Cherry, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad

Cherry, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad

9 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2012

This whole-grain wild rice and quinoa salad recipe is perfect for toting to summer potlucks. It features sweet cherries, crunchy celery, nutty aged goat cheese and toasted pecans. If you can find red quinoa, it's particularly pretty.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • ¾ cup wild rice
  • ½ cup quinoa (see Tips), rinsed if necessary
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fruity vinegar, such as raspberry or pomegranate
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups halved pitted fresh sweet cherries (see Tips)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ¾ cup diced aged goat cheese, smoked Cheddar or other smoked cheese
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted (see Tips)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add wild rice and cook for 30 minutes. Add quinoa and cook until the rice and quinoa are tender, about 15 minutes more. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch; drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the rice and quinoa, cherries, celery, cheese and pecans and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
  • Tips: Although quinoa—a grain that was a staple in the ancient Incas' diet—was once only found in natural-foods stores, it's now readily available at most large supermarkets and even warehouse stores. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Most quinoa is sold already rinsed; check the label.
  • To pit fresh cherries, use a tool made for the job—a hand-held cherry pitter; it also works for olives! Or pry out the pit with the tip of a knife or vegetable peeler.
  • Toast chopped or sliced nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Spread whole nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about ¾ cup
  • Per serving: 282 calories; 16 g fat(4 g sat); 3 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 42 mcg folate; 10 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 247 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 108 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 272 mg sodium; 265 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, ½ fruit, ½ high fat meat, 2½ fat

Reviews 9

March 02, 2019
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By: Indigo30
I loved it. I used frozen cherries available in Target that I had to halve manually. I should have thawed cherries completely and drained because it was quite leaky with cherry juice.i used unsalted roasted sunflower seeds and smoked gouda.
December 24, 2017
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By: Cristal
Did not use cherries, I used raspberries instead (what I had fresh). Added kale, and doubled the recipe and was a huge success! For a party of 10, it all disappeared and everyone wanted the recipe. Thank you! This is going to be my new dish for every party and pot luck. Can't wait to try with fresh cherries!
December 29, 2016
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By: Josmac
I substituted fresh cherries for dried sour cherries which I soaked in coconut vinegar overnight. It was delicious and friends wanted the recipee.
September 03, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
amazing! used some substititions. i used dried cherries amd added at very end of rice/quinoa cooking time- then drained. used blue cheese, a mix of toasted mixed nuts and grapefruite white balsamic vinegar. it was delicious! Pros: easy and delicious
August 27, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Autumn in a Bowl This salad tastes like autumn in a bowl. I didn't used celery because I don't like raw celery and for the fruity vinegar I used apple cider vinegar. I think red wine vinegar would be good too. I think this salad would be a great addition to our Thanksgiving potluck. Pros: easy, hearty
August 01, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
One of my favorite summer salads Love this salad and have made it several times. I use manchego cheese instead of goat cheese, and I don't put any nuts into the salad. Instead, I'll offer nuts on the side, preferring pistachio or pignoli. This way, the leftover salad (if there is any) can still have crunchy nuts sprinkled on top.
August 27, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Big hit I wanted to make this the moment I saw the recipe. I followed it as directed and it was a huge hit at a party. Several people have asked for the recipe. The flavors work well together and the texture is very satisfying. Pros: NULL Cons: NULL
May 29, 2012
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By: orangek8
Totally delicious! This recipe was so good!! It's deliciously nutty and chewy, with fresh cherries throughout. I doubled the amount of celery, cut back on the oil by a bit and just used regular goat cheese. I made it for two different parties this weekend and everyone loved it! Pros: Easy, delicious, fresh, different
May 20, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
wonderful textures and blend of flavors I made this recipe as described, but made the following changes - fresh cherries aren't in season yet, so I thawed frozen cherries; used a cherry balsamic vinegar; and I had romano feta instead of smoked cheese. I'm looking forward to adding fresh cherries, instead of frozen, since the crispness of fresh cherries will add more crunch. I will also add an extra stalk of celery, to add to the textures. The flavors are really wonderful, and I like the creaminess and slight tang of the feta. My only negative is that there could be a little less oil; next time, I'm going to drop it down to 3 Tbsp. Oh, and that it's way too easy to eat the entire bowl, it's so tasty. Pros: easy, quick Cons: cherries can be hard to find
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