Wild Rice Salad Recipe


A delicious recipe is one that is not only perfect for dinner but great for occasions as well. Wild rice, dried fruit, nuts, and a tangy dressing combined together create a delicious salad that can brighten up any gathering. 

If you love wild rice, this one will certainly become your favorite. Check out this incredible Wild Rice Salad recipe.

Wild Rice Salad Ingredients

The star of this yummy salad recipe is wild rice. Wild rice is not actually the same type of rice as the white rice that most people know. Instead, wild rice grains are the seeds of grasses native to North America. Wild rice has a nutty, almost toasted flavor to it that blends well with other food, making it ideal to use in a salad.

Wild rice grains are dark brown or black in color and have a glossy sheen to them. To make this into a colorful salad that’s a feast for both the eyes and stomach, you’ll need a couple more things such as dried cranberries, green onions, pecans or slivered almonds, and cheese, all finished with a flavorful dressing. 

The Wild Rice Salad ingredients below can be easily found in your neighborhood grocery.

  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 1 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 4 cups water

Wild Rice Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

How to Cook Wild Rice Salad

This gluten-free Wild Rice Salad is great to make ahead as it is best served cold. Moreover, preparing this gorgeous salad in advance allows all the flavors to blend together and create an incredible profile. The mixture of the sweet and savory ingredients in this amazing recipe will have everyone at the table gushing about it. 

Cooking time: 50 minutes

  1. Place the wild rice mixture and 4 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cook until the wild rice is just tender but not mushy, 45 to 50 minutes. 
  2. To make the orange vinaigrette, mix olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. 
  3. Stir half of the dressing into the cooked wild rice, then set it aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl, stir the cooled wild rice and dressing with dried apricots, cranberries, pecans, pomegranate seeds, and green onions.
  5. Add the creamy feta and pour the remaining dressing over it. Toss gently.
  6. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Wild Rice Salad Recipe Notes

  • Wild Rice Salad is ideal for meal prep; put all ingredients in a large bowl but do not toss. Make the dressing in a jar and store it for up to 2 days. Then, toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl before serving.
  • If you can’t find wild rice, you can also use other types of rice. Many individuals substituted black rice, brown rice, wild rice blend, white rice, or even quinoa for this recipe.
  • Ensure that the water doesn’t dip below the surface level so that the wild rice cooks evenly. 
  • Dried cranberries add a touch of sweetness to the Wild Rice Salad. In fact, dried cranberries and wild rice are often paired together because they balance each other’s flavors. 
  • Aside from dried cranberries, you can also add cubed apples or green grapes to the Wild Rice Salad.
  • Add chopped cooked chicken or leftover turkey and make this into a hearty Cold Wild Rice Salad for lunch.
  • You can use lemon juice and lemon zest as substitutes for the Wild Rice Salad dressing ingredients but be sure to add a sweetener such as maple syrup or honey to break the sour taste.
  • You may try using gourmet nut oil instead of extra virgin olive oil to give the Wild Rice Salad a lavish touch. Walnut oil and hazelnut oil are the best substitutions.
  • If you don’t have red wine vinegar, cider vinegar or white wine vinegar also works.
  • Aside from crunchy pecans, you can also use slivered almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts.
  • You can turn this Wild Rice Salad into a green salad. Feel free to add salad greens such as spring mix or arugula. 
  • Aside from feta, goat cheese is also a great topper for this Wild Rice Salad.
  • The mild sweetness of green onions pairs well with the dressing in this Wild Rice Salad.  If you don’t like the taste of green onions though, you can just leave them out.
  • Switch out the green onions for a chopped red onion instead if you don’t have them on hand.
  • You may also use shallots in this Wild Rice Salad if there are no green onions available.
  • If you have Wild Rice Salad leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to four days.
  • To make the Wild Rice Salad fully vegan, you can remove the feta and add avocado instead to have a creamy texture.
  • You can serve Wild Rice Salad with turkey recipes and vegetarian dishes.

Final Note

This Wild Rice Salad is the perfect salad for any holiday entertaining, be it Thanksgiving dinner parties, family picnics, or a potluck party at work. You can even turn it into a hearty salad to eat every day by adding proteins of your choice to it.

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