Enjoy this wild rice salad, with dried cranberries, cauliflower, green onions, and toasted pecans, seasoned with an easily made pumpkin vinaigrette!
Enjoy this wild rice salad, with dried cranberries, cauliflower, green onions, and toasted pecans, seasoned with an easily made pumpkin vinaigrette!

Do you enjoy chilled rice salads? The only time in my life I’ve ever had a rice salad was on a houseboating adventure about 20 years ago with another family and we were served one with dinner! I remember it well, because it was so good!

Fast forward to THIS rice salad, which comes from a recipe I stumbled upon while looking through some old cookbooks of mine. This wild rice salad in pumpkin vinaigrette sounded very interesting to me, so I made it, with only a couple slight changes. WOW! It is delicious, and is very easy to make! Here’s how:

Prepare The Long Grain and Wild Rice

The rice is made using a long grain and wild rice boxed mix (4.35 ounce or 6 ounce box). I used a Rice-a-Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice box mix that came with the seasoning mix in the box. It is easily found in grocery stores nationwide.

Prepare the rice exactly according to the package directions, and then set it aside, once done, until it cools completely (approx. 25 minutes).

Wild rice is prepared according to box instructions.

Toast The Pecans While Rice Cools

While the rice is cooling, toast the chopped pecans. There are two ways to do this. Choose which method works best for you:

  • #1- Place chopped pecans in a dry skillet, and cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat. Let cool.
  • #2- Lay chopped pecans in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake in 350° F oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat. Let cool.

Pecans can be toasted in a skillet or in the oven.

Make The Pumpkin Vinaigrette For The Wild Rice Salad

While the rice is still cooling, whip up the easy to make pumpkin vinaigrette, which will dress the wild rice salad!

In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, white wine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Whisk until fully blended, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while still whisking. Continue to whisk until all ingredients are fully blended and emulsified.

Preparing the pumpkin vinaigrette for the wild rice salad is easy!

Make The Wild Rice Salad

Place the cooled wild rice into a salad bowl. Add the toasted pecans, dried cranberries, cauliflower, and chopped green onions to the rice. Gently stir to combine.

Pour all of the pumpkin vinaigrette over the salad, and gently stir well, to fully combine all the wild rice salad ingredients with the vinaigrette.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. This refrigeration allows time for the flavors in this salad to really intermingle for best taste!

Wild rice, pecans, green onions, cranberries and cauliflower are combined in bowl.The pumpkin vinaigrette is poured over the wild rice salad, then stirred in.

Serve The Wild Rice Salad in Pumpkin Vinaigrette

After the wild rice salad in pumpkin vinaigrette has been fully chilled, it is time to serve and enjoy it! Fluff the salad up a little bit with a fork, and it’s ready to serve!

The wild rice salad is ready to eat!

All that is left to do is grab a fork… and dig in! I really think you will love this wild rice salad! Crunchy toasted pecans and cauliflower, chewy dried cranberries and that amazing pumpkin vinaigrette combine to make a fantastic tasting wild rice salad you will be proud to serve!

Wild rice salad in pumpkin vinaigrette served in a white bowl.

We loved this salad, and enjoyed it for several days afterwards as leftovers! One of our sons stopped by for a visit, and he sampled it (many times-ha ha!), and loved it, as well. Hope you will enjoy making and eating this delicious wild rice salad, too! Have a great day.

Looking For More Recipes Featuring RICE?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few you might enjoy include:

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Author's signature

Original recipe source: “Southern Living 2009 Annual Recipes Cookbook”, published in 1999 by Oxmoor House, Inc., page 195.

Wild Rice Salad in Pumpkin Vinaigrette
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Chilling Time (Inactive)
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins
 

Enjoy this wild rice salad, with dried cranberries, cauliflower, green onions, and toasted pecans, seasoned with an easily made pumpkin vinaigrette!

Category: Salad/Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: wild rice salad
Servings: 8 (1/2 cup per serving)
Calories Per Serving: 223 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
For Salad:
  • 4.35 ounce Long grain and wild rice mix (boxed mix w/ spices)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans , toasted
  • 1 cup cauliflower , chopped into tiny 1" florets
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup green onions , chopped
For Pumpkin Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare the wild rice mix according to package directions, and set aside once done, until it cools completely (approx. 25 minutes).

  2. While the rice is cooling, toast the chopped pecans. There are two ways to do this:

    #1- Place chopped pecans in a dry skillet, and cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat. Let cool.

    #2- Lay chopped pecans in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake in 350° F oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat. Let cool.

  3. While rice is still cooling, make the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, white wine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Whisk until fully blended, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while still whisking. Continue to whisk until all ingredients are fully blended and emulsified.

  4. Place cooled wild rice into a salad bowl. Add pecans, cranberries, cauliflower, and green onions. Gently stir to combine. Pour all of the pumpkin vinaigrette over the salad. Gently stir , to fully combine all salad ingredients with vinaigrette. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. This refrigeration allows time for the flavors in salad to really intermingle for best taste! After refrigerating, fluff the salad up with a fork, and serve. Enjoy chilled OR at room temp!

Nutrition Facts
Wild Rice Salad in Pumpkin Vinaigrette
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/2 cup per serving))
Calories 223 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 153mg7%
Potassium 173mg5%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1285IU26%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Enjoy this wild rice salad, with dried cranberries, cauliflower, green onions, and toasted pecans, seasoned with an easily made pumpkin vinaigrette!

Wild Rice Salad in Pumpkin Vinaigrette

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