Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs

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Platter of our mushroom wild rice salad

Friends, prepare yourselves for the ultimate flavor-packed, comfort-filled, fall-infused side: wild rice salad! This dish is our favorite kind: low effort, BIG reward! It’s simple to prepare but doesn’t skimp on flavor (hello mushrooms, hazelnuts, cranberries, and fresh herbs!)

Not only that, but it can be served warm or at room temperature — perfect for when those other holiday dishes are running a bit behind (please tell us we’re not the only ones)! Did we mention there are just 10 simple ingredients required? Let us show you how it’s done!

Parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, mint, onion, rice, mushrooms, olive oil, hazelnuts, and dried cranberries

What is Wild Rice?

Wild rice is a gluten-free whole grain that’s dark in color (hello, antioxidants) and has a nutty, earthy, bold flavor. Compared to other grains, it’s rich in protein, fiber, and an amino acid called lysine. It’s also a good source of minerals and B vitamins.

Fun fact about wild rice? It’s the official state grain of Minnesota, which is part of the Great Lakes region. The grain comes from a grass that grows in shallow water (like lakes and streams).

While now mostly grown commercially in paddy fields, wild rice was originally harvested in canoes by Native American tribes in the Great Lakes region. The grain is considered a sacred part of their culture and is used to make stews, stuffing, sweet treats, and more.

Wild rice was also an important grain in ancient China, but it’s now the stem of the wild rice plant that’s more commonly enjoyed there (source).

How to Make Wild Rice Salad

Because of its bold flavor, we find wild rice is most delicious when combined with other sweeter varieties of rice. And we know we’re not the only ones because grocery stores seem to carry wild rice blend more often than wild rice on its own. So for the sake of accessibility and deliciousness, we used a wild rice blend in this recipe.

The recipe starts with cooking the rice in a saucepan until tender and fluffy. Wild rice blend cooks similarly to brown rice but requires slightly less water. Once simmering, it cooks for 30-45 minutes, allowing plenty of time to prepare the other components of the salad!

Sautéing mushrooms and onions in a Dutch oven

Sautéed mushrooms and onions provide a savory, naturally sweet base that makes you want to go back for more! We recommend chopping the mushrooms rather than slicing them because more of their surface touches the pan, allowing for more caramelization and a better texture. Adding salt and pepper draws out moisture from the mushrooms and adds flavor.

Pot of sautéed mushrooms and onions, wild rice blend, fresh herbs, cranberries, and hazelnuts

The remaining components of the salad include dried cranberries for sweetness, roasted hazelnuts for crunch, and a beautifully balanced combination of parsley, mint, and oregano for a fresh, herby touch.

Stirring fresh herbs into wild rice salad

We hope you LOVE this wild rice salad! It’s:

Savory
Herby
Comforting
Flavor-packed
Nourishing
& Easy to prepare!

It’s the perfect side for fall, Thanksgiving, and beyond! Enjoy it paired with nearly any main, including our Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower (5 Ingredients!), Moroccan Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant, or Lemon Baked Salmon with Garlic Dill Sauce (20 Minutes!).

More Delicious Thanksgiving Sides

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot of a bite of wild rice salad

Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs

Simple methods and BIG flavor come together in this wild rice salad with mushrooms, hazelnuts, cranberries, and mint. Perfect for the holiday table or as a side any time of year! Just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Platter of wild rice salad with mushrooms, herbs, and cranberries
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 (~2/3-cup servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend (we like Lundberg brand // 1 cup uncooked yields ~3 cups cooked)
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced (1 onion yields ~2 cups or 320 g chopped // or sub thinly sliced leek — white part only)
  • 8 ounces roughly chopped cremini mushrooms (~3 ½ cups chopped)
  • 3/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more salt to taste)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts (see notes if using raw // or sub pecans)*
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 30-45 minutes or until tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir, cover again, and set aside.
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Heat a large rimmed skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onions and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until all the liquid from the mushrooms is cooked out and the mixture starts to brown. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
  • To a large serving bowl (or the pan you used for cooking if it’s large enough), add the cooked rice, sautéed onions and mushrooms, cranberries, roasted hazelnuts, parsley, mint, and oregano. Stir until well combined.
  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more salt to taste, olive oil for richness, cranberries for tartness, hazelnuts for crunch, or herbs for brightness. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*If using raw hazelnuts, roast them on a bare baking sheet at 300 F (150 C) for 12-14 minutes or until they have released some of their oils and the skins begin cracking.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 two-third-cup serving Calories: 211 Carbohydrates: 31.5 g Protein: 5.1 g Fat: 8.2 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 5.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 298 mg Potassium: 220 mg Fiber: 3.8 g Sugar: 6.2 g Vitamin A: 164 IU Vitamin C: 4.7 mg Calcium: 24.4 mg Iron: 1.4 mg

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  1. Cedella says

    I made this for thanksgiving, and really like the ingredient mix, I did add a little bit of balsamic just because I think it lacked some seasoning. Overall I think it’s a great recipe!

  2. Liz says

    This was fantastic, flavorful and quick to make. The texture is amazing and the hazelnuts really make the dish. I added delicata squash to mine, but I think you could add all types of fall veggies, such as Brussels and carrots. My husband ate his with sausage. I’d totally love this as a Thanksgiving side as well.

  3. Dale says

    Hello,
    I made the wild rice with mushroom salad along with your garlicky green beans last night for dinner. Thanks so much for another amazing dinner! I have made so many of your recipes over the years and everyone has been so delicious. I’m constantly sharing them with friends and family. The only ingredient extra that I add is Love!
    Many thanks,
    Dale
    Frankford, Ontario Canada

  4. Libby says

    Hi, I’m wondering if this can be left out for 12-14 hours? I have a long flight that will, without delays, be abt 14 hours. I have a lot of food allergies & IBS, so will need to bring my own food. If it can’t, any suggestions? Thanks.

    Also want to add that I’ve enjoyed your recipes for several years now and don’t think there’s been a bad one yet. ❤️

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Libby! Thank you for letting us know! We wouldn’t recommend leaving it out for that long for food safety reasons. Any chance you could make it there?

      • Libby says

        Thanks for your quick reply.

        Sad to say my flight is abt 14 hours and going that long with out food is hard. Most everything pre-made has either canola (rape seed) oil, or some sort of gum in it, which I have a severe reaction to…and asking for a special meal on the flight is no guarantee that I’ll get it (speaks from experience). So I figured I’ll take care of it myself. One thing I’ve found in my search, is that others say they freeze their meals, then when they’re ready to eat it should be too.

        Again, thanks. :)

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          That’s a good idea to try freezing it! We aren’t sure how the mushrooms will freeze and the herbs won’t be as fragrant, but otherwise, it should be fine! Safe travels!

          • Libby says

            Thank you! I might try it first w/mushrooms, if that doesn’t work then find something that does. …I love mushrooms.

            Have a great Thanksgiving.

  5. Barb says

    This got raves from the whole family. I substituted fresh pomegranate for the dried cranberries and loved the taste. This recipe is definitely staying in our rotation!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it! Love that idea to add pomegranate seeds. Thank you for sharing, Barb! xo

  6. Liz says

    Do you think this would be just as good with ALL wild rice? I adore plain old wild rice in soups and casseroles, but am not sure if it can stand on its own in a salad…

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Liz! We’re not positive, but we think it would be good! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Brianna! You can simply omit the mint and use the other herbs, or perhaps basil would be a tasty replacement? Let us know what you think if you give it a try!

  7. Jessie Nichols says

    I’m finding that most baking recipes make way to much food for me as a single person. Yet I want to make those items Would you kindly write a guide to cutting recipes down. I use both gluten and non gluten flours. And lots of spices.
    I can, of course adjust veggie recipes, but baking requires more knowledge.
    Thanks

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jessie, you can use adjust the number of servings and the ingredients will adjust accordingly. Feel free to comment on specific recipes you’re interested in and we can let you know whether additional adjustments might be necessary (usually only pan size and baking time). Hope that helps!