One of my absolute favorite things in the world? Sharing food with best friends! That is how I decided to create this Wild Rice, Bean and Vegetables Salad. I needed a dinner side dish to share at a cookout and this plant based side dish wowed both plant eaters and meat eaters.
I am one of the those people who draws energy from others. Too many days without seeing friends honestly leaves me feeling a little off! Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and my husband is the best guy ever, but sometimes you need a little chat time with other people outside the family circle. It brightens my day!
Ingredients in Wild Rice, Bean and Veggie Recipe
There are a lot of wild rice, bean and veggie recipes out there and I have made quite a few of them! BUT I am always tweak them to my liking, adding a spice here or a little more chopped veggies there. I thought it was high and dry time that I created my own bean and vegetable salad with wild rice. So I took inspiration from a few favorite wild rice bean salads – and voilá the outcome for this wild rice salad was fabulous and friend approved!The wild rice used in this recipe is actually a wild rice and quinoa blend. I love the Minute Rice brand because I am always short on time and it cooks in 10 minutes! It is a blend of brown rice, wild rice and quinoa. I use this rice also in our stuffed acorn squash recipe.
Wild Rice Protein Powered Salad
With 3 beans varieties this salad is plant powered perfection! (plus the quinoa adds protein too!) I used black beans, kidney beans and garbanzo beans. Each of these beans has a unique texture and add variety to the bowl. They each add a nice color well that mixes well together. We feast with our eyes first and when something is visually appealing, it makes it that much better to eat! Worried you won’t like the beans? Even my elementary aged daughter old told me she loved the round white beans and the longish red beans – so give it a try, I think you will love the combination of protein in this rice bowl.
Veggie Loaded and Flavor Packed
Last but not least this is salad is also veggie loaded and flavor packed! Diced red pepper and red onion lend a nice crunch while fresh cilantro adds fresh flavor. And the secret ingredient? Smoked paprika. If you don’t have this spice in your pantry, add it to your grocery list pronto. It will take your side dishes from bland to blam! Other spices include cumin and chili powder. This salad is oil free! With all these wonderful flavors you do not need any oil to make this salad amazing.
How to Make Vegan Wild Rice Salad
To make this wild rice, bean and vegetable salad you will need to first make and chill the wild rice. This recipe is great to use up leftover rice if you have any in your refrigerator. If you are making it fresh, do a flash cool down by sticking the rice in the freezer for a few minutes (in a freezer safe bowl)
While your wild rice chills, you can chop your vegetables, fresh cilantro and make your oil free dressing. Now is a good time to open and drain your canned beans as well!
After your rice is chilled, place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. You can serve this salad immediately, but I find for best taste let the salad sit in your refrigerator covered for a few hours. This lets the wild rice and vegetables soak in the the flavor of the dressing.
Serving and Storing Wild Rice Salad
I love to serve this wild rice salad with marinated kale salad! I have also served it with grilled tofu or a grilled plant based burger. Crushed simple homemade tortilla chips add a nice crunch and I often serve this with chips and guac!
This salad will keep well in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days, making it perfect for your vegan meal prep or plant based leftovers.
I have froze this vegan wild rice salad before. If you do this, please note that the vegetables do turn in their texture, they will not be crunchy.
If you make this recipe tag @badtothebowl on social media.
Wild Rice, Bean and Veggie Salad
- 2 cups wild rice blend , cooked
- 1 1/2 cups dark red kidney beans , reduced sodium
- 1 1/2 cups black beans , reduced sodium
- 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans , reduced sodium
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 1 red onion , chopped
- 1 jalapeño , chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro , minced
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice , freshly squeezed
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Cook wild rice quinoa blend according to package directions and cool completely. (I like to stick mine in the freezer for a quick cool down)
- Dice both red pepper, red onion and jalapeño (remove seeds) and add to a large bowl.
- Mince cilantro – this should be 1/2 cup minced! Add to bowl.
- In another small bowl, add together remaining ingredients and stir well to create a dressing.
- Add cooled rice to bowl with your fresh veggies.
- Pour dressing ingredients over your rice and veggies and stir really well.
- Chill until serving, stir well before serving. This gets better while marinating in the fridge!
- You could use brown rice – I have not tested with this though.
- Instant Whole Grain Rice and Quinoa blend – I love the one from Minute Maid Rice and use it often.
- Wild Rice blend from Lundberg rice is also great to use.