Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Traditional rice salad, Italian-style
( Insalata di riso tradizionale )

Authentic Italian recipe

Rice salad may be prepared in many variants. This recipe is very classical and involves the use of traditional ingredients: quail eggs, mushrooms and artichokes in oil, olives, sweet and sour bell peppers, peas, tuna, aromatic herbs and obviously rice. Choose quality ingredients for a tasty cold rice. Below you can read what wines to pair and how many calories this traditional summer dish hides.

difficulty: easy

time: 1 hour

calories: 413 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 3

  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) long-grain, parboiled rice
  • 6 quail eggs
  • 20 little white mushrooms in oil
  • 3 whole little artichokes in oil, sliced
  • 4 thick strips of sweet and sour peppers, cut into thin pieces
  • 40g (1 1/2 ounce) stoned green olives, sliced
  • 1 240g (8 1/2 ounces) can tuna in oil, drained and crumbled
  • 1 200g (7 ounces) can peas, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 30 minutes
total: 1 hour
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 413 (kcal) 21 % - 1729 (kJ)
Protein: 21.7 (g) 44 % GDA
Total fat: 15.5 (g) 23 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 49.7 (g) 19 % GDA
Sugars: 2.1 (g) 3 % GDA

Download free PDF version (174 download).

Recipe for traditional rice salad, Italian-style

Preparation and cooking

  • - Boil quail eggs for 3-4 minutes or according to the instructions on the package.
    Cool them under running cold water in order to peel easily.
  • - Cook rice in plenty of salted, boiling water.
    Drain it, cool under cold running water to stop the cooking and drain it again very well.
  • - Meanwhile put in a bowl your mushrooms, peas, aromatic herbs, tuna, bell peppers, olives and artichokes.
  • - Add your boiled rice, olive oil and eggs after halving them.
    Stir with delicacy and taste.
    Add salt if necessary.

Just before serving

  • - Let sit at least 2 hours before serving, or if chilled, bring back to room temperature to serve.



  • - You can add one or two tablespoons of mayonnaise but be carefull: nutrition facts can vary a lot.
  • - You can modify these ingredients. You can also add Emmental cheese, cotto ham or salami, cubed.
    But obviously calories increase too!

Menu planning

  • - It’s a typical one-plate meal, Italy-style. But don't eat frequently. I'll explain you why below on "healthy eating".
    Complete your meal with fresh fruit.
  • - Rice salad with all its several versions is ideal when preparing cold lunch or dinner menu, or when you have to plan a meal, buffet-style.
    Rice salad has several advantages.
    It can also be prepared in advance and refrigerate. If done in advance, it becomes even better.
    And, as in this case, you can combine it with many other hot and cold dishes for tempting and tasty menus, suitable for all occasions and according to the age of your guests.
    I propose now a simple and quick to do menu, Italian-style. You'll be able to find the link below (Italian summer menu with children guests). It is suitable for hot days when you have some friends for dinner at short notice and maybe even children.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - I love rice salad but I prefer recipes with natural ingredients and therefore healthier than this version made with lots of industrial products. Even so this rice salad is very popular, I think, all over the world and in Italy too. Apart from all the additives you can find in vegetables in oil, a not insignificant aspect is the amount of salt that should be kept more under control especially in summer. In fact, by opening cans rather than using natural ingredients the amount is always higher than permitted. The more you salt your food the more you drink ... remember my words!
  • - Let's examine now this rice dish. The calories are not exaggerated but don't hope to eat a plateful ;)
    To be able to lower its calories I prepared it with 50g (1 3/4 ounce) of rice per person and only 2 teaspoons of olive oil for the whole dish (that's why most of the ingredients are already heavily oiled).
    10g (1/3 ounce) of rice has about 34 calories. The more rice you use the more calories you eat.
    This is the further problem behind the fast food based on cans. The more canned ingredients you use the less rice you can add :((
  • - Here are the doses per head to make this rice salad according to your needs: 50g (1 3/4 ounce) of rice, 2 quail eggs (about half an egg), 6 or 7 mushrooms in oil, a medium-size piece of bell pepper, a dozen stoned olives, 1 artichoke in oil, a tablespoon of peas, a small can of tuna (attention, tuna can make a big difference! better in these cases to use natural tuna), aromatic herbs according to your taste. Don't add any olive oil, unnless you have to prepare this rice salad for more people.


What's the right wine for " Traditional rice salad, Italian-style "?

My husband and I prefer a tasty cool beer in summer but when we have guests we have the habit to match white or rosé wine too. So everyone can choose his favorite drink. Among white wines we suggest Collio Ribolla Gialla (wine of Friuli) while the rosé wine we always pair to this rice salad is Corvo Rosa (wine of Sicily)