Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

Allll the Fall feels with this salad that works equally well for lunch or a holiday table

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

Festive, Flavorful and Crowd-Pleasing!

Whether you’re looking for a side dish that doesn’t require Thanksgiving Day oven space (and we all know that is at a premium!) or something to have in the fridge at the ready all week, this one’s for you!

This hearty salad is super easy to whip up, festive and flavorful.

It’s simply wild rice + a ton of diced vegetables and dried fruit, all tossed in a lemon-honey-dijon -vinaigrette. It’s the type of salad that goes with everything. It’s packed with flavor but no one flavor is overpowering, so it’s satisfying and crowd pleasing.

The details… Wild Rice, dried cranberries, pecans, roasted pistachios, dried apricots, celery, red onion and green onion all tossed with a Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette.  It’s savory, a touch sweet, a touch tangy, earthy and has just a bit of crunch.

Recipe based on a variety of similar salads including a local takeout restaurant Garlick and Herb, The View from Great Island, Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body and the LA Times.

Scroll down for recipe.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This salad will take you from lunch to a holiday table. It's savory, a touch sweet, a touch tangy, has a little bit of crunch and is addictively delicious! Serve cold or room temperature. Stays well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. NOTE: this is a cold salad but total time includes cooking the rice.
Recipe type: Salad, Side, Holidays
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • 1⅔ cups wild rice or wild rice blend (we used Lundberg wild rice blend ) (This translates to 5 cups cooked)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dried apricots, cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ cup pecan halves, broken into pieces
  • ½ cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup green part of green onions, sliced thin
Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste -- NOTE: the pistachios we used were salted; use more salt if unsalted pistachios)
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper or more to taste
Cook the rice
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. While waiting for water to boil, rinse rice to remove some of the starch.
  3. When water is boiling, add rice to water and cook rice as you would pasta. Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes. Taste the rice, should be cooked but firm. You do not want a mushy rice. As cooking times vary by brand, you may need to cook a few minutes longer but we have always been good with 30 minutes.
  4. Drain rice into a strainer with small holes (you don't want to lose the rice!) and run cold water over it to remove any remaining starch.
  5. Set aside and let cool.
Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
  1. Whisk all ingredient together until well combined.
  1. Add all ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.
  2. Serve cold or room temperature.
  3. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.


2 thoughts on “Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

  1. I made this salad for an early Thanksgiving dinner, and it was a hit! It’s super easy to throw together, and it’s a nice change from traditional side dishes that are heavy and carbs & fat.
    We took some leftovers home, and it was very tasty the next day. Defenitely keeping this recipe on hand for family gatherings or potlucks. This is one of those recipes that you can swap out ingredients with this seasons.

    1. So glad you love it too! It is so light and refreshing compared to traditional sides… and I agree, it’s one of those salads that will still taste great if you skip or substitute an ingredient! Thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving!

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