Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #218: Fiesta Wild Rice Salad – Gluten Free & Vegetarian

by Sarah Berkowitz, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota – The Emily Program]

Photo credit: Bob Cotter/Flickr

Summer is short in Minnesota, so the last thing most people want to do is spend a lot of time indoors cooking. Entrée salads are a great option for quick and easy lunches or dinners and are perfect for bringing to summer picnics and potlucks. Entrée salads like this one can be made ahead of time, which makes it easy to enjoy the long summer evenings outside of the kitchen.

Growing up, my mom had a couple signature salads that she would bring to potlucks. This wild rice salad has always received rave reviews and is my favorite. I have adjusted the recipe slightly to improve the nutritional content and lower the fat and sodium content of the salad. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I have.

The combination of wild rice and black beans makes this salad a good source of fiber and protein. Fiber can help maintain bowel health, help control blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol. Paired with fresh vegetables and low fat dairy, this salad is a nutrient powerhouse.

Fiesta Wild Rice Salad

(Serves: about 6)


  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded light cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Mix wild rice, corn, black beans, tomatoes, zucchini, green onions and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Mix salsa and sour cream and combine with other ingredients. Chill before serving. Top with cheese to serve.


  • If cooking on a budget, dried cilantro can be used instead of fresh cilantro.
  • Different salsas will change the flavor of the salad – experiment to find the one you like best. Choosing a low-sodium salsa can further reduce the sodium content of the salad.
  • Make sure to drain and rinse the black beans with a strainer – this will help to reduce the sodium content of the salad.
  • If you are running short on time, you can substitute with pre-cooked canned wild rice.
  • Feel free to change up the salad by adding different vegetables or diced grilled chicken.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 302 calories, 17 g protein, 5 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 51 g carbohydrates, 4 g added sugar, 10 g fiber and 533 g sodium.*
* Sodium will vary based on the variety of salsa used and whether the black beans are sodium free (or if they have been rinsed).

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