Wild Rice Stuffing is a delicious alternative to traditional bread stuffing. This recipe is made with wild rice, dried cranberries, onion, mushrooms, pistachios and fresh herbs. It’s a colorful, nutritious and satisfying addition to any meal and is perfect for the holidays.
When it comes to the holidays, I am all about the side dishes. Some of our favorites include dairy-free mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and this wild rice stuffing. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory and is so colorful and festive.
As much as I love my cornbread stuffing, this year instead of the usual bread stuffing, I decided I’m going to change things up with this rice stuffing recipe! It’s filled with delicious flavor and texture. This is also a great option if you have any vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free family or friends that will be joining you for any holiday celebrations.
Put this stuffing on your holiday menus, but also work this flavorful, easy recipe into weekday dinners. It’s easy, delicious and family-friendly.
What is Wild Rice?
Surprisingly, wild rice is not technically rice at all. Wild rice is the seed of a species of aquatic grass that grows primarily in the Great Lakes region of North America. It was originally grown and harvested by Native Americans, who have used the grain as a staple food for hundreds of years. It can now be conveniently found at pretty much any major grocery store in any region.
When shopping for wild rice, you will probably also notice the option to buy wild rice blend. You can really use either in this recipe. Wild rice is a longer and darker grain that with a nuttier flavor and texture. Wild rice blend is generally a combination of the wild rice and brown rice.
- Wild rice – the base of this stuffing and a delicious whole grain that’s packed with nutrients.
- Sea Salt – to season the rice.
- Dried cranberries – I love the sweet & tangy bites of dried cranberries. Dried cherries would also be delicious.
- Extra virgin olive oil – for cooking the onion, mushrooms and rosemary (or thyme).
- Yellow onion – for extra flavor in the stuffing.
- Shiitake or cremini mushrooms – adds a delicious earthy, umami, flavor that works really well in this recipe.
- Fresh herbs – we’re using rosemary or thyme and parsley to bring out the wonderful fall flavor.
- Pistachios – gives the stuffing a lovely nutty flavor and adds color.
How to Make Wild Rice Stuffing
This is a super easy recipe! Here’s a quick rundown of how to cook this dish, but scroll down to the recipe card for the full, printable recipe.
- Cook rice. Boil a large saucepan of water with 2 teaspoons salt. Add the wild rice and cook until the grains are tender and beginning to split, 30-45 minutes. Drain the rice, then transfer back to the saucepan or into a bowl. Stir in the cranberries.
- Sauté veggies. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook 2 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the mushrooms and rosemary and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Remove from the heat.
- Serve. Once the rice has cooked, add it to the skillet along with the pistachios and parsley and stir everything together to combine. Serve warm and enjoy!
Quick tip: Wild rice takes a bit of time to cook. While the rice is simmering away, you can go ahead and sauté the veggies.
If you’re making this dish for the holidays, it’s nice to have as much of this recipe as possible already prepared. You can cook the wild rice a day or two in advance. You can also chop the onion a day or two in advance.
Can I use this stuffing for the inside of the turkey?
I don’t don’t recommend stuffing the turkey with this wild rice stuffing. You will most likely end up with overcooked rice, since the turkey takes much longer to cook.
What to Serve with Wild Rice Stuffing
But it’s also a must alongside turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Is wild rice healthy?
Wild rice is definitely a nutritious food to include in your diet! It is gluten-free, low in fat, and high in both lysine (an amino acid) and fiber. It is also a great plant-based protein source, containing 4 grams per one cup of cooked wild rice. And it is rich in the antioxidant, Manganese, which plays a role in keeping the mitochondria in your cells healthy.
- Storing. Leftover wild rice stuffing will keep well, refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
More delicious side dish recipes to try:
- Holiday Salad with Apple Cider Dressing
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes
- Beet Salad with Arugula and Walnuts
- Brussels Sprouts with Apple and Bacon
- Festive Kale Salad
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
If you make this delicious wild rice stuffing, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for me and our Clean & Delicious community (thank you!).
Wild Rice Stuffing
- 1 ½ cups (240g) wild rice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 8 ounces (225g) shiitake or cremini mushrooms sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
- 1/3 cup (40g) chopped pistachios
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil with 2 teaspoons salt. Add the wild rice and cook until the grains are tender and beginning to split, 30-45 minutes. Drain the rice, then transfer back to the saucepan or into a bowl. Stir in the cranberries.
- Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook 2 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the mushrooms and rosemary and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Remove from the heat.
- Add the wild rice to the skillet along with the pistachios and parsley, stirring to combine everything together. Serve warm.
The wild rice stuffing can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes before serving.