover chicken.

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Chicken and Rice Salad

Leftover Rice in Salads

And along those same lines you can use whatever cooked rice you have lingering in the fridge, or that speaks to you from the pantry.  I used white rice (creative and original, I know), but next time I’ll use brown rice, or — who knows — this so could easily happen in some form or fashion with jasmine, basmati, or even wild rice.  Another template recipe, meant to get you poking around in your fridge and pantry, and if you lean into your options, at no point will you ever feel like you’re making the same salad twice.

Make Ahead Chicken and Rice Salad

This salad can be made up to 3 days ahead of time, though the vegetables will soften a bit and might lost some of their vibrant color.  

Chicken and Rice Salad

What to Serve with Chicken and Rice Salad:

Other Chicken Salad Recipes:

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Chicken and Rice Salad

A very flexible recipe, meant to get you poking around in your fridge and pantry, and a perfect way to use up leftover chicken and rice.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2 cups cooked rice (any kind)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped parsley


  • In a large bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  • Add the cooked chicken, rice, celery, zucchini, onion, and parsley. Toss to combine well. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 837IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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