We love this Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice Salad with Apple and Cranberries so much that we can’t save it just for the holidays!

I originally made this roasted butternut squash wild rice salad as a holiday side dish. And then I proceeded to eat the leftovers for lunch for the next two days. And I was so sad when it was gone!

This healthy salad will last for at least 3 days in the refrigerator, and it gets better each day as the flavors develop. The make ahead option is super convenient whether you’re prepping ahead for your own meals or for a holiday dinner.

  • a healthy holiday side dish
  • make ahead lunches
  • a simple, healthy weeknight dinner





Serves: 8
For the salad:
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups wild rice
  • 5 cups butternut squash (about 1 medium squash), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup pecans
  • 1 large apple, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot (or red onion)
  • fresh rosemary, for garnish, if desired
For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  1. Place water and rice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for 40-45 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes with the lid still on. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, turning once halfway through, until tender.
  3. Toast the pecans by placing them in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Watch them closely as they can go from toasted to burnt quickly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, roasted squash, toasted pecans, apple pieces, dried cranberries, and shallot.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Salad can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
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