Sweet dried cranberries, crunchy carrots, and tart apples mix perfectly with a light dressing into this easy Chicken and Wild Rice Salad recipe.
Wild Rice, Cranberry and Chicken Salad Recipe
Colorful with a variety of flavors each bite of Wild Rice Salad is fresh and satisfying! Shredded chicken makes this salad heartier and long grain and wild rice makes it more filling.
I like to use leftover chicken or pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken. Any cooked chicken without or with very little mild seasoning can be chopped or shredded for this salad.
Ever since making our Brown Rice Salad I’ve been craving more rice salad recipes. They store well in the refrigerator for a few days to make a quick lunch or other light make ahead of time meal. This is also a great side dish recipe for a potluck or picnic.
The combination of nuts and meat make the salad more filling. We have an Almond Chicken Salad recipe, but I like how adding wild rice gives this cold salad a new dimension of satisfying flavor and texture. I also like having salad recipes without mayonnaise that also include chicken.
A light homemade vinaigrette ties all of the vegetables and other ingredients together nicely.
- Package of wild rice mix
- Cooked chicken
- Dried cranberries
- Granny Smith apples
- White Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Green onion
- Sliced or slivered almonds
How To Make Wild Rice Chicken Salad
Boil water and cook box of wild rice mix according to the package directions on the package.
Then pour into a large bowl and allow to cool.
Shred and chop cooked chicken and add to rice.
Wash, chop and prepare green onions and carrot.
Wash, peel and dice apple. Add fruit and vegetables to the mixing bowl.
Mix together dressing ingredients if desired or just pour over top of other salad ingredients and stir well.
Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Toast and sprinkle almonds on top just before serving.
Recipe Tips & Tricks:
- Almonds can be substituted for pecans or cashews, but do not add nuts until ready to serve
- If you add a little extra chicken or rice and the salad tastes a bit dry then add more vinegar and olive oil to taste. Sometimes I like to double the dressing recipe if I have two heaping cups of chicken.
- This is a versatile recipe where several substitutions work fine.
- Add celery, grapes, arugula, water chestnuts if desired.
- We like to use leftover chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken to save time. Substituting turkey for chicken also works well.
Can White Wine Vinegar Be Substituted for White Balsamic Vinegar
Yes, white wine vinegar makes a fine substitute for white balsamic vinegar in this salad recipe with a variety of ingredients and flavors.
In a salad dressing recipe where each flavor is more distinct with plans to be used on lettuce the substitution may not work as well.
Can Brown Rice Be Used?
Brown rice can easily be substituted for wild rice.
White rice also works fine, but will decrease the amount of whole grains and fiber in the dish.
How to Toast Almonds
I like to spread a single layer of slivered or sliced almonds on a sheet of foil in my air fryer and bake at 350F for 1 – 3 minutes until nuts are lightly browned. Toasting helps bring out the oils and enhance the flavor of the nuts.
More Easy Salad Recipes:
Classic Sauerkraut Salad is perfect to serve at summer picnics with hotdogs and brats. Even people that don’t like sauerkraut enjoy this salad!
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Bacon – Once you take one bite you’ll know why it’s so amazing! This salad is a great way to add more vegetables to your diet and still enjoy them!
Overnight Salad is an old-fashioned classic for picnics and holidays all throughout the year.
Printable Recipe and Instructions:
Chicken and Wild Rice Salad
- 6 ounce package wild rice mix uncooked
- 2 cups chicken cooked, shredded & chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and diced
- 1 medium carrot grated or diced
- 1/3 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup green onion sliced
- 2 ounces sliced almonds lightly toasted
- Cook rice according to package directions. Cool.
- In a large mixing bowl stir together chicken, rice, cranberries, apple and carrot.
- Add dressing ingredients and stir well again.
- Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Sprinkle almonds on top just before serving.
- We like using a box of rice a roni wild rice mix
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