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Picadillo black bean and rice salad with chicken and olives

This black bean and rice and chicken salad brings a bit of festive to any picnic or potluck!

My friend Lucia married her sweetheart, Sandy, a couple of weeks ago, and when people marry in midlife, it's always a happy affair. The celebration, a potluck, demanded a festive and elegant contribution, and for that, nothing fit the bill better than Chicken Marbella. With all of the extra bits of ingredients out on the kitchen counter, and a few leftovers in the fridge, I mixed up this gorgeous salad, and it was a total winner, wedding-worthy in its own right.

If you're a fan of rice and beans, or of Chicken Marbella, you'll love this salad, because it marries the two dishes. Use leftover cooked rice, canned beans, a little bit of chicken breast (or store-bought rotisserie chicken), and lots of olives, capers and raisins. Omit the chicken, and make it vegetarian. Mix this salad ahead, and let the flavors get happy together. When it's time to serve, bring the salad to room temperature, or warm the whole thing in the microwave for a minute, to soften the cold rice. Don't pack another picnic basket without it!

Black beans and rice married Chicken Marbella: two great dishes in one!

Picadillo black bean and rice salad with chicken and olives {gluten-free, can be vegetarian}

From the pantry, you'll need: chicken breast, extra virgin olive oil, brown rice, black beans, raisins, garlic, white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, agave nectar.

Serves 4; can be multiplied.


For the salad:
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked brown rice at room temperature (if using leftover rice, microwave for 1 minute to bring it to room temperature)
1 cup cooked or canned black beans
1 cup small green olives stuffed with pimiento
1/4 cup raisins or prunes
1 tsp capers

For the vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar
Pinch of salt


In a small nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the chicken until just done, but not overly browned. Remove chicken from the pan, and when cool enough, chop into bite-size pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl. Set the pan with the oil aside.

Combine remaining salad ingredients in the mixing bowl.

Return the frying pan to the stove, and set the heat to low. Pour in the vinaigrette ingredients. Raise heat to medium, and whisk gently to combine all of the ingredients. "Cook" the dressing for 2-3 minutes, then pour it over the salad.

Toss gently to coat all of the salad with the dressing.

Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for up to a few hours. When it's time to serve, microwave the salad for a minute to soften the rice.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More rice salads:
Red rice salad with roasted beets, sun-dried tomatoes, cherries and nuts, from The Perfect Pantry
Brown rice salad with asparagus, avocado, pecans, and pesto dressing, from The Perfect Pantry
Herbal rice salad with peanuts, from 101 Cookbooks
Brown rice Greek salad, from The Lemon Bowl

Make this festive picadillo black bean and rice salad for your next picnic or potluck!

Need some new ideas to turn your same-old salad into exciting salad? Download Dress Up Your Salad, my e-book packed with easy mix-and-match recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. Fantastic salad recipes can be just one click away, on any computer, tablet or smart phone, with the FREE Kindle Reading app. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I love green olives, so any recipes that includes them is going to get a thumbs up from me! And this sounds like a delicious combination!

Kalyn, I love green olives, too. Here I used the small ones that work so well in salads -- but I even love the huge ones, and you could chop those and use them here if that's all you have on hand.

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