Arugula and Wild Rice Salad with Zippy Lemon Dressing

Have you ever included wild rice into a salad? I’m addicted! Chewy, nutty, and hearty describe wild rice. It gives wholesome green salads a solid foundation because of its high protein and B vitamin content.

With a lot of hearty arugula and flavorful additions like toasted almonds, creamy feta, dried sour cherries, and fresh basil, this salad is nutritious and full.

Years ago, I posted this recipe, but I’m afraid the pictures didn’t do it credit. You should really consider include this salad on your Thanksgiving menu. It might serve as both a filling for wild rice and a robust vegetarian dish. As the holidays draw near, it’s a fantastic, nutritious weekday choice (leftovers pack well for lunch).

I have a short narrative to share with you if you aren’t completely sold on the idea yet. My boyfriend originally turned down the salad because, in his opinion, arugula is too “peppery.” He took a look at it and then requested a mouthful. “This salad is extremely good,” someone then said. “Why is this so good? ” she asked after a few more nibbles. What is inside? Then, “This is fantastic. Are you able to prepare this for me on my birthday? Victory!!!

Tips for a Wild Rice and Arugula Salad

To prepare this salad ahead of time: The wild rice needs to be cooked previously, at the very least. You might also prepare the salad and whisk the dressing together (do not toss the salad with the dressing until you are ready to serve). For up to two days, keep any components covered in the refrigerator.

If you have an Instant Pot, you can use that to prepare the wild rice. It comes out fantastic, and it’s nice not to have to watch over the pot as it cooks. For more information, refer to the recipe notes (I created this wild rice salad from Megan’s The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and learnt how to cook wild rice in this manner).

Don’t forget to add the toasted almonds. This salad gets a ton of delicious savory flavor from toasting the almonds! Keep an eye on the almonds while they cook since they can burn rapidly.

Hand-crumble the feta. Instead of purchasing pre-crumbled feta (or goat cheese), I usually advise crumbling it with a fork before using. Pre-crumbled doesn’t taste nearly as delicious and is more expensive per ounce because it is covered in powder to prevent clumping. The only exception I’ve yet discovered to this rule is the Organic Valley crumbled feta.

The dish is simple to double if you’re serving a bigger group. It makes 4 medium-sized, robust salads as indicated, but it might be increased to make up to 8 side servings. Although the wilting of the arugula is pleasant, it does make the salad appear less substantial than it actually is.

Also read: Hearty Sweet Potato, Arugula & Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing



  • 1 cup washed wild rice
  • Sliced almonds in a cup
  • 1/9 cup olive oil
  • Arugula, 5 ounces (about 5 packed cups)
  • 13 cup of fresh basil that has been finely chopped
  • 12 cup chopped dried tart cherries or cranberries
  • 12 cup feta or goat cheese crumbles (about 2 ounces)

Citrus dressing

  • Olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice, 2 teaspoons (1 medium lemon), to taste
  • Dijon mustard, two tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey
  • crushed or chopped 1 medium garlic clove; 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt; to taste
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  1. Boil a lot of water in a big saucepan to prepare the wild rice. For 40 to 55 minutes, or until the rice is soft but still shows a slight resistance to the bite, add the rinsed rice and continue cooking, reducing heat as needed to prevent overflow. Rice should be taken off the heat, drained, and put back in the pot. Ten minutes after being covered, the rice should be allowed to settle and cool.
  2. Warm one teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat before toasting the almonds. Almonds should roast for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring periodically, until they begin to become gently golden and smell aromatic. Set apart for cooling.
  3. Blend the dressing ingredients in a small bowl using a whisk.
  4. Transfer the cooled rice to a big bowl so you can put the salad together. Add the feta, almonds, sour cherries, chopped basil, and arugula. Add the dressing, thoroughly combine, and season with additional salt (I typically add another sprinkle or two) and pepper, if desired. Add up to 1 tablespoon additional lemon juice to the salad if you think it needs more zesty, vibrant flavor.
  5. Prior to serving, set the salad aside for 10 minutes to allow the rice to absorb some of the dressing. For two to three days, this salad keeps well in the refrigerator, covered. The leftovers may need to be re-heated with an additional drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon (the rice absorbs the dressing over time).