Fabulous wild rice salad with chicken.

I know: Salad for dinner. It just sounds so, I dunno, uninspiring. But I love a really hearty salad for dinner—one that’s full of flavor, texture (um, and maybe a bit of cheese) along with greens and veggies. We’re not talking iceberg-and-carrots here, folks. No, I wanted to create a stick-to-your-ribs salad that incorporates a bit of protein (chicken, in this case) plus whole grains (wild rice) and a creamy dressing that packs a punch. Even better: This salad stores and travels well (just add the dressing right before you serve it), so it’s an easy make-ahead recipe and it’d be great pack-your-lunch option. The salad dressing, with its pretty pale green color and kick of garlic, is super flexible—it’s joined my basic vinaigrette recipe and my best blue-cheese dressing recipe as standards in my kitchen.

hearty wild rice, orzo and chicken salad

(serves 4)

1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked orzo
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken (grilled or store-bought rotisserie)
1 red bell pepper
1/2 apple
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 head radicchio
1 head Belgian endive
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

1 recipe creamy basil salad dressing

Place wild rice, orzo and chicken in a large bowl. Dice the bell pepper and apple into roughly 1/2-inch chunks, and add those to the bowl. Slice the radicchio half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin strips; slice the endive in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin strips. Add radicchio, endive and dried cranberries to the bowl, along with the blue cheese if you’re using it [of course you are]. Drizzle with half the creamy basil dressing and toss to coat, adding more dressing if needed. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

related recipes

farro and roasted butternut squash salad
a hearty salad with many variations 

9 thoughts on “Fabulous wild rice salad with chicken.

  1. Pingback: Creamy basil salad dressing. | writes4food | cooking, eating, drinking in the Midwest

  2. I experimented a bit and made this as a warm side dish, skipping the endive and radicchio because the Tiny Kitchen Assistant would have a fit if he spotted visible leaf in his food (I roll my eyes). It was really good. Both my husband and I had second helpings. Do you mind if I post my modified version on my blog someday, of course linking back to your original recipe as my source?

  3. Pingback: Stocking the pantry. | writes4food | recipes and writing about food, wellness, creativity

  4. Pingback: Top 10 recipes: year 1. | writes4food | recipes and writing about food, wellness, creativity

  5. Pingback: Tabbouleh salad with chicken. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen

  6. Pingback: Creamy basil salad dressing. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen

  7. Pingback: Best recipes of 2012. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen

  8. Pingback: Awesome ways to use roast chicken. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen

Leave a Reply