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Brown Rice Summer Salad with Avocado and Tomato

This brown rice summer salad is so good! Packed with filling brown rice, avocado, chickpeas, and tomatoes, all dressed in creamy vinaigrette, this is a recipe you will make over and over again.
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 5
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the rice and veggies:

  • 1.5 cups long-grain brown rice, dry (I prefer brown basmati rice)
  • 3 cups water, (For cooking the rice, I prefer to use my rice cooker)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

For the dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ sea salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Everything else:

  • 1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 avocado, diced to ½ to ¾ inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

Cook the rice

  • Get the brown rice cooking before you do anything else! That way it will be ready by the time you have prepared all the other meal elements. I like to make brown rice in my rice cooker, but feel free to use the stovetop or whatever your preferred rice-cooking method is.

Cook the onion and garlic

  • In a large skillet add 2 Tbsp olive oil, and cook the garlic, onion, and ½ tsp sea salt over medium heat for 3 minutes. The onion will start to sizzle.
  • Now turn the heat down to medium low, and cook the onion for another 5 minutes. While the onion cooks, you can halve your tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes

  • Now add your tomatoes, 1/8 tsp pepper, the remaining ½ tsp sea salt, and the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet with the onion/garlic mixture. Turn the heat back up to medium, and cook the tomatoes for 3 minutes, until they begin to release their juices.
  • Turn the heat down to low, and let the tomatoes, onion, and garlic cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes have mostly broken down, but have still retained a bit of shape.

Make the dressing

  • While the tomatoes cook, make the dressing. Simply whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Whisk until the dressing emulsifies. You will know when it happens! All the ingredients will just really come together and make a beautiful, thick liquid.

Put it all together

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked brown rice and drained chickpeas.
  • Carefully spoon all of the onion/garlic/tomato mixture over the rice. Get all those delicious juices in there too! Use a spatula to fold the ingredients into the rice.
  • Now pour the dressing over the top of the brown rice salad, and fold the dressing in as well. The brown rice will just soak it up beautifully! I think the dressing recipe makes the perfect amount of dressing, and I just pour all of it over the brown rice salad, but feel free to start with less and add more to preference.
  • Once the dressing is incorporated, fold in the avocado and the parsley.

Serve!

  • Taste, adjust salt to preference, then serve!
  • This salad is a great meal all on its own, or pair it with some Gardein or similar meat substitute. We love to have this salad with the Kroger brand breaded meat substitute patties. The crunch from the breaded patty goes great with the textures in this brown rice salad!