Introducing the ultimate rice salad recipe! A wild rice salad with tender sweet potatoes, tart cranberries, crunchy pecans, and vibrant Tuscan kale, all tossed together in a symphony of taste and texture. And let’s not forget the dressing—it’s a tangy blend of white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and garlic, adding that perfect zing to every bite. Get ready to dive into a bowl bursting with flavour and wholesome goodness that’ll have you coming back for seconds (and thirds)!—it’s a flavour-packed journey you won’t want to miss!
But wait, there’s more! This salad isn’t just about deliciousness—it’s also a powerhouse of nutrients. We’re talking about a dish that’s loaded with goodness. From the nutty wild rice to the leafy greens, every ingredient is handpicked to give you that feel-good vibe.
So whether you’re serving it up as a main or a side, get ready to wow your taste buds with this Wild Rice Salad. Trust me, it’s a game-changer! Plus, leftovers? Absolutely fabulous!
A Versatile Wild Rice Salad – Change it Up!
Get ready for this Wild Rice Salad recipe. This recipe is versatile. Here’s a breakdown of the essentials a few ways to change it to suit your needs:
Sweet Potatoes: Providing a sweet and creamy texture, sweet potatoes are roasted to perfection. You can substitute them with butternut squash for a similar flavour. Or try other types of pumpkins or winter squash such as Hokkaido or Kabocha.
Wild and Brown Rice Mix: A combination of wild rice mix and wild rice adds nuttiness and texture to the salad. If unavailable, consider Camargue red rice from France, known for its nutty flavour and firm texture. Alternatively, black rice, also called forbidden rice, offers similar nutty and chewy qualities similar to wild rice.
Tuscan Kale: These leafy greens add freshness and colour to the salad. If Tuscan kale isn’t available, you can use curly kale, Swiss chard, or arugula. Baby spinach is a great alternative if you prefer a milder flavour.
Pecans or Walnuts: Toasted pecans or walnuts contribute a satisfying crunch to the salad and their natural sweetness adds depth to the salad without overpowering the other ingredients. Both have a rich, nutty flavour that complements the earthy tones of wild rice. However, feel free to use almonds or pumpkin seeds if you have nut allergies or preferences.
Dried Cranberries: Adding a burst of sweetness, dried cranberries complement the savoury components of the salad. You can substitute them with dried barberries or goji berries for a unique and tangy twist.
With these simple ingredient substitutions, you can customise the Wild Rice Salad to suit your taste preferences while still enjoying a flavourful and nutritious dish.
More ways to adapt this wild rice salad
For extra protein, add cooked chickpeas. Or serve this salad with grilled chicken or salmon. Simply prepare the protein separately and add it to the salad when assembling, or serve it on the side.
Commonly Asked Questions for Wild Rice Salad
Here’s are a couple of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about this Wild Rice Salad recipe to guide you through your salad-making adventures:
What is wild rice?
Wild rice isn’t your average grain; it’s a sweet grass thriving in marshy landscapes along Canadian lakeshores, in the Mississippi Delta, and even in Eastern China. Native American Indians have long revered it for its unique flavor and nutritional benefits, often mistaking its deep color for black rice. Rich in antioxidants, phosphorus, and iron, wild rice isn’t just a culinary delight; it’s a nutritional powerhouse.
How long does it take to cook wild rice?
Wild rice typically takes around 45 to 60 minutes to cook. It’s best to follow the cooking instructions on the package, as cooking times may vary depending on the specific type and brand of wild rice.
Can I substitute wild rice with another type of rice?
Yes, you can substitute wild rice with other types like brown rice, red rice, black rice, or a rice blend. Each rice variety offers its own unique flavour and nutritional benefits, so feel free to experiment! Otherwise, try quinoa, farro (spelt), or barley for an alternative taste and texture.
Can I prepare the salad in advance (e.g. for Meal Prep)?
Absolutely! You can indeed prepare the wild rice salad in advance, which is perfect for meal prep. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days, or portion it into containers for easy access throughout the week. Its hearty ingredients and robust flavours hold up well when prepared ahead and even taste better the next day, making this recipe a convenient and nutritious option for busy days.
Looking for other grain salad recipes?
Try one of these favourites:
- Spelt Salad with Chicken, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Almonds
- Roasted Carrot and Barley Salad
- Grünkern (Green Spelt) Salad with Apple and Parmesan
- Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Wild Rice Salad with Sweet Potato, Cranberries & Pecan
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (1-1,5 cm) (750-800 g)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt and and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup wild & brown rice mix (200 g, see tips below)
- 1/2 cup wild rice (80 g)
- 2-3 large handfuls Tuscan kale, thick stems removed, roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup pecans, or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (75 g)
- 1/3 cup organic dried cranberries, chopped (50 g)
- 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C (180°C fan-assisted) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cook the wild rice and brown rice according to package instructions, separately if cooking time differs (about 45 minutes). Once cooked, drain in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water, drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl.
While the rice is cooking, spread the diced sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to the preheated oven, and roast, stirring once halfway through, for 25 minutes, or until tender and edges lightly browned.
Meanwhile, massage the kales leaves with a small drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt until evenly coated (1 minute). This will help tenderise the leaves and reduce bitterness. Alternatively, sauté the kale lightly, if you prefer a softer texture.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (vinegar, oil, mustard and garlic) until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. .
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, kale, dried cranberries, and nuts. Toss until evenly coated with the dressing.
Add roasted sweet potatoes, and toss gently to incorporate.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy!
- For this wild rice salad recipe, I use rice mix from Rapunzel (unpaid mention) which includes Italian brown long grain rice, French red Camargue rice, and Canadian wild rice.
- You can also make this recipe using a 3/4 cup long grain brown rice and 3/4 cup wild rice. Check the cooking times, and if varying prepare them in separate pots. If you cannot find wild rice, then sub it out for French Camargue red rice.
- Check out my tips above for more ingredient substitutions.
- I choose organic dried cranberries, as they are naturally sweetened with apple juice concentrate.
- This is a great make ahead salad that taste great at room temperature or cold. You can easily make it ahead and then store it, covered in refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Did you try this recipe?
How did you like it?
Please let me know how this Wild Rice Salad recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐ or leave me a comment and rate it below.
Did you make any changes to this recipe?
If you have tips for other readers, let me know! It helps me and other readers so much. Sharing is Caring :-).