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O boy! Do I have the easiest most amazing saffron rice salad for you for dinner tonight!

I’m not going to lie… I made this vegan salad the other night as a way to use up what I had in my fridge and it turned out to be a gluten- and dairy-free masterpiece. My family loved it, but that doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. They’d eat a sock if it was covered in hummus.

Simple rice is tossed with creamy hummus then jazzed up with pecans, dried cherries, asparagus, saffron, scallions, cilantro and pretty lettuce leaves. If you can believe it, this recipe can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes is you make the rice ahead of time (say, the night before).

Easy, right? Told ya it was simple.

It’s great for a weeknight dinner and leftovers taste twice as good the next day.

O ya and toss in a bit of fresh lemon zest while you’re at it.

When in doubt, add lemon zest, sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes.

That, folks, is the secret to my easy ‘clean’ cooking.


Gluten-Free Saffron Rice Pecan Salad
Serves: 6
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan
Author: Amie Valpone
Recipe type: Entree



  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Add in saffron threads 5 minutes into cooking.
  2. Remove from heat, add in asparagus pieces and mix well to combine. Cover and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine rice mixture with humus. Add scallions, cilantro, sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried cherries and pecans; gently toss to combine.
  4. Serve rice mixture amongst six plates atop a bed of fresh salad greens.
Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Saffron Rice Pecan Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 247 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Sodium 131mg6%
Potassium 176mg5%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 820IU16%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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  1. 5 stars
    Looks so delicious-I want it for breakfast 😉
    Thanks for the recipe-never thought of putting rice
    in a green salad. I’ll make this one!

  2. 5 stars
    I think I’m supposed to comment here for the contest posted on FB. I love salads! I don’t eat any grains, so I can see substituting cauliflower ‘rice’ in this recipe Sounds delish!

  3. Amie – that salad looks amazing! Never thought to toss rice in with hummus! Def. going to add that to our menu! As always thanks for the awesome recipes!

  4. This recipe looks wonderful!
    Would also liked to be entered for the greens contest!

  5. That looks great! I bet sun dried tomato hummus would go well with this salad too (or even replacing the hummus with guacamole)

  6. This salad looks and sounds awesome. I am new to clean eating, something my sports nutritionist is directing me toward since our first meeting yesterday. Definitely going to try this recipe out.

    Also, would love to be entered for the greens contest. Thanks.

  7. 4 stars
    Would love to try this! And would love to be entered into the greens contest! Been looking for organic greens for a while!

  8. I love the use of rice in a salad. I always use couscous or quinoa, using rice did cross my mind but now I’m inspired as well 🙂 thanks!

  9. Commenting in reference to the fb giveaway. 🙂 Love organic girl salads especially the spinach selection!! Also the recipe here looks yummy!!

  10. This recipe is making me drool. I eat alot of salads but more so now that summer is here. Definitely making this. Please enter me in the greens contest.

  11. Looks amazing !
    Being a Celiac / Diabetic I just love the fresh , clean recipes that
    are posted, so creative ! Thank you for sharing ~ Pat

  12. YUM!! I will have to try out this recipe. My entire family of eight loves salads!!!!

  13. 3 stars
    You did it again!! Another delicious recipe AND easy. I was just wondering, the recipe title says saffron rice. I have never heard of that. In the ingredients list it just says rice. Is saffron rice better for you? Can you use any kind of rice, other than white, or is one nutrionally better than another? Hubby and I are doing good trying to make the switch to eating clean. But we want to do a lot better. We have a lot more weight to loose, but we are not giving up! Your recipes and wealth of information, along with the encouragement make it soooooo much easier. Thanks for everything. My hubby is diabetic and I want to stay away from things that would harm him. He had begun to feel signs of neuropathy in his feet, and we both are very concerned. We would love to reverse those signs and see his diabetes go away. Any suggestions on helping diabetics would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks Lori; great to hear from you! Happy to help anytime. Check out my Sugar-Free How To page on the right hand side and that should help! Enjoy. oxx

  14. 4 stars
    I just ran out of Saffron and will be running to get some today after seeing this recipe. Now that it’s finally getting a little warmer, there’s nothing better than meals made of hearty fresh salads. And I can’t imagine what I would do if I won a year’s worth of organic greens!

  15. I have a salad everyday; they’re so many options! Please enter me in the give a way.

  16. wow this looks delicious! I would never have thought to mix saffron rice and hummus in a salad! I eat salads 5-8 times/week I will try this one!!

  17. 5 stars
    I like the idea of hummus + rice. My kids will mix hummus with whole wheat pasta and go to town on that, so I bet they would like this, too. Thanks for a great idea! We are veg, so I”m always trying to find ways to load my kids with protein (and not with processed meat substitutes). Also, please enter me for the FB salad contest! That would be a dream. 🙂

  18. Looks very delicious, easy & so healthy! A triple combo! Love the idea of adding the lemon zest & sea salt!

  19. 5 stars
    YUM! I love rice on salads! I think Chipotle got me started with that when I tried brown rice on a burrito bowl for the first time! 🙂 Would love to be entered into the Organic Greens giveaway on Facebook! Thanks, Amie! <3

  20. On the menu for tonight with a few variations, but thanks for the hummus and rice idea! Can’t wait!

  21. So enjoy reading through a list of ingredients and thinking, yes – I love that, and I love that, and I love that… Put them all together? Sure, why not? Deliciousness ensues. Sometimes my attempt to use up items in the fridge turns out surprisingly well, and then other times – well, I’m happy I’m the only one eating it.

  22. Looks delicious! I’d love to try it and all your other salad recipes with winning the years supply of salad!

  23. We’d love to win the greens from your Facebook giveaway. We eat salads every day and the one posted here looks so good!

  24. love when items in fridge come together for the latest greatest masterpiece and it’s “just” salad. What creations can actually happen when we put our minds to it. So much fun. and so pretty too

  25. Wow! Looks wonderful. I am so blessed that my favorite co-op carries all these wonderful ingredients in bulk. Healthy food does NOT have to be expensive.

  26. 5 stars
    Looks delicious!! Clever to use hummus in salad dressing ! Will leave out fruit and try with eggplant flavored hummus from Trader Joes for savory version.

  27. This salad looks scrumptious! Would be a welcome blessing to win the greens contest! Would help the health and the pocketbook! 🙂

  28. 4 stars
    Looks luscious! Would a great way to start the day or as part of an eveing meal. I might switch out the rice with farro or quinoa for an added protein boost.

  29. Amie, eating in Burlington, Vermont this weekend (about the best place to live healthy and organic in the USA) has given me renewed vigor in meal planning and preparation! Ever been to City Market there? Local and fresh incredible! You would love it!
    Meals like your salad become possible and ingredients are easy to find at the height of freshness there!

  30. 5 stars
    LOVE this recipe!! I think I’m going to try it with quinoa — love that in a salad!! INSPIRED!

  31. 5 stars
    I think if there is one thing that can make anything over the top delicious, it’s pecans! I can’t keep them in the house! I really love that you provide nutrition information as well.

  32. I love the use-whatever-is-in-your-fridge recipes! I would love to try this with Organic Girl salad mixes. Thank you!

  33. 5 stars
    Yum! I will have to try this! I love the saffron and all of the pretty colors. I bet its filling, too. And what a GREAT giveaway!!

  34. 5 stars
    Looks like another great recipe from Te Healthy Apple!
    Love this Organic Girl giveaway….best giveaway yet..IMO

  35. 5 stars
    Recipe looks fabulous! One that is definitely on my list to try. Thanks for the Organic Girl giveaway….love their product!

  36. Gorgeous! I have read several times that mixing rice with a legume creates a perfect protein, so I think your hummus/chickpeas with the rice boost the protein in this fab salad!

  37. Oh wow, everything I normally love to eat in different meals all in one salad? Yum!

  38. I love salads, but have never bought saffron threads or even tasted them. I do love organicgirl salad boxes! We only get a couple in alaska, I’ve never seen the boxed kale, which I would love!

  39. This looks scrumptious! I love adding grains to my salad and can’t wait to try the saffron! I also love Organic Girl greens! Perfect combo. Thanks for an awesome giveaway!

  40. 3 stars
    I absolutely love baby greens and the organic, pre-washed kind are the best! Making salad couldn’t be easier 🙂

  41. I’m definitely going to try out this salad soon! I love it that people are coming out with more and more gluten-free recipes!

    Also, I would like to be entered for the Organic Girl giveaway, please. 🙂

  42. That looks amazing! I make a lot of salad and I’m always trying to think of fun new additions to add on top (wheat berries, bulgur, black bean ‘salsa’, etc) but I haven’t tried rice yet!

  43. 5 stars
    Just reading today about the brain-health benefits of saffron. This looks yummy and it’s good medicine!

  44. This looks awesome … dressing is really outstanding , salad is looking different and delicious. I think it is the best salad I’ve seen . I can’t wait any more to eat such a delicious salad.

  45. Thanks Amie! This looks amazing! I can’t wait to.make this in the firehouse for my crew!

  46. love salads for dinner in the summer and this one sounds like it’s going on the list. Love it. thanks for posting this.

  47. Thank you so much for your posts!! So many healthy recipes from which to choose. After struggling since high school with weight issues and yoyo’ing back and forth between “x” fad diet and “y” fad diet I decided I was finished letting myself down. Just over a year ago I took charge and made a lifestyle change. I focused in and made time for exercise and really began to pay attention to what I was putting into my body. I started shopping organic as much as possible and took it a step further to try to purchase local as much as I could. I’ve lost weight, feel the best I ever have and I’m truly happy. It’s incredible what healthy eating can do–I never realized until I made a commitment to myself to do better. Thank you for helping in that journey with fresh, healthy, inspiring recipes!

  48. Love the looks of this salad; you could use so many flavorful and delicious rice varieties in this, too. Never thought about using Hummus in that way, though. Sounds wonderful.

  49. I am loving a whole new level of salads lately! The “stranger” the ingredients the more I like them. Lots of flavor and very filling. I use organic girl lettuce when I can find it and have even started using it into smoothies.

  50. I love organic girl greens and would love a chance to win the giveaway! Great idea to mix hummus into the rice. Sounds delicious, I think I might try this one tonight 🙂

  51. I just picked up some organic girl salad for dinner – would love to win the giveaway! This salad looks amazing, now that it’s getting hot here in Charleston, I eat salads for my main dish several times a week, thanks for the great recipe can’t wait to try it!

  52. I mix quinoa with hummus as my salad dressing all the time!! So good!! I would love love love to win your giveaway – I eat veggies for breakfast, lunch and dinner : )

  53. 5 stars
    I love this! I have salad for dinner every night and I’m always looking for ways to spice it up. Always looking to make veggies more tastier and exciting so that my non-vegetarian husband and I can still enjoy delicious and nutritious meals together.

  54. This salad looks so delish!!! And loooove Organic Girl romaine lettuce leaves…they are lifesavers! 🙂

  55. Super simple and easy dinners like this are the best! Lemon zest is one of my favorite ingredients. I bet it gives great pop of flavor to this salad.

  56. 5 stars
    I love how this recipe can be prepared ahead of time to make for a super simple quick lunch the next day!

  57. Thanks for the great salad recipes!
    Now….if only I had a new blender to whip up some awesome dressings with…hmmm. 🙂

  58. 5 stars
    This sounds delicious! Eating g-free means lots of salads, and I miss a bit of grain now and then. Never thought about adding some rice to one. Would love to win a Ninja! Thanks!

  59. I enjoy your postings both on the Website and Facebook. Would love to have the Ninjas to try more recipes. Thank you for all you do!

  60. Wow would never have thought of that combination , please enter me into the giveaway 🙂

  61. 5 stars
    This looks like heaven! Thank you for making my new gluten free life so wonderful!! Ninja Give A Way is exciting!

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