This wild rice and bean salad makes an easy and delicious vegan lunch or side dish. Made with chickpeas, kidney beans, wild rice, vegetables and a tasty vinaigrette, this recipe is a great way to enjoy a filling, cold salad any time of year!
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Mixed Bean and Wild Rice Salad
Mixed bean and wild rice salads make for an amazingly nutritious and tasty recipe.
Using chickpeas and kidney beans provides lots of delicious plant-based protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Along with wild rice, a delicious whole-grain, this is a nutrient dense combination that creates a filling and satisfying salad.
There are two types of salads: side salads and meal salad. For a salad recipe to classify as a meal, I require it to have enough healthy carbohydrates, protein, fats and vegetables for it to truly satisfy and keep me feeling full.
Ingredients for a Filling Salad: Make a Salad into a Nutritious Meal
This recipe checks off all the boxes for a meal salad and is a nice option for a filling, colorful and nutritionally balanced side dish.
Wild rice is a great choice because it has a complex flavor profile and great texture. I use a wild rice blend with black, red and brown rice.
Rice is a great whole grain, and each different variety provides a unique blend of nutrients. Variety is a great way to change up flavors and is a factor for a balanced lifestyle.
The chickpeas and kidney beans add plant protein, and fiber, to keep you feeling full for a long time. Beans and rice is a classic combo, and for good reason. The slightly crunchy rice, and the softer bean texture plays really nicely together.
Colourful veggies are fantastic to brighten up the dish. I specifically chose a red (pepper), green (zucchini), and purple (onion) vegetable, along with a leafy green (parsley). If you like, this salad can be tossed with extra leafy greens before serving!
Eating the rainbow is not just pretty; it also positively impacts health. Each differently colored plant provides different antioxidants and phytochemicals which is why a variety of plant foods is so beneficial to aim for.
If you’re looking for a further boost of nutrition, flavor and texture, this salad is delicious served with crushed walnuts and/ or diced avocado!
Making a Gluten Free Rice Salad
Rice is naturally gluten free but is sometimes processed on the same equipment as other grains that contain gluten. If gluten is a concern for you, double check that you’re purchasing a gluten free wild rice.
After that, making gluten free rice salad is simple as all the other ingredients for this rice and bean salad recipe are naturally gluten free as well!
Meal Prep with Rice Salad
Meal prepping salads can sometimes be tricky because you don’t want your leafy greens to get soggy as they sit in the dressing.
While it’s simple enough to keep the dressing separate from the salad, this isn’t required when meal prepping a rice and bean salad! In fact, as the salad ingredients soak up the tasty vinaigrette, the salad flavors become enhanced after a day or two.
This is why I love making grain and bean salads for meal prep as they make a delicious, filling and balanced vegan lunch that is perfect to eat cold.
Serving Rice and Bean Salad as a Side Dish
If you’re looking to add some fiber, protein, veggies and healthy fats to any meal, this wild rice and bean salad recipe is a great addition.
This recipe is best served cold. If your rice is already cooked and chilled, the salad could be served right away. If you’re using freshly cooked (and hot) rice, it needs to cool completely in the fridge before serving; usually at least 2 hours or overnight.
Serve alongside any plant-based meal you like! This is also a great choice for get-togethers or potlucks as it travels well as long as you keep it cold.
I love this salad alongside meals that aren’t quite as filling because it’s packed with everything needed to keep you feeling full and satisfied. It’s also nice to serve with a delicious plant-based soup, for a more well-rounded meal.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for a nutritious wild rice and bean salad. This recipe is great for meal prepping a simple and healthy vegan and gluten free lunch!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Wild Rice and Bean Salad
Rice and Bean Salad
- ¾ cup dry wild rice blend
- 2 cups chickpeas , drained and rinsed (19 oz/ 540 mL can)
- 1 ½ cups kidney beans , drained and rinsed (15 oz/ 440 mL can)
- 1 ½ cups zucchini , diced (or cucumber)
- 1 ½ cups red bell pepper , diced
- ¾ cup red onion , diced
- 1 cup parsley , chopped
- Cook the wild rice according to package directions.¾ cup dry wild rice blend
- Rinse and drain the beans. Dice the vegetables and parsley.2 cups chickpeas, 1 ½ cups kidney beans, 1 ½ cups zucchini, 1 ½ cups red bell pepper, ¾ cup red onion, 1 cup parsley
- Mix together the lemon dressing ingredients. Whisk with a fork in a small container or shake together in a jar.4 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Toss everything together. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Enjoy!
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.