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overhead photo of brown rice with cranberries and oranges in a bowl

Easy Brown Rice Salad with Cranberries and Orange

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Easy Brown Rice Salad has fresh oranges, dried cranberries and toasted nuts. It is the perfect make-ahead side dish for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or any festive occasion.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups long grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 oranges, segmented *See ingredient note
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds or chopped pecans, *See tip
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Stir water, rice and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Set over high heat and bring to a simmer. When it simmers, stir well, cover and reduce heat to maintain a steady gentle simmer (medium low to low depending on your stove.) Simmer covered for 35 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, orange juice, zest, shallot, oil, Dijon, pepper and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Stir the hot rice into the dressing and let cool, stirring once or twice, about 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in parsley, orange segments, nuts, cranberries, and tarragon. Serve room temperature or chill.


Tip: To toast nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until toasted and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes.

Make Ahead: Can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Bring to room temperature for 1 hour before serving, and stir well. 

Ingredient note: To segment the two oranges follow my video here. For a shortcut, use 1 small can of Mandarin oranges, drained.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: Brown Rice Salad, Brown Rice Salad with Cranberries, Healthy Rice Salad, Easy Brown Rice Salad, Brown Rice Salad with Orange, Rice Salad with Cranberries and Orange

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