Home > Salads > Wild Rice Salad Wild Rice Salad October 1, 2022 | 22 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. This Wild Rice Salad combines cooked and cooled wild rice with mixed greens, roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate arils, creamy feta (or goat) cheese, and honey-roasted almonds. A simple and delicious lemon vinaigrette ties everything together perfectly! Serve this salad on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table along with Crockpot Turkey Breast, Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving Dressing, Roasted Vegetables, and the best, no-knead Dinner Rolls. Save room for dessert! This Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie Recipe. Wild Rice Salad Recipe This autumn Wild Rice Salad is one of our favorites! Mixed greens with a seasoned, cooked and cooled wild rice blend, plus roasted sweet potatoes make up the base. Then we’ve got pops of flavor, texture, and creaminess coming from the pomegranate, cheese, and almonds. Truthfully though, we don’t reserve this salad only for the fall and winter; we’ll make a Wild Rice Salad summer version by replacing the pomegranate arils with sweetened dried cranberries or dried tart cherries. If you want to take advantage of fresh fruit while keeping with the red fruit theme, go for some fresh strawberries or red raspberries. Check out a few other ways we change up this salad: VARIATIONS Swap the roasted sweet potatoes for roasted butternut squash or roasted carrots. Dress with a balsamic vinaigrette instead of the lemon-herb vinaigrette. Swap out the sliced almonds for candied pecans or candied walnuts. Wild Rice Salad Dressing The dressing whips together so quickly–simply add everything to a jar with a lid, and shake to combine! You might recognize this dressing from our favorite Lemon Vinaigrette — it’s adapted from that recipe. Here’s what we’ve got in the dressing: Lemons. Bottled lemon juice doesn’t pack the same flavor as fresh, and lemon is one of the main flavors here. The dressing also benefits from lemon zest which is another reason to use fresh lemon. Red wine vinegar. Instead of relying solely on lemon juice for flavor and tanginess, we add red wine vinegar which adds even more tang and some flavor nuance. Dijon mustard. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. Olive oil. We recommend extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. Honey. Since the vinegar and lemon add a fair amount of tang, we like balancing that out with some honey. Dried oregano. This dried herb adds a flavor that nicely complements the wild rice. You could also use dried Italian seasoning here. Salt and pepper. Add to taste preference, remembering that an extra pinch can be the difference between a good and a stellar dressing! QUICK TIP To control how sweet this Wild Rice Salad is, adjust the honey in the dressing. For a sweeter dressing, add additional honey slowly, and to taste. For a tangier dressing, reduce the honey. How To Deseed A Pomegranate Cut and deseed a pomegranate or use already seeded pomegranate arils! These arils are typically sold in small plastic cups in the refrigerated produce section or freshly cut fruit section of most grocery stores. They can sometimes be tricky to find and are usually only sold in the US from October to February. If the pre-seeded pomegranate isn’t available, then you’ll need to do it yourself. Here’s how I like to deseed a pomegranate: Cut in half. Hold one half (cut side down) with one hand over a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to firmly hit the pomegranate. Watch as the pomegranate seeds fall out (along with some of the surrounding membrane). Fill up the bowl with water and watch as the membranes rise to the top. Scoop them out, discard, and drain. Arils are ready to use in this wild rice salad! QUICK TIP Pomegranates are brilliantly red. They stain, so be sure to use care when using this fruit! Use a paper towel, rather than a kitchen towel to avoid staining when cleaning up. Storing the arils in a glass container is a better choice than plastic, for the same reason. Let’s Chat Wild Rice To make an easy wild rice salad, we like to use a packaged seasoned wild rice blend. These mixes only take around 20-25 minutes and are already nicely seasoned/flavored. The blend mixes in a few other grains, since 100% wild rice is pretty dense. That said, if you’d prefer to make your own homemade seasoned wild rice mix, here’s our favorite homemade wild rice mix: Ingredients: 2/3 cup wild rice blend (see “quick tip” below) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1-2/3 cup chicken broth 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper 1/4 teaspoon EACH: oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder 1 teaspoon white sugar Instructions: In a fine-mesh sieve, thoroughly rinse the wild rice blend. Combine all of the ingredients in a pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer (a few notches above lowest temperature). Cover the pot. Cook for about 45 minutes and then check. If tender, stop cooking and if not cook for another 10-15 minutes or until it is tender. Add additional broth if needed. When the rice is cooked through, drain off any additional liquid and fluff it with a fork. QUICK TIP I like using a wild rice blend best here — specifically this blend by Lundberg®. I highly recommend that blend if you are able to find it; you’ll find it near other varieties of rice, quinoa and couscous. The blend mixes in a few other grains, since 100% wild rice is pretty dense. Wild Rice Salad FAQs1What goes well with wild rice?Wild rice is such a nice change-up from white or brown rice. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it: Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf Wild Rice Pilaf Chicken and Wild Rice Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole 2Can wild rice be cooked the day before?Yes. The rice can be made up to three days in advance. 3What does cooked wild rice taste like?It’s got a lovely toasted nutty flavor. 4Is black rice the same as wild rice?No. Black rice is a whole grain rice similar to brown rice while wild rice is actually a grass. 5Do I need to soak wild rice before cooking?No soaking is needed, but we do like to thoroughly rinse the rice in a fine mesh sieve before using. 6How long will cooked wild rice keep in the refrigerator?You can store the cooked/prepared wild rice in the fridge for three days before using. Be sure to refrigerate it in an airtight container! You can make most of the components ahead of time making it ideal for the holidays! 7Do you cover wild rice when cooking?Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and leave lid on until cooked and steamed. 8How to make wild rice salad?This salad has a few components, but each comes together relatively quickly and easily. If you’ve never roasted sweet potatoes, you’re in for a treat! Here’s a full guide on preparing roasted sweet potatoes if you’d like to see step-by-step photos for how to chop the potato. STORAGE Make Ahead and Storage This salad doesn’t sit or store well after it’s made. Once assembled, the salad needs to be eaten soon after; otherwise, the dressing softens the lettuce and nuts. To make ahead: Since this is a cold salad, it’s ideal to prepare components of it ahead of time. Prepare the wild rice, sweet potatoes, pomegranate and dressing ahead of time. Store everything separately in airtight containers in the fridge and assemble right before eating. Can You Freeze Wild Rice Salad? No, this salad won’t freeze and thaw well. What To Serve With Wild Rice Salad Chicken. To make a chicken salad with wild rice, prepare some blackened chicken or grill some chicken to serve on the side or to chop and mix into the salad Add to your holiday table spread. Serve with an easy weeknight meal like Harvest Vegetables and Sausage or this Pumpkin Pasta. Have a soup and salad dinner — serve this wild rice salad alongside this Easy Tomato Soup or Potato Leek Soup. FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Wild Rice Salad 4.88 from 16 votes - Review this recipe This Wild Rice Salad combines cooked and cooled wild rice with mixed greens, roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate arils, creamy feta (or goat) cheese, and honey-roasted almonds. A simple and delicious lemon vinaigrette ties everything together perfectly! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Wild Rice Salad 4.88 from 16 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe This Wild Rice Salad combines cooked and cooled wild rice with mixed greens, roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate arils, creamy feta (or goat) cheese, and honey-roasted almonds. A simple and delicious lemon vinaigrette ties everything together perfectly! Course Salad Cuisine American, Healthy Keyword wild rice salad, wild rice salad recipe Prep Time 20 minutes minutes Cook Time 20 minutes minutes Total Time 40 minutes minutes Servings 6 -8 servings (as a side) Calories 299kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $8.32 Ingredients▢ 1 pkg. (4.3 oz.) Long Grain & Wild Rice Mix (For homemade see Note 1)▢ 2-1/2 cups peeled & chopped sweet potatoes, (3/4ths of 1 lb. or 2 medium potatoes)▢ 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil▢ Fine sea salt & pepper▢ 8 gently packed cups (8 oz.) mixed greens (spinach & baby greens)▢ 1/2 cup sliced almonds (we love honey-roasted) (Note 2)▢ 1 cup pomegranate arils (1 large pomegranate) (Note 3)▢ 2-4 ounces crumbled goat cheese or feta (add to preference)Lemon Honey Dressing▢ 1 tablespoon honey▢ 1 large lemon (2 tablespoons juice, 1/4 teaspoon zest)▢ 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar▢ 2 tablespoons olive oil▢ 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard▢ 1/2 teaspoon dried oreganoUS - Metric USMetric InstructionsPREP: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out an extra-large sheet pan.WILD RICE: Prepare the wild rice either according to the package directions or for a homemade version, see Note 1. Let cool completely before using (I pop it in the fridge.)Wild rice can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.SWEET POTATO PREP: Peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes (1-inch) and place them on the large sheet pan. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt & pepper (I add 1/4 tsp salt & 1/8 tsp pepper). Toss to coat evenly then space them out so they have plenty of room.ROAST SWEET POTATOES: Bake for 10 minutes, flip and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. If not quite tender, flip again then bake for an additional 5-10 more minutes or until nicely roasted and fork tender. Watch carefully so they don't get over-roasted! Set aside to fully cool.DRESSING: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a glass jar or bowl. Season to taste. (I add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.) Place the lid on the jar and shake (or whisk in the bowl) until combined. Taste and adjust (additional salt/pepper/honey). Store in the fridge until ready to use, shaking again before topping the salad. COMBINE: (Read the next instruction first.) Toss together completely cooled wild rice mixture with the lettuce until ingredients are nicely integrated. Add the completely cooled roasted sweet potato, pomegranate arils, almonds, and cheese (adding to taste preference). Drizzle on dressing and toss gently until ingredients are nicely incorporated and fully dressed. Once dressed, salad needs to get eaten the same day--otherwise the dressing wilts and begins to break apart the lettuce. STORAGE: Only add dressing, almonds, and cheese to the amount of salad you intend to eat that day. This salad is best eaten immediately after being dressed, so if you want leftovers, only add almonds, cheese, and dressing to the portion that will be eaten immediately. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Wild rice. If you'd prefer to make the wild rice from scratch, I've detailed the ingredients and process in the post. Reference the section "let's chat wild rice" Note 2: Almonds: Instead of packaged honey-roasted almonds, I recommend toasting plain almonds for maximum flavor (this is, of course, optional). To do so: place almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat and stirring until lightly fragrant watching carefully to not burn them. Remove from pan to let cool. Note 3: Pomegranate: Cut and deseed a pomegranate or use already seeded pomegranate arils! These arils are typically sold in small plastic cups in the refrigerated produce section or freshly cut fruit section of most grocery stores. They can sometimes be tricky to find and are usually only sold in the US from October to February. Here’s how I like to deseed a pomegranate: Cut in half. Hold one half (cut side down) with one hand over a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to firmly hit the pomegranate. Watch as the pomegranate seeds fall out (along with some of the surrounding membrane). Fill up the bowl with water and watch as the membranes rise to the top. Scoop them out, discard, and drain. Arils are ready to use in this wild rice salad! Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 8442IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.