Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

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Wild rice salad with cranberries, pecans, green onions, orange zest, and wild rice. A perfect accompaniment to many fall and winter dishes - roast chicken, stews, pork chops.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans Recipe

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  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Prep the ingredients and make the dressing while the rice is cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice wild rice mix
  • 2 1/3 cups water (see package instructions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 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 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

1 Make the rice: 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, 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 Mix the rice with the dried cranberries, pecans, green onions: In a medium sized serving bowl, mix the rice, cranberries, pecans, and green onions together.

3 Make the dressing: In a separate jar, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, orange peel, 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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Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad

Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Monica

    Has anyone tried this without the onion? I can’t stomach raw onion anymore. Will it ruin the dish if I leave it out?

  • Jill

    Just wondering how far in advance I can make this. Today is Sunday and I want it for Thanksgiving. But I don’t have time to do it last minute. Make it now and refrigerate? Can it be frozen, before putting on the dressing?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan SaladWild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans