Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

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

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


  • 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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  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jill, you can make the recipe a day or two ahead, but not more than that without it suffering.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • Jill

      Pin it to Pinterest and it will always be there for you.

  • 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!

  • 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. :)

  • 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.

  • Terry

    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.

  • 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.