Go Back

Christmas Eve Rice Salad

A vibrant, cold rice salad bursting with the colors and flavors of Christmas—inspired by the ensalada de Nochebuena made with roasted beets, orange, apples, pomegranate seeds and pepitas served on Christmas Eve, my Christmas Eve rice salad is a delicious festive touch I hope you add to your holiday table this year.
Author Vianney Rodriguez


  • 1 and 1/2 cups Mahatma long-grain white rice rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium beets
  • 4 oranges sectioned membrane and pith removed
  • 2 red apples sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup crema Mexicana
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth


  1. For rice: Place the rice, 3 cups of water, and a pinch of salt in a pot, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook on low until tender, about 20 minutes. Spoon rice onto a baking sheet, spread out and allow to cool completely.
  2. For beets: When handling beets, you may want to use gloves, as beets will stain the hands. Roast beets in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, until tender. Peel and slice roasted beets.
  3. For apples: Core and slice apples. Add lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
  4. For rice salad: In a large bowl, combine Mexican crema and broth, season with salt and pepper. Add rice, stir to combine. Add sliced beets, oranges, apples slices, pepitas, and pomegranate seeds. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.