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Wild Rice Salad – A Refreshing Picnic Side Dish Recipe

Wild Rice Salad is a traditional hot side dish served at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But did you know you could turn this recipe into a favorite picnic time recipe as well?

Now that summer is near, we are always looking to make side dishes to accompany our favorite grilled meats. And we all know that the most popular picnic side dish recipes are macaroni salad and potato salad.

However as much as I love both of them, it is not safe to let them sit out in the warm temperatures for very long.

In fact it is recommended that they stay chilled while being served. And that requires the additional work of putting the serving bowls on ice.

So instead of making another side dish recipe that requires special attention during the event itself, I decided to make this easy, no fuss recipe that is light and refreshing summertime side dish.

wild rice salad

Wild Rice Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • Wild rice, brown rice mix – Be sure to use a mixture of wild rice and brown rice for the best taste and texture.
  • Dried cranberries – No, you can not use fresh cranberries for this recipe as they will be too tart. However, you can substitute other dried fruit in place of the sweetened dried cranberries
  • Sliced almonds, toasted – Although not 100% critical, toasting the almonds adds so much flavor to this wild rice salad. Simply toast them by placing them in a large skillet over medium heat and let them turn light brown in color. Keep a close on eye on them because they can burn quickly.
  • Sliced green onions – Use both the whites and greens of the onion and slice at an angle.
  • Lemon juice – Although fresh squeezed lemon juice is always best, it is okay to use bottled lemon juice for this recipe.
  • Sugar or honey – A little sweetness goes a long way. Feel free to substitute agave or sugar substitutes if preferred.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Orange zest – Just a reminder for those who don’t use zest often, zest the orange before you cut it for the juice. I also recommend to chop the zest in smaller pieces for the wild rice salad, for easier consumption.
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice – You won’t need a lot. So save for the other half to eat!
  • Salt and pepper – Apply to your preferred taste.
toasted almonds, dried cranberries and diced green onions

Instructions

The first step in making this recipe is to cook the wild rice, brown rice mixture. Make 1 cup of rice per the packet instructions.

However, if you have a pressure cooker, you can make the wild rice salad in half of the time! To cook the wild rice mixture in an Instant Pot use 1 cup of rinsed and drained rice and 1 1/2 cups of water.

Then pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Once the cook time is up, allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release.

All that is left to do is to remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

instant pot wild rice

No matter how you choose to cook the rice, once cooked remove the rice from the pan and let cool to room temperature in a medium size serving bowl.

While the rice is cooking/cooling, prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, sugar (or honey), extra virgin olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.

Once the rice has cooled to room temperature add the dried cranberries, toasted sliced almonds, and diced green onion to the bowl. Mix well.

Just before serving, whisk dressing one more time and pour over the wild rice salad. Toss to coat.

wild rice salad dressing

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Or heat and serve as a classic holiday side dish.

Enjoy! Mary

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wild rice salad

Wild Rice Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A light and refreshing side dish of wild rice, almonds and dried cranberries tossed in a citrus dressing. Serve chilled or at room temperature for a delicious picnic side dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice, brown rice mix
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Make 1 cup of wild rice, brown rice mixture per the packet instructions or see how to make it in the Instant Pot in the notes below. Remove the rice from the pan and let cool to room temperature.

While the rice is cooking/cooling, prepare dressing by mixing the lemon juice, sugar (or honey), extra virgin olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.

Add the cooled rice, dried cranberries, toasted sliced almonds, and diced green onion to a medium size bowl. Mix well.

Just before serving, whisk dressing one more time and pour over rice mixture. Toss to coat.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Or heat and serve as a classic holiday side dish.

Notes

To make wild rice, brown rice mix in an electric pressure cooker rinse and drain 1 cup of rice. Add it to the Instant Pot with 1 1/2 cups water. Pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. Once the cook time is up, allow for 10 minutes of Natural Pressure release.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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