Turmeric Rice Salad

5 from 45 votes

Turmeric Rice Salad is a Mediterranean inspired salad that's a great way to bulk up a salad or use leftover rice - easily customizable and ready in minutes!

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If you’re looking to turn your salad into a full meal, a great way to do that is by adding grains, like rice. In this Turmeric Rice Salad, I add a turmeric spiced white rice to a Mediterranean inspired salad. It adds a beautiful color, great texture and a lot of nutrition that’s going to keep you full!

Turmeric rice salad with dressing on top
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What is turmeric good for?

Turmeric is a brightly yellow-colored spice that is similar to ginger. It’s the spice that gives curry its vibrant color, and so it’s very common in Indian cuisine, but also in Mediterranean recipes well. Turmeric is becoming increasingly popular in the last decade because of its amazing medicinal benefits, ranging from anti-inflammation to even lowering the risk of cancer.

I use turmeric to make golden milk turmeric latte, Lebanese turmeric cake (sfouf), and even just to add color to vegan desserts like lemon pudding and lemon bars.

How do you make turmeric rice?

Making turmeric rice is as easy as stirring the spice with the rice and water and allowing it all to mix together as the rice cooks. I recently tried organic ready-to-heat turmeric rice in packets that come with only simple ingredients. And that’s what I use in this recipe today.

Organic turmeric rice made by Lundberg

What to put in rice salad?

It’s really whatever you want. For my turmeric rice salad, I infuse Mediterranean flavors to complement the turmeric rice. So I use spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, olives, parsley and feta cheese.

Ingredients to make the recipe all set in individual bowls

For the dressing, I mix together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, pomegranate molasses, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. It’s a great simple dressing that’s versatile for most salads and really complements the flavors of this turmeric rice salad!

Using spoon to add dressing to the salad

Tips for making rice salad

  1. Fluff the rice after cooking. Whether you’re making the rice from scratch or using the ready-to-heat kind, it’s important to fluff the rice after cooking by using a fork to separate the grains
  2. Use warm rice. Even though we often think of salads as cold meals, there’s something very comforting about the rice being served warm. It keeps the rice moist, and blends more equally into the salad.
  3. Don’t use short grain rice. If you’re cooking the rice from scratch, opt for long grain rice for the best consistency. I find that the short grain rice ends up being too sticky when used in a salad.
  4. Avoid using lettuce. Rice salads tend to be more hearty and are great for leftovers. Including lettuce in the salad though may create a soggy situation the next day. If you want to use greens, opt for spinach or kale that don’t release too much moisture.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it keep?

That will depend a lot on what you have in your salad and whether it’s been mixed yet. The rice itself will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. For best results, I recommend storing everything separately and assembling as needed.

Do you eat it hot or cold?

Like most salads, this rice salad should be served cold. However, I do personally enjoy the rice being warmed slightly because it creates a more moist consistency.

Can you freeze it?

Yes you can as long as it’s not mixed with any fresh vegetables or dairy. If you toss the rice salad with olives, chickpeas and herbs for example, it would freeze very well for up to 1 month. When ready to eat, just reheat in the microwave.

Tossing the salad together

This turmeric rice salad is such a delicious and filling meal. It’s so perfect for weekly meal prep too, just cook a batch of the rice at the start of the week and enjoy it for easy to grab lunches.

It’s so easy to make it up to suit your tastes by adding different veggies and proteins.

For more Mediterranean salads

For more rice recipes:

This turmeric rice salad is one of those salads you can easily throw together as long as you have a well stocked pantry with some type of beans and some vegetables in your fridge. I love how bright and colorful it is and how easily customizable it is to whatever you have on hand and whatever flavors you like.

Two large bowls of the salad with dressing on the side

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Turmeric Rice Salad

Turmeric Rice Salad is a Mediterranean inspired salad that's a great way to bulk up a salad or use leftover rice – easily customizable and ready in minutes!
5 from 45 votes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 544
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
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  • 1 cup cooked turmeric rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons kalamata olives sliced
  • 1 cup can chickpeas
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup English cucumbers sliced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove pressed
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Whisk the ingredients for the salad dressing together in a small mason jar until well combined. Set aside.
  • Prepare rice according to package instructions. Allow one minute to cool, then fluff with a fork to separate the grains.
  • Assemble all the ingredients for the salad into two bowls or one large bowl. Pour the dressing over, toss and serve.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 5 days in the fridge, but keep each ingredient stored separately and don’t toss the salad until ready to eat.
Sourcing: You can find the turmeric in all grocery stores with all the other spices.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. But this is a very versatile salad that can be adapted to your preferences and ingredient availability. 


Calories: 544kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 732mg, Potassium: 527mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 866IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 163mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Course: Salads, Side Dish

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  1. Ali says:

    I can’t find the Lundberg Tumeric Rice. How do I make it from scratch?

  2. Jon Way says:

    I don’t see in your article how much Turmeric is added to how much rice to make Turmeric rice..

  3. Yumna Jawad says:

    Oh wow, even your toddler loved it!! Thank you so much!