Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta

Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta - a perfect way to freshen up the table this Thanksgiving! | pinchofyum.com

Oh my good gravy.

I mean, no gravy. Just pretty Thanksgiving salad. I mean, salad that tastes like gravy. I mean, no, wait, ummm…



Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta - a perfect way to freshen up the table this Thanksgiving! | pinchofyum.com

This salad blows me away.The flavors and colors make me want to cry happy tears. Kind of like the ones that almost came out of my eyes at lunch when I saw this salad awaiting me at the bottom of my lunch bag. It was a beacon of hope and I am 99.3487% sure that angels sang.

If those ruby pomegranate seeds don’t get to you, then you might not be real. The juicy little bursts of bright red are my bestest favoritist produce of winter. Why I haven’t used them more often in recent memory probably has something to do with The Sacrifice of the White Shirt, but all that aside, these little pups are just adorable and juicy-perfect.

Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta - a perfect way to freshen up the table this Thanksgiving! | pinchofyum.com

Now, kale. I know we normal people all have mixed feelings. But baby kale is where it’s at. If you can do spinach, then baby kale is just one half step up on the weirdo-healthy-person food ladder. You’re like: Lindsay, my family won’t like kale. I PROMISE, almost promise, that they will. Chop it up real small and you get the benefit of the supernutrition and the eye-popping freshness of green without the overwhelming chomp factor. Say yes. Now. In three, two, one, YES.

A few more food thoughts –> The toasted walnuts add crunch. The feta adds feta. And the homemade dressing? It’s just a slight spin off of the homemade dressing from the brussels sprouts salad and it is D-licious.

Use onion or shallot, saute to reduce the bite (or not, if you’re a flavor bite kinda person) and drizzle to your heart’s content.

Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta - a perfect way to freshen up the table this Thanksgiving! | pinchofyum.com

Let me tell you the beautiful truth: I made this in less than 20 minutes.

And great recipes that are simple + healthy + gorgeous in < 20 minutes = my perfect life.

This is real math, and better yet, real food.

Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta - a perfect way to freshen up the table this Thanksgiving! | pinchofyum.com

I see this at my Thanksgiving table this year. And every day from now till then and forevermore amen.

4.7 from 31 reviews
Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta
Serves: 4, as a side
For the salad
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 cups chopped baby kale
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (you can use leftover rice or buy precooked)
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
For the dressing
  • ½ cup minced onion or shallot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 squeeze lemon or orange juice
  1. Prep the salad ingredients (chop, rinse, toast, etc). Chill the ingredients in the fridge while you're making the dressing if you want a cold salad.
  2. Mince the shallot or onion and saute in ½ tablespoons olive oil to reduce the bite. When soft and fragrant, remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. (If you want a stronger flavor for your dressing, skip the sauteing altogether. The shallot in particular works well for this.)
  3. Pulse the onions or shallot with the remaining olive oil, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and orange juice until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust. Add additional olive oil or water to keep the mixture moving through the food processor.
  4. Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing just before serving. I prefer to serve this at room temperature or chilled slightly.


Nutrition Wild Rice Salad

Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta - a perfect way to freshen up the table! | pinchofyum.com
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  1. Oh my…THIS looks amazing! I have been wanting to try pomegranates, but didn’t really know what to do with them. Can’t wait to try this!

  2. So pretty! I made a rice bowl a couple weeks ago kind of like this, but minus that delicious dressing! I have to give this a try. It looks perfect for Thanksgiving!

  3. I love the color of this salad–perfect for the holidays. (but I wish pomegrantes didn’t cost so much…)

  4. Every every time I am at the grocery store, I almost buy the pomegranate. What’s holding me back? Time to load up and get to those bright juicy jewels inside!
    I fully intend to feed this to my fam at Thanksgiving and just not tell them it’s kale. They’ll love it, and then I’ll drop the veggie bomb. Mwhahaha!

  5. This looks delicious – I am definitely going to have to try it! If I can’t find wild rice though, what kind of rice do you suggest subbing for?

  6. Lindsay, I love everything about this salad! I can’t wait to find me some baby kale. I too will be making this for our Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. The color is beautiful, but the combination, that is where it’s at! Thanks for sharing this great recipe and I hope your day is wonderful~

  8. Lindsay, this looks SO good! I love wild rice in salads. And pomegranates. And now I must try baby kale, you’ve convinced me. Yum!

  9. So gorgeous! I think I could eat this daily for lunch all through fall and winter, and never tire of it! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Gorgeous salad! Next time I’m going to a potluck I’l be bringing this!

  11. This is exactly what I’m craving. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it for a couple days now, and then I saw this salad. Perfection.

  12. Look so pretty! I must try.

  13. What a beautiful salad, so many terrific flavors! Definitely need to try this :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  14. Has anyone else hesitated to buy a pomegranate because it’s so hard/messy to get the seeds out? I learned a trick where you quarter it, soak it in cold water for a few minutes, and then remove the seeds UNDER water. Worked like magic. No blood stained looking fingers either. (PS. I was making my own pomegranate flavored vodka, so I had the motivation). This recipe is another motivation to try that trick again – thanks!

    • Thanks Nadia! I’ve tried that and it works great. This time I didn’t have the patience… just went for it, and it went alright. :) only a few small juice spots on the counter to clean up!

  15. Oh, this looks so good and love all the ingredients. And, I will try Nadia’s pomegranate tip. Thanks Nadia!

  16. This is SO beautifully presented!

  17. This is so colourful and fun! Yum!!

  18. This looks SO good Lindsay, love the colours!! Gorgeous photos too, as usual!

  19. You might want to switch your greater than (>) sign around so that it reads less than (<). I think that's what you were trying to say, right?

    This salad looks delicious!

  20. YUM! This salad looks delicious. The wild rice and pomegranates are such a good idea to switch up a normal salad!
    -Lauren at http://www.lakeshorelady.com

  21. LOL- “the feta adds feta”. God bless the power of cheese!

  22. Gorgeous salad! Yes – this will be on my Thanksgiving table too! Thanks so much Lindsay!

  23. I love all these flavors. This is going on next week’s menu if I can wait that long. I like kale and chard better than spinach. Spinach is kind of wimpy.

  24. Some of my favorite ingredients combined in one salad! I can’t get enough of pomegranate and kale this time of year, and of course I always love feta and walnuts. Yum!

  25. You are too funny! Sometime’s pomegrantes scare me because it takes me so long to get them out. Any suggestions or tricks?

    • Nope, I have done the submerged-in-water trick before, where you just keep the whole fruit under water as you take the seeds out. It’s supposed to help with sprays and juice stains and the like. But this time, mine actually came out really nicely. I just kind of broke/cut the fruit in half and gently broke the seeds apart into a bowl.

      • While it may seem like this guy loves the sound of his own voice….it DOES look like an alternatively great idea to get to those pom ‘jewels’.


        BTW Lindsay….I will definitely be making this salad…possibly even in the next 5 minutes…Why? It LOOKS amazing AND YOU ARE HILARIOUS!

        You had my at ‘good gravy’. I myself like to at ‘Scott’ to that little phrase. But that’s just me. :)


        • This is exactly how I get my pom perils out! After seeing this video, I have never used another method! I still get a few fly-aways and juice spots, but it is light-years easier!

  26. Oh, I need this salad in my life! It is 10 PM here and I am drooling over this salad, haha!

  27. Love the colours and flavours in this salad. So fresh and autumnal – all at the same time.

  28. What a delicious salad… Loved it. I am pinning it and will try it out soon :)

  29. Your photographs are stunning Lindsay! I love the way you arranged the salad ingredients in their own special “spots” for the first few. And yes, those pomegranate seeds add a beautiful burst of color — almost too good to eat! I’d be just as happy as you if this salad appeared in my lunch bag, and I’m 200% positive I’d do a little happy dance after the first bite!

  30. Alright you guys. Two things. Number 1 is for Lindsay: Your photography is just incredible! What a gift…and what a yummy looking salad, that I will definitely be making this next week. I have never been a wild rice person (I know – how did I escape Minnesota without being a WR-lover?)…however your mad food photography skills, and your adorable bronzed bowl, makes me wonder if I’ve been wrong about WR all these years. We’re going to find out this week I guess. Pomegranates on the other hand, sigh. Such an easy food crush to have.

    Number 2 is for Bjork. I am listening to Pandora as I read this post, and have it set to my “Storyhill” station. When what do my ears hear? Is that…? Could it be…? Ah yes, it’s Bjork Ostrom singing me a little Sunshine & Starlight.

    Just two of the reasons that I am now sitting here with a smile on my face.

    • This is amazing on so many levels. I hope I can make a wild rice lover out of you after all. Thanks for the sweet comment Jen!! hope you’re doing well! :)

  31. Minnesota has the best wild rice, doesn’t it? I’m in LOVE with this salad. :)

  32. This is a seriously gorgeous salad!!!

  33. Gosh, what a beauty of a salad. The perfect seasonal lunch. Luckily I don’t mind kale at all, so I might just chop some “grown-up” kale up really finely. Exactly what I need today. Will make as soon as I get home. Thanks, Lindsay!

  34. This is FANTASTIC salad!

  35. Leslie Jacobson says:

    Thanks for the fantastic salad recipe. Question… do you have a recommendation of a pre made store bought salad dressing that would mostly resemble yours? On vacation and don’t want to buy a lot of ingredients.

  36. Outstanding salad! Made half the recipe tonight, with some really good aged feta from WF, and ate the entire thing for dinner. The dressing is fantastic too. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  37. this was dinner tonight – with the addition of some lentils I had hanging out in the fridge. Was flippin’ delicious!! The Mr at 3 servings!!!

  38. My friend brought this to friendsgiving last night and omg it was amazing! I love this recipe and will be making it again. I could eat a whole bowl of it by itself.

  39. Hi Lindsay,
    My aunt just sent me a bag of wild rice from Minneapolis to Korea, and I will no longer lament over how to put it to good use.

    p.s. you’re funny! I laughed, and then drooled a little over your photos…

  40. Saw this on Pinterest and tried it today. Best kale recipe ever. This was soo good we couldn’t stop exclaiming with every bite. Thank you!

  41. Oops, meant to add, I’ve never really made my own salad dressing before but this one was so worth it. Helps I have both lemon and orange trees in the yard…

  42. Made this for my family, even the kids ate it. Made it for a bridal shower and the bride loved it so much we are making it by the basketful for the wedding.

  43. Loved it so much I am doing a post on your recipe on my website this week.

  44. This looks fabulous!

  45. This recipe just made my mouth water! Kale, Feta and pomegranate are my top three salad ingredients and anything ending with the word ‘nut’. Ticks all the boxes for a delicious salad that my husband and I will enjoy by the weeks end.

  46. This salad looks wonderful, and I am a big kale fan. I have yet to see baby kale tho. Where do you find that? I suppose I could blanch my grown up kale a bit before chopping it and adding to the medley?

  47. This looks great! I live in Minnesota also. Where do you buy baby kale? thanks!

  48. Well I absolutely love the way this salad looks in this picture and since I also love poms I decided to try it and I did. I have to say that I was very disappointed with its flavor. I used the lemon and onion. So maybe I will give it a try one last time and use the orange juice and shallots instead and see if this will change my mind. Very lovely presentation but in this case so far I would say the looks are deceiving.

  49. My husband and I got a package of Minnesota wild rice from one of his relatives at our wedding last month and we used it with this recipe. My husband says this is one of his favorite things I’ve made and we are now making it for our work pre-thanksgiving parties. Thanks Lindsay!

  50. Just made this salad tonight and my husband and I loved it! We used regular kale (as opposed to baby kale) and it was delicious. I will be making this recipe many more times. thanks!

  51. Just a heads up for all of you, Costco sells pre divided pomegranate! Costs about the same as a whole one… My sisters’ mother in law introduced them to me last year. Should be in with the other refrigerated produce. Win!

  52. I found you via Pinterest and made this salad last night to serve along side the Barefoot Contessa’s roasted chicken. We loved it! My husband, FIL, MIL and myself all loved it and my MIL said, “this is like something you would get at a nice restaurant”. I posted it to my FB page with full credit and a link back to you as me and my FB friends like to talk food and share recipes. This is a total winner that I will make again and again. Thank you. Looking forward to delving into your other recipes.

  53. This looks amazing. I will trying this today!

    • I did make this last night and it was fantastic! Not only delicious, but also super healthy snd besutiful. Thank you for posting.

  54. This looks so good. I am going shopping for the ingredients tomorrow. Can you please tell me where you can find baby kale? Trader Joes? I havent’s seen at my local store. thank you!

  55. I have order Fall Rivers fully cooked rice from http://www.frwr.com for $4.00 a pkg. I believe it is in California. It is wonderful and in two minutes you have fully cooked wild rice. It is expensive, but it is much better than the wild rice I prepare and sooooo easy. Just wanted you all to know about it. Also, I have seen packages of baby kale in Walmart – so if they have it, should be easy too obtain. I also saw some pomegranate seeds only there but I didn’t check the price.

  56. Wow! Couldn’t wait to try this salad and it did NOT disappoint!! I wrote on my recipe “reaffirms everything that is good and beautiful about food.” I was only half kidding!

  57. Hi guys, thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe! I adapted it slightly by using quinoa instead of wild rice, and it worked well. What a great healthy option for the holiday season!



  58. Rebecca Ford says:

    Amazingly wonderful salad! And the dressing is terrific. I made it for a potluck today and will make this many times in the future.

  59. Seriously my new favorite salad. Thank you!

  60. Just made this and we loved it! In lieu of getting out the food processor- I just added the sauteed shallots to the wild rice mixture, and shook up the (remaining) dressing ingredients in a jar. We used the orange juice.

  61. This is AMAZING. I just made it for lunch and used leftover brown rice and it worked like a charm! So yummy and healthy. Thank you for this. :)

  62. Wondering what to substitute for the kale. I have autoimmune issues and recently learned that kale isn’t best for me to eat. Suggestions?

  63. Can I just tell you how much I love this salad? I almost never repeat recipes, but I have made this THREE times in the last month – it’s just so good and random and fabulous. It’s totally worth the time to cook the wild rice and deseed the pomegranate. So glad I found this and extra glad you came up with it. 😀

    • I love that you describe it as random because that’s totally how it came to be – like, what do I have in the kitchen right now? And bam. there it was. :) Thanks for the comment!

  64. Jana Foushee says:

    Have you ever added chicken to this for a main course salad?

  65. What a beautiful salad. I know what you mean about those little seeds. I have many shirts stained from them too.

  66. I used dried cranberries in place of pomegranate seeds since I didn’t have any stocked in my pantry. Yum.

  67. I made this tonight and it is amazing!! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  68. This looks AMAZING!! & i really want to try it!!! However, I live in Cyprus, & we cant get Kale!! :( Any good alternatives??

  69. just saw an article about “massaged kale” today – and hadn’t heard of it yet – here’s the link and apologies if someone else already mentioned this in a reply to your recipe. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/how-to-massage-kale_n_1601200.html

    there’s also some good salad recipes on that link

  70. My my, this salad looks right up my alley! I’ve got a pomegranate sitting in my fruit bowl right now – know what I’m gonna do with it:)

  71. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Love the colours and the gorgeous textural differences in this salad! Definitely making this quick smart. I actually have everything I need right at home, yippee! x

  72. I made this salad tonight and my family LOVED it. I blanched the kale and substituted red quinoa for the wild rice. I also used an organic lemon garlic salad dressing instead of making it (I wish I had time to make the dressing because it looks delicious!!), which I also sautéed four chicken thighs in. Altogether it was the perfect dinner; it felt light but tasted oh so hearty and divine. Thank you so much!

  73. We loooooved this! Thanks for passing on a tasty recipe–we loved it so much we, reviewed it on our teensy little blog. :-)

  74. Melissa says:

    I LOVE this salad!! I made it about four times in December after I found the recipe. I made it tonight and couldn’t find pomegranate seeds and so used dried cranberries instead. It was still so yummy!

  75. Great recipe. As a fellow Minnesotan, I always have wild rice on hand, so this caught my eye right away. I love the dressing. Simple easy to use and fun to alter with flavored balsamics. I used a blackberry/ginger in lieu of the apple cider vinegar and swapped out the walnuts with pecans. Best lunch in a long time.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  76. I have to agree with Deanna. I thought this looked amazing and was so excited to try it, especially because it is so healthy! I think it was the dressing that was a big disappointment. It had no kick, it just seemed kind of flat. Maybe I shouldn’t have sauteed the shallot? Maybe I’ll try it once more, the other parts of the salad are just delicious!

  77. feta cheese isn’t vegan …

  78. I am so mad..was all set to make this salad but can’t find pomegranates anywhere (are they out of season??) Any substitutions you’d recommend until I can get pomegranate?

  79. Different texture, but how about dried cranberries? I made this last week when having a friend for lunch….we both loved it. I could also see using a dijon vinaigrette dressing.

  80. Mariana says:

    yummy !! I just prepared this salad and while eating I reached paradise of taste !!
    thanks a lot Lindsay, I am getting addicted to your recipes :)

  81. I have never commented on a recipe before, but this salad is SO good I had to. I substituted dried cranberries for pomegranate (1/3 cup) and used a rice blend that included wild rice, otherwise followed the recipe. I will be making and eating this salad for the rest of my life, it’s that good.

  82. Talk about different… and tasty!

    WOW! Not only does this look good, it tastes amazing… thank you for sharing this recipe for pomegranate kale and wild rice salad. I enjoyed sharing it with my family and they loved it.

    This is a keeper and a recipe I will definitely serve again.


    Rosana Santos Calambichis, CEO BIG CHEF Gourmet Food Manufacturer

  83. Crystal says:

    Made this tonight without the feta, it was still AWESOME, and YOU are AWESOME.

  84. I just want to say I made this salad tonight for dinner with grilled chicken on the side . It was so delicious , I’m making another batch for tomorrow to share with my co workers . Thank you for sharing ! Will definitely be in my regular rotation !

  85. Ate for dinner last night and it was outstanding. The dressing is delicious and the combo also. I don’t like walnuts so used pecans instead and didn’t want to pay for wild rice so used black. Yummmmmmm…. Not sure what the lady with the one star was talking about. (Huh?)

  86. This does look and sound right up my alley and I promise to try it soon. But my mission here today is to share with you as another pomegranate enthusiast – and just because I love you – our absolute favorite thing with pomegranates, which I have made a few times this year and will do forever and ever.

    I have no connection to this blogger at all, but here is my gift to you: Persian Jeweled Rice. This is one of the best things I have ever made, and that is going a fur piece, as they say, because I have been cooking with enthusiasm for many years. So anyway, here is the link: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2012/09/persian-jeweled-rice.html#comment-46844

    So, when you are finally back in a real kitchen, do this one as a little gift for yourself.

    Persian Jeweled Rice – The View from Great Island. LMW 4/16/14: This was phenomenally delicious. Richard and I both loved it and would gladly have it every day!
    I used ordinary Valencia rice, well-soaked and rinsed, and it was just fine; used golden raisins, dried apricots, and home-dried figs. Followed the directions pretty closely. Mise en place is essential here! Pomegranate arils add a lot to both the flavor and appearance. Scanted the saffron threads some. Saved in email.

    Great way to use up dried fruit.

  87. Oops, sorry, that last paragraph which I thought had been deleted was posted accidentally. It included my notes and duplicate wording which does not belong here. So, Lindsay, you have my permission to clean that up in any way you see fit.

  88. Great recipe! I’m so excited to make this (and eat it!)!! I’m traveling for Thanksgiving. Do you think I can premake the dressing and keep it refrigerated for a couple of days?

  89. What would be a good sub for the feta? I’ve tried to eat it but I just can’t!

  90. I first made this salad almost exactly a year ago and it’s my favorite thing to whip up! Instead of wild rice I like to use red quinoa. Love love love!!

  91. I absolutely love this salad and so does my family. It will definitely be on my holiday table. It is absolutely beautiful and delicious! I took it to work and got nothing but raves. I rather enjoy seeding the pomegranates. My problem is finding them throughout the year. I tried other rices because I didn’t have wild rice on hand. The wild rice is perfect with it, but I will have to try the red quinoa. Thanks Lindsay!

  92. Just ran to Lunds and Trader Joe’s in search of pomegranate, and they were both out of stock! So I’ll be making this with strawberries tomorrow … Should be interesting!

  93. First had this salad at a Christmas party this past year. It was so delicious, I asked the women who made it for the recipe, and she messaged me this link through FB. I’ve been making it for parties, and pot lucks ever since, and it’s always the first thing to go! Everyone loves it, everyone asks for the recipe!

  94. 2 weeks ago I made this salad for the first time for the potluck – it looked and tasted wonderful. Since then I have made it for my family 2 times (double the recipe). Each time I experimented a bit …My favorite version included the following changes:
    1) reduced the shallot to 1/4 cup
    2) replaces the water with a juice from 1 orange
    3) tossed all the salad ingredients plus the dressing ahead of time -EXCEPT the “greens”, as a result the salad is moist & has more flavor
    4) replaced baby kale with a green salad mix (kale, spinach, beets etc), which I added right before starving
    5) Added a few Tbsp extra dressing
    Thanks for the recipe!

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