This hearty Wild Rice Salad is made with nutty wild rice tossed with sweet grapes, crunchy almonds and creamy blue cheese in an easy to make, light and flavorful Citrus Miso Vinaigrette. This Wild Rice Salad recipe is the perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish to serve any day of the week, for special occasions or as part of your holiday meal.
During the holidays when you want to serve a unique and impressive side dish for your dinner menu some of our go-to-favorites are my crispy Parmesan Oven Roasted Asparagus, my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Bacon and my easy Sweet Potato Casserole with crunchy topping!
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The Best Wild Rice Salad
This healthy wild rice salad is a simple but elegant side dish that can be served with any protein like chicken or fish or with a simple vegetable like green beans or asparagus if you are looking to serve a vegetarian meal option.
The nutty taste of the wild rice, combined with the sweet grapes, creamy, buttery and pungent blue cheese and crunchy almonds is elevated by the fresh and light citrus miso vinaigrette.
Usually wild rice salads are tossed with a citrus vinaigrette like an orange vinaigrette. My citrus miso vinaigrette is actually super easy to make and tastes amazing! Orange and lemon juices are combined with a tablespoon of white miso paste which adds rich umami taste to the this rice salad recipe.
What’s The Best Way To Cook Wild Rice?
I used to feel intimidated by the idea of cooking wild rice. I can confidently say, don’t be. Most wild rice bought in bags or containers come with clear instructions but if you don’t have them this is what you need to do:
- You need 1 3/4 cups of liquid per each cup of dried wild rice.
- I always add a little oil or butter when I cook rice. 1 teaspoon of olive oil or butter is all you need.
- I like cooking the rice in a flavorful liquid instead of plain water. It adds a lot of flavor to the rice. Chicken broth is my go-to ingredient but vegetable broth works too!
- To salt or not. I always use a little salt when cooking rice. If you use broth, taste the saltiness of the broth first.
Wild Rice Salad Ingredients
For The Citrus Miso Vinaigrette:
- White Miso
- Orange juice, freshly squeezed
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Red wine vinegar
- Oil (canola, vegetable or olive oil)
For The Rice Salad:
- Olive oil
- Wild rice
- Vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
- Seedless grapes
- Slivered Almonds
- Crumbled Blue Cheese
- Green Onions
- Ground black pepper
Is Wild Rice Healthy?
Wild rice is high in protein and low in fat. The wholesome grain is nutrient dense and loaded with antioxidants. Wild rice is heart healthy. It’s high fiber content may help lowering cholesterol and help fight arterial plaque build up.
Customize This Wild Rice Salad Recipe To Your Taste
One of the reasons I love this cold rice salad is because you can easily customized it to your liking. Change the ingredients according to the season and the occasion.
- Add edamame, chopped cucumbers, chopped red bell peppers, hearts of palm or olives.
- Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries or dried cherries.
- Add some vegetarian protein by adding garbanzo beans or kidney beans.
- Have lots of leftover turkey from a holiday meal? This is the perfect place to use it! Chopped roasted turkey or pieces of cooked chicken will make this a perfect main salad dish!
- Use goat cheese instead of blue cheese.
- Want some heat? Roasted shishito peppers or chopped jalapenos can do the trick!
Can I Cook Wild Rice In The Instant Pot?
Absolutely! You can cook the wild rice in the Instant Pot and save some time.
To cook the wild rice in the instant pot, combine the wild rice with 1 ¼ cups water to the Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid and move the steam release valve to sealing. Pressure Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
Making Ahead and Storage
- This easy wild rice salad can be made ahead. The rice can be cooked 2-3 days ahead and store in the fridge. The mixed salad without the salad dressing, can be stored for 3 days. Even tossed with the salad dressing, the salad keeps well refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Wild Rice Salad Recipe Tips
- Miso is a traditional Japanese condiment made by fermenting rice, barley and or soybeans.
- Most of the miso sold in the United States is either white, yellow or red. Each one of these pastes have a slightly different flavor and color. Lighter miso usually indicates less time of fermentation and a lighter flavor. I recommend white or yellow miso for the vinaigrette.
- Miso paste is now available in most supermarkets and super centers.
- Keep this salad nut-free. Substitute pepitas for the almonds.
We love Serving This Amazing Wild Rice Salad with :
- Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
- Honey-Ginger Salmon
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- Roasted Turkey with Gravy
- Beef Tenderloin Roast
- Pan Seared Scallops
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The Best Wild Rice Salad Recipe
For the Wild Rice
For the Citrus Miso Vinaigrette
To Make the Wild Rice
- Add the oil, rice and broth or water into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let it rest with the lid on for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Set aside and let it cool for about 30 minutes.
Citrus Miso Vinaigrette
- In a jar place all the ingredients. Close the lid and shake vigorously until the miso is well incorporated and the vinaigrette is smooth and emulsified.
To Prepare the Salad
- In a bowl toss together the wild rice, grapes, almonds, blue cheese and green onions. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with the vinaigrette to desired taste and toss well. Serve
- INSTANT POT: To cook the wild rice in the instant pot, combine the wild rice with 1 ¼ cups water to the Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid and move the steam release valve to sealing. Pressure Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure.