Stuffing is an essential side dish for any Thanksgiving meal, but sometimes you need to lay off the carbs. Enter this wild rice stuffing with all of the flavors you want from the classic holiday dish without the bread.
Wild rice, while called rice, is not directly related to typical white and brown rice. It's more like a cousin, and is harvested from grasses that grow in shallow rivers and lakes. It's high in protein and fiber, and low in fat and has a pleasant, chewy texture and a nutty flavor. It's also expensive, which is why the grain is typically packaged with brown and red rice as a "wild rice blend." Blends offer a nice contrast in texture and color while still containing whole grains. If you'd like to use all wild rice for this recipe, simply follow the package instructions for cook time.
Fresh sage and parsley give this dish classic stuffing flavor while mushrooms keep the dish savory. Dried cranberries lend chewy texture and a nice sweet tartness, and toasted pecans add crunch.
This stuffing can be prepared ahead of time and served at room temperature, making your holiday dinner prep a breeze. Whether you're eating gluten-free, low carb, or just switching things up this Thanksgiving, wild rice stuffing is sure to become a new holiday tradition.
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice blend (rinsed and well-drained)
- 3 cups chicken broth (or turkey or vegetable broth)
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- 1/2 pound mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves (chopped and packed)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Black pepper
- 1/3 cup pecans (toasted and chopped)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves (chopped and packed)
Gather the ingredients.
Add the wild rice and broth to a medium saucepan and stir, season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cover with the lid. Turn the heat down to low and cook according to package directions, 20 to 40 minutes.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and celery. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and sage and sauté for about 5 more minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and browned.
Add the dried cranberries and season with salt and pepper. Toss and remove from the heat.
Taste the rice for doneness. If not tender enough, cook for 5 to 10 more minutes. Once cooked, let sit off the heat with the lid on for 10 minutes.
If all of the liquid is not absorbed, drain the rice. In a large bowl, toss the rice, mushroom mixture, pecans, and parsley. Taste for seasoning and serve.
- Use all wild rice instead of a wild rice blend. Follow package directions for accurate cook time.
- Make this recipe vegan by using vegetable stock and vegan margarine instead of butter.
- Swap the dried cranberries for dried cherries or chopped dried apricots.
- Swap the pecans for walnuts or almonds.
- Add peeled, cubed, and roasted butternut squash (1 to 2 cups).
- Add cooked and crumbled sausage (1 cup).