wild rice salad with vegetables in a bowl

At Christmas people gather to revel, feast, drink, and be merry, and across the globe traditional foods reserved only for this time of year appear; invitations arrive for lavish parties with special treats, seasonal goodies, Champagne, spiked punch, and cider.

And, for those following a special diet, or planning a holiday party with attendees that do, there’s the challenge of making that glorious feeling come alive without breaking both your back and your budget. You can check out Jamie’s gluten-free party recipes here, but this recipe has you covered to begin with.

In my home, I want everyone to enjoy the holiday equally, not just the folks with rock solid immune and digestive systems. I want everyone who eats to be deeply nourished. That’s where this affordable, delicious, easy-to-make, beautiful, time efficient, and festive wild rice salad comes in.

The cracked grain cooked with bone broth (for enriched nutrient density and flavor) is earthy and can be made days in advance. Shredded rainbow carrots, Granny Smith apples chunks, and pomegranate seeds add splashes of color, and tartness (all easy to pre-prep for last minute assembly) provide the perfect counterpoint for the sweet citrus dressing, punctuated with parsley for an herbaceous finish. Chewy dried cranberries and crunchy toasted walnuts add extra texture, guaranteed to give your guests a shot of the warm fuzzies. And the best part is that you can make large quantities of this salad for the same amount of effort it takes to make a small quantity.

Do all the prep work in advance and simply assemble on party day.

Wild rice salad with apples, pomegranate & herby citrus dressing

gluten-free party food

  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 3 cups bone broth or chicken stock (or vegan/veggie stock)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 3 rainbow carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup raw organic walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest from one large orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar (may also use rice or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tbsps finely minced shallot
  • 4 tsps honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt (to taste)


Follow the package directions to make your rice with the broth, water, and salt.

While the rice is cooking, make the dressing by adding all of the ingredients to a medium-sized bowl and whisking to combine. Check the seasoning and, if needed, adjust to taste. You may need to add more lemon, vinegar, or honey, depending on your ingredients.

Once the rice is cooked, allow to cool a little, then add the carrots, diced apples, pomegranate seeds and dried cranberries. Toss to incorporate all the ingredients. Dress while still warm with the citrus dressing, spooning it a few tablespoons at a time to be sure it’s dressed to your liking. Add the chopped toasted walnuts at the end.

About the author

Ariyele Ressler

Ariyele is the mastermind behind AriyeleKeepinitReal, a gluten-free, allergy friendly cooking show on YouTube meant to inspire, entertain, and enliven the gastronomic lives of foodies following restrictive diets for managing chronic health issues. Comedic cooking videos at AriyeleKeepinItReal and full recipes available on ariyeleressler.com and Ariyele is also on Instagram here.

Ariyele Ressler


Christmas, Party