A cold salad that is full of flavor: smoky bacon, ripe tomatoes, aromatic basil, and tender rice. It's a standout salad for your barbecue, lunch, or potluck!
There are many reasons to have a big crop of basil in your garden or in a pot on the windowsill, and this salad is just one of them! (A Cherry Tomato Basil Tart and Pesto Crisps are two more good reasons!)
This Bacon, Tomato and Basil Rice Salad is one of my favorite cold salads. There are so many favorite flavor combinations brought together in one dish: like bacon and tomatoes, so delicious on BLTs. And basil and tomato, two summer garden crops that were made for each other. And don't forget tantalizing sauteed garlic, which is delicious with practically everything!
Why you'll love this recipe
It's a dish you can prepare for a casual lunch or whip up to bring to a party or potluck.No matter who you serve it to, your hungry fans will really love it.
Fresh tomatoes and leaves of basil are tossed into a cold rice salad, along with cooked, chopped bacon, cubes of mozzarella and a simple vinaigrette. Every bite of the salad is full of flavor, even down to the rice which is cooked with sauteed garlic.
🔪 How to make this recipe
Step 1: Make the rice
Sauté diced garlic in oil, then add in jasmine rice. Stir the rice in the hot oil for another minute, then add water and cover. Cook the rice until it's tender, then spread it out to let it cool.
Step 2: Prepare the tomatoes and basil
Dice the tomatoes. Roll the basil leaves up, then slice across to create thin strips. Combine the tomatoes and basil strips in a bowl with the diced bacon and cubed mozzarella cheese.
Step 3: Finish the salad
Stir the cooled rice into the bowl. Make a quick vinaigrette by shaking together some vinegar and olive oil, and pour this into the bowl. Stir it all together, and serve it up!
Alright, enough reading: it's time to get this salad in your life and in your mouth! The recipe is below. Need even more salad ideas? You got it, baby!
💬 Tell me what you think of this deelish salad! Leave a comment below and a rating on the recipe!
Bacon, Tomato, and Basil Rice Salad
- 2 cups jasmine rice, uncooked
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 strips bacon: cooked, drained and chopped into small pieces
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
Make the rice:
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil until hot in a pan over medium heat. Add in the minced garlic and toss quickly to sauté, for 1 minute.
- Add in the jasmine rice and stir to coat it in the oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low heat and stir frequently for another 2 minutes - do not allow the garlic to burn.
- Add in 3 cups of water and stir. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the rice, covered for 15-20 minutes until cooked.
- Spread the cooked rice out on a baking sheet and allow to cool.
Prepare the tomatoes and basil:
- Remove the seeds and discard them. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl along with the chopped, cooked bacon.
- Julienne the basil: place the basil leaves in stacks of 4-5, roll them up from the long edge and slice through the leaves crosswise to cut them into thin strips. Run the knife through the slivers a few times to chop them up and then add them to the bowl.
- Add the cubed mozzarella to the bowl as well.
Complete the salad:
- Stir the cooled rice into the bowl and toss the ingredients to combine.
- Pour the vinegar and remaining ½ cup of oil into a small jar with a lid. Close the jar and shake to combine the two.
- Pour this vinaigrette over the ingredients in the bowl and toss to coat and combine everything. Stir in the black pepper and salt to taste.
- Serve the salad at room temperature or chilled. Makes about 4 cups.
- Store leftover salad covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This post originally appeared in 2014. Recipe and post updated September 2020.