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This Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Salad starts with roasted squash and Minnesota wild rice then tossed with crunchy celery, sweet dried cranberries, pumpkins seeds and drizzled with a maple walnut vinaigrette. Perfect for fall, holidays or any time!
I’m a upstate New York gal who has been living in Minnesota for 25 years (this past July 6th!) Time flies when you are having fun and one my favorite fun finds is wild rice. I believe I heard of it prior to moving here but had definitely not tried it before. Once a had a few dishes with it, it didn’t take me long to start cooking with it myself. I love the texture especially when it’s not mushy and has a nice chewy bite to it. It is great in soups, salads and even burgers!
Last year I made this Wild Rice and Pear salad that made a great side dish and also a healthy lunch. And if you are looking for a meatless burger recipe, be sure to try this Wild Rice Burger recipe. Not only is it quite filling, but is also contains a lot of protein. Also be sure to check out this site to learn more about why this “grass” is so good for you!
Let’s not forget the butternut squash (I’m so glad they are back in season). They are so easy to roast and gives this dish another texture element. And I really don’t want to forget the maple walnut vinaigrette dressing – this one is a keeper for sure and can be used for other salads as well.
Does anyone have any good ideas for prepping squash? I love using butternut squash but find it a bit time consuming to peel and cut. For this recipe I used my mandolin on the 1/4″ setting but had to be so careful that I wouldn’t cut myself. Please send any tips my way.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and keep it in mind for the upcoming holidays or “just because.”
Look at this creamy maple vinaigrette dressing!
- 3 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
- 1/3 cup celery, sliced
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- Rinse wild rice well and then add to a medium saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring to boil and gently simmer for about 45 minutes until rice is still firm to bite. Drain extra water and set aside to cool
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 400
- Place butternut squash in a medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil then lay on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes until squash is tender. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl combine the celery, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and red onion. Add in the cooled wild rice and squash (does not need to be completely cold).
- In a food processor combine the maple syrup, walnuts, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and process until well mixed.
- Drizzle on salad and toss gently. You will probably have extra dressing that can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days.
- This can be served immediately or place in refrigerator. See notes for pumpkin seeds.
If not serving right away, add pumpkin seeds right before serving so they don't get soggy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 215mg Carbohydrates: 40g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 21g Protein: 4g