This savory gluten free wild rice salad recipe is best served during the fall and winter. Bacon, white beans, fresh herbs, and onions make this salad a winner! Here’s how to make it.
If you’re gluten free, rice is probably a very familiar grain to you. There are so many wonderful types of rice – from white, to brown, to Jasmine, to wild rice blends.
I love a good wild rice salad. Wild rice has a great texture and flavor – it’s hearty and holds up really well in both warm and cold salads. You can be so creative with rice salads – they can be savory, or sweeter, or they can be served warm or cold.
- Caramelized onions – these add such a nice note of sweetness to this salad. Take the time to caramelize them properly – don’t rush this step!
- Bacon – very necessary for salty, savory flavor, and a good complement to the onions.
- Tomatoes and fresh basil – these add freshness and color to this salad.
- Homemade balsamic vinaigrette – this dressing is so simple. It’s just Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. This is the perfect finishing touch for this rice salad.
Ideas for Substitutions
- You can use a different variety of bean if you like. Try lentils, chickpeas, or black beans.
- You can use different fresh herbs, such as Italian flat leaf parsley or cilantro.
- If you’re vegan, try adding vegan bacon.
- To add a little crunch, you can add some roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds.
This savory wild rice salad is wonderful when it’s warm and freshly mixed together, but it also works really well as a cold salad, too. Make this as a side dish at dinnertime, then enjoy the leftovers as lunch the next day!
How to Make this Wild Rice Salad
- Cook the wild rice. Place in a pot with the water and oil, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes, until the rice is tender.
- Caramelize the onions: place the sliced red onions and olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and browned. This process will take about 45 minutes.
- Make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, sugar, sea salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Place the wild rice blend, caramelized onions, crumbled bacon, navy beans, grape tomatoes, and basil in a large bowl and mix together.
- Pour the Balsamic vinaigrette over the top of the salad and stir gently. Enjoy!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for 3-4 days.
If you know you aren’t going to eat the salad right away, it’s best to keep the dressing separately. Once you add it to the salad, the rice really absorbs all the moisture and flavor. Keeping it separate is a great choice because you can add it right before serving.
More Gluten Free Salad Recipes
- Curried Quinoa Broccoli Salad
- Wild Rice Salad with Lentils and Cranberries
- Honey Mustard Quinoa Salad
- Chopped Vegetable Salad
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The Easiest and Most Delicious Wild Rice Salad Recipe.
This wild rice salad is bursting with flavor from bacon, caramelized onions, tomatoes, white beans, and basil. This is an easy side to serve this fall!
For the Dressing:
Make the rice:
Place one cup of wild rice blend, 2 cups water, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes, until all water is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff with a fork.
Caramelize the onions:
While the rice cooks, caramelize the onions. Place the sliced red onions and the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are brown and soft, for about 45-60 minutes.
Make the vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, sugar, sea salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Assemble the salad:
Make the salad: In a large bowl, place the wild rice blend, caramelized onions, crumbled bacon, navy beans, grape tomatoes, and basil. Mix together.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then stir to coat. If you are not serving the salad immediately, keep the salad and the dressing separate until you are ready to serve.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They should stay fresh for 3-4 days.
You can leave the bacon out if you like, or use a vegan bacon substitute.
This post was originally published in March 2015. It has been updated.