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close up of wild rice salad

Wild Rice Salad

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4.9 from 16 reviews

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x


Here is my very best Wild Rice Salad recipe, that’s made with dried cranberries and apricots, oranges, pecans and avocado. A perfect healthy, make-ahead side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 3 oranges or tangerines, divided
  • 1 avocado, cut in half and pit removed
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots


  1. Place rice in a large saucepan. Cover generously with water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low or to maintain a simmer, and cook until the rice is just tender but not mushy, 45 to50 minutes.
  2. Zest and juice one orange. Segment the remaining two oranges, and set aside.
  3. Add the orange zest and juice to a blender. Scoop ¼ avocado into the blender. Add shallot, oil, vinegar, mustard, honey or agave and salt and puree until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.
  4. Stir the hot rice into the dressing and let cool to room temperature, 35 to 42 minutes.
  5. Stir in parsley, pecans, cranberries, apricots and the reserved orange segments.
  6. Dice the remaining avocado and gently stir into the salad.


Vegan Option: This recipe is vegan if you use agave instead of honey.

Wild rice is different from brown and white rice in that it is actually a wild grass. Look for it in the rice isle. Store it in a sealed container or jar at room temperature.

To cook wild rice, simmer it in water until the grains split and are tender (taste a small bite to check.) Most varieties take about 45 minutes, but check packaging where applicable. Make sure the water doesn’t dip below the surface level so that the rice cooks evenly. Drain it as you would pasta through a fine mesh sieve.

To segment the two oranges or tangerines, follow the instructions here in my step-by-step video.

To Make In Advance: Prepare through step four up to 2 days in advance. Continue with step 5 just before serving.

  • Prep Time: 28 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 236
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 179 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g