Learn how to make a delicious brown rice and cashew nut salad with crunchy vegetables and Balsamic vinegar soy dressing. This brown rice salad can be made with the Instant Pot (to cook the rice quickly and lock in all the nutrients) or with on a stovetop. It’s perfect for picnics, barbecues or as a main meal with a side of greens. This recipe is gluten-free friendly, vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Find step-by-step photo instructions below the recipe card.
2 cups uncooked brown rice (medium-grain, see notes)
1 cube of vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
2.5 cups water
1 cup diced carrots (1 medium)
1 cup diced celery (1 large rib)
1 cup diced red bell pepper (1 medium)
1/2 cup diced cucumber (1/2 medium)
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 cup cashew nuts (roasted, ideally)
For the dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce or Tamari soy sauce for GF
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (for vegan version)
1 tsp grated or minced garlic (about 1 clove)
1/4 tsp black pepper
- Add brown rice, water, vegetable stock cube and salt to the Instant Pot and stir. Scrape down any rice kernels from the sides of the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select Pressure Cook (Manual on older models) and set it to 25 minutes on HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, then the 25-minute timer will begin.
- Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally. You can also use the quick release after about 10 minutes of NPR. Open the lid and transfer the contents to a sieve. Strain and rinse under cold water and leave to drain.
- In a large pot, bring 8 -10 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 cups of brown rice, vegetable stock cube and salt and cook in boiling water for 30-35 minute. Drain the rice through a sieve, then return back to the empty pot and cover with a lid for 5 minutes (this is called steam/dry method); then fluff the rice with a fork allow to cool.
PREPARE THE SALAD
- While the rice is cooking, dice the vegetables for the salad. Chop 2/3 of the cashew nuts into smaller pieces and reserve the rest whole. Set aside.
- Whisk salad dressing ingredients in a bowl with a fork. Set aside.
- Combine the rice, chopped vegetables and chopped cashew nuts in a large bowl and add in the dressing. Stir through and serve in a large bowl with whole cashew nuts on top. You can also add chopped fresh herbs like mint, basil, cilantro or parsley.
- If making ahead of time, combine all salad ingredients in a bowl but don’t dress until just before serving. Both the salad and dressing will keep well for 1-2 days. Once dressed, the salad can also be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days after.
Pressurizing: 10 minutes | Cooking at HIGH pressure: 22-25 minutes | Release: 15 minutes natural release OR 10 minutes NPR + quick release the remaining pressure | Finish the salad: 5 minutes
Long-grain brown rice will require the same cooking time, while brown Jasmine or brown Basmati rice will 15 minutes instead of 25 minutes. We find that medium-grain or long-grain brown rice is best for this salad recipe.
Keywords: Brown Rice, Rice, Salad, Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, Cashews, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Picnic