Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad

This rice salad is a perfect accompaniment to many fall and winter dishes – roast chicken, stews, pork chops. You can use brown rice, wild rice (not really a rice at all), or a combination of the two. Both wild rice and brown rice have a rich, nutty flavor that complements the cranberries and pecans, and the citrus in the dressing.

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Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice wild rice mix
  • 2 1/3 cups water (see package instructions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted or un-toasted, your choice)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

1 Use the amount of water for the rice according to instructions on the rice package. Typically straight brown rice is a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. Straight wild rice is a ratio of 1:3 of wild rice to water. For this brown rice wild rice mix that I got from a bin (no package) I used a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 2 1/3 cups of water. Bring rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, butter, and water to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes. Do not stir. Do not uncover. Remove from stove and let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Then uncover, fluff up with a fork, and let cool to almost room temperature.

2 In a medium sized serving bowl, mix the rice, cranberries, pecans, and green onions together.

3 In a separate jar, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, orange peel, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, mix dressing in with the rice mixture. Serve warm, chilled, or room temperature.

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21 Comments

  1. Kalyn

    I like the sound of this a lot, especially the addition of the orange peel in the dressing. Salads like this with some crunch to them are one of my favorites all year round.

  2. Michelle

    Sounds good.
    I’m confused why you would say it’s not really a rice at all. Sure, it says it’s a grass, but the link to “true rice” claims it’s a grass too. So then all rice is grass.

  3. Nick

    Are dried cranberries the same thing as “craisins”?

  4. Donna

    Could you use walnuts instead of pecans for this recipe? I like walnuts better than pecans.

  5. IA girl

    The ingredients for this salad are almost exactly the ones I used to make a wild rice cranberry dressing for Thanksgiving. Epicurious was the source this year, and a very similar recipe came from another source (I couldn’t find again!) was made for Thanksgiving last year.

  6. Jeremy Henderson

    Is 50 minutes the correct time for this? I’ve never cooked rice longer than 15-20 minutes.

    Note from Elise: white rice cooks up in 15 minutes, brown rice 45 minutes, and wild rice about 50 minutes.

  7. billie/ca

    Mmmm, sounds good. I will probably try this with brown rice, because that’s what I usually have on hand. I love rice! Thanks, again!

  8. Terry

    Elise,
    I made the salad with dinner last night and added some cut up clementines along with the cranberries. It was fantastic. My husband even enjoyed it and he can be a picky eater. Thank you for the recipe. I look forward to more.

  9. Mimi

    I may have to forsake my recipe for this one — it sounds wonderful.

  10. Julie

    Thank you. I’ve found so many wonderful recipes on this website. I’d like to add that this recipe is similar to recipes I have which call for cracked wheat, bulghar, or cous cous and would probably be great with any grain.

  11. Kate

    This is such a great recipe. I made it earlier this week and added some dried cherries with the cranberries, as well as a little OJ to the dressing. It’s delicious! Thanks for sharing it. :)

  12. Vicki

    We first made this recipe two weeks ago with half brown rice, half wild rice (cooked in a rice cooker), and used dried cherries and pistachios for the fruit and nuts. We are making it again today, we love it!

  13. Debbie Newton

    I love the comments as much as the recipes…and this really sounds delicious!

  14. Paula

    I’ve just discovered this recipe and hope I don’t lose it. It’s wonderful. I made it last night pretty much as written and it was absolutely delicious. I served it with a really good Rachel Ray recipe for Hunter-style chicken made with reconstituted dried porcini and red wine. It made for a memorable meal – just for the two of us but one to share with guests next time.

  15. Katie

    I made this for Thanksgiving this year and loved it. I wanted to forgo turkey and other sides and sit down with the entire bowl of this salad. Thanks for a great recipe!

  16. bridgett b

    I made this salad for a Christmas potluck party and it was delicious! I added diced red delicious apples for texture, color, and flavor which made it a big hit. Also, I used Bob’s Red Mill wild and brown rice mix which doesn’t have any seasonings like a boxed mix (but it’s healthier) so the flavor was a little flat and I had to season it with lots of salt. Next time I would add some herbs/spices like parsley, thyme, or sage. Also, I would probably not have the rice sit covered for 10 minutes after cooking b/c this caused the evaporated water to condense and made the texture of the rice a little pasty.

  17. Jill

    Thank you for this recipe, I’ve been making it for years, everything from holiday dinners to picnics. Always gets rave reviews!

  18. Jenny

    Made this for friends exactly the way the recipe was written…it was a hit! It’s good hot or cold. Defininately will make it again.

  19. Kaye

    I have a box of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice which includes a seasoning packet. Would I include or omit the seasoning packet? Thanks.

    You would omit the seasoning packet. ~Elise

  20. Laurie

    Simple and very delicious! Another favorite not to be forgotten. Thanks!

  21. Claire

    Would it be ok to use fresh cranberries in this recipe?

    No, they would be too sour. Dried cranberries are sweetened, which you need to balance the sourness. ~Elise

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