I’m still sort of in denial about summer being almost over. I’m finally able to do some fun outside stuff since my knee is much improved, but the leaves are turning and all the signs are pointing toward FALL.

This is a seasonal cusp of a recipe with some fall ingredients (squash) and some last-grasp-at-summer ingredients (corn).

I just smashed them all together and mixed them with some nutty wild rice and was really happy with the results. As with most of my grain salads, this Wild Rice Salad works great as a side dish or cold for lunch!

Wild Rice Salad

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Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
A filling but simple salad featuring spinach, cranberries, hot sauce, and wild rice, served warm or cold. Perfect for lunch!



  • 4 ounces wild rice
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 15-ounce can Cannellini Beans
  • cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Cook wild rice according to package.
  • Slice one large shallot. In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add shallot and cook for a minute or two. Add Tabasco and continue to cook for an extra minute.
  • Add spinach, beans (drained and rinsed), and cranberries to the skillet. Cook until spinach is wilted, just a few minutes.
  • When rice is done, stir into the skillet with spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve salad warm or cold.


Serving: 1Side | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3998IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Salad, Side Dishes

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Wild Rice Salad

The Rice

I don’t cook with wild rice that much, but I wanted to make sure I had a grain that could hold up to the squash in this recipe.

You might be able to find this stuff wholesale if you have a good supermarket. I had to buy mine in little, tiny 1-cup boxes.

It’s one of the more expensive grains in the store, but it’s still relatively cheap and this recipe makes a boat load of food.

rice - Wild Rice Salad
A bit on the pricy side for rice…

Your specific rice grain might vary so just cook it according to the packaging or instructions that come with yours.

Because it’s so sturdy, it’ll probably take 45 minutes to cook.

The resulting grain is really nutty and hearty and wonderful in a fall salad like this.

cooked - Wild Rice Salad
Really flavorful stuff.

The Squash

My ideal way to make large squashes like acorn or butternut squash is just to halve them and then roast them as-is.

This recipe works a lot better though if you cube the squash before roasting it so the squash doesn’t just turn to mush and the cubes can caramelize a bit.

This means you have to peel a squash. If you’ve never done this before, it isn’t exactly easy. You need a good peeler or a paring knife. For my money, I love the really sharp Titan peelers. Yes… they are frequently featured on infomercials, but I think they rock.

Work slowly and be careful so you don’t cut yourself.

peeled for Wild Rice Salad
You’ll need a good peeler for this.

Once your squash is peeled, clean out the seeds and then dice up the flesh into large 1-inch cubes.

Toss the cubes with some olive oil, salt and pepper and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

I also recommend saving the seeds and roasting them as well with some salt sprinkled on top. They give some great texture to the dish.

cubed for Wild Rice Salad
Big cubes are fine.

Roast this stuff at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes.

Give the squash and the seeds a good stir every few minutes. If the seeds start to brown badly, pull them off so they don’t burn. They might not need the full 25 minutes.

The nice part about roasting the squash like this is that it caramelizes beautifully and stays a bit on the firm side.

roasted squash - Wild Rice Salad
Roasted stuff.

Leeks and Corn

Once your rice and squash are cooking, the rest of the salad is pretty easy to toss together.

For the leeks, slice them longwise down the center and then wash them well under cold water. Leeks are notorious for accumulating dirt under all those layers.

Once they are washed, I recommend quartering the leeks and then dicing them up!

chopped leeks - Wild Rice Salad
Sliced, cleaned, chopped.

To get the leeks cooking, add a good knob of butter to large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Once it is melted add in the leeks and cook them with a pinch of salt until they start to soften. Then stir in the corn and continue to cook until it is soft, just a few more minutes.

leeks and corn - Wild Rice Salad
Cooked in some butter baby.

Then just stir in your cooked rice, the squash, and maybe a few extra dabs of butter.

Season the whole situation with some salt and pepper, fresh parsley, and maybe a dash or two of hot sauce if that’s your thing.

all together - Wild Rice Salad
All together now.

As you are serving this salad, I recommend sprinkling on some of the roasted squash seeds.

As a full disclaimer, Betsy didn’t like the squash seeds, but I’m sort of over-riding her here because, hey, it’s my blog. I loved them and thought they gave the salad some great texture and crunch.

Wild Rice Salad - Macheesmo
Warm or cold, this is great.

Roasted seeds or not, this Wild Rice Salad is a really hearty and filling salad that’s perfect for dinner or lunch.

I guess I’m okay with it being fall now…