Looking for a delicious autumn recipe? Try this Harvest Wild Rice Salad Recipe! It’s vegan, gluten free and simply yummy! 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 Monday with a Five Cheese Beer Mac-n-Cheese I figured a lighter recipe was in order. All about balance, isn’t it?
This vegan rice salad has all sorts of feel good ingredients that will surely make your belly happy. It’s great for meal prep or can be enjoyed as a side dish recipe (perfect for a special occasion, if you ask me!)
- Wild rice
- Roasted acorn squash
- Gently cooked kale
- Pumpkin seeds
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 and assembling.
This rice salad can be enjoyed slightly warm, as is, or cold. Whatever you prefer!
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.
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 oil and seasoning.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 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 peasy, right?
Can I Make Ahead of Time?
If making ahead of time, you can enjoy cold or reheat on the stovetop with just a splash of water on medium heat (covered) until heated through.
More Tips & 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? Dried cranberries will work in a pinch.
Delicious warm or can be enjoyed as a cold rice salad.
Use smoked paprika or pumpkin pie spice instead of curry powder, if you like.
If you want to add a little more substance to the mix, some grilled or baked chicken would work great!
Like This Fall Salad? You May Enjoy These Other Autumn Recipes
- Apple & Gouda Mixed Green Salad – Plenty of mixed greens, crunchy apple and creamy gouda make for one yummy salad, great for a light lunch or side with dinner.
- Fall Farro Salad – This delicious grain salad makes for a delicious side that’s perfect for a special occasion, like Thanksgiving.
- Kale Salad with Apple – This super simple fall salad recipe combines hearty kale and sweet apple and comes together in minutes.
- Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe – These sheet pan roasted vegetables are tossed in lots of fresh herbs and are so satisfying! Mix and match with your favourite root veggies.
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Warm Bacon Dressing from Mary Ann of The Beach House Kitchen – this scrumptious side will surely make anyone a fan of brussels sprouts!
Hope you enjoy this easy wild rice salad recipe as much as we do!
If you make this simple rice salad, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed! Thank you!
Wild Rice Salad Recipe
- 1 cup wild rice blend (gluten free) , cooked per package instructions
- 3 cups acorn squash , peeled and cubed (or butternut squash)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (or smoked paprika or pumpkin pie spice)
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- ½ teaspoon salt , divided (or more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper , divided
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 cups kale , thinly slice (leaves removed from stems)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seeds
- ⅓ cup pomegranate arils
- Cook rice per package instructions. I used a gluten free wild rice blend.
- Meanwhile while the rice is cooking (mine took 40 minutes), roast acorn squash. To prepare squash, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss squash with curry powder, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, tossing halfway, or until tender.
- On the stovetop on medium heat, add remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil and cook garlic 1 minute. Add kale, ¼ cup of water and remaining ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook kale about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine cooked rice, roasted acorn squash, and kale (and more salt, if desired). For my tastes, I didn't add any more). Toss to combine. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils. Delicious warm or as a cold rice salad. Enjoy!
- 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? Dried cranberries will work in a pinch.
- Delicious warm or can be enjoyed as a cold rice salad.
- Use smoked paprika or pumpkin pie spice instead of curry powder, if you like.
- If you want to add a little more substance to the mix, some grilled or baked chicken would work great.