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.
Why make this recipe
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.
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!
- 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
- Zest and juice orange
- Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, red pepper flakes and salt
- Mix until combined
Make the salad
- 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.
More delicious holiday recipes
- Green Bean Almondine
- Sweet Potato Gratin
- Mashed Red Potatoes
- Cranberry Sauce
- Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls
- Cranberry Bundt Cake
Frequently asked questions
If covered and refrigerated, this salad will last for up to 5 days.
This salad does not freeze well due to the fresh apples and parsley.
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!
Wild Rice Salad
- 2 cups Wild rice mix
- 3 ½ cups Water
- 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
- 1 cup Pecans (toasted and chopped)
- 1 cup Dried cranberries
- 1 cup Green onions (chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons Parsley (chopped)
- 1 cup Apple (chopped)
- Place rice and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover for 45 minutes.2 cups Wild rice mix, 3 ½ cups Water
- Allow rice to cool to room temperature
- Place all dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl1 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
- Stir until combined
- Place rice, pecans, cranberries, apples, onions, and parsley in a large bowl1 cup Pecans, 1 cup Dried cranberries, 1 cup Green onions, 1 cup Apple, 2 Tablespoons Parsley
- Pour prepared dressing over rice
- Stir lightly to combine
- Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to served
- 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.