This Citrus and Wild Rice Salad is a wonderful way to use seasonal winter citrus, but is just as delicious made any time of year! Made with whole grain wild rice, loads of sweet citrus, crunchy toasted almonds, dried cranberries and a fresh citrus vinaigrette.
This recipe and photos have been updated since the original post on 3/17/2016.
Winter is peak season for citrus even though you can find it in the grocery store year round. I love to just eat it as is for a snack or to have along with my breakfast in the morning.
I also love to find ways to incorporate it into recipes, especially salad recipes. I love the combination of the sweet citrus paired with earthy, nutty, and savory flavors.
I recently used citrus in this sweet and tangy citrus cabbage salad. It’s sort of like coleslaw and goes great with my slow cooker shredded barbecue chicken.
Today’s recipe, Citrus and Wild Rice Salad is a vegetarian whole grain salad that’s can be served as a side dish with your favorite protein or as a main dish salad. You can also easily turn this into a vegan salad by replacing the honey in the vinaigrette with maple syrup.
What Is Wild Rice?
You might be surprised to find out that wild rice isn’t actually a true rice. It’s an aquatic grass. Within the grass is the edible grain. Wild rice is longer, chewier, and has a nuttier flavor than traditional rice.
Ingredients For Citrus and Wild Rice Salad
- wild rice blend – This is different from straight wild rice in that it typically includes brown rice and sometimes red or black rice.
- naval orange – Naval oranges are easy to find in most grocery stores. If you’re looking to use something different try Cara Cara or blood oranges.
- grapefruit – I prefer to use a sweet variety of grapefruit such as Rio Red.
- mandarin oranges – Not the ones in the can or fruit cup. There are many varieties of mandarin oranges. Feel free to use whatever variety you want, I went with clementines.
- green onion
- dried cranberries
- sliced almonds
- white balsamic vinegar
- dijon mustard
- honey – Use maple syrup to make this salad vegan.
- olive oil
How To Make Citrus Wild Rice Salad
Cook the wild rice blend according to the package instructions. If it calls for butter, omit that. Let the rice cool to room temperature or refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble the rest of the salad.
Use a sharp knife to peel the citrus and cut off any of the remaining white pith. Cut between the membranes of the citrus to release the segments. Don’t throw away the remains as you’ll be using the juice from them for the vinaigrette.
Chop the celery and green onions and toast the sliced almond. Add the cooled wild rice, citrus segments, celery, green onion, almonds, and dried cranberries to a serving bowl.
Squeeze the remaining juice from the citrus segments into a glass measuring cup or jar. Strain out the pulp if you don’t want it in your vinaigrette.
To the citrus juice add in the vinegar, dijon, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk everything together and then pour half of the vinaigrette over the salad.
Toss the salad until everything is combined and coated in the vinaigrette. Taste it for seasoning and add more vinaigrette, salt and pepper as needed.
Serve the salad immediately or cover and refrigerate it until ready to serve. If you don’t plan to serve the salad right away, wait to add in the almonds so that they stay crunchy.
Health Benefits Of Wild Rice
Wild rice is a good source of protein and fiber. It contains twice as much protein as white and brown rice and an equal amounts of fiber to brown rice.
Wild rice is a whole grain and whole grains may help lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Wild rice is also a great option if you are gluten-free.
How To Store Citrus And Wild Rice Salad
This wild rice salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If you don’t plan to eat the salad the day it’s made I recommend leaving out the sliced almonds. Add the almonds in with each serving so that they stay crunchy.
Time Saving Tips
- Cook the wild rice ahead of time. You can cook the rice several days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Peel and segment the citrus a day or two in advance.
- Make the vinaigrette a day or two in advance.
- If you’re short on time, use a couple pouches of the microwavable wild rice pouches.
More Wild Rice Recipes
- Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Wild Rice Salad
- Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad
- Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad
- Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Wild Rice Stuffing
Did you make this Citrus and Wild Rice Salad? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
Citrus and Wild Rice Salad
Citrus and Wild Rice Salad
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
- 1 naval orange, peeled and segmented
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 green onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup citrus juice, squeezed from the remains of the orange and grapefruit.
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Rinse and drain the wild rice and cook according to package instructions. Once the rice is cooked let it cool to room temperature and then add it to a large serving bowl.
- Use a sharp knife to peel the citrus, removing all of the white pith. Cut between the membranes and add the citrus segments in with the rice. Add the celery, green onion, dried cranberries and almonds into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl or jar whisk or shake together all of the ingredients for the citrus vinaigrette. Pour half of the vinaigrette over the salad and stir everything together. Taste for seasoning and add additional vinaigrette if needed. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
If you are making the salad ahead of time omit adding the almonds until right before serving so that they remain crunchy.
Use any variety of citrus that you can find or prefer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 6gSugar: 31gProtein: 5g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.
Audrey Rando says
Absolutely delicious! Substituted mandarin canned and drained mandarin oranges as I did not have grapefruit.
Used all the marinade.
Will share recipe with friends!
I’m so glad you liked the salad Audrey, thanks for trying it out!
Vanessa Nemeth says
This looks amazing!
I’m confused as to where this part comes in though… HELP
1/3 cup citrus juice squeezed from the remains of the citrus used in the salad???
If you cut the fruit then you arent squeezing it
When you segment the citrus you should be left with all of the membrane of the fruit which should still contain juice that can be squeezed out. Here is a video that will hopefully help you understand what I mean by the remains or membrane of the citrus. I hope this helps! :-) http://www.finecooking.com/videos/segment-citrus-fruits-salads-salsas.aspx
Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says
This is such a gorgeous salad! We’ve been loving Cara Cara oranges all winter long and I can’t stop buying them! Love adding them to salads.
Thanks Jessica! I love Cara Cara oranges, they’re so sweet and the color is gorgeous!
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet says
I love everything about this bright and beautiful salad and I will definitely be making this soon!! Pinned!!
Thanks Lauren! It’s delicious, I hope you like it!
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
Such a beautiful salad! I can’t get enough of citrus and love that you added the wild rice.
Thanks Ashley! I love the combination or citrus with the wild rice, it’s perfect for spring!
I will be making this on Sunday to go with a roast turkey. I was looking for something other than the usual potatoes and this looks perfect!
Awesome Debbie! I’m so excited you’ll be trying the salad, I hope you enjoy it!
Regan @ Healthy Aperture says
This is absolutely gorgeous : )
Thanks Regan! :-)
Nutmeg Nanny says
I’m all about fun salads! I think this beauty is so inviting I would have a hard time not wanting to eat it all :)
Thanks Brandy! It’s one of those salads where you say I’ll just have a little and then the next thing you know you’ve gone back three times for more!