Summer Chicken Rice Salad

I know, I know, this is my second post in a row with the word “summer” in it, and technically it isn’t exactly summer yet.  But it’s only a matter of days, and there’s nothing like being prepared, I always say.  Especially when it comes to summer, and especially when it comes to things like fresh basil and grilled chicken and sweet tomatoes and all the glorious things you can make with them.  Things like this easy and delicious summer chicken rice salad!

Whenever the Southern husband is grilling up chicken, we ALWAYS make sure to toss a few extra pieces on, just so that we have extra to make things like this wonderful chicken rice salad.  Since cold leftover grilled chicken is so very very tempting when it is just sitting around in the fridge, I do have to say in a very stern voice that nobody is allowed to just randomly eat pieces of leftover grilled chicken when the spirit moves them, and I’ve been known to leave threatening Post-It notes on the actual containers of grilled chicken in the refrigerator.  Hey, you do what you have to do.

Assuming your leftover grilled chicken makes it through safely, this lovely dish simply involves shredding it up and tossing it together with some cooked and cooled rice, some halved cherry tomatoes, a little chopped fresh basil, some olive oil and lemon juice a little salt and pepper.  All in one dish. It’s so easy, it’s almost not fair.

But hey, it’s summertime, and the living is easy.  Almost.  One more week!


Summer Chicken Rice Salad
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (grilled chicken works wonderfully for this recipe!)
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup sliced fresh basil
  1. Make dressing by combining olive oil and lemon juice in a small jar and shaking vigorously.
  2. Put chicken and tomatoes in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Add rice and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Just before serving, add basil. Serve with a little more ground pepper on top.


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  1. Rachel says

    This does look very summery. I quite often make a chicken salad recipe of Jamie Oliver’s with leftover roast chicken. No tomatoes, but it does have basil, yogurt, mayo, almonds and cumin. It is so good!

  2. Theresa M says

    I make something very similar, only I use orzo instead of rice and I throw in some toasted pine nuts. Yummy! Love that easy summer cooking!

  3. Ginny Showman says

    Going to try this one right away. I’m thinking of substituting quinoa or farrow for the rice to boost the protein as well as maintain our efforts to stay away from white foods as much as possible. Any thoughts on how it might need to be changed? More dressing? More/different herbs?

    Thanks. I love all your recipes!

    • Kate says

      I’m not sure about quinoa in this one, but I think farro would be fantastic! You might want to up the dressing just a bit so that it can hold it’s own with the more substantial farro, and more herbs are always great….aside from that I think you should be fine! Let us know how it turns out! :)

  4. says

    I detest mayo so I always cringe a little when I see “salads” that feature it…but this just put a big smile on my face! So perfect for summer!


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