Mandarin Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Mint and Pecans

Mandarin Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Mint and Pecans in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon from Gourmet Done Skinny

The Perfect Thanksgiving Side Dish!

This Mandarin Wild Rice Salad recipe has been in our family for years. It’s a hearty autumn salad with cranberries, pecans, green onions, and mandarins with a delightful orange vinaigrette.  It makes a perfect side for Thanksgiving or anytime as it goes great with many fall and winter dishes. I love it with roasted turkey, chicken or pork. When I had my tea room in California, I often served this in the fall in cute glass tea cups lined with spinach. Over the years, I’ve adapted it into this healthier version. The original version came from one of my mom’s collection of Army wives cookbooks. 

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Can you make the salad ahead of time?

Yes!  Here’s how:

  1. Prepare the salad according to directions but save out the pecans and mint.
  2. Make the dressing.
  3. Store everything in the refrigerator.
  4. About 2 hours before serving, take out the salad, add the mint, pecans and dressing.  Leave it out at room temperature until ready to serve.

Variations

Turn it into a main meal by adding leftover turkey or roasted chicken!

Mandarin Wild Rice Salad with Orange Vinaigrette Dressing in a glass cruet from Gourmet Done Skinny

You can make it ahead of time, just don’t put the dressing on until about 2 hours before serving.

Mandarin Wild Rice Salad is a hearty autumn salad with cranberries, pecans, green onions, chopped mint and mandarins with a delightful orange vinaigrette in a glass bowl from Gourmet Done Skinny

Not only is this a pretty salad, but it’s a hearty salad!

Mandarin Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Mint and Pecans

Gourmet Done Skinny
This Mandarin Wild Rice Salad is a hearty autumn salad with cranberries, pecans, green onions, chopped mint and mandarins with a delightful orange vinaigrette.  It makes a perfect side for Thanksgiving or anytime really as it goes great with many fall and winter dishes!
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad/Side
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 102 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 c. wild rice cooked according to directions on package (leave out any salt, butter or oil)
  • 1 c. mandarin oranges fresh or canned
  • 1/4 c. green onions chopped
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries You can use Craisins, however you will need to add 1 Smart Point to the total recipe count
  • 1/4 c. pecans chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint chopped
  • 3 T. red onion chopped
  • 2 c. spring mix or fresh spinach

Dressing:

  • Olive oil spray I like to use my Olive Oil Mister
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar use a quality one
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • dash of pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cook wild rice according to package directions.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Bake about 5 minutes stirring gently. (Or a quick way I use sometimes is to broil them for about a minute or so, watch carefully. They burn fast!)
  • To make the salad - combine in a large bowl:  rice, mandarins, onions, cranberries, pecans and mint.
  • To make the dressing - combine in a liquid measuring cup or salad cruet:  orange juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • About 2 hours before serving, spray about 4 sprays of the olive oil on the rice and mix.  Add the dressing. Allow to sit for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Immediately before serving, line a pretty bowl with spring lettuce or fresh spinach.  Add the rice mixture. Garnish with a piece of fresh mint if desired.

Notes

You can make this recipe up ahead of time but leave out the mint and pecans until the end (to keep them crunchy) and keep the dressing and salad separate until about 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 102kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2.6gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gFiber: 2gSugar: 8.2gVitamin A: 35.2IUVitamin C: 11.5mg
Keyword cranberries, mandarin oranges, mint, pecans
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Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence is passionate about good food, losing and maintaining weight. She has combined her talents and love of cooking to produce delicious healthy recipes to help her followers stay on track. A military brat who has lived all over the U.S and Germany is an example for women who have had many successful careers in life, including special ed teacher, tea room owner, cookbook author, and publisher.

4 thoughts on “Mandarin Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Mint and Pecans”

  1. Tried to comment but for some reason your site had Privacy thing that won’t accept me…what’s going one.

    Pls reply if you receive this comment?

    1. I did receive your comment. It came through. Not sure about the privacy thing, you need to accept the cookies, but otherwise it should be fine. I’ll have my husband check into it. Thanks for telling me.

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