Herbed Rice Salad with Peanuts

An herb-packed rice salad recipe with peanuts, toasted coconut, and a strong boost of fresh lime. It's recipe to keep in your back pocket.

Herbed Rice Salad with Peanuts

This rice salad is for all the herb lovers out there. It's for those occasions when basil, and mint, and cilantro are booming in your garden, or at the market. And it's a great way to use leftover rice (or other favorite grain). I'm not shy with the amount of herbs I use in relation to the quantity of rice here. I also load up with a generous amount of toasted coconut and never skimp on the peanuts. A bold boost of lime pulls everything together and keeps it all bright.

rice salad recipe filled with lots of herbs and topped with peanuts

Rice Salad: Make it Easy

Aside from the chopping of the herbs, you can prep the components of this salad a couple of days ahead of time. Specifically, the rice, coconut, and peanuts. I like to wait until the day of to chop all the fresh herbs.

Rice Salad Variations

My preference is to make this recipe with brown jasmine rice, but use whatever rice you tend to keep on hand. Short grain brown rice is also great. You can also make a twist on rice salad by using any number of other grains - or a blend!  Try farro, or quinoa, or even wheat berries if you come across them. Another favorite variation is adding roasted cherry tomatoes when they're in season. It really takes everything over the top in a great way. And if I have arugula on hand, you better believe a few handfuls of that is going in here as well.
ceramic bowl filled with rice salad recipe topped with lots of herbs and topped with peanuts

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Herbed Rice Salad with Peanuts

5 from 2 votes

When they're in season, bake some roasted cherry tomatoes and add them to the salad just before serving. Amazing! And, you can use whatever rice you have on hand, but I like to use the wonderfully fragrant brown jasmine rice for this salad.

  • 4 cups cooked rice, room-temperature
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted peanuts
  • 3/4 loosely packed cup of EACH of the following: mint, basil, & cilantro leaves
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  1. Ideally, you're going to want to toss this salad, just before serving. It keeps the herbs bright, and green. In a large bowl, combine the rice, coconut, peanuts, mint, basil, cilantro, and shallots. Season with the lime juice, and salt. Toss again.
  2. Mash the garlic clove into a paste with a generous pinch of salt. Whisk the salted garlic into the yogurt, and drizzle generously over the salad, serving the rest on the side.

Serves 6.

Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
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Recipe Rating


Love it!, served it on thinly sliced collard greens and red cabbage5 stars



    Heidi Swanson

I’m struggling, may be making rice wrong, but it gets very hard and unpleasant to eat cold. How do you cook your rice so that it is tasty cold?


    Hi Kwaddle – yes, cold rice tends to be not great. I like to serve something like this at room temp or a shade warmer. If you have a microwave, you could give a quick zap.

    Heidi Swanson

simply the best! I have been making this for years. Sometimes I sub coconut cream or coconut yogurt if I have a guest who does not eat dairy.


Would love your recommendation for a vegan, un-yogurt version Heidi ♡

Lina harper

Love this recipe! I keep coming back to it. It’s great to make in bulk and eat for lunch the next few days. Also great for picnics!


I really enjoyed the inspiration of this. I added some chopped celery and chopped carrots. Didn’t have peanuts so used some walnuts. Me and my husband and four year olds loved it. Planning to do more dinners like this this summer.

Anna Gerard

This looks amazing and so satisfying. I’m a very big rice fan so any excuse 🙂 I haven’t seen brown Jasmine rice in the UK so I’ll keep an eye out but sure it would be lovely with basmati too.


Such a humble yet exiting salad! I love salads that don’t require looking like a giraffe when eating it, hah, this looks right up my street! And toasted coconut and peanuts……Yum! x

Jules @ WolfItDown

Perfect idea for everything coming into season right now! Simple, delicious and customizable.

Mary @ LOVE the secret ingredient

This looks like such a great side dish! Going to bring it to parties this summer. Thank you !


I make a similar salad (grain + veggies + herbs) a couple of times a week, but I’ve gotten into a rut of doing the same combinations. This is going to be a refreshing variation on a favorite!

Taste of France

This is brilliant. It looks like an ideal lunch for the hot, lazy days that are coming our way.


I love how many herbs this salad uses, they are getting gorgeous now!

Abby @ Heart of a Baker

Thank you as it looks and sounds delicious! Also love how easy it is to make when so many of us are short on time these days. Congratulations on the James Beard award, my copy sits on display in my kitchen for friends and family to fawn over when they visit. Well done.

Kari Zazzara

I discovered Calamanzi, a small but pungent citrus with one fat seed and lots of juice, when I lived in Honolulu. Occasionally one can find fresh ones in Hispanic or Asian markets. (still looking for sources in SF, LA, east coast) I got them in Chinatown in Honolulu. It’s a wonderful change-up from lime.

Mike Dabney

I look forward to having a variation of this all summer. If you are lucky enough to have access to lots of Asian herbs (Thai and Vietnamese mint, basil, coriander, etc.), pile them in! It is a nice accompaniment to fish or tofu.


    Love this idea!

    Heidi Swanson

I love to travel, but also miss my kitchen when I do! Always a great feeling to whip up a nice meal upon the return – this rice salad looks so fresh, must have been lovely to settle back in with a meal like this!

leaf (the indolent cook)

Love these kind of salads Heidi and so perfect for work – certainly no sad desk lunch if you take a salad like this to work! Congratulations too on the James Beard Award for Near and Far – the photography in that book really is beautiful.


I love so much herbs! I’ll miss cilantro in the next weeks – I’m going back to Italy for the promotional tour of my upcoming cookbook! – but hopefully my mum still has some basil plants bacony 😀

valentina | sweet kabocha

Many congratulations on your James Beard award for Near and Far!


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