Fresh & Fruity Rice Salad (Empire Rice Salad) – A Real Crowd-Pleaser!

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This stunning Fruity Rice Salad is the ultimate crowd-pleaser at your summer party. The fresh ingredients and vibrant colours are guaranteed to impress. A simple, yet delectable recipe that combines fresh herbs, mango, pomegranate, chilies, dried cranberries, and apricots, resulting in a tropical delight.

A blue bowl filled with fruity rice salad.

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Fruity Rice Salad

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.

I first made this salad for my Diamond Jubilee Big Lunch Party and named it ‘Empire Rice Salad‘ in honour of Queen Elizabeth II – it was a runaway success! It tasted so good and there wasn’t very much left by the end of the party, which is always a great sign!

I think you can agree that with its bright, colorful, fresh ingredients, you can’t help but want to take a spoonful!

This salad has become my go-to rice salad over the years, making variations on the original with slightly different ingredients.

This fruity rice salad is quick and easy to prepare. It uses microwave rice, so there is no stress about cooking the perfect rice, and aside from that, there is no further cooking involved.

While the rice is cooling down, you can take care of the chopping, and from there it’s just an assembly job and you’re done!

I’ve got more Rice Salad Recipes for you to enjoy – right click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one.

Some of the Fruity Rice Salad Ingredients

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon, Amazon Fresh, or other stores if available online.

It does not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

  • Fresh Produce Flat Leaf Parsley, Chives, Mint, Coriander, Lemons, Spring Onions (Green Onions/Scallions), Red Chilies, Mango, Pomegranate Seeds
  • Microwavable Long Grain & Wild RiceI used Uncle Ben’s, but you can use any brand. If you can’t find the microwave version, you may find the boil in the bag kind, or just cook some long grain rice and wild rice and mix them together.
  • Dried Apricots
  • Dried Cranberriesalso known as Craisins.
  • Toasted Flaked/Sliced Almonds

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

Recipe for Fresh & Fruity Rice Salad with Chilies

More Recipes Using Rice

One of the hero ingredients in this dish is rice, so here are some more recipes using the same:

More Salad Recipes

Looking for more salads to make? Check these recipes out next:

Fruity Rice Salad

Recipe Tips

  • To cool the rice quickly after cooking, spread the rice out on a cookie sheet, and after about 10 minutes, transfer it to the fridge to cool completely. I learned this little tip when I went to a sushi-making class!
  • If you can’t find pomegranate arils/seeds ready to use and need to get them out of the whole fruit, the easiest way is to cut the pomegranate in half, hold it cut side down in your hand, and with a large spoon, give the back of the fruit a few good whacks – the seeds come tumbling out! Remember to hold the pomegranate over a bowl to catch the seeds!
  • Use the ratio of fresh herbs that you prefer. I love fresh flat-leaf parsley so my herb mix tends to be a lot of that!
  • If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

How Do I Make Fruity Rice Salad?

Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

Fruity Rice Salad

Fruity Rice Salad

Yield: 12

A delicious fresh and fruity rice salad that's great for serving a crowd.


  • 8 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice, plus extra to taste
  • 12 Tbsps mixed fresh herbs, chopped - flat leaf parsley, chives, mint and coriander
  • 4 (8.8oz/250g) pouches microwavable long grain and wild rice
  • 8 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 large red chilies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled, destoned and diced finely
  • 5 oz/150g dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 5 oz/150g dried cranberries (craisins)
  • 6 oz/180g pomegranate seeds (roughly 2 pomegranates)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4oz/100g toasted flaked almonds (optional)


  1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then place into the refridgerator for one hour to cool completely.
  2. Mix the herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a bowl and set to one side.

    Chopped Herbs

  3. When the rice is cold, stir in the spring onions, chilli, mango, dried apricots, dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds and mix well.

    Chopped Onion & Chilies

    Chopped Pomegranate and Mango

    Dried Apricots & Cranberries

  4. Pour over the the herby olive oil dressing and stir through the salad. Check the seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt and pepper as required.
  5. If using the flaked almonds, stir some into the salad, reserving some to scatter over the top.
  6. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 23gProtein: 4g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Make It A Full Meal

You’ve made the side salad, but what about the rest of the courses?

Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:

There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too.

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