Kale and Wild Rice Salad

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Kale and Wild Rice Salad-kale salad with wild rice, apples, avocado, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and almonds. This hearty salad is my absolute favorite! 

Kale and Wild Rice Salad Recipe

I’ve been posting a lot of salads lately because I have been eating a lot of salads lately. We post what we eat and I am on a major salad kick. I hope you are ok with that, you should be since it is January and all:)

I love my classic kale salad, but this Kale and Wild Rice Salad is loaded with goodness. It is inspired by a salad that I had at a restaurant. I loved it so much that I came home and recreated it. I was worried my salad wouldn’t be as good, but guess what? I think my version is even better. I love it when that happens.

Kale and Wild Rice Salad Recipe

I am seriously in love with this kale salad. It was love at first bite:) I would marry it if I didn’t already have a wonderful husband, ha! The flavors are outstanding!

Kale and Wild Rice Salad Recipe

The salad starts with chopped kale. I always give my kale salads a good massage to soften up the kale. It only takes a few minutes and is worth the extra step. A good kale massage is the secret to a perfect kale salad.

I add cooked wild rice to the kale to create a hearty salad. I have been cooking wild rice in our Instant Pot and it cooks a lot faster and comes out perfect every time. You can cook it on the stove if you don’t have an Instant Pot.

Next, I add chopped apples, avocado, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and crumbled goat cheese. Before serving, I drizzle the salad with a balsamic maple mustard dressing that will knock your socks off. It is so good and will probably become your new favorite salad dressing.

There is a lot going on in this Kale and Wild Rice Salad, but trust me. All of the flavors really work well together. There is sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy, and deliciousness in every single bite. You will fall head over heels in love with this salad.

Can I get a KALE yeah? 🙂 Enjoy!

What Bowl is Best for Serving Salad?

I absolutely LOVE serving salads to a crowd and my go-to serving dish is the Williams Sonoma Pantry Serving Bowl. It’s pretty and of great quality! It’s my favorite salad bowl and you can get it at Williams Sonoma. For packing salads, this Bentgo Salad Stackable Lunch Container is perfect and is available at Amazon.

Kale and Wild Rice Salad Recipe
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Kale and Wild Rice Salad

Kale salad with wild rice, apples, avocado, dried cranberries, almonds, goat cheese, and a simple balsamic dressing. This is my favorite salad and goes great with any meal or can be the meal!
4.94 from 29 votes


  • For the Salad:
  • 1 large bunch kale I like to use lacinato kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 large apple  chopped
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 3 ounces goat cheese crumbled
  • For the Dressing;
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash of salt and ground black pepper


  • In a large bowl, add the kale, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Massage the kale with your hands until the kale softens, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked wild rice, apple, avocado, dried cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese. Gently toss.
  • To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, and mustard in a small bowl or jar. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Drizzle dressing over the salad and gently toss. Serve immediately.
  • Note-if you don’t have wild rice, brown rice will work too. If you don’t like goat cheese, feta cheese is also good. The salad is best the day it is made, but you can keep it in the refrigerator in a container for up to one day. I like the leftovers the next day.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. One of the things I like about kale is it’s “hearty” enough to still be good the next day, whereas most other salad greens have just gone all mushy. The apples and avocados probably aren’t quite so pretty the second day, but would still taste good. This looks great! Bet you could add a bit of chopped or shredded roasted chicken  to it and really have a full meal.

  2. Wow! I was not expecting a kale salad to look so yummy! I love the unexpected combination of the rice, kale and apples!

  3. Kale and white salad recipe is one of my favorities since past few years. I just love it completely and is also served on your dinner table within no time.

  4. I think I’m on my fifth time making this salad since you published the recipe, so I have to comment and say PURE GOLD. Thank you. This is one of those salads that has the perfect dressing, the perfect mix of creamy/crunchy/salty/sweet, and is still healthy! Don’t skip toasting the almonds, they lend so much flavor.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for dinner with a chicken breast in it, it was a hit! I used a macintosh but it was a bit too sweet with everything else, next time i will use a granny smith for a little touch of sour. I added feta cheese because i had some on hand but i will try it with the goat cheese next time, the feta wasn’t quite strong enough for the salad i find. I will definitely nake it many time again this summer! I think it would be a great potluck salad for a bbq. 

  6. 5 stars
    This salad is awesome, I make it all the time! And the dressing is my new all-purpose dressing for all my salads – it’s perfect!

  7. 5 stars
    This wonderful recipe is our family favorite in all seasons. We modify what fruit we used, based on the season. It can also taste different by using different nuts. It is always a hit when I take it to a ‘potluck’ meal and people request the recipe.

  8. The salad looks delicious but can you give me calorie count on dressing? I’m 1200 calorie weight loss plan and am doing really well. I appreciate your spaghetti squash recipe and cauliflower recipes. Never had made them before and they are delicious but I need calorie count or nutrition facts. Thanks for helping us eat healthier.

  9. 5 stars
    My  vastly compromised version of your  recepie this was very agreeable so looking  forward to trying the full version before too long! 

  10. 5 stars
    Easy peasy, flavorful new favorite in the family. Must get this cookbook! Perfect balance of flavors with terrific texture and crunch.

  11. Perfect salad, not too sweet, and with the right amount of bulk for a complete meal!! Tasty and so good for you!!

  12. Do you have any substitutions for mustard in a dressing? Someone in my house is allergic. Thanks so much! Love all of your recipes.

    We will be baking your pumpkin cake to celebrate tonight!!!!

  13. 5 stars
    This is a go-to dish for me. It’s so versatile and always a crowd pleaser. I recently made it for a small gathering and ended up having four people ask for the recipe. I love that I can so easily change up the ingredients. I’ve even added chicken and used it as a main meal. Thanks for a great recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    Doubled this kale rice salad for our family dinner of seven. Excellent combination of goat cheese with kale along with almonds, apples and rice was so delicious no leftovers. Will definitely make this salad soon

  15. Looking forward to trying your salad but it would be super helpful to know how much this makes?? Either cups or at least how many people as a side or is it a whole meal/entree? Please let me know

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve made this salad many times. My family and I love it! I don’t care for dried fruit so I substitute fresh, in season grapes. It is the perfect early fall salad when grapes and apples are both in season. Dressing is fantastic with the touch of real maple syrup.