Pesto rice salad with tuna

Pesto rice salad with tuna


6 people made this

About this recipe: This fabulous combination of rice, tuna, crispy bacon and tender spinach leaves tossed in a fragrant pesto dressing makes a wonderful summer lunch.

Maggie Pannell

Serves: 4 

  • 300g long-grain white rice
  • 4 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers, chopped
  • 185g can tuna, drained
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into strips

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. Cook the rice in plenty of boiling water for 12–15 minutes or until just tender. Drain, rinse in a sieve under cold running water for a few seconds to cool slightly and stop further cooking, then tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk the pesto sauce and lemon juice together, drizzle over the warm rice and stir to coat in the dressing. Leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a non-stick frying pan, without added fat, for 4–5 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.
  4. Break the tuna fish into large chunks. Add to the rice with the spinach leaves, yellow pepper and half the crispy bacon. Gently mix together, taking care not to break up the tuna too much.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle over the remaining bacon as a garnish and serve within 1 hour of making.


*If you want to prepare the salad ahead, keep in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but leave out the spinach and bacon until ready to serve. Cooked rice shouldn't be kept for longer than 48 hours. *You could also make this salad with small pasta shapes and toss in some halved cherry tomatoes.

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Reviews (1)


Made it for a party, had some lovely comments about it. Really tasty! - 27 Jan 2015

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