Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

A hearty rainbow salad that works equally well for lunch, a bbq or holiday table. It's a great mix of flavors and textures -- savory, sweet, tangy, earthy, just a little bit of crunch. Fresh and delicious, it pairs with everything and is one of those versatile dishes that works equally well as an alternative to pasta salad in the summer or as a fabulous Thanksgiving side dish as it doesn't require an oven!

gluten free wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes
Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

Easy, Fresh, Flavorful and a Total Crowd Pleaser!

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New! I’ve added a cooking video to this page so you can see how easy it is to make this gluten-free Wild Rice Salad.

If you’re new to this website, at the bottom of every recipe page is a printable recipe with exact measurements and directions.


gluten free wild rice salad cranberries pecans #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com


Thanksgiving update: This is a perfect Thanksgiving side dish that doesn’t require any oven space!

Let’s face it, even with a smaller gathering, oven space is at a premium on Thanksgiving. So what better than a festive and crowd-pleasing dish that doesn’t need to be heated?

And if you want to be extra fancy and festive use this salad as a filling in our Stuffed Acorn Squash!

Gluten Free Stuffed Acorn Squash Fall Thanksgiving Side Dish Easy Recipe www.healthygffamily.com

Original post…

This gluten-free Wild Rice Salad was originally developed as a Fall salad… it’s bursting with gorgeous Fall colors and is both a perfect transition to Fall and perfect on a holiday table.

We very quickly learned that we love it all Winter long too, as it’s fresh but hearty so super satisfying without being heavy!

This colorful salad is bursting with an amazing mix of flavors & textures, is super easy to whip together and it’s the type of salad that pairs with everything.

It’s simply:

  • wild rice
  • a ton of diced vegetables and dried fruit
  • all tossed in a Lemon-Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette.

gluten free wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

It’s packed with flavor but no one flavor is overpowering, so it’s satisfying and crowd pleasing.

Seriously this salad has it all!

It’s savory, a touch sweet, a touch tangy, earthy and has just a bit of crunch.  And with all this happening it is addictively delicious!

And it’s super simple to prepare.

All you need is:

Wild Rice

Dried cranberries



Dried apricots


Red onion 

Green onion and

and easy Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette (see details below)

gluten free wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

It has an amazing mix of flavors and textures but it beautifully balanced and no one flavor stands out.

It’s just fresh, satisfying and delicious!

And it comes together quickly.

While the rice cooks, you dice and measure out the other ingredients and whisk together the simple dressing.

For the Lemon Honey Dijon Dressing, you’ll need:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Red wine vinegar

Lemon Juice

1 garlic clove

Dijon Mustard

Salt & Pepper

gluten free wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

And you simply whisk all the ingredients together, and it’s so delicious!

gluten free wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.comThe salad itself is served cold or room temperature so it is as great for lunches as it is for a holiday table, where it’s nice to have at least one dish that doesn’t require reheating!

Pro Tip: when I make it as part of meal prep I will often keep the dressing separate and add as needed.

And with this dressing, a little goes a long way!

gluten free wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

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.

Hope you love it as much as we do!

gluten free wild rice salad cranberries pecans #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

For more salads, click here.

For more Thanksgiving side dishes, click here.

For our Stuffed Acorn Squash, click here.

For our Quinoa with Roasted Squash & Caramelized Onions, click here.

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4.16 from 26 votes

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

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.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Side, Salad, Holidays
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: wild rice salad cranberries pecans, hearty gluten-free salad, gluten-free fall recipes, wild rice salad
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family



  • 1 2/3 cups wild rice or wild rice blend we used Lundberg wild rice blend (This translates to 5 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup celery diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup green part of green onions sliced thin

Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 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
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste -- NOTE: the pistachios we used were salted; use more salt if unsalted pistachios
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper or more to taste


Cook the rice

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • While waiting for water to boil, rinse rice to remove some of the starch.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Set aside and let cool.

Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

  • Whisk all ingredient together until well combined.


  • Add all ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. PRO Tip: When making as part of meal prep, I sometimes like to keep the dressing separate until serving so that it stays fresher. And when you add dressing, a little goes a long way!
  • Serve cold or room temperature.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!


22 thoughts on “Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

  1. 5 stars
    I made this as a side dish for my Sunday family dinner night and it was a HUGE hit! I got compliments from everyone (even the kids!!). I used Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley and it made a little more than 5 cups of rice so I made a little extra dressing and it was still delicious. Thanks for the awesome recipes!

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this. It was perfect for Thanksgiving. I replaced the pistachios with pinons because that was what I had on hand.

  3. 5 stars
    Big hit!! Will be making this again, likely for thanksgiving! ?
    Oh, I replaced the apricots with mandarin oranges, cuz it’s what I had in the house! It was really delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    I love a recipe like this that’s so intuitive (but I never intuited it)! Of course these flavors would be fabulous together—why didn’t I think of this?—so that’s why I couldn’t wait to make it, and it was even better than I thought. Second time around, I subbed sweet potatoes for rice (not as good, but my garden yielded a bumper crop this summer). Thank you.

  5. 5 stars
    This is delicious!! I’ll be making it again soon and also plan to serve it on Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this wild rice salad to go along with Thanksgiving dinner and it was an absolute hit! Used the same recipe, but also added some roasted butternut squash and it paired so well with Turkey! Just made another batch to go along with leftovers for the week! The dish is so easy to make and is delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    WOW! WOW! WOW! What a great recipe! Just made it for a Pot Bless dinner tonight. Made it before reading the ratings and I concur with everyone! Thank you for such a great recipe 🤗

  8. Delicious! I added a little chopped up broccoli because I wanted to. This would make nice addition to a dinner party menu. Thank you so much!

  9. This looks delicious! Do you think the dressing would still taste good without the garlic? Sensitive stomachs over here to garlic. TIA…

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