This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our privacy policy.

This is a wonderful make-ahead vegetarian or vegan salad, perfect for the fall and winter months. Yes, it’s a perfect addition to a holiday table, but it’s also lovely for a family dinner or a casual entertaining menu. It fits perfectly into a menu with Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs and warm Sautéed Fava Beans. So many gorgeous colors and textures in every forkful. It could also be a main course for vegetarians/vegans, alongside some simple Italian Sautéed Escarole or Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts.

This salad is naturally vegan if you make the rice with vegetable broth and use maple syrup instead of honey. Think about bringing this to a potluck or maybe even a fall picnic.

Spoon in a bowl of colorful Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad.

Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad: So many gorgeous colors and textures in every forkful! Perfect for the holidays.

Tweet This

Ingredients

Wild rice, sweet potatoes, and other salad ingredients on table.
  • Sweet potatoes – The soft texture and earthy flavor of sweet potatoes give this salad wonderful substance and flavor. Since the potatoes are roasted first with a touch of olive oil, they get lightly caramelized on the outside, emphasizing the natural sweetness of the potatoes. There are lots of sweet potatoes to choose from — play around with different varieties! 
  • Wild rice – Wild rice (technically a grass!) has such a great holiday vibe to it. Here’s more on how to perfectly cook wild rice!
  • Vegetable broth – If you use vegetable broth instead of water to cook the rice, you will be rewarded with a deeper flavor in the grain and the salad all around. Use less sodium broth so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Red bell pepper – Adds color and crunch.
  • Red onion and scallions – Adds more color, more crunch, and a spicy bite.
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley – Adds color and herby freshness.

For the Dressing

Fresh orange, garlic, vinegar, oil, and other salad dressing ingredients on table.
  • Olive oil – Forms the base of the vinaigrette. If you choose to splurge on good quality olive oil, it will really make this salad sing.
  • White wine vinegar – Adds a touch of acidity to the vegetables and rice without overpowering them.
  • Orange juice and zest – Orange adds both sweetness and acidity. The use of zest as well as juice for an even more pronounced orange flavor.
  • Honey or maple syrup – Use maple syrup to make this wild rice salad completely vegan.
  • Garlic – Adding a little minced garlic to this vinaigrette gives it an extra punch of flavor.
Bowl of unmixed colorful ingredients including sweet potato, red onion, and scallions.

How to Make Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad

  1. Bake the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and add the oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Make the wild rice: Rinse the rice, then combine it with the water or broth in a saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 35 to 50 minutes until the rice is tender and some of the grains have burst open. Drain and rinse the rice.
  3. Make the dressing: Combine the oil, white wine vinegar, orange juice and zest, honey or maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, wild rice, red pepper, onion, scallion, and parsley. Drizzle over the dressing and toss. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Woman pouring dressing onto a bowl of unmixed, colorful ingredients.

FAQs

What is wild rice?

Wild rice is actually not a rice. It is classified as a grass and is not related to the plant that produces most of the products we call rice, like white rice and brown rice. In fact, according to Tasting Table, most of the wild rice available to us is not wild either. It is grown in paddies across the U.S. Despite the misleading name, wild rice can be prepared fairly similarly to rice and makes a good high-protein rice alternative.

How do you eat wild rice?

Wild rice can be eaten in similar preparations to white or brown rice, such as a pilaf or a paella. It can also be simply simmered and served plain with a little butter. Wild rice has a firmer and chewier texture than white rice, which makes it great for cold or room-temperature preparations. That’s why I love using wild rice in grain salads, like this one with sweet potatoes or one with cranberries.

How do you cook wild rice?

Wild rice is best cooked by simmering it. First, make sure to rinse the rice. Add it to cold water or broth in a saucepan and bring the rice and the water to a simmer together. Lower the heat and simmer for 35 to 50 minutes, until the rice is soft and the grains have begun to burst. Unlike with steaming regular rice, not all of the water will have been absorbed, so drain the rice in a strainer to finish.

Make-Ahead

  • You can make the dressing, the wild rice, and the sweet potatoes ahead of time. You can also chop up the other ingredients. Keep everything separate in containers in the fridge, then combine them shortly before serving.
  • Alternatively, assemble the whole salad and hold it in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.
Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad on a table with stuffing, turkey, and other dishes.

What to Serve With Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad

Roasted Chicken with Orange Honey Mustard Glaze

Thanksgiving Salad

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Two spoons in a oblong bowl of colorful Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad.

More Vegetarian Side Dish Recipes

Like this recipe? Pin it to your favorite board on Pinterest.

Pin This

Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 8 People
So many gorgeous colors and textures in every forkful! Perfect for the holidays.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (peeled; cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cored, seeded, and diced)
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 4 scallions (trimmed and sliced)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Finely grated zest and juice of orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment if you like, and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Place the potatoes on the baking sheet, drizzle over the oil, then sprinkle over the salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes so that they are nicely coated with the oil, spread them out in a single layer, and then place in the oven and roast for about 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, make the wild rice: Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer.
  • Place the rice and water or broth in a saucepan with a lid. If the broth is salty enough, you don’t need to add additional salt. If you are using water or less-sodium broth, you may want to add some salt to the liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for 35 to 50 minutes until the rice is tender and some of the grains have burst open. Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under cool water to bring it to room temperature.
  • Make the dressing: In a small bowl or container, combine the oil, white wine vinegar, orange juice and zest, honey or maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, wild rice, red pepper, onion, scallions, and parsley. Drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Notes

  • This salad is naturally vegan if you make the rice with vegetable broth and use maple syrup instead of honey.  
  • You can make the dressing, the wild rice, and the sweet potatoes ahead of time. You can also chop up the other ingredients. Keep everything separate in containers in the fridge, then combine them shortly before serving.
  • Alternatively, assemble the whole salad and hold it in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 390mg, Potassium: 392mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 9099IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!