Wild Rice Salad

Pre the celery and onions while the rice cooks to save time.

  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 cup basmati or long grain rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 8 green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil


1 Cook the rice: Put the chicken broth in a medium sized saucepan. Add the wild rice and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover. Let cook for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, sprinkle in the basmati or long grain rice. Return to a boil, and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for an additional 15 -20 minutes, until the rice is cooked through. (If there is still liquid in the pot, uncover the pot and boil it off.)

Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.

Fluff with a fork. Spread the rice out on a large sheet pan to cool quickly.

2 Toast the pine nuts: Heat a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove pine nuts from pan and let cool.

3 Make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.

4 Toss rice with salad ingredients and dressing: In a large bowl gently mix together the cooled cooked rice, chopped celery, green onions, peas, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Chill completely before serving.

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  • Marsha

    I am making for a Christmas Eve open house. Can I make ahead of time and refrigerate over night?
    Thank you.

  • Anita Flantz

    I had a lot of this salad left. I am not fond of raw onion so I pit it in the wok pan, stir fried it for a few minutes, added water and let it simmer about five minutes. Better than the salad and now it can frozen for later use. Maybe I will add some chicken.

  • Kathy

    I made this for Bunco Christmas party last night and Oh Boy was it a hit! Everyone loved it. I put orange flavored cranberries in and it really popped the flavor. Also such a beautiful salad presentation-wise.


  • sandraregina

    I’ve made this salad now four times in the last month or so. Since my sis-in-law, who is allergic to onions, was going to consume it, I made it without the green onions and I sub’d corn for the peas.
    It was devoured all four times, and I know I’ll be making it again for the next family fuction/office potluck/friendly get together.


  • nvsagehen

    What a Wonderful Rice Salad! I made it yesterday to go with our dinner of lime-garlic grilled shrimp. My husband is not a fan of rice salads, so I don’t make them often, but he went back for seconds on this one. Score!! Even the teenage daughter went back for more, twice! I will be making this one again for sure. I just recently found your site and will be a repeat visitor.


  • Eileen

    This is my first time making wild rice salad as well. It was delicious! I love the ingredient combination. My only substitution was slivered almonds for the pine nuts (pine nuts have gotten crazy expensive in these parts.) I also cooked the rice longer — 50 minutes total, with the last 5 minutes uncovered. Next time, I might reduce the olive oil — its flavor was more dominant than I would have liked. Overall, I loved this recipe though. It’s a keeper!

  • Margot

    This is a great salad to improvise with.

    I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I made due with what I had. This is my new motto when I’m cooking. Instead of running up the store, for say, green onions, I’ll thinly slice some leeks instead that I have in the fridge.

    I loved this rice salad! The dressing is what really stars. I also added a few diced fresh strawberries…and I have to tell you…it’s delicious!

  • Amy Artisan

    Another great recipe, Elise! I made this today to take to a new Mom – my only substitute was to use veggie broth to make it vegetarian. I will definitely be adding this to my summer salad recipe file!

  • Crys

    Hey, tried this recipe on Sunday with a few modifications for taste. Replaced the chicken broth with vegetable broth, omitted celery, substituted toasted almond slivers for pine nuts. also used calrose rice instead of long grain.


    Thank you SO much. A huge hit.

  • Katrina

    Made this tonight for dinner. It was my favorite thing at dinner. Really liked it. I could swear somewhere I’ve got some wild rice, but couldn’t find it, so I used a box of Rice-A-Roni long grain and wild rice that I had. Worked great. Thanks for the recipe. YUM.

  • Shannan

    Hi! I am a rice salad fan. One reason is that I can clean my veggie drawer by making one. I simmer my rice in lots of water and stock and sometimes some ginger pieces. When it is done I drain the water from the colander. The rice seems less sticky that way. I put all sorts of things in the salad, but always seem to include herbs like flat parsley or cilantro and lots of crunchies like diced carrots, celery, red pepper. I like edamame, onion, sometimes fennel. I sometimes add black beans or chick peas (depending). I always add nuts usually walnuts, but some pine nuts if it has an Italian or Middle Eastern feel. Also, nobody has mentioned this I think, but avocado and soft fresh goat cheese… YUM! I always dress it with a sweetened vinaigrette sometimes with some cumin tossed in. My husband likes back rice salad with green onion, edamame, celery, pumpkin seeds and avocado (all green against a black/purple backdrop) – Plus maybe blue cheese or goat or feta with vinaigrette.

    Who knew rice could be so glorious? Toss in chicken, salmon or shrimp the next day and you have another meal.

  • GG Mora

    There used to be a terrific little restaurant in Northampton, MA, called Curtis & Schwartz. They had a rice salad on their lunch menu, the salad composed of white rice with green peas, diced red onion, bits of scrambled egg, coarsely grated parmesan cheese, and ribbons of basil, all dressed with lemon juice and olive oil (with lots of ground black pepper). Oh, Lord, just writing about it makes my mouth water. I’m going to have to mix up a batch this week.

  • Susan

    We had a family get together last night and my Sister-in-Law made the Wild Rice Salad. It was absolutely yummy and was a big hit (even with the kids). She decided to add cut up cooked carrots. I saw the print out of the recipe and couldn’t wait to get home to add to my favorites. I can’t wait to cook it myself. Thank you!

  • Tri

    Elise, have you tried making this salad with couscous? I am just wondering if you think the flavors would be the same. Sometimes I’m too impatient for rice. BTW, I passed along your website to some friends and they love it.

  • Priya

    Nice recipe!

    Rice is a staple for Southern India. We can’t think a meal without rice.

    We can make this salad a quicker one by using “Rice Flakes” for long grain rice. These flakes will absorb liqids in few minutes and no cooking needed. usally 2:1 ratio of Flakes and liqid will give fluffier flakes. We just soak the flakes in liquid and wait until all of the liquid is absorbed, before using in recipes.

  • Lou Grubaugh

    My favorite rice salad is this recipe from The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking by Mai Pham, featuring favorite recipes from her Lemon Grass Restaurant and Cafes in Sacramento. Her introduction: “I always make this colorful salad for parties because the bright yellow rice laced with green cucumbers, red bell peppers and purple grapes looks festive and beautiful. It’s also a great dish for potlucks because it seems to go with everything.” Note: makes a large amount/could be halved.

    Curried Rice Salad
    Serves 6-8

    2 cups long grain rice
    3 cups water
    1/2 Tbsp. salt
    2 tsp. curry powder
    1 tsp. ground turmeric
    1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    1 Tbsp. minced shallot
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
    1 Tbsp. kosher salt
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tsp. dried chili flakes (optional) — I used 1 tsp.
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup diced red bell pepper — I added some green and orange pepper
    1 cup diced cucumber
    1/2 cup diced tomatoes
    1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion — I used part green onions
    2 to 3 cups champagne grapes or small seedless red or green grapes, washed — I used 3 cups
    Added extra cilantro leaves

    Place rice, water, salt, curry powder and turmeric in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir the rice so the ingredients are well blended. Let the rice boil gently for 3 minutes, then reduce heat to very low simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook until the water has evaporated and the rice is fluffy, 25 to 30 minutes. Do not lift the lid before then.

    While the rice is cooking, make the dressing. In a food processor, blend all the ingredients together except for the olive oil. Process until a little creamy, about 1 minute, then slowly drizzle in the oil with the motor running. Set aside.

    Once the rice is cooked, fluff with fork, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool. Just before serving, combine the red bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, grapes, dressing and rice and toss gently. Salad may be refrigerated, although it loses flavor the second day.

  • Jean P

    Wow, this salad WILL be tried this weekend. A good buddy, Jared, suggested this to me because he knows I’m a fool for rice, and it is delish. Just cook your favorite rice your favorite way (I do long-grain white in vegetable or chicken broth) but add a couple of generous pinches of saffron threads to the cooking medium. About 5 minutes before the rice is finished, sliver about 3 halves of sundried tomato (really dry, not oil-packed) and toss the bits in. Finish rice and let it cool. Add a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and something crunchy…scallions, about 1/4 cup, or inner leaves/stems of celery. Dress with simple oil and vinegar. Great beside grilled fish. Your site if fabulous, Elise.

  • Anna

    This looks delicious.
    I make a simple yet tasty rice salad that’s great for lunch on a hot summer day.

    2 cups cooked white rice
    2 cups cooked lentils (preferable the small green ones)
    1 large tomato diced
    1 large cucumber diced
    green onions

    Mix all ingredients, dress to your taste with olive oil, vinegar, salt and paper.
    Serve chilled.

  • Paul

    Hi again, Elise! Thanks for clarifying the sesame oil issue.

    For those who find the hulls of wild rice too chewy, an alternative cooking method may help. I forget where I learned this but I poach wild rice by placing it in my favorite cast iron rice pot, adding boiling water, allowing it to sit for an hour, draining it through a sieve and repeating two more times. Yes, it is time consuming but it allows the hulls to fully “bloom” and expose the inner starch. The end product doesn’t even look like wild rice but it absorbs stock and dressings better and has a much softer texture. I often make this as a side dish with sauteed shallot, toasted chopped hazelnuts and fresh herbs to everyone’s amazement that it is 100% wild rice.

    I will definitely be taking your salad to our next historical society meeting. Should be a hit!


  • Darby "The Dessert Diva"

    I have made a sweet mustard rice salad for a few years now, that I like to bring along to many of my potlucks and back yard BBQ’s. I think I got this recipe off of epicurious a while back, but I know I have modified it enough to really call it my own.

    2 Tbsp red wine or red wine vinegar
    1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 Tbsp canola oil
    3 cups sweet corn removed from the husk (use the elise method!)
    1 cup chopped green onions
    2 1/4 cups water
    1 1/2 cups basmati/wild/jasmine rice or any combonation of the 3

    1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans or black walnuts
    1/2 cup dried cranberries or apricots or a little of both.

    Whisk red wine and mustard in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and sauté 30 seconds. Add corn. sauté until corn is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

    Bring 2 1/4 cups water to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Add rice to boiling water. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender (do not stir), about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

    Mix rice, corn mixture and nuts in large bowl. Mix in wine/mustard mixture and dried fruits. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. (I too like this chilled.)

  • Paul


    Is that toasted sesame oil or raw sesame oil? Big difference in flavors.


    Hi Paul, toasted. You’re right, big difference. I’ve clarified the ingredient list to say “dark” sesame oil, which should do the trick. ~Elise

  • Ben

    Hi Elise! Long time reader, first time commenter. I love your recipes and use them extensively. Many are a hit at potluck parties. I have a sort of metacognitive question: What constitutes a “picnic salad” vs. some other type? For instance, I use your cucumber feta salad (a lot) at potlucks, and it is always a hit. Why not include it in the picnic salad tag? This one looks good, too. I’ll be sure to try it soon.

    Hi Ben, great question! I think of picnic salads as salads that you can make in advance, can easily double or triple the ingredients, and that can hold up okay at an outdoor picnic for a couple of hours. I wouldn’t classify the cucumber feta salad as a picnic salad because the cucumbers tend to get limp the more they sit around in the dressing, not the best for making ahead. Great that you’ve had a good experience with it though, good to know! ~Elise

  • Susan

    This looks absolutely delicious but I’m curious about cooking the two rices together. Doesn’t wild rice need double the cooking time of white rice?

    You would think, yes it would. But it works. ~Elise

  • Dora

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while (found it while looking for a lasagna recipe, and i have to say that I love it).

    This a recipe for a rice salad, you will have to excuse my english if it is not perfect !

    For the Salad:

    2 Tablespoons of Margarine
    2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
    2 cups of Jasmine Rice *
    2 Cups of Chicken Broth

    For the Dressing:

    ¼ Cup of Olive Oil
    2 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar
    2 tablespoons of Vinager
    ½ Cup of Raisins
    ½ Cup of Cranberries
    ½ Cup of chopped apricots
    ½ Cup of roasted almonds
    ½ Cup chopped arugula
    ½ Cup of chopped white onions
    ½ Cup of diced red bell Pepper


    On a hot saucepan melt the margarine and add the olive oil, add the rice with the chicken broth and mix well. Let it dry. Cover the saucepan and let it cook for 20 minutes.

    Apart mix all the ingredients of the dressing, add the rice and mix well.

    * Jasmine Rice sometimes known as Thai fragrant rice, is a long-grain variety of rice. Jasmine rice is originally from Thailand.

  • Cindy S

    Hi Elise, your salad looks and sounds wonderful and I will be making it soon. Here is another recipe you will probably like and its very easy to make. Its called slaw, I guess because of the cabbage,but its really more like a salad.

    Oriental Slaw
    1 pkg. cut cabbage
    2 pkg(s) oriental ramen noodles (save seasoning packet for dressing)
    1 cup nuts (walnuts,pecans, almonds, whatever)
    Crunch noodles, mix with nuts and roast 8 minutes at 350° Cool.

    1 cup vegetable oil (don’t use olive oil)
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 pkg(s) oriental seasoning

    Mix and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
    Pour over slaw and toss.

  • Alanna

    This has been my favorite wild rice salad forever, it’s always a hit at Minnesota potlucks.

    Most of us only have access to cultivated wild rice, whose grains are quite dark and regular in color, like black spears. It takes about 40 or more minutes to cook and even then is quite chewy. Natural wild rice is lighter and more varied in color, only takes about 20 minutes to cook and is much softer. Natural wild rice is hard to find but a wonder in flavor, especially just after the late-summer harvest. Even in Minnesota, lots of people pick up locally grown but cultivated rice, it’s cheaper, usually $5 a pound. The natural wild rice will be $7 or $8 a pound but as of last year, it’s my personal choice, I’ll be stocking up this fall.

  • Jeanette

    I like rice salads and pilafs too. This recipe is a staple in our house. I also have pilafs that use multiple grains as well as beans.


    2 ½ cups chicken broth
    1/3 cup wild rice
    1 cup white rice
    1 Tbsp oil
    1 Tbsp butter
    ½ cup chopped onion
    1 cup thinly sliced celery
    1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
    ½ cup finely diced red pepper
    ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
    ¾ tsp thyme
    ¾ tsp sage
    ½ tsp pepper

    In a heavy saucepan with a lid, bring the broth to a boil. Add the wild rice, turn off heat, cover and let soak for 10 minutes. Add the white rice, return to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until done and liquid is absorbed.

    In a skillet, heat the butter and oil. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms, thyme, sage and pepper. Saute the vegetables and seasonings over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add the diced red pepper and slivered almonds. Stir the cooked vegetables into the cooked rice. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and adjust for salt if necessary.