Earthy wild rice is paired with sweet spiced pecans, tangy feta, caramelized onions, and charred corn to make a flavor-packed main dish salad.

wild rice salad with charred corn, cumin-spiced pecans and feta
Last night I realized why I go to the gym every day.

If you, like me, thought it was to stay in shape! Be heart healthy! Save every penny so that I can eventually splurge on really good cheese and not a whole new wardrobe!

Well, that’s kind of true.

But mostly it’s to prevent myself from double fisting popsicles and sitting down at my desk with a jar of Biscoff and a spoon to edit photos (because obviously one necessitates the other).


And then wondering why my stomach feels strangely gurgly and my tongue has ice burns on it the next morning.

As if that’s not obvious at all.


Yes, you read right. I am a bored eater.

Not even. An idle eater? That sounds more accurate.

Basically, when I have nothing to do, I want to eat. And even when I do haveΒ something to do…I want to be eating instead. You understand, right?


Now that I know this about myself (you really do learn something new every day) I’ll be making a concerted effort to keep this salad around 24/7.

It is filled with so many great flavors and textures, from the chewy wild rice, juicy bits of charred corn, and smoky sweet cumin-spiced pecans that each bite is pretty near perfect.

All I have to say is – cookie butter, you’ve got some serious competition for snack food

A pretty bold assertion, to be sure. But so true.


Wild Rice Salad with Charred Corn, Tomatoes and Spiced Pecans
Earthy wild rice is paired with sweet spiced pecans, tangy feta, caramelized onions, and charred corn to make a flavor-packed main dish salad.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 red chile, split lengthwise
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  1. Heat the oven to 300.
  2. Cut the kernels off of both ears of corn. Put 1 tbsp of the oil in a big pan and add the corn. Cook over high heat until slightly charred.
  3. Simmer the wild rice, cinnamon and chile in water according to package directions. Drain, if necessary, and let cool.
  4. Caramelize the red onion in a pan in the remaining oil until soft. Add the vinegar and paprika. Cook until the vinegar has evaporated. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add to the corn.
  5. Toss the pecans with the agave, cumin seeds, salt and 1 tbsp water. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for ten minutes or until golden.
  6. Toss together the rice, corn, onions, feta and pecans.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th of recipe


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60 Responses to Wild Rice Salad with Charred Corn, Cumin-Spiced Pecans, and Feta

  1. When I think back to school days, one of the things I can’t fathom now is how I only ate at predetermined intervals not set by me. These days, I view snacking on demand as a necessary part of life! So, yes…this salad looks pretty amazing to me too. I’d like a constant supply on demand πŸ™‚

  2. @700words says:

    I am so with you on this one. Its as though eating, or thinking about eating, is a default setting. In a bid for better health in recent days I have stopped buying biscuits and taken to having tubs of ready chopped fruit in the fridge, then at least my perpetual grazing has some health benefits! Glad I’m not alone!!

  3. I dont think I could trust someone who didnt want to eat everything when they’re bored. So now that I know I can trust you, this salad sounds amazing. I don’t eat wild rice very often, but with caramelized onions and charred corn? yummm.

  4. Tahnycooks says:

    This recipe is incredible! All of my favorite flavors and seriously my kind of food!

    I only go to the gym so I don’t feel guilty about what I eat! But, I love to spurge on healthy flavors like this amazing dish! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I need to eat wild rice more. Every time I see a recipe that uses it, I pin it, and never seem to make it!! NOT COOL! This sounds like the perfect recipe for get my butt in gear!!

  6. Simply Life says:

    Definitely looks like the perfect salad to have ready when you’re in a snacking mood!

  7. I’m an “always want to be eating” eater. That is (part of) why we are soulmates.

    Love this flavor combination!

  8. I love everything in this. Call it what you will: snack or salad, I call it delicious!

  9. I couldn’t think of a better way to use my wild rice from Rancho Gordo!

  10. Lynn says:

    Looks like a bowl of summer!

  11. Jeanette says:

    Love all the flavors in this Joanne ~ smoked paprika and cumin are some of my favorite spices.

  12. Johanna GGG says:

    Yes I could eat this round the clock – so full of delicious things – have you considered balancing a bowl of it on the handlebars of the exercise bikes at the gym – surely that could work πŸ™‚

  13. It’s always great to have healthy options like this around! Love, love the addition of feta!

  14. This is one gorgeous salad! It makes me feel all…summery and content.

  15. I totally understand the eating thing. I could just eat all the time, non-stop – especially at work. On days when I’m a desk, staring at work stuff in a dimly lit office all day – nothing makes me feel better than to sip on coffee and munch away. It’s a problem, really!

  16. the pecans sound like like such an amazing addition and the perfect touch!

  17. bellini says:

    I so need this in my life. I love the nuttiness of wild rice.

  18. you and are share the same eating habits Joanne…I have never tried wild rice before but I am going to now πŸ™‚

  19. I’m with you….I’m totally a boredom eater. This is precisely why I need to limit to the amount of cheese in my fridge and cookies in the pantry. It’s bad.

    Love this salad…such a perfect side dish or lunch!

  20. I love cumin – but don’t think I’ve ever had it with feta! This looks so delish! Thank You!

  21. danielle says:

    This sounds so good – I hate that I am the only one in my house who likes wild rice.

  22. Yum! And I feel like this would be great warm OR cold. I need more interesting rices in my life.

  23. Oh my gosh this sounds delicious!! Sooo hearty too! LOVE IT!

  24. Abby says:

    Pass the spoon! This looks amazing. I’m guilty of eating when bored…tired…happy…sad…err…yea I’m with you girl. πŸ™‚

  25. I made avery similar wild rice salad last week and we loooooooved it! I’ll be adding feta to my next one for-sure!

  26. Kate says:

    I’m not even kidding, I was thinking about it the other night. I don’t get people who complain about being snacky at night. I barely have time to eat dinner if I want to run and get a workout in, let alone snack!

  27. I am sooooo making this tomorrow for lunch! Thanks for the great idea πŸ™‚ I always forget that corn is an option!

  28. Pam says:

    Love the flavors and textures in this recipe. My father makes a wild rice stuffing every Thanksgiving and this totally reminds me of him. YUMMY!

  29. That is my favorite kind of rice. Have you ever had stuffing made from wild rice? insane good!

  30. i’m a total boredom-eater…and a procrastination-eater too. It’s funny because yummy snacks like this salad are way more delicious and satisfying than Biscoff and popsicles. It’s just a shame they aren’t usually as easy to grab. I’m going to make this soon to bring to work- where the majority of my snackage happens.

  31. Christina says:

    I’ve been looking for more salads like this.
    A fellow bored eater

  32. Eileen says:

    This salad sounds like a perfect way to eat the new summer corn! The combination with chewy rice and tangy feta is just right.

  33. I’ve been experimenting with quinoa salads, but now I think it’s time I make some dishes with rice. This looks great. Love all the different flavors!

  34. Suzie says:

    I love everything in this dish! It sounds so amazing. I am happy you are so creative because than I have to think less πŸ™‚

  35. Ashley says:

    LOVE the flavors here! Charred corn is so tasty, and I adore adding salty feta to anything I can get my hands on. Looks fantastic!

  36. Looks perfect for me, too. Idle hands make food into my mouth… but no problem with this salad! πŸ™‚

  37. I run every morning just so I can double fist popsicles too πŸ™‚

    And I am totally loving this rice salad. I may just have to make this for dinner tonight!

  38. Beth says:

    I’m an idle eater, too, and also an emotional eater. Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to eat when you’re … hungry?

  39. I’m a huge fan of wild rice, and I seem to be putting feta in everything lately. This looks particularly delicious to me!

  40. I’m the same way.. when I’m bored, I’m constantly looking in my fridge or my pantry. When I have something to do… well, I get distracted with food pics on Pinterest –ha! This rice salad is beautiful! I love the color contrast here and the texture. Delicious!

  41. Yum! I’ve been needing a summer salad for our lunches. I think I’ll whip up a batch of this tonight! Thanks πŸ™‚

  42. Hey girl- I love wild rice with anything so this salad is up my ally. Perfect recipe for meatless Fridays. And, I am the same, I eat when I have nothing to do too! CAn you believe the weather today in New York- 63 degrees? Is that crazy in JULY – right?

  43. Tracey says:

    Ugh, I’m the same way with food. I eat all the time when I don’t have anything better to do – it’s terrible! This salad would definitely be a wise choice – I am loving the charred corn in there!

  44. Amy Tong says:

    I love your healthful and refreshing wild rice salad. Sounds like something I would enjoy a few time a week in the summer! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  45. ramblingtart says:

    This sounds absolutely fantastic, luv! πŸ™‚ I’m smitten with the idea of adding cumin pecans – bloody brilliant, darlin’! πŸ™‚

  46. I am a bored eater too (plus food tastes so delicious), I always get the hankering to snack when looking through my reader at food blogs. This salad looks- perfect way to work in more of the fresh summer corn!

  47. Tandy says:

    this is a great meal for me for lunch!

  48. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love how this has wild rice. I have made a few salads with wild rice but actually, wild rice isn’t all that common here. It comes in tiny little bags and is very expensive – it has come from far, far, away! xx

  49. Emma says:

    I completely forgot about wild rice. I love that stuff but obviously don’t use it enough. I’d really like to try a variation on this salad using almond feta.

  50. We love wild rice in our house, yet I’m never very creative with it. This just sounds like perfection.

  51. Susan says:

    Fantastic blend of flavors! I love chewy wild rice and pecans are a perfect companion.

  52. Reeni says:

    I am the same! It really does help when I have something around like this salad with so many different, delicious things going on all at the same time! It’s nearly impossible to be bored. . .

  53. I want this salad in my kitchen to help keep me on track! I may or may not double-fist popsicles on a regular basis.

  54. LOVE the charred corn! We’ve been doing a lot with it this summer!

  55. Rhonda says:

    I know your eating pain, I am the same way. Even if I am reading I am thinking how much better the book would be with a snack πŸ™‚ This salad looks tasty and filling.

  56. LOL! I’m SO an idle eater! Must make this now!

  57. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    What a delicious mix of flavor here πŸ™‚

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