A vegan Wild Rice Spinach Salad recipe made with colorful fresh veggies. Tossed in a light lemon-garlic dressing! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free option.)
This earthy, vegan Wild Rice Spinach Salad is so colorful and nourishing.
Wild rice has such a chewy texture and nutty flavor which lends well to this simple salad.
This side dish is great served either chilled or at room temperature, so it's a great choice for take-along lunches, meal prep, BBQs, potlucks, etc.
Ingredients for Wild Rice Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Wild rice: This is a whole grain that is actually an aquatic grass, not rice. It has a very earthy taste, and hearty, tender texture. Wild rice also contains antioxidants, protein, fiber, folate, zinc, and many other nutrients.
- Fresh baby spinach: Or you can substitute this with arugula or baby kale. (Or try a combination of greens!)
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes: I use these because they are the sweet and flavorful. But you can also use roma tomato, or other garden tomato. Roasted tomatoes would add another layer of deliciousness as well.
- Orange bell pepper: Or red bell pepper or yellow bell pepper.
- Sweet corn: Either cooked fresh, frozen corn, fire-roasted, or canned.
- Green onion (scallion)
- Fresh lemon juice: You will need about one lemon for this recipe. For even more flavor, use a half teaspoon or so of lemon zest as well.
- Garlic clove
- Olive oil: Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil or your own favorite vegetable oil like avocado oil. (Or simply omit for an oil-free version.)
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe. You can also include black pepper to taste if desired.
Grains: Substitute the wild rice with black rice, brown rice, quinoa, a wild rice blend, or other grain of choice.
Protein: For an extra protein boost, toss in some hemp hearts, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or other white beans, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, etc.
Herbs: Fresh herbs are a great addition because they add so much flavor. Try fresh basil, parsley, cilantro, fresh chives, or dill.
Dressing: Change up the lemon-garlic vinaigrette as you see fit. Instead of lemon juice, you can pour in lime juice, orange juice and orange zest, or a vinegar. You can also whisk in a teaspoon Dijon mustard or a sweetener like pure maple syrup.
You can serve this dish immediately, or refrigerate first to let flavors combine.
Vegan cheese: Feel free to stir in dairy-free goat cheese or vegan crumbled feta cheese before serving for extra flavor.
Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge. We find it keeps for about 3-4 days.
For more inspiration, also browse all salad recipes.
Wild Rice Spinach Salad with Lemon-Garlic Dressing
- 1 cup wild rice (uncooked)
- 3 oz. fresh spinach
- 8 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 cup sweet corn, cooked (thawed, if frozen)
- 3-4 green onions
- Optional: white beans, fresh herbs
For the lemon-garlic dressing:
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon*)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil (optional)
- 1/8 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Rinse and cook rice according to package directions. (I use a ratio of 1 cup wild rice to 4 cups water.)
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside. (Add some dried or fresh herbs if you'd like.)
- Prepare the veggies: Dice bell pepper, slice green onions, halve/quarter the tomatoes, and roughly chop spinach. Place all veggies in a large bowl.
- When rice is done cooking, drain any excess water and immediately add to the large veggie bowl. Toss to combine. (The heat from the rice will slightly wilt the spinach.)
- Whisk the dressing again and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately, or chill covered in the fridge for an hour or more to further develop flavors.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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