Wild Rice Salad Recipe (2024)

Published: Updated: / By: Dawn | Girl Heart Food 23 Comments

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Looking for a delicious autumn recipe? Try this wild rice salad recipe! It combines a hearty wild rice blend, sautéed kale and roasted acorn squash. The whole thing is then garnished with sweet pomegranate arils and pumpkin seeds. Great as a thanksgiving side dish recipe too!

Wild Rice Salad Recipe (1)

Hi everyone!How’s it going? After an indulgent weekend, I figured a lighter recipe was in order.All about balance, isn’t it?

This simple rice salad has all sorts of feel good ingredients that will surely make your belly happy. It can be enjoyed as a hearty side dish recipe (perfect for a special occasion, if you ask me!) or for lunch.

How To Make Wild Rice Salad

The longest part to make this wild rice salad recipe is cooking the rice and roasting the acorn squash.

Other than that, it’s simply a matter of cooking the kale for a little, then combing all the rice salad ingredients together. Easy! Full details are in the recipe card below.

How To Roast Acorn Squash

Have you ever used acorn squash in a recipe?It’s simple to prepare and what makes this one extra special is the addition of curry powder.It adds a lovely flavour and warmth to the recipe, which compliments the sweetness found in the pomegranate arils.

Basically, to roast an acorn squash:

  • Carefully cut the acorn squash in half. Scoop out the membrane and seeds. If you want, reserve the seeds for roasting to enjoy as a snack later (delicious tossed with some olive oil and spices).
  • Peel the acorn squash.
  • Cut into cubes and toss with olive oil and seasonings.
  • Place on aparchment paper-lined sheet pan and bake until tender. Easy right?
Wild Rice Salad Recipe (2)

How to Peel a Pomegranate

The easiest way to peel a pomegranate?Cut it in half, get a bowl of water ready and invert the pomegranate into the water and press the arils out.

They are not all going to pop out perfectly, but it’s the easiest (and cleanest) way, in my opinion, to get those suckers out.

Usually, any of the membrane that surrounds the arils floats to the top, while they stay to the button.Easy, right?

Wild Rice Salad Recipe (3)

Tips and Variations

  • Don’t have kale? Spinach or chard works great too, but the spinach won’t be as hearty.
  • Want to use butternut squash instead of acorn squash? Go for it!
  • Don’t have pomegranate arils? Dried cranberries will work in a pinch.
  • Use smoked paprika or pumpkin pie spice instead of curry powder, if you like.
Wild Rice Salad Recipe (4)

More Yummy Recipes

  • Apple and Gouda Mixed Green Salad
  • Fall Farro Salad
  • Kale Salad With Apple
  • Roasted Root Vegetables

If you make this wild rice salad recipe, be sure to leave a comment below!

Wild Rice Salad Recipe (5)

Wild Rice Salad Recipe

Dawn | Girl Heart Food

Looking for a delicious autumn recipe? Try this wild rice salad recipe! It combines a hearty wild rice blend, sautéed kale and roasted acorn squash. The whole thing is then garnished with sweet pomegranate arils and pumpkin seeds. Great as a thanksgiving side dish recipe too!

Print Recipe Save Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 40 minutes mins

Total Time 50 minutes mins

Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish

Servings 4 servings


  • 1 cup wild rice blend (gluten free)
  • 3 cups peeled cubes of acorn squash
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided (or more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups thinly sliced kale (leaves only, no stems)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • cup pomegranate arils


  • Cook rice according to package instructions.

  • While the rice is cooking, roast acorn squash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, curry powder, ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place squash cubes on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring halfway through cooking.

  • Meanwhile, heat remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add kale, ¼ cup of water and remaining ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Cook kale for about 5 minutes until wilted, stirring occasionally.

  • In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, roasted acorn squash, and kale (and more salt, if desired). Stir to combine. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils. Serve and enjoy!

A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.

© Girl Heart Food Inc. Photographs and content are copyright protected.

Keyword autumn recipe, fall salad idea, side dish recipe, thanksgiving side

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If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!

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  1. Aryane @ Valises & Gourmandises

    I love absolutely everything about this salad! Great way to use up rice leftovers.
    And I have found the perfect method to peel a pomegranate.. I let my husband do it! haha


    • Girl Heart Food

      Haha – good idea 😉 Thanks Aryane!


  2. Katherine | Love In My Oven

    I discovered the water-trick method to peeling a pomegranate last year, and BOY was that long overdue! Too many stained articles of clothing happened before that discovery!! I love the idea of pom in a salad, especially with all of those other yummy ingredients. This is totally one salad I could dig! Cheers Dawn!


    • Girl Heart Food

      Yep! I hear ya about the juice going everywhere, lol! Thank you so much, Katherine 🙂 Have an awesome week!


      • Sarah

        Looking forward to making this for Thanksgiving. Wondering how it does as a cold salad so I can prepare the day before?

      • Dawn | Girl Heart Food

        Hi Sarah! You can certainly make this salad the day before, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The next day, when you are ready to enjoy, you can remove it from the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Hope you love the recipe and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  3. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    OMG I want this on Thursday! Such a perfect Thanksgiving side! I love adding pomegranate to everything this time of year because they’re just so festive. I hope you had a great weekend, Dawn!


    • Girl Heart Food

      Thank you Kelsie! They definitely are festive…I love that colour! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend too 🙂


  4. Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop

    The colors of this salad are gorgeous! I’ve never used squash in a salad. I’ll bet it adds a ton of flavor and extra nutrition too. I think this salad sounds like a winner through and through!


    • Girl Heart Food

      Thank you Kathy! It really does 🙂


  5. annie@ciaochowbambina

    It’s unanimous! This is a beautiful salad!! I love that it’s a make-ahead recipe! We can’t have enough of those! Hope your weekend is great, my friend! xo


    • Girl Heart Food

      Thank you Annie!! Same to you! XO


  6. Shareba

    Your salad is gorgeous! I don’t know why I haven’t thought to use wild rice as a base for salad before, that’s such a great idea! Pinning this for later.


    • Girl Heart Food

      Thank you Shareba! Hope you enjoy it 🙂


  7. Leanne | Crumb Top Baking

    Dawn, this salad looks amazing!! And all of those colors are just fantastic in these photos! This is just the type of salad I love prepping on Sunday for a week of lunches. And I haven’t cooked acorn squash in a while, so this is the perfect motivation. Have a great weekend!!


    • Girl Heart Food

      Thanks so much, Leanne 🙂 Happy to hear that! Have a lovely weekend too!


  8. Milena | Craft Beering

    I love your idea to make this salad in advance and have at the ready for weekday lunches. It really has everything, so in tune with the season as well. Wild rice is my favorite after jasmine rice. I always enjoy it in fall dishes. The medley of ingredients you have selected seems perfect as a side for grilled pork chops, with Belgian ale:)


  9. Gabrielle @ eyecandypopper

    This is beautiful! I can almost taste how delicious it is. Oh my! I’m pinning this for later!


  10. maria

    Beautiful salad with all of my favorite foods! Pinning to try. Thanks for sharing ♥


  11. Ayngelina

    I love pumpkin seeds! Could you also use the squash seeds from the acorn squash? Are they edible?


    • Girl Heart Food

      Definitely! I actually roasted them with olive oil and salt and pepper and ate separately, but they would work lovely on this recipe too 😉


  12. Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers

    What a beautiful salad! I love wild rice and so perfect with the squash and poms 🙂


    • Girl Heart Food

      Thanks Jennifer!!


Wild Rice Salad Recipe (2024)


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