Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

Side DishVeganCranberryWild Rice

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

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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 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin 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.

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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23 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Teresa

    I think this recipe is missing the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar that was in your recipe that I printed from 2010. It makes a difference in the taste. I substituted honey for the sugar. Great recipe!

  2. CWlaz

    Used brown rice instead of wild rice, and LOVED it!


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  3. karen

    I want to use dried currants, but they can be hard. Can I cook them in with the rice?

  4. Paul

    I didn’t make this exact recipe but I’ve made a similar salad (also, a hot side dish with fresh herbs) from pure wild rice but you first have to “bloom” it. No brown rice or any other is necessary.
    In a heavy saucepan, bring several cups of water to a boil. Add wild rice. Immediately turn off heat, stir and cover for one hour. After an hour, bring more water to a boil in a kettle. Drain the rice in a sieve, return to the saucepan and add the boiling water with a pinch of salt. Cover and wait another hour. If all rice is not bloomed, repeat, cool and construct your salad.
    It sounds like a pain but pure bloomed wild rice has a flavor and texture like no other. You are poaching the wild rice and not boiling it. It makes a major difference.
    My personal preference for these fall flavors would be chopped toasted hazelnuts and dressed with hazelnut oil instead of pecans and olive oil. And maybe some chopped chervil. But that’s just me.

  5. 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?

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Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan SaladWild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans