Fruit and Nut Salad

This Fruit and Nut Salad has a really great texture with tons of delicious flavors. It features dried fruit and toasted nuts, mixed with whole grains and a lovely, fresh dressing. It is the perfect summer salad.

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Fruit and nut salad in a bowl.

We love the texture of this nut and dried fruit salad. Other hearty salads that feature grains include this Quinoa Tabbouleh and this yummy Italian rice salad. Check out all of our salad recipes for more inspiration.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This delicious salad is versatile. It can be enjoyed as a light lunch and also makes the perfect side dish or appetizer.
  • Do you need to take lunch with you or bring something for a potluck or BBQ? This recipe is really portable and travels well.
  • This recipe is also naturally vegan and gluten-free. Bonus!
Fruit and nut salad in a bowl.


Find the complete ingredient list, with measurements, in the recipe card below.

Salad Ingredients

  • Rice – We generally opt for brown rice. You can cook it using this easy method or check out how to cook brown rice in broth for an even richer result.
  • Dried Fruit – This recipe features dried cranberries and dried blueberries.
  • Nuts – We typically use toasted pecans and walnuts.
  • Chives – These will be thinly sliced, and add a nice onion taste with a subtle hint of garlic.
  • Celery – This adds a clean crunch to the salad.

Dressing Ingredients

  • Vinegar – We typically use white vinegar in our dressings for its neutral taste.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh citrus adds a bright flavor to this simple dressing.
  • Garlic – Finely minced, this brings a little bit of punch.
  • Mustard – For a bit of warmth and a hint of spice.
  • Coconut Sugar – The light sweetness adds balance.
  • Olive Oil – This makes your dressing smooth and rich.
  • Salt + Pepper – Essential seasonings to bring out the best of your ingredients.


  • Saucepan and Strainer – For cooking and rinsing the rice.
  • Large Bowl – For mixing the components of the salad
  • Small Mason Jar with Lid – Our favorite way to make salad dressing! Shake it up.
Our Pick
Small Mason Jars with Lids
  • Ideal size for dressings.
  • Also great for gifting.

See it on Amazon


Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the FULL recipe details.

Step 1

Start by getting the rice cooking. As mentioned, we like to use the cooked rice-like pasta technique. So easy!

Once it is cooked, you will drain the water and rinse the cooked rice with cold water.

Step 2

Then, while the rice is cooking, get the dressing started.

Place the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake it really well to emulsify. Set the jar aside.

Dressing in a jar.

Step 3

Next, prep the other ingredients.

Add the chopped veggies, dried fruit, and nuts to the large mixing bowl.

Ingredients in a bowl.

Step 4

Then, add the cooked and rinsed rice to the bowl.

Give it a good stir to combine everything.

Ingredients being stirred in a bowl.

Step 5

Lastly, shake the dressing once more and then pour it over the ingredients in the mixing bowl.

Toss everything well to coat the ingredients with the dressing.

Dressing being poured over ingredients a bowl.

Expert Tip!

Use toasted nuts for depth. Toasting nuts really enhances their flavor and, in our experience, really adds extra oomph to your salad. Try lightly toasting your nuts before adding them to the dish.


  • Switch it up with the dried fruit by using raisins, dates, or other dried berries.
  • You can use cooked quinoa or pasta instead of rice. For inspiration, check out all of these delicious and healthy gluten-free grains.
  • Use almonds, pinenuts, or cashews instead of walnuts and pecans.
  • Swap in a different oil, such as MCT oil, for the dressing.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of dried fruit, try this recipe using fresh fruit like freshly sliced strawberries, kiwis, apples, grapes, raspberries, or blackberries.
  • Add some creaminess to this salad with some goat cheese or feta cheese. If you want to keep it vegan use chunks of fresh avocado.
  • Boost the protein content of your salad by adding grilled chicken, chickpeas, or tofu, making it a satisfying and balanced meal.
  • Incorporate some leafy greens into the mix by tossing in a handful of baby spinach or romaine lettuce.
Fruit and nut salad in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

  • This is perfect to enjoy as a light lunch. We love it for meal prepping and having it in the fridge ready to pack for lunches.
  • Portion it into small bowls, drizzle with a sweet balsamic vinegar glaze, and serve as an appetizer or side dish. 


Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can! In fact, it tastes even better with time. Prepare the salad as instructed, cover the bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Storage Tips

To Store: This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give it a good stir before eating.

Fruit and nut salad in a bowl.

More Salad Recipes with Grains

Italian Cold Rice Salad


Cowboy Caviar Salad

Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad

a bowl of chicken and rice salad.

Chicken and Rice Salad with Fresh Basil and Lemon

**This recipe was originally posted on March 30, 2015. Updated on April 30, 2019, and updated again on April 19, 2024, with recipe notes, writing, and photos.**

If you’ve tried this cold rice salad recipe, please rate it and let us know how it turned out by leaving a comment below. We’re always interested in feedback!

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Fruit and nut salad in a bowl.

Fruit and Nut Salad

Sharon Rhodes
This Fruit and Nut Salad has a really great texture with tons of delicious flavors. It features dried fruit and toasted nuts, mixed with whole grains and a lovely, fresh dressing. It is the perfect summer salad.
4.78 from 45 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 511 kcal


For the salad

  • 1 cup dry brown rice
  • ½ cup dried fruit * We use ¼ cup each dried cranberries and dried blueberries
  • cup chopped pecans
  • cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup finely chopped white onion

For the dressing

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic *minced
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper


  • Start by cooking the brown rice. Use the package instructions or our method linked in the post.
  • Meanwhile, in a small jar, add all of the dressing ingredients, shake, and set aside.
  • Stir together the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Once the rice is cooked, drain it and rinse it well with cold water.
  • Stir the rice with the mixture in the bowl. Shake the dressing again and pour over the rice mixture.
  • Stir really well and serve.



To Store: This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give it a good stir before eating.


Calories: 511kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 7gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 26mgPotassium: 425mgFiber: 6gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 135IUVitamin C: 3.5mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 2.1mg
Keyword cold rice salad, fruit and nut salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    1. And it just gets better in the fridge! I ate this batch over three days and it tasted better every day. 🙂 Thanks Alicia!

  1. 5 stars
    I am not a vegan/gluten free cook/baker specifically, but this recipe caught my eye and I made it the other night. My husband and I LOVE it! We ate almost the whole batch for dinner. He asked me to make more the next day so he could have it for lunch all week. I toasted my walnuts to give them more flavor, added sunflower seeds & used cranberries & Turkish Apricots for the first batch. The 2nd batch I used cranberries and blueberries. The dried fruit possibilities are endless. Also, my mother would like to try it but can not use mustard. What would you recommend as a good substitute? Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hey Jill! I have to say, I think this is my favourite comment I’ve received on my blog. 🙂 I love that your husband will be eating this for lunch all week! Great idea to toast the nuts, and you are so right about the endless ways this can be customized. As far as the mustard, you could probably do without it. Maybe add a little juice or something to the dressing to give it a little zip. Have a fabulous long weekend, and thanks again for the wonderful comment! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I think it’s a good choice for the Walking Dead. After all, they’re getting down to staples when they find provisions – everything else has spoiled. We watch it, too. My partner still can’t believe he’s hooked, as zombies are not his thing (mine either, really).

    Your salad is great – just the sort of thing that’s filling and satisfying, while also qualifying as healthy.

    1. Hey thanks Teresa! 🙂 I really like that parallel there. They would be eating this salad. I wonder if Rick would like it? 😉 Competition for Carol’s casseroles …

4.78 from 45 votes (42 ratings without comment)

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