I forgot how much I love wild rice in salads. It’s tender, chewy, with an irresistible nutty flavor. I owe my friend Megan Gilmore a thank you for the reminder.
This salad recipe comes from Megan’s new cookbook, The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. You might know Megan as The Detoxinista, and the creator of this Mexican quinoa stew recipe that has been such a hit.
Megan’s new cookbook offers 75 easy recipes for fresh and healthy, light meals made in your Instant Pot. If you’re obsessed with Instant Pot cooking, you need this book!
I bought my Instant Pot last year (that’s an affiliate link, and Target is offering a discount right now). So far I’ve discovered that my Instant Pot does a fantastic job of cooking dried beans from scratch in about an hour.
Instant Pots definitely have their pros and cons, and are better suited for some types of recipes (like beans, but not multi-step soup recipes since you have to depressurize the pot to add ingredients or blend them). Instant Pots typically take 5 to 20 minutes to pressurize—only then do they start cooking.
Megan’s new book has opened my eyes to more uses for the Instant Pot. For example, she simultaneously cooks vegetarian red beans while rice cooks on the rack above—woah!
My Instant Pot saved the day when I made this salad. I’d already started the rice when I realized that my kale was no longer photo-worthy and had to run to the store for more. I wouldn’t have been able to do that with rice on the stove.
I totally loved this wild rice and kale salad, which features fresh cherry tomatoes, green onion and bell pepper. I cooked the wild rice in my Instant Pot as Megan suggested, and it turned out great.
That said, you don’t need an Instant Pot to cook the wild rice. I’ve provided stovetop instructions in the recipe notes.
Wild Rice & Kale Salad Variations
This recipe seems highly adaptable. You could easily substitute other raw vegetables for the cherry tomatoes and bell pepper. I think shredded raw carrots would great, or roasted cubes of butternut squash.
You could also substitute goat cheese for the feta, or omit the cheese for a dairy free/vegan salad. You can add toasted nuts or seeds, or drained chickpeas for extra protein. I don’t think you can go wrong here.
Please let us know how the recipe turns out for you in the comments, and be sure to check out Megan’s book!
Megan’s Wild Rice & Kale Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 salads
- Category: Salad
- Method: Instant Pot or Stovetop
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
This hearty salad features nutritious wild rice, kale, goat cheese and colorful vegetables. Serve it as a light dinner and pack it for tomorrow’s lunch! Recipe yields 4 medium salads.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice, more as needed (from 1 to 2 lemons)
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 small bunch kale (I recommend the Lacinato AKA Tuscan/dinosaur variety shown here, if you can find it)
- 5 green onions, tender white and green parts only
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese, optional*
- (This step is designed for an Instant Pot. See recipe notes for stovetop instructions.) Add the wild rice and water to the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and maple syrup to make the dressing. Set aside.
- Remove the ribs from the kale and finely chop the leaves (you should have about 2 to 3 cups); add the kale to the bowl. Chop the green onions (about 1 cup) and cut the tomatoes into quarters, adding both to the bowl as you work. Seed and chop the red bell pepper and add it to the bowl. Toss the vegetables to coat well in the dressing.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and give the rice a stir.
- Add the rice to the bowl of dressed vegetables. (If you haven’t finished chopping the vegetables, you can finish as the rice cools.) Toss well to coat. Megan suggests chilling the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes, but I was hungry and it tasted great to me, so do as you please.
- Just before serving, stir in the feta and taste and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding an extra squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This recipe comes from The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook by Megan Gilmore, to which I added some notes. Republished with permission.
How to cook wild rice on the stovetop: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overflow, until the rice is pleasantly tender but still offers a light resistance to the bite, 40 to 55 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, drain the rice, and return it to the pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes, then uncover and set aside while you assemble the slaw.
*Make it dairy free/vegan: Simply omit the cheese. You might enjoy some toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds for additional texture and protein.