Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries, Apples & Orange Vinaigrette

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Brimming with tasty add-ins—like dried cranberries, apples, and nuts—this make-ahead rice salad is ideal for fall potlucks and holiday feasts.

wild rice salad in white bowl

Photo by Alexandria Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

To me, this wild rice salad just screams Thanksgiving potluck. It’s a bit time-intensive to make as part of a whole meal, but if you’re asked to bring just one special dish to a holiday party, this is the one. Not only is it make-ahead and portable, it’s a welcome relief from all those other dishes that have everyone unbuttoning their pants and slipping into carb-induced food comas. Plus, it makes fabulous leftovers; just add chopped roast turkey.

what you’ll need to make wild rice salad

wild rice salad ingredients

step-by-step instructions

In a medium pot, combine the rice, ¾ teaspoon of the salt, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low; cover and simmer until the rice is tender and most of the grains have split open, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the rice to a fine mesh strainer to drain any excess water. Let cool.

In a large bowl, add the orange zest, orange juice, oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. 

orange zest, orange juice, oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, pepper, and salt in a large bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisking orange zest, orange juice, oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, pepper, and salt

Add the cooled rice.

adding rice to bowl with dressing

Add the pecans, dried cranberries, parsley, celery, apples, pepitas, and scallions. 

dried cranberries, parsley, celery, apples, pepitas, and scallions added to bowl

Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.

tossing rice with dried cranberries, parsley, celery, apples, pepitas, and scallions

Serve cold or at room temperature.

wild rice salad in white bowl
Photo by Alexandria Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries, Apples & Orange Vinaigrette

Brimming with tasty add-ins—like dried cranberries, apples, and nuts—this make-ahead rice salad is ideal for fall potlucks and holiday feasts.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from 1 orange
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (see note)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tart yet sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji), peeled, cored, and diced
  • ¼ cup roasted and salted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 scallions, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, combine the rice, ¾ teaspoon of the salt and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low; cover and simmer until the rice is tender and most of the grains have split open, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the rice to a fine mesh strainer to drain any excess water. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add the cooled rice, pecans, dried cranberries, parsley, celery, apples, pepitas, and scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.
  3. Note: To toast the pecans, preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 10 minutes, until toasted and fragrant.
  4. Make Ahead: This salad can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 409
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Sodium: 349 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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