Carousel Rice Salad Recipe - Italian and American Fusion

Carousel Rice Salad

Carousel Rice Salad Recipe - Italian and American Fusion
Region / culture: Italy, USA | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 0 minutes | Servings: 4


Carousel Rice Salad
Carousel Rice Salad

Carousel Rice Salad is a refreshing and flavorful dish that is perfect for a light lunch or as a side dish for a summer barbecue. This salad is a colorful and delicious combination of cooked rice, grated carrots, sliced celery, and sweet pickle relish, all tossed together with a creamy sour cream dressing.


The Carousel Rice Salad recipe has been a popular dish for many years, with its origins dating back to the mid-20th century. This salad was a staple at picnics and potlucks, loved for its simplicity and versatility. Over the years, variations of the recipe have emerged, with different ingredients and dressings being added to suit individual tastes.


How to prepare

  1. In a large bowl, combine rice, carrots, celery, pickle relish, salt, and pepper.
  2. Toss the ingredients lightly and chill.
  3. Serve the mixture on lettuce leaves.
  4. Blend basil into sour cream and spoon it over the salad.


  • Add in some chopped nuts or seeds for added crunch.
  • Mix in some cooked chicken or shrimp for a protein boost.
  • Substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt for a lighter dressing option.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to cool the cooked rice before adding it to the salad to prevent it from becoming mushy.

- For added flavor, you can mix in some chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or dill.

- Feel free to customize the salad by adding in other vegetables such as bell peppers, peas, or corn.

- To make the salad ahead of time, prepare the ingredients separately and combine them just before serving to keep the salad fresh and crisp.

Serving Suggestions

Carousel Rice Salad can be served as a side dish alongside grilled chicken or fish, or enjoyed on its own as a light lunch. It pairs well with a crisp white wine or a refreshing iced tea.

Cooking Techniques

Be sure to cook the rice according to package instructions and allow it to cool completely before adding it to the salad.

- When mixing the ingredients together, be gentle to avoid crushing the rice grains.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice for a healthier option.

- If you don't have sweet pickle relish, you can use chopped pickles or even dried fruit such as raisins.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the Carousel Rice Salad a few hours ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just be sure to add the sour cream dressing right before serving to keep the salad fresh.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Carousel Rice Salad on a bed of lettuce leaves for a beautiful presentation, and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for added flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs well with grilled meats such as chicken or steak, as well as with seafood dishes like shrimp or salmon. For a vegetarian option, serve it alongside grilled vegetables or a quiche.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Carousel Rice Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, simply microwave the salad for a few seconds until warmed through, or enjoy it cold straight from the fridge.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

- 200 calories per serving


- Total Carbohydrates: 32g

- Dietary Fiber: 2g

- Sugars: 4g


- Total Fat: 5g

- Saturated Fat: 3g

- Trans Fat: 0g


- Protein: 3g

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A: 50% DV

- Vitamin C: 8% DV

- Calcium: 6% DV

- Iron: 4% DV


Contains dairy (sour cream)


Carousel Rice Salad is a nutritious dish that is low in fat and calories, while providing a good source of carbohydrates and vitamins. It is a great option for those looking for a light and healthy meal.


Carousel Rice Salad is a delicious and nutritious dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its colorful and flavorful ingredients, creamy dressing, and easy preparation, this salad is sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection. Enjoy it as a side dish or a light meal, and savor the fresh and vibrant flavors of this classic recipe.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement that washed over me when I first saw this recipe for Carousel Rice Salad. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Margaret's house for our weekly exchange of recipes and stories. Margaret was known for her culinary talents and always had a new dish to share with me. As soon as I laid eyes on the colorful and vibrant salad, I knew I had to learn how to make it.

Margaret explained that she had discovered the recipe for Carousel Rice Salad while traveling through Europe many years ago. She had stumbled upon a quaint little cafe in Italy where the chef had created this unique and delicious dish. Margaret was kind enough to share the recipe with me, knowing how much I loved trying new and exciting recipes in my own kitchen.

The ingredients for Carousel Rice Salad were simple yet flavorful: cooked rice, colorful bell peppers, juicy cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette dressing. The combination of these fresh and vibrant ingredients created a dish that was both satisfying and refreshing. I couldn't wait to recreate the salad in my own kitchen and share it with my family.

I spent the next few days gathering all the necessary ingredients and preparing to make Carousel Rice Salad for the first time. As I chopped the vegetables and cooked the rice, I couldn't help but feel a sense of joy and anticipation. Cooking has always been a passion of mine, and trying new recipes always brings a sense of adventure and excitement.

Once the salad was assembled and dressed with the tangy lemon vinaigrette, I took a moment to admire the beautiful array of colors and textures before me. The salad looked like a carousel of flavors, each ingredient adding its own unique touch to the dish. I couldn't wait to dig in and taste the fruits of my labor.

As I took my first bite of Carousel Rice Salad, I was immediately transported back to that sunny day in Margaret's kitchen. The flavors were bright and refreshing, the crunch of the vegetables contrasting perfectly with the fluffy rice. The lemon vinaigrette added a zesty kick that tied everything together beautifully. I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my kitchen for years to come.

Over the years, I have made Carousel Rice Salad countless times, each batch bringing back memories of that first time I tried the recipe. I have shared the dish with friends and family, who have all marveled at the unique combination of flavors and textures. It has become a beloved recipe in my collection, one that I will always cherish and hold dear to my heart.

I am grateful to Margaret for introducing me to Carousel Rice Salad and inspiring me to try new and exciting recipes in my own kitchen. Cooking has always been a source of joy and creativity for me, and this dish has become a symbol of that passion. I will continue to make Carousel Rice Salad for years to come, sharing it with those I love and creating new memories along the way.


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