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Wild Rice Chicken Salad – Eat Yourself Skinny

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Hearty and delicious Wild Rice Chicken Salad made with leafy arugula, warm wild rice, shredded chicken, sliced almonds, and green onions all tossed with a bright lemon tarragon vinaigrette!

You are going to love this wild rice chicken salad! We are swapping out mayonnaise that is typically used in traditional chicken salad recipes and using this fresh lemon tarragon dressing that brightens up the whole dish. So hearty, flavorful and comes together super quickly for the perfect lunch, side dish or even as a main dish!

Why You’ll Love this Salad

  • Quick, healthy and easy to make!
  • We are swapping out mayo for a delicious lemon dijon tarragon dressing.
  • Wild rice has an earthy, nutty flavor with a slightly chewy texture that is loaded with vitamins, minerals and a great source of fiber.
  • This wild rice salad can be enjoyed warm or cold and makes a great lunch or side dish for dinner.
Hearty and delicious Wild Rice Chicken Salad made with leafy arugula, warm wild rice, shredded chicken, sliced almonds, and green onions all tossed with a bright lemon tarragon vinaigrette!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • arugula – I love the peppery taste of arugula in this salad, but any leafy greens or lettuce will work great.
  • chicken – any type of cooked chicken will work in this recipe, but I especially love to use rotisserie chicken because of how flavorful it is and simple to throw together! Feel free to cut it into cubes or shred it with a fork.
  • wild rice – did you know wild rice is actually an aquatic grain, not rice, with a delicious nutty flavor.  You can easily make wild rice in your instant pot (see instructions below), rice cooker or on the stove, or if you are short on time you can buy pre-cooked wild rice in a can. A wild rice blend would work in this recipe as well. 
  • green onions – also known as scallions, these add just a touch of flavor (and color!) without being too overpowering.  You could also use red onion in this if you like a stronger onion taste.
  • celery – gives this salad a nice crunch!
  • almonds – just like with the celery, these almond slivers gives this salad texture and a nice crunch!  Feel free to use any type of nuts you’d like such as cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.
  • dressing – this lemon dijon tarragon dressing brightens up this salad and is really simple to make.
  • salt + pepper – for added flavor.

How to Make Wild Rice Chicken Salad

  1. Cook the wild rice. Make the wild rice either in a medium saucepan on the stove (or you could use your Instant Pot) and follow the package directions. Wild rice does take a while to cook so set aside about 40 to 50 minutes for this.
  2. Make the dressing. While the wild rice is cooking, whisk together the lemon tarragon dressing. I like to store this in a mason jar with a tightly sealed lid so that you can give the jar a good shake when ready to use!
  3. Assemble salad. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad, including the cooked rice, drizzle with the dressing and toss everything to combine. You can either serve the salad warm or let it chill in the fridge for a bit before serving.

Feel free to add in other mix-ins like sliced grapes, dried cranberries, raisins or you could even sprinkle in some feta cheese!

Bright and fresh Lemon Tarragon Salad Dressing made in just minutes with a few simple pantry ingredients!  Perfect for salads, veggies, marinades, and more!

You’ll Love this Lemon Tarragon Dressing!

This bright, flavorful dressing will honestly taste great on anything! Made with fresh tarragon and lemon juice along with olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and salt/pepper, this dressing just pairs so well with the earthy flavors of the wild rice and juicy chicken. Most wild rice chicken salads are made with mayo, but the tarragon dressing in this salad is lighter and more flavorful!

How to Make Wild Rice in the Instant Pot

The thing about making wild rice that can be frustrating is that it can take over an hour to cook, unless you have an Instant Pot! Making wild rice in your Instant Pot takes literally half the time and is super easy! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Combine wild rice, water and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of your Instant Pot.
  2. Close the lid and lock (making sure the valve is on sealing and not venting), select the Manual setting and set the timer for 28 minutes. Now let wild rice cook.
  3. When done let the pressure release naturally for about about 9 minutes. Fluff wild rice with a fork and it’s ready!
Hearty and delicious Wild Rice Chicken Salad made with leafy arugula, warm wild rice, shredded chicken, sliced almonds, and green onions all tossed with a bright lemon tarragon vinaigrette!

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Prepping and Storage

To Prep – Make the wild rice ahead of time and store in a sealed, airtight container and whisk together the lemon tarragon dressing and store in a mason jar until ready to toss with the salad.

To Store – This wild rice chicken salad will last up to 2 days stored in the fridge in a sealed, airtight container.

More Chicken Salads You’ll Love

Hope you all enjoy this Wild Rice Chicken Salad and if you love this as much as we do, please leave me ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!

  • To make the wild rice on the stove: Rinse wild rice in cold water and bring a medium pot of water to a boil on the stove. Add the wild rice and cook for 40 to 50 minutes, until rice is tender and starts to split open. Drain the rice. (See instructions above for making wild rice in the Instant Pot to save time!)

  • To make wild rice in the Instant Pot: Combine 3/4 cup wild rice, 3/4 cup of water (or broth) and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of your Instant Pot. Close the lid and lock (making sure the valve is on sealing and not venting), select the Manual setting and set the timer for 28 minutes. When done, let the pressure release naturally for about about 9 minutes then fluff with a fork.

  • While the wild rice is cooking, make the lemon tarragon dressing and assemble the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • Add the cooked rice, drizzle with lemon dressing and toss everything together. You can either serve this salad warm or let the salad chill for a bit in the fridge before serving.

Serving: 1/6th of recipe | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.9g | Protein: 17.4g | Fat: 17.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 159.1mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 1.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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