Festive Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries: Fiesta Friday #38

Festive Wild Rice Salad

Festive Wild Rice Salad

 Thanksgiving dinners with my family are big, noisy, delicious affairs. My mom and dad usually prepare the turkey and dressing and the rest of us bring an array of side dishes to make an enormous feast. I love this event and try to bring something different every year. Today’s scrumptious rice dish is one of the recipes that, inspired by rice salads of Thanksgivings past, I created for my family last week. I am happy to report that it was a huge hit and sadly there was very little left over to take home. All of the colours and ingredients remind me of  fall and I just couldn’t resist showcasing them in a bright, orange pumpkin. This is a wonderful accompaniment to roast turkey or chicken, or eat it by itself for breakfast or a snack.  I did!

I am bringing a big pumpkin stuffed with this lively salad over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday.  Yeah,  Friday is here and we are so ready to head  over to The Novice Gardener for some R and R.  If you haven’t yet visited Fiesta Friday, the hottest blog party in the blogosphere, you really should. We all bring a little something to share,  be it a recipe, some music, poetry, or whatever you are passionate about. Today, my very talented blogging buddy, Hilda of Along the Grapevine, and I are very excited to be co-hosting.  Just let either of us know if there is anything we can get you!  Fresh plate?  Something to drink?  Directions to the loo? We are here for you!  For any newbies, welcome, and here are the guidelines.  To join us, all you have to do is click on the button below.  Happy Fiesta Friday to all.


This is perfect with roast turkey or chicken!

This is perfect with roast turkey or chicken!

Festive Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries


1 cup wild rice

½ cup brown basmati rice

¾ teaspoon salt

1 medium white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed

salt and pepper

3 stalks celery, diced

1 cup dried cranberries

1 large apple, peeled and diced

1 cup pecan halves

3 green onions, thinly sliced


¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Rinse the wild rice in cold running water. Place in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Rinse the brown rice in cold running water. Place in a small saucepan with 1 cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until they become translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked and golden. Set aside.

In a small skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat, until they become fragrant. Set aside.

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.

In a large salad bowl, gently toss together all of the salad ingredients. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss again. Serve immediately.

This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. It will last longer, but the nuts will begin to soften.

Be sure to double the recipe if you want leftovers!

Be sure to double the recipe if you want leftovers!





62 Responses to “Festive Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries: Fiesta Friday #38”

    • chefjulianna

      So glad I can make you crave my recipe! Haha! I’m still craving it too! I’m going to have to make it again! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! 😀

  1. Johanne Lamarche

    This looks delicious Juliana! Love the pumpkin serving bowl. Very seasonal and festive. hooe you had a nice Thanksgiving. Thanks for hosting FF!

    • chefjulianna

      Oh, my pleasure to co-host! So many nice blogger to mingle with! We had an awesome Thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful week! 🙂

  2. Selma's Table

    Sounds like you have a wonderful time and a fantastic feast Julianna. Your wild rice salad looks so vibrant and sounds so delicious – I am not surprised that there was very little left! Thank you for co – hosting us again this week; Happy Fiesta Friday!

  3. Hilda

    A gorgeous salad with so many flavours of the season. I see we are going to have fewer dishes to wash after the party than usual with all these vegetable vessels. Well done again!

    • chefjulianna

      Aha! Isn’t that one of the best things about natural bowls? I’m not too fond of washing dishes! Thanks again, Hilda, for being my co-host buddy! I really appreciate doing this with you! 😀

  4. spiceinthecity

    Woohoo, way to make an entrance Julianna! Love that gorgeous salad and the presentation in a pumpkin is genius!! Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving 🙂 Happy FF!

    • chefjulianna

      So glad you like it, Naina! I did have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I think you live in Sweden, right? Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

      • spiceinthecity

        No I live in Denmark, close enough 🙂 But no, we have no thanksgiving here. Christmas and Easter are the biggest celebrations like in most of Europe xx

  5. Ginger

    What a wonderful arrangement! You really capture those autumn colours with this dish – or is it an Indian summer? Thanks for co-hosting again this week, it’s such a great way to party without having to brave the elements (no Indian summer here in London, I’m afraid)
    Happy FF,

    • chefjulianna

      So glad you like it, Ginger! I really love these colours – so warm and cozy! And I do agree about the virtual parties! Fall is pretty much upon us here in BC! The weather is warmer than usual, but it’s definitely fall. Have a good week!

  6. apsara

    I feel like grabbing that bowl now, it looks so good! Thank you for hosting the party this week too, Julianna. You and Hilda rock!

  7. lapetitecasserole

    Thanksgiving is something quite new to me, since we don’t celebrate it in Italy. I have to admit that I’ve immediately appreciated the tradition you have for celebrating it, especially those related to food! The rice you made looks very tasty and very healthy too… love the presentation you came up with! I hope you’ll have a great we!

    • chefjulianna

      Well, thanks so much, Margy! I think the Italians have many holidays related to food, don’t they? I do know that Italians understand good food! Which is why I love your blog so much! Really glad that you like this dish! You have a great week too! 😀

  8. lapetitepaniere

    Julianna, you should write a book and publish all your beautiful salads. This one is wonderful and the presentation un petit chef d’oeuvre. Thank you for co-hosting this week Fiesta Friday 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Oh Linda, you are too kind! I was looking at my index the other day and I realized how many salad recipes I have! Maybe I will just make an iBook or something for my family! Really glad that you like the rice salad recipe! Have a wonderful week! 😀

    • chefjulianna

      Mmm, just love butternut squash! There are so many recipes you can make with it. I never knew how versatile it was until I started blogging! Have an awesome week and get out there and make something with butternut squash! 🙂

  9. Sandhya

    What a creative and yummy salad idea. Looks so festive too!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, Julianna.

  10. petra08

    This rice salad looks delicious! I love the mix with the wild rice and the roasted butternut. Beautiful pictures 🙂

  11. trixpin

    What a delicious looking salad – so colourful, varied and creative. And I love the serving-in-a-pumpkin idea! Very seasonal 🙂

  12. milkandbun

    Oh, yummy! 😀 I do like rice or any cereal served in pumpkin/squash! or even more when it’s baked in it! I’ve posted the recipe with whole baked pumpkin, tasty too! 🙂

  13. Nancy

    Love the festive presentation, Julianna! Beautiful dish, beautiful ingredients and sounds so delicious too!


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