Copycat J. Alexander's Orzo and Wild Rice Salad Recipe | (2024)

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This copycat version of the salad served at J. Alexander's restaurant is made with wild rice, orzo pasta, onions, corn, currants, bell pepper, and basil tossed with a balsamic and honey dressing.

Copycat J. Alexander's Orzo and Wild Rice Salad Recipe | (1)


ready in:

2-5 hrs

13 reviews
1 comment


1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1/3 cup raw wild rice
3 tablespoons diced red onions
3 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons canned or frozen corn
3 tablespoons diced yellow bell pepper
3 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Orzo Dressing

1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Cook both the orzo and wild rice as directed on their respective packages. Rinse both in cold water, drain well and place in a large bowl.

Add the onions, currants, corn, bell peppers, basil, salt, pepper, and parsley to the orzo and wild rice. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until chilled.

Combine all the dressing ingredients except the canola and olive oil. Mix well. While stirring, slowly add both the oils. Mix until well blended.

Toss the chilled salad mixture with the dressing and serve immediately.

recipe tips

Lightly toast the wild rice in a hot skillet before cooking to boost its nutty flavor.

If using frozen corn, thaw it before adding to the salad. For canned corn, make sure it's drained well.

Try adding other ingredients like toasted nuts, feta cheese, or cherry tomatoes for extra flavor.

Only cook the orzo to al dente otherwise it may become mushy while chilling.

For a healthier version, you can reduce the amount of oil in the dressing or use a lighter oil alternative.

The salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. It's great as a make-ahead dish for gatherings.

common recipe questions

Can I substitute another type of rice for wild rice?

Yes, you can use brown rice or a rice blend if wild rice is not available. The texture and flavor will differ slightly but will still complement the salad.

Is it possible to use dried basil instead of fresh?

Fresh basil is preferred for its vibrant flavor, but in a pinch, you can use dried basil. Use one-third of the amount specified for fresh basil. You might want to let the dressing sit for a bit so the dried basil can release its flavor.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare this salad in advance. It's recommended to add the dressing just before serving to keep the salad fresh.

What alternatives can I use if I don't have white balsamic vinegar?

You can use regular balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar. Each will add a slightly different flavor.

Is it necessary to chill the salad before serving?

Chilling allows the flavors to blend together, but if you're short on time, you can serve it immediately after tossing with the dressing.

nutrition data

449 calories, 28 grams fat, 46 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein per serving.

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reviews & comments

  1. GerryHD REVIEW:
    December 13, 2016

    This is a wonderful salad. I don't think the photo above does it justice - looks like there is a lot of white rice in it and no wild rice (hence the 4 star rating). The original recipe calls for wild rice and orzo - definitely 5 star!I am going to make it again for a Christmas pot-luck lunch tomorrow.

    • CDKitchen Staff Reply:

      The photo was submitted by a user of the website, not CDKitchen staff. They must have made substitutions to the recipe based on preferences or what they had available to them.

  2. Mom B October 19, 2014

    I just ate this for the first time at J Alexanders last night. I agree with the earlier post - there were slivered almonds. I also remember dried cranberries and currants.

  3. Anonymous REVIEW:
    July 29, 2014

    love love love this salad!! I skip the currants though.

  4. workedthere REVIEW:
    May 28, 2014

    Close, but I worked there... the vinagerette is a cliantro vin.. and there is no green peppers. there is also red winter wheat, and slivers of almonds

  5. Grandmadd REVIEW:
    March 23, 2014

    This is my favorite side dish ever . It is beautiful and extremely delicious !

  6. kitchensarah REVIEW:
    October 28, 2013

    Super impressive salad! I was glad I chose it for the luncheon menu. Everyone really loved it.

  7. urhighness75 REVIEW:
    August 9, 2013


  8. So Very Carrie REVIEW:
    July 16, 2013

    Amazing salad recipe. Very gourmet, good flavors, pretty, you just can't ask for more than that!

  9. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    July 7, 2013

    My neighbor made this yesterday and I told her I loved it so much that I was going to write a review for it! It is incredible! I think she must have doubled the recipe so it works well if you do that. It's a really pretty salad too with all the different colors and the combination of orzo and wild rice.

  10. Jen REVIEW:
    March 30, 2013

    Big hit at family gathering. I tripled everything except the dressing, which I doubled. I also added crushed toasted pecans. Turned out great!

  11. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    April 15, 2012

    Definitely a five! I serve this a lot. It is also a great dish to take to a luncheon or cookout!Heavenly, Diabetics….watch the carbs as it is loaded.C. D.Franklin, Tn4=15=12

  12. W & L REVIEW:
    September 24, 2011

    My neice made this for a dinner and we love it. My husband doesn''t usually like this kind of food but he can't get enough of it. This is a keeper!!

  13. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    August 1, 2011

    Made this for a party, It was wonderful, I changed out the Currants for Dried cranberry's, I will be making this again.

  14. raymond REVIEW:
    May 11, 2011


Please note:
This is a copy cat recipe submitted to CDKitchen by a third-party. This recipe is not an original recipe unless specifically stated and is considered only to be an acceptable "clone" to the original for the home cook to attempt to duplicate. Please also note that many nationwide restaurant chains vary their menus and ingredients by region so the version provided may not be similar to what you may have tried before. All trademarks referenced are property of their respective owners.


Copycat J. Alexander's Orzo and Wild Rice Salad Recipe | (2024)


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