Salad/ Side Dish/ Vegetarian

Wild Rice Salad

November 9, 2020

This post may contain affiliate links, see my Privacy Policy.

A wild rice salad with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, apples, green onions and an orange vinaigrette. This tasty salad is perfect served as a vegetarian main or side dish for dinner or eaten as a filling lunch.

A white bowl filled with a wild rice salad with pecans and cranberries.

This wild rice salad is a perfect side dish for your holiday dinners. It can be served at room temperature or chilled. Make this ahead of time and add a few last minute ingredients just before serving.

Our Thanksgiving dinners are usually fairly traditional. We have our favorite family recipes that are on the table every year. You just can’t go wrong with family favorites.

This year I’m adding a new recipe – this rice salad with dried cranberries and pecans. I think it is going to make a perfect side dish.

Wild rice with pecans and cried cranberries in a large bowl.

This salad is more than just a holiday side dish. It really can be made anytime of the year. It would also be perfect for using up leftovers. Just add some of that leftover turkey and you have a delicious meal!

Key ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and measurements can be found below. Just scroll to the bottom!

  • Wild rice blend – I used a package that is a blend of wild rice and different types of brown rice. I find it a perfect blend for this salad
  • Dried cranberries – Use sweetened dried cranberries, like Craisins. They aren’t too sweet, but provide a nice balance
  • Toasted pecans – Toasting brings out the flavor of the nuts
  • Apple – I used a granny smith apple. The tartness is perfect for this rice salad
  • Green onions – Sliced
  • Fresh parsley
  • Orange zest and orange juice – One orange is all you should need

Make the dressing

A complete list of instructions is available below! Just scroll to the bottom!

  • Zest and juice orange
  • Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, red pepper flakes and salt
  • Mix until combined
A glass measuring cup filled with an orange vinaigrette and red pepper flakes.

Make the salad

A complete list of instructions is available below! Just scroll to the bottom!

  • Cook and cool rice
  • Toast pecans – place pecans in a sauté pan over medium heat. Shake the pan to move the pecans around. Cook for 3-4 minutes until you notice pecans are just starting to get a touch more color. Remove from pan to stop the cooking.
  • Add rice, pecans, dried cranberries, pecans, apple, green onion and parsley to a bowl.
  • Pour dressing over rice mixture
  • Mix lightly until combined

Variations and substitutions

  • Use brown rice instead of the wild rice mix
  • Substitute chopped red onions for the green onions
  • Select another crisp apple, instead of the granny smith
  • Use toasted walnuts in place of the pecans
  • Add cooked chopped turkey or chicken
  • Add crumbled bacon bits

Make ahead of time

This salad is perfect for making ahead of time. However, it’s best to not add the pecans and freshly chopped parsley until just before serving. This helps maintain the crunch of the pecans and the freshness of the parsley.

Wild rice salad with dried cranberries, pecans and green onions on a small white plate with a fork.

More delicious holiday recipes

Frequently asked questions

How long will this wild rice salad last?

If covered and refrigerated, this salad will last for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze this salad?

This salad does not freeze well due to the fresh apples and parsley.

Is this gluten free?

Yes, this salad is completely gluten free.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Be certain to check out all my salad recipes!

A white bowl filled with a wild rice salad with pecans and cranberries.

Wild Rice Salad

Kathy
Delicious salad with wild rice, dried cranberries and pecans.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 272 kcal

Ingredients
  

Rice

Dressing

  • 1 Tablespoon Orange zest
  • ¼ Cup Orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Salad

  • 1 cup Pecans (toasted and chopped)
  • 1 cup Dried cranberries
  • 1 cup Green onions (chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 cup Apple (chopped)

Instructions
 

Rice

  • Place rice and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover for 45 minutes.
  • Allow rice to cool to room temperature

Dressing

  • Place all dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Stir until combined

Salad

  • Place rice, pecans, cranberries, apples, onions, and parsley in a large bowl
  • Pour prepared dressing over rice
  • Stir lightly to combine
  • Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to served

Notes

  • To toast pecans – place pecans in a sauté pan over medium heat. Shake the pan to move the pecans around. Cook for 3-4 minutes until you notice pecans are just starting to get a touch more color. Remove from pan to stop the cooking.
  • If making ahead of time, it’s best to not add the pecans and freshly chopped parsley until just before serving. This helps maintain the crunch of the pecans and the freshness of the parsley. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 6gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 75mgPotassium: 240mgFiber: 4gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 228IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Keyword rice salad, Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad, Wild Rice Salad
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

You Might Also Like

8 Comments

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    November 10, 2020 at 4:19 am

    5 stars
    I absolutely love wild rice! I think it was one of the first things I learned how to cook way back in the day – but I’ve never added apples, cranberries and pecans to mine before. (I have done pecans and broccoli…yum!) I’m totally making this sometime soon – this sounds like an awesome flavor profile to me! And like Dawn said, great new logo!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      November 10, 2020 at 4:37 am

      Thanks, David! I’ll need to try making wild rice with broccoli one of these days. Sounds like a good combo. 🙂

  • Reply
    Valentina
    November 9, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    5 stars
    Beautiful dish — flavors and presentation! Just picked up a bag of of black wild rice, so I’m inspired to try this recipe with it. 🙂 ~Valentina

    • Reply
      Kathy
      November 10, 2020 at 4:35 am

      Wonderful! I hope you enjoy the salad. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    November 9, 2020 at 11:06 am

    5 stars
    What a delicious combination of ingredients Kathy! And I love the dressing too! Can’t wait to give your recipe a try!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      November 9, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      It’s so simple, but has so much flavor! Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    November 9, 2020 at 6:56 am

    5 stars
    Love all the delicious flavours in this salad, Kathy! I bet this would be great for meal prep, too! Love the new logo by the way!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      November 9, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks, Dawn! 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating