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Rice and Pecan Salad with Orange-Thyme Dressing

Yield 5 cups
Cranberries and toasted pecans blend with a healthy rice mix for a colorful side dish with maximum appeal. Enjoy this salad alongside turkey at the big holiday feast.


  • 1 (6-ounce) package long-grain and wild rice pilaf mix (we tested with Near East)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Prepare rice mix according to package directions, omitting spice packet. Transfer to a large bowl, and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together orange rind and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly. Set dressing aside.

  3. Add cranberries and next 3 ingredients to rice mix; toss gently.

  4. Add dressing, and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Add pecans just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Christmas with Southern Living 2002