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!
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 a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and bake until tender. Easy right?
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?
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.
More Yummy Recipes
If you make this wild rice salad recipe, be sure to leave a comment below!
Wild Rice Salad Recipe
- 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
- ⅓ 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.
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Tried this recipe?
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!