Wild Rice Quinoa and Roasted Grape Salad

Servings: 6 to 8

Prep Time
10 minutes
    Cook Time
45 minutes
Print Recipe      
2 fork recipe Wild rice and roasted grape salad

Recipes are rated from 1 to 5 forks, with 1 fork being the easiest and 5 forks the most challenging.

This is my go-to side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, but I eat it as my dinner any time throughout the year. A wonderful warm fall salad made with wild rice, optional grains, balsamic roasted grapes, pecans, and walnuts.

Instructional images follow the recipe.


  • 3/4 cup Wild Rice (1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa or tri-color quinoa (1 cup cooked)
  • 2 cups seedless grapes - variety of colors
  • 2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove - minced
  • 1/2 cup pecans coarsely chopped or broken
  • 1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped or broken
  • 2 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened or lightly sweetened)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs fresh sage, chopped (3 to 4 large leaves)
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground is best)
Optional Additions:
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole grain any variety
  • 1 cup roasted squash, diced butternut, pumpkin, acorn, etc.

Special Equipment:

No special equipment is required.


Preparation Method:


You can use a variety of grains such as hulled barley, farro, spelt, or whatever your favorite may be. If desired, you can lightly toast the pecans and walnuts by placing them on a baking sheet in a 350° F oven for about 10 minutes.

You can use pre-cooked packaged wild rice or other grains and reheat based on the package instructions for a fast and easy meal. Make sure there are not any additional seasonings or strange additives in the cooked/packaged wild rice. Using pre-cooked wild rice will drastically reduce the cooking.

Putting it all together:

Cook the wild rice and quinoa (and any optional grains you may enjoy) according the instructions provided on the packaging but add extra water. When the grains are cooked, drain off any excess liquid using a fine mesh strainer. The grains can be cooked up to 2 days ahead of time if refrigerated in a covered container. Alternatively, you can use pre-cooked grains (see note above).

If the dried cranberries are hard or too dry, soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In an 8×8-inch baking dish, toss the grapes with the balsamic vinegar and spread in a single layer. Roast until they’re soft but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a couple tablespoons of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, pecans, walnuts, and maple syrup and cook until the syrup is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sage and lemon juice. Add the rice, grapes, lemon zest, cranberries, and black pepper. If desired, add 1 cup of diced and roasted butternut squash or other winter squash. Stir to combine and serve while warm

Note: If your rice and quinoa were previously cooked and are not warm, add them to the pan before removing from the heat and cook over medium heat until warmed through, adding a couple of tablespoons of water as necessary to keep from sticking.

Putting it all together:

Prep the herbs, onion, and garlic

{image: prep the aromatics}

Cook the wild rice and quinoa

{image: wild rice}

{image: quinoa}

drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the grapes and roast them for 15 to 20 minutes

{image: prep the grapes}

{image: roast the grapes}

Add the onions to a hot pan with a little water and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.

{image: cook onions}

add the remaining ingredients and stir to warm through

{image: add remaining ingredients}

{image: cook until the warmed through}