Get my newest recipe via email:

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

Nutty wild rice, 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!

JUMP DIRECTLY TO RECIPE

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.

If you’re the proud owner of a stovetop pressure cooker or an Instant Pot, use it to cook wild rice. (Affiliate links.) 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 like me, seduced by wild rice salad!

What is wild rice?

  • Wild rice (Affiliate) 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.

Jicama:

  • 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. Now, since it’s not easy to find jade-green pea shoots, especially beyond early spring, I’ve updated the recipe with new photos, and other green vegetable options, like in this wild rice arugula salad.

To get my latest recipe posts and exclusive monthly newsletters, subscribe here. (I hate Spam too and will never share your email with anyone.)

  • Follow me on Instagram! It’s my favorite!
  • Peruse my Pinterest boards for more vegetarian recipe ideas.
  • Find daily vegetarian and healthy living ideas on my Facebook page.



As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps me continue to provide free content here on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen!

5 from 3 votes
Wild Rice Arugula Salad with Chickpeas in a glass bowl ready to serve
Wild Rice Arugula Salad with Chickpeas
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
 

This salad keeps very well and can be made the day before. You can serve it warm or chilled, but it's best to put it together when the rice is freshly cooked and warm. The heat of the rice barely cooks the arugula. Cook time is for a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook the wild rice.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: arugula, chickpeas, Instant Pot, pressure cooker, Wild rice
Servings: 10 servings.
Calories: 178 kcal
Ingredients
Cook the wild rice:
  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
The rest:
  • 5 ounces arugula, or spinach or a combination
  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans home-cooked or 1 (14-ounce) can, rinsed and drained)
  • 3/4 cup jicama, cut in matchsticks or small cubes
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup pitted soft dates, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Feta cheese crumbles, optional
Instructions
Cook the rice:
  1. With pressure cooker or Instant Pot:
    Put 3 cups of water, the wild rice, and the salt in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Cook the rice under pressure 25 minutes, then immediately release the pressure. In the Instant Pot, lock the lid in place, making sure the steam vent is closed. Press manual and set the timer for 25 minutes, high pressure. Switch to off and wait 4 minutes. Carefully turn the pressure valve to quickly release steam. When the valve drops, open the lid. The rice should be tender and the kernels split open.

  2. For regular stovetop cooking:
    Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and wild rice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the rice is tender and the kernels split open, 60 to 70 minutes. Add more water if the rice is not done and the water is almost gone.

Make the dressing:
  1. Whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, vinegar, and salt.

Assemble the salad:
  1. Once the rice is drained, let it cool 5 to 10 minutes. (The warm rice wilts the greens just a bit.) In a large bowl, mix the rice with the arugula, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, green onions, jicama and enough dressing to make everything taste good but not overwhelmed. (You may have leftover dressing.) Season to taste with about 20 grinds of the black pepper and more salt, if needed.

  2. If you wish, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top.

  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe Notes
  • Feel free to substitute another leafy green vegetable like spinach for the arugula. Or  a mix of arugula and spinach. Or chopped broccoli. Or fresh pea shoot if available.
  • If your dates are a bit dry or firm, soak them in water about 10 minutes before cutting.
  • You may not need all of the dressing. Mix in about half of the dressing; add more if you think the salad needs it.
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.

5 comments

  • 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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.