I go to barbecues and shovel pasta salad in my mouth like it's going out of style. Seriously, I load up with enough dressing-doused noodles to make my paper plate sag down in the middle, and then I go back for seconds. And thirds. I love the stuff.
For obvious reasons, pasta salad has been one of my favorite things to bring to potluck-style events, and it always goes fast. But you know what's even more of a crowd-pleaser? Rice salad. Yup, rice salad, like this Thai Cashew Coconut Rice with Ginger Peanut Sauce.
This Thai-inspired rice salad is great as a small meal, snack, side dish, or to bring to a party full of hungry friends. It should be served at room temperature, which makes it perfect for BBQs because everyone hates having to take up fridge or oven space because their dish needs to be kept cold/served hot.
Oh, and did I mention that it is, like, the tastiest thing, ever?
Crunchy cashews, creamy coconut rice, crisp veggies, and flavor-packed Ginger Peanut Sauce make this rice salad unforgettable. And irresistible. Remember how I said that I usually eat several servings of pasta salad?
Well I almost ate the whole dang bowl of this Thai Cashew Coconut Rice... the first time I made it. Since then, I have eaten the whole bowl once or twice. Don't judge me 'til you try it-- you'll understand once you do.
These photos are actually from a time when I recently remade it for friends who came over for the weekend. And while it was mostly devoured on the first night, there was a bit leftover when Sunday rolled around. My friend Brandon suggested we try to fry up the remainder with a bit of egg and sriracha. You guys, he's a genius.
As if you needed any other reason to make this, you can also fry up any leftover rice the next day for a totally different and still incredibly delicious dish.
(By the way, I checked the comments after the fact and realized that one of you actually suggested the same thing a while back! This is why I love you guys.)
Speaking of great ideas, this recipe was adapted from Alaska From Scratch's recipe, which uses quinoa instead of coconut rice. Thanks, Maya, for the inspiration! The Ginger Peanut Sauce is to die for.
Grace your guests with this delicious dish at your next summer get-together and it'll be a requested repeat for years to come, or make it for dinner when you're craving Thai food but don't want to eat out. (Add a little grilled chicken in for extra protein, if you'd like!) No matter what occasion you make it for, you're going to love it!
Thai Cashew Coconut Rice with Ginger Peanut Sauce
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 1x
For the Coconut Rice:
- 1 ½ cups dry jasmine rice
- 1 (15 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
For the Salad:
- 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) bag shredded red cabbage
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- ¾ cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cashews, finely chopped
For the Ginger Peanut Sauce:
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- Water to thin
- Lime wedges
- Rinse the dry rice well until the water runs clear.
- In a medium-sized pot, mix together the rice, coconut milk, garlic, salt, and water. Bring to a boil.
- Once the pot reaches a rolling boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, turn off heat and let sit (with lid on) for an additional 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
- As you wait for the rice, make the peanut sauce.
- In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 15 seconds, or until the peanut butter thins. Stir well. Add the ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Stir again. Thin as desired with water.
- Fluff the rice and combine it with the chopped vegetables and cashews (I reserve a few whole cashews to garnish with, but it's not necessary). Drizzle with a bit of the Ginger Peanut Sauce and taste-- you might not need to use all of it. Serve with lime wedges.
If you’d like to add meat, toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
Millie l Add A Little says
This looks like my kind of meal!! So flavourful and delicious!! Pinned!
A delicious salad and pretty forgiving for missing/ subbing in alternate ingredients. I was able to substitute bok choy and su choy for red cabbage with tasty results... I'd say it's all in the dressing but I tasted the salad pre - dressing and it was lovely already. Great recipe.
Ian Wilson says
More than 7 years since your comment. Made it with broken rice.
Best salad for ages Pretty time consuming!
Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen says
When Alaska from Scratch adapted my thai quinoa recipe, I was thrilled - but this rice looks dreamy as well! Isn't the peanut sauce incredible?
Monique, I totally didn't realize that Alaska from Scratch had adapted from your recipe! I love Ambitious Kitchen! Everything you do looks fantastic. I'll be sure to go through and edit the blog post when I get a chance and link to yours as well. And yes, the peanut sauce is awesome!
Are the vegetables raw? Thank you!
You may have just answered my question! So can you substitute the rice for quinoa and if so how much? Have never made this but looks delicious! ! Thanks 🙂
You definitely can sub in quinoa. You'll want to use equal amounts =)
This was sooo good! I think I want to try it with a more vinegary sauce next time. Amazing textures. Thanks!
Looks delish but would have to be careful with serving this as rice served at room temperature is prone to grow bacteria
Amy C. says
Drooling... great summer meal! Love the suggestion of adding grilled chicken... Thanks for the recipe
Thank you, Amy! Let me know what you think if you wind up giving it a try with the chicken!
Well received by all of my picky eaters! 🙂 Ended up leaving out the chicken (but I do think some real grilled chicken would set this off) - a fun and healthy experiment for an inexperienced chef...
I rarely comment on any recipes I have tried, but just HAD to come here to tell you that I made this tonight and it was incredible. Thank you!
Well I'm glad you did comment, Kathy! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me know!!
So incredibly delicious!! This salad is very filling and the peanut dressing turned out way better than I anticipated!
Happy to hear that you enjoyed it, Colleen!
I made this yesterday for a 30-40 surprise birthday party and it turned out great! I did have to about double the recipe.
I'm so glad to hear it, Tory!
Great recipe! Great images!
Thank you for all that you do!
This is really good and really easy. I want more more more of that dressing! Next time I might have to double it. I used green cabbage and almond butter because that is what I had available. My husband said he couldn't wait to eat more of it tomorrow
Becca J says
This was so great!!! Thanks 🙂
Miss Food Fairy says
Hi Morgan, this salad looks absolutely amazing! I am looking forward to the warmer months here in Melbourne, Australia to make this up! Thank you for sharing and giving me some foodie inspiration. Just to let you know, I went to pin this using your Pinterest 'share' button at the end of you post and it came up saying there was a link problem - thought I'd let you know in case it's fixable 🙂
Thank you! I'll check it out and try to get it fixed!
This dish tastes amazing! Feeling lazy, I chopped/shredded all the veggies (except green onions) individually in a food processor. The results were nice and quick.
Thanks for the new recipe. I found you via Pinterest.
So glad you liked it, Rachel! The food processor idea is great! I think I'll try that next time to save time.
Rachael Carnagey says
I want to make this on Sunday but I need to sub ever so slightly to accommodate my vegan daughter. Can I use agave syrup instead of honey? Will it change the texture/taste?
Agave syrup will work fine here =) I hope you and your daughter enjoy it!!
Rachael Carnagey says
I made this last Sunday and it was a HIT!!! Really nice flavor combination -LOVED THE SAUCE AND WE USED EVERY BIT OF IT! I will make this again (and again) and next time as a main dish with either prawns or chicken. This will also be my go to dish for potlucks.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
Janet Abersold says
Can I make this with brown jasmine rice?
I've never used brown jasmine rice, but I'd assume it would work fine!
The rice alone is amazing. This should be pulled out as it's own recipe. SOOOOOOO delicious! The salad as a whole is great too. Better the next day in fact when I had a ton of leftovers and added chicken for lunch. Yum! Awesome recipe(s)! That rice...
Haha I'm so glad you liked it, Lindsay!
Rhea- Hot Dog Food Blog says
this looks and SOUNDS absolutely divine!! great recipe and photos!
We ate that as a main yesterday, and it is now one of my favs, will make everyone i know eat some! really awesome! i might try on quinoa too. It was my first time cooking coco rice, really pleased! Thanks
This was awesome!! Perfect dinner, husband and neighbours both loved it!
Laura M says
Does this salad freeze well?
I'm not sure, I've never tried to freeze it before-- hopefully someone else will read this who can tell you from experience!
You can't freeze salad. Trust me on this.
Kim - Liv Life says
Found this recipe on pinterest and it stopped me in my tracks!! LOVE, love, LOVE everything about it!! Printed and pinned... I'm plan on calling this lunch today. Thanks !
This looks amazing! Pinning!
This salad is so so so delicious! I made a ton, so with the leftovers, I spread a bun with peanut butter & piled this salad on for sandwiches. It's so good that way too!
Hello! I made this really wonderful salad tonight and loved it! I actually put it up on my website with a link back to you. Thanks for sharing!
Frl. Bummmelei says
It's been a while since you've issued this recipe, but I've just tried this dish. I love it. Especially the sauce adds a special nuance. I added roasted sesame and it turned out pretty fine. Thanks a lot!
I made this last weekend for a family get-together. It was a big hit! Everyone wants the recipe. Thanks so much - it was delicious!!
cathi avakian says
I'd like to serve this tomorrow for Fathers Day but I'm a little confused. Is this to be served hot or do I cool the rice and then add the vegetables?
I usually serve it at room temperature, so if you make the rice in advance and then chill it, take it out of the fridge about 30 mins to an hour before you plan to serve it! If not, just give the rice time to cool.
cathi avakian says
thanks for getting back to me so quickly. so i guess my question is do i add the vegetables while the rice is hot?
No, let the rice cool a bit first =)
We found the onions in this quite overpowering. However I stir-fried the leftovers with a little soy sauce and we really enjoyed it.
Jan Cooper-Moren says
This was SO DELICIOUS! I made this for the first time for a crowd of 11. I needed to use my largest mixing bowl, it made so much. The peanut sauce... well, there wasn't anything left of that 😛
Will definitely be making this again but probably halving the recipe for our regular meals.
WOW! This was great. Filling and Tasty.
I am making this to take to a party tonight. I made the rice ahead of time so I will do as suggested by taking it out of the fridge 30 minutes before. My question is ...Do I toss the salad with the dressing before the party? Or, are people supposed to pour the dressing on themselves?
We found doing the dressing as needed when served because it didn't hold up as well with the dressing over time. Still delicious though! Not sure if right for others.
Serena in oz says
This Thai cashew coconut rice with ginger peanut sauce is absolutely delicious!! Absolute winner! Thanks for sharing.
i was so excited to try this salad! I've made it twice now. The first time I died a little with
Each bite! During the thanksgiving weekend, I made it again-my brother
Visited. He lived in Thailand for awhile and suggested I add mint and basil.
OMG it was sooo yummy!!! I adore you for posting this salad!!!! It is such a treat.
It feels totally naughty-but Is super healthy :0)
Michelle Demoss says
This recipe looks fantastic. Did you use toasted sesame oil or regular sesame oil? Thanks
This looks so good, perfect for inviting the inlaws over for! just a question though - 30 minutes to cook jasmine rice seems quite long, I normally do it for 10 and any longer it overcooks. How did you prevent this from happening? Did you drain excess liquid after?
I made this for an office potluck and it was a huge hit! Thank you.
I am guessing possibly not because we found the cabbage starting releasing some water and the last few bites were not as tasty as when freshly made. Still delicious so have no idea if hungry coworkers at a potluck would even notice the difference. 🙂
Does it keep well if you make it in advance and serve it the next day?
Brenda winstanley says
this recipe sounds wonderful!! But-how can I print it?
Hey Brenda! There's a print button on the recipe card, it will take you to a separate page where you can print off just the recipe without the rest of the post =)
This was amazing! With all that creamy goodness of the scrumptious dressing, we didn't even need the cashews. We added some pickles bits to it, tomatoes, and diced cucumber to the salad. Wow, that rice with the fresh veggies and dressing is gorgeous. Thanks so much!
Can this recipe be made ahead and refrigerated? I was looking to take it to a football kickoff party....
Absolutely loved the coconut rice salad. Not so much the dressing though. I tried it with Red Shell Soy Sesame dressing which I liked better. But I could have easily eaten the salad with no dressing. The delicate taste of coconut pulls the whole thing together.
Can i cook the coconut rice in a rice cooker? Has anyone tried?
This is late posting but for future readers...yes you can. I’ve made coconut rice before in my rice cooker. Modifications have to be made when it comes to the liquid. I would just add enough liquid to the needed line. When I made coconut rice in the past, it used a lot less liquid then the recipe called for. It was fabulous though. 🙂
Do you mean an entire red cabbage or 1 CUP? I made this tonight and the vegetable to rice ratio seems off. So much cabbage.
Wendy Szoka says
That's my question too. Did you get an answer? I didn't see one
I made this for dinner tonight with a number of changes - only because I was limited to what I had on hand (and because I reallllllly dislike cilantro) - I used pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead of the cabbage and onions. And since I didn't have a red pepper I tossed in some bean sprouts. I left out the cilantro (see above lol) and forgot the vinegar in the peanut sauce but all in all it was a really tasty salad! I think I'm going to switch it up tomorrow and toss in some chicken and then fry it all up like a fried rice. I'll drizzle it with the leftover sauce...and I can't wait 🙂
I'm so glad to hear that the subs worked for you well, Jane!
Amy merkle says
Do you use an entire head of red cabbage or 1 cup?
Sami Henning says
what a wonderful dish! Just made it with my BFFL so yummy!
Linda Kelly says
I made this today! Sooooo good, I will be talking about it for days!
Delicious! Used the leftover salad dressing to brush on the BBQ'd chicken - the kids loved it!
Really good! Yummy
Was not sure if I would like this but it was so good!! I will make it lots of time in the future.
I made this salad the other week for family meal, and it was a hit. I then made it again the same week to bring to a potluck picnic, and folks went back for seconds. Easy and delicious. It's also perfect to pack for an office lunch!
Victoria B says
This is the first recipe I've tried off your blog and it's now one of my staple recipes. I love the added coconut milk to the rice, it adds another dimension to the dish. It reminds me of a delicious dish at a restaurant where I live. My only edit: double the sauce - it's so good!! Excellent job, thank you for the recipe
Barbara Karr says
I really want to try this recipe! I kept going back to it over and over. Here is the reason I am being so cautious. I love the peanut noodles when I eat Chinese out. Between the noodles and General Tso I leave stuffed. My problem is when I have made peanut noodles at home the taste of the peanut butter is overwhelming. Only tablespoons of the peanut butter were used in the recipes. I guess I am looking for reassurance that this recipe will
not be a repeat of my other disasters. I didn´t see a recipe for the sauce in your recipe and don´t want to use someone else's recipe. Did I miss it? And if I find it on your site will be like a bad peanut butter sandwich?Thanks for reading. Please help. B.Karr.
The ginger peanut sauce is in the recipe-- let me know if you need me to copy & paste it for you if you can't find it! As far as the overwhelming peanut butter taste, I'd say make sure to use natural peanut butter (no sugar added) and maybe start off with a bit less if you're unsure and add more to taste. Hope that helps, Barbara =)
Are the cashews raw or roasted?
Thanks, I can't wait to try this recipe!!
I use raw, Barb, but roasted would be fine if you prefer them!
Loved this! The rice alone is fabulous and would be great with any stir fry. Ate it for lunch 4 days in a row, just kept components separate and mixed at the last minute. Delicious!
What’s the best way to serve this the next day? Should I keep everything separate and then mix when needed?
Delicious! I’ve made this before and it is so good, my non-vegetarian husband loves it too! Planning to make this for dinner again tonight.
Claudia Phillips says
This is so delicious! I made it without the red cabbage because I didn't have any. This recipe is a keeper.
This is literally one of the best things I've ever made/tasted. I've told so many people about it and send it to whoever I think would want to make it 🙂
So good! Crunchy, fresh and lite! I served with a side of thinly sliced red and green jalapeños for the grown ups;)
We absolutely love this, I can't even count how many times we have made it now. Plus if we don't have all the vegetable ingredients it is easy to substitute whatever we have on hand. Thanks for such a stellar recipe.
Dreamy Delicious!! Just finished eating this and we love it!
Fresh ginger is 25 miles away ....anyone use dried fingers? If so, hoe much did u put in?
Lea K says
Can anyone tell me exactly how many cups this recipe makes? I need to make 35 cups for an event and wondering how many times I should adjust the quanity. 🙂
Made this today and it was a hit! I love that it’s majority veggies with a small hit of yummy carbs. Changes I made: used almond butter instead of peanut butter. I found the sauce to be lacking in salt, so I added some tamari and it was perfect. In order to get some protein in, I used chickpea rice (Banza brand) instead of the rice. To me, it tastes a lot like pasta, so that’s fun! When I told my husband we had enough leftovers for him to take to work for a few days, he was super excited!
I just made this for dinner and it turned out SOOOOOOO GOOD. I didn't change anything. It was a hit with everyone.
Fresh and delicious!
Added chicken and grilled pineapple, delicious!
This is seriously the best rice that I have ever had! It's so good. I'm a sucker for a good peanut sauce and this is my new favorite. I love the versatility of this recipe, I can change up the ingredients based on what I have on hand. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
This recipe was delicious! I swapped in using peanuts instead of cashews (based on what I had on hand at home) and it turned out great. Served with grilled shrimp skewers. Will definitely be making this recipe again. Thank you so much for sharing!
The salad is delicious. The rice soaked up a lot of the dressing so I think next time I will make extra. Great recipe!;
Joan Z. says
This recipe is put together while the rice is still hot? I'm sure it would be delicious chilled too, just wondering how this is intended to be made. Thanks!