Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

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

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

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


  • 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


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.

Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad method

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 13 Comments

  • 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

  • Laurie

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Jill

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

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