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Wild Rice Arugula Salad with Chickpeas {Instant Pot Pressure Cooker}

Nutty wild rice, bright zesty greens, and toothsome little chickpeas, all dressed in a tangy-sweet vinaigrette. With crunchy jicama and roasted pumpkin seeds, this nourishing wild rice arugula salad with chickpeas is just the recipe you need–today. Oh. So. Good!!

Wild Rice Arugula Salad with chickpeas, jicama, and pumpkin seeds

Click here to PIN Wild Rice Arugula Salad with Chickpeas!


This salad is easy to put together. While the toasty black-brown wild rice cooks, whisk up the rice vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil dressing. Coarsely chop the arugula, cut the jicama and green onion, slice the dates into bits, and toast the pumpkin seeds.

When the rice is done, mix in the dressing along with the other ingredients. If you are so inclined, sprinkle on some feta cheese.

Serve your wild rice arugula salad warm, right away, or put it in the fridge to chill and serve later. Because it holds up over time, this is a fabulous salad for a potluck or buffet.

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If you’re the proud owner of a stovetop pressure cooker or an Instant Pot, (affiliate links) use it to cook wild rice. Pressure cooking gives your wild rice arugula salad a head start, that is, with a pressure cooker this amazing salad can be ready to enjoy in less than 45 minutes.

The cooked rice, slightly cooled, wilts the arugula just a bit. That’s what you want. Though, if you’d prefer your leafy greens more raw, less wilt-y, allow the rice more cooling time before tossing with all the other ingredients.

Wild Rice Arugula Salad with Chickpeas in a glass bowl ready to serve

I used a mix of arugula and baby spinach for these photos. You can change up the greens depending on your whim, what you have on hand, or what’s fresh at the market.

About those nutritious greens. Arugula, or is it arugula and spinach, a combo, like in the photos? Or just spinach, or just arugula? Thinly sliced snow peas or hello–chopped broccoli? They all pair well with the wild rice.

Wild rice has a natural earthy roastiness that I find irresistible, addicting. Mix in all the goodies and coat them with an amazing dressing, you’ll be under the spell, seduced by wild rice salad!

What is wild rice?

  • Wild rice (Affiliate link) is an excellent gluten-free substitute for grains. It’s not a rice, it’s not a grain, it’s a superseed! (I couldn’t resist.) Classified as a ‘water grass seed’, wild rice is harvested from marsh grass native to North America, growing near the Great Lakes in the northern US and Canada.

Is wild rice good for you?

  • Yes! Nutritionally, wild rice is a low-calorie powerhouse, a vitamin-rich seed boasting more protein than brown rice. Its high-fiber cholesterol-lowering qualities are heart healthy, and it’s chock-full of B vitamins, plus manganese, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • For vegetarians looking for high-quality protein, 3/4 cup of cooked wild rice provides 5 grams of protein, more than any other “rice.” Chickpeas and pumpkin seeds lend an extra protein boost as well. All in all good for us!

How do you cook wild rice? How long does it take to cook wild rice? How do you cook wild rice in a pressure cooker?

  • The instructions tucked in a bag of Minnesota wild rice says to cook until the kernels open up—described as “butterfly open.” Well-cooked wild rice is also described as looking like an open hot dog bun, not exploded like popcorn.
  • (I used to cook wild rice like brown rice, 2:1 water to rice–the wild rice kernels came out definitely crunchy. Now I know, to enjoy a pleasing texture it takes minimum 3 cups water to 1 cup wild rice, and a longer cooking time than you might think.)
  • Know that some wild rice processors remove the black hull to obtain a shorter cook time.
  • Cooking times for wild rice depend the texture you want—personal preference. I like a fluffy open texture, so…

For tender, fluffy wild rice:

  • Regular stovetop cooking: Simmer, covered, on low heat until the kernels start to pop, 45 minutes to an hour. Drain any excess liquid.
  • Pressure cooking: Once the cooker comes to full pressure, set the timer for 25 minutes, then quick-release the pressure.

For a chewier wild rice texture:

  • Regular stovetop cooking: Simmer, covered, on medium-low heat 30 to 40 minutes stovetop.
  • Pressure cooking: Once the cooker comes to full pressure, set the timer for 15 to 20 minutes, then quick-release the pressure.

You gotta love a pressure cooker for making wild rice quick and easy!

*** If you cook your wild rice without a pressure cooker, you can hurry things up by planning ahead and soaking the rice (4 hours) before cooking. You’ll get a nice fluffy texture in about 30 minutes stovetop.

*** Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are easy to cook from scratch. This recipe teaches how to cook garbanzo beans, in a pressure cooker or stovetop, both.


  • With its sweet crunch, fiber and vitamins, jicama brings contrasting white color to the dark wild rice and emerald greens. Jicama’s matchstick-cut shape adds eye appeal too. Alternatively, cut the under-known root vegetable in small cubes.
  • Jicama is a staple in our refrigerator and Robbie puts jicama in our salads all the time. Cut in lengths like carrot sticks, and sprinkled with lime juice and a pinch of mild red chile, jicama is a healthy Mexican street snack—in Mexico, when I spy a cart selling fresh crisp sweet jicama slices, I’m all over that cart!
  • For the holidays, cut thin slices of jicama with a star-shaped cookie cutter.
  • Or for Valentine’s Day, heart-shaped, like in this romaine lettuce and jicama salad with cumin lime dressing.

 Pea Shoots

A note about pea shoots:

With leafy tips and curly tendrils that twine and climb and eventually sprout fresh pea pods, they’re a tender sturdy leafy green vegetable with a distinctive pea flavor. Like garlic scapes before garlic, in the spring or early summer we find pea shoots before fresh peas. Think of them as bonus precursors of the harvest later that summer. If you find fresh pea shoots, grab them, make them the leafy green in your wild rice salad.

I shared a similar wild rice salad highlighting fresh pea shoots in the early days of this blog. Because the jade-green pea shoots are not a common vegetable available all the time, I’ve updated this recipe with new photos, and different green leafy options, like the arugula and spinach in this wild rice salad.

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Nutrition Facts
Wild Rice Arugula Salad with Chickpeas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 245mg11%
Potassium 272mg8%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 382IU8%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Somehow I missed pea shoots at the Farmers Market this year. They’re here so briefly. I guess I was out of town. At least I can enjoy vicariously through you. GREG Reply · 2 July, 2014

    • Letty

      Hey Greg, you can always substitute chopped broccoli. I updated the recipe to say that! Reply · 4 July, 2014

  • WOW does that look good, Letty! We’re all over this one.

    Keep it green!

    –Your friendly Southern California farmers from Jade Asian Greens Reply · 2 July, 2014

  • Judi

    Looks great! Will have to try it. Reply · 22 December, 2019

    • Thank you Judi. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do! Reply · 28 December, 2019

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