Wild Rice Salad with Apple and Pomegranate is a celebration of fall flavors. Containing pine nuts, dates, and a tangy dressing, it's wonderful for lunch or as a holiday side. And this salad is perfect for meal prep since you can cook the wild rice in advance either on the stove or in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.
Salads aren't limited to just lettuce and vegetables.
I love hearty salads featuring whole grains as a main ingredient.
And I look forward to making Wild Rice Salad as soon as pomegranates and apples are in season.
The combination of the fruit with pine nuts, dates, and lemon give this American dish a Mediterranean diet flair.
Is wild rice expensive?
You may be thinking you want to try this Wild Rice Salad with Apple and Pomegranate, but wild rice is too expensive.
But is it really?
One cup of dry wild rice makes 3-4 cups when cooked.
So a little really goes a long way!
I only used one cup for this Wild Rice Salad which serves 6.
And if you can't find it at reasonable price, you can use a wild rice blend in this recipe instead.
How to cook wild rice
When preparing wild rice, you can follow the package directions and make it on the stove.
Generally 3 cups of water are added, which gives you an idea of why it expands so much when cooked.
However, you can also make it in your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, which is my preferred method.
All you need to do is add 2 ½ cups water to the 1 cup wild rice and set the timer for 25 minutes.
Allow the pressure to come down naturally.
If there is any extra water left in the pot, simply pour it off.
This method makes perfectly cooked wild rice every time.
Wild Rice Salad ingredients
After the wild rice is cooked and cooled, simply combine it with the remaining ingredients:
- Apple (Use your favorite variety such as Gala, Honeycrisp, or Fuji.)
- Pomegranate seeds, also called arils (Purchase a container of the seeds or remove them yourself using My Favorite Way to Seed a Pomegranate or your preferred method.)
- Pine nuts (Or for a nut-free version, use sunflower or pumpkin seeds.)
- Medjool dates (or your favorite variety)
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice (Meyer lemon juice is particularly good in this recipe.)
Once your wild rice salad ingredients are tossed together, refrigerate the salad until you're ready to eat.
You can make it in advance since it will keep for a few days. And the apples won't turn brown since the dressing contains lemon juice.
If you're serving this recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah, you can make it a day or two ahead of time.
What is wild rice?
Wild rice isn't actually rice at all.
In fact, it's classified as a grass.
And it's actually more nutritious than white rice since wild rice contains fewer calories, more protein, and more fiber.
In addition, it's high in magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6, according to Healthline's Wild Rice Nutrition Review.
And since it's really delicious, why not make it part of your regular diet?
One of my favorite ways to use it is in Vegan Wild Rice Soup.
And of course I love this Wild Rice Salad.
Wild Rice Salad Recipe
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Wild Rice Salad with Apple and Pomegranate
- Prepare the wild rice according to the package directions.Or to make in an Instant Pot, combine the wild rice with 2 ½ cups water. Set the timer for 25 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Drain off any excess water that wasn't absorbed.Let the rice cool until you're ready to make the salad. For faster cooling, spread out the rice on a rimmed baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled wild rice with all the other ingredients. Toss until well combined.
- Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve. Or if preferred, let the salad come to room temperature before serving.