Wild Rice Salad on a bowl with a napkin

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A wholesome and delicious wild rice salad, peppered with fruity pomegranate, red onion and sweet yellow bell pepper (capsicum). All bound in a zesty coconut lime dressing. This is a perfect side dish for a BBQ or served with a simple chicken or fish recipe.

What is wild rice?

Believe it or not, wild rice is actually unrelated to rice. It is the seed of a specific aquatic grass that is commonly found growing in rivers in parts of Northern America.

You’ve probably noticed that it is typically quite a lot more expensive than other varieties of rice, which is because of the fact that there are only 4 varieties of wild rice, compared to thousands of varieties of white rice, so it’s not as common. It’s also nowhere near as easy to cultivate.

Wild rice has a distinctive flavour which is more earthy and nutty than white rice. It is also chewier in texture. You’ll be happy to hear that it’s also arguably a healthier choice as well – being higher in protein than white rice, and a little lower in calories.

How do you cook wild rice?

Wild rice takes quite a bit longer to cook than white rice. Allow for around 45 minutes. You’ll need to rinse it first, in the same manner you would normal rice. Then use around 3 parts water for each part of rice.

Whereas white rice is commonly steamed in a pan, you need to bring the wild rice to a boil and then allow it to simmer for 40-45 minutes. Drain any excess water before serving. You may find that some of the grains of the rice burst open when cooking which is totally normal.

Wild Rice Salad In a Bowl

Can you make it in advance?

This wild rice salad will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge, however don’t add the dressing until you are ready to serve as it will wilt the leaves. You’ll also get fresher results by mixing the rocket/arugula with the rice only when you are about to eat.

This salad is not freezer safe – the vegetables will lose their texture and crispness when frozen. However, you can freeze cooked wild rice for up to 6 months so it could be handy to have a batch ready in the freezer to reduce preparation time.


You’ll need a few ingredients to make this wild rice salad. For the full list with measurements jump to the printable recipe card:

Wild Rice Salad Ingredients
  • Uncooked wild rice – or use pre-cooked to speed things up!
  • Red onion
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds
  • Cucumber
  • Yellow pepper/capsicum
  • Toasted cashew nuts
  • Rocket/arugula

How to make it

For full instructions jump to the printable recipe card

  1. Rinse and cook the rice in boiling water for 45 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking toast the cashew nuts and make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together or shaking in a sealed jar.
  3. Drain the rice and combine in a large bowl with all the other salad ingredients except the cashew nuts. Toss through the dressing and serve on a plate with the cashew nuts scattered over the top.
Recipe Steps
Dressing being poured onto Wild Rice Salad

If you are looking for more great salad side dish recipes then check out:

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Wild Rice Salad on a bowl with a napkin

Wild Rice Salad

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A healthy and fresh wild rice salad that combines nutty rice with crisp ingredients, all bound in a coconut lime dressing. Perfect as a side dish! 

The default recipe serves one as a very generous portion.



For the salad:

  • 65g / 1/3 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 68 toasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 50g / 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 small cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, deseeded and diced
  • small handful rocket/argula

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil (warm the bottle under some warm water if it has solidified)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped


  1. Firstly, cook the rice. Rinse well in cold water and then add to a pan. Add triple the volume of water (1 cup water for every 1/3 cup rice) and bring to the boil. Once the rice is boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 45 minutes. The cooked texture should be chewy and you will see that some of the grains have burst open. 
  2. While the rice is cooking make the dressing. Combine all ingredients into a jar, seal with a lid and shake well. Alternatively, whisk well in a bowl. 
  3. Toast the cashew nuts in a small dry frying pan until lightly golden.
  4. Drain the rice when cooked and add to a large bowl. Add the pepper/capsicum, cucumber, red onion, pomegranate seeds and rocket/arugula. 
  5. Pour over the dressing and toss everything together and transfer to a plate or platter. Scatter the cashew nuts over the top. 


  1. You can use precooked wild rice to speed up the cooking time
  2. If you want to make this in advance then it can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. I recommend not adding the rocket/arugula and dressing until you are about to serve the dish. The cucumber will be fresher if you avoid adding this until you are going to eat. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Hob / Stove
  • Cuisine: Rice


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 460
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 73g
  • Protein: 9g

Keywords: salad, rice, healthy, pomegranate, cashews, side dish, lunch, starter, vegetarian, vegan

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