Wild Rice Pilaf
This wild rice pilaf recipe creates a side dish that’s full of delicious flavor. You can make this easy rice pilaf ahead of time, as it reheats well. Great for holidays and everyday meals.
In This Article
- The wild rice pilaf recipe They’ll Love
- What is Wild Rice?
- How to Cook Wild Rice
- Pro Tips for perfect wild rice pilaf
- Wild Rice Pilaf Ingredient Substitutions
- Make Wild Rice Pilaf ahead of time
- Wild Rice Pilaf RecipeCommonly Asked Questions
- Serve your rice pilaf with one of these main dishes
- Try these easy, tasty roasted vegetables:
- Shop this Recipe
- Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe
- Did you make this?
- Rice Recipes to try
The wild rice pilaf recipe They’ll Love
A humble bowl of rice may not get the same kind of glory that Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes basks in, nor does it often receive the accolades that Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread is accustomed to.
However. We aren’t talking about just plain old rice (though I personally am more than happy to put away a heaping bowl of perfectly cooked rice any day.)
Today we’re divulging the magnificence of this wild rice pilaf that’s as brilliant as any side dish out there. This rice pilaf recipe is easy enough for casual weeknights, yet delectable enough to be paired with this luscious beef tenderloin roast with garlic wine sauce.
What is Wild Rice?
According to Healthline, Wild rice is not technically a rice at all – rather, it’s a species of grass that produces edible seeds resembling rice. Wild rice boasts a chewier texture and more robust flavor than other varieties of rice. It’s higher in protein than regular rice and contains several important antioxidants and nutrients, and tends have many health benefits regular rice does not. Though it can be pricier and take a bit longer to cook, the benefits are well worth including wild rice into your healthy diet.
How to Cook Wild Rice
For this wild rice pilaf recipe, we use a wild rice blend, which is a mixture of wild rice, red rice, and brown rice combined. Due to variations in brands of rice blends, it’s important that you follow the cooking instructions on the package of your wild rice blend.
If cooking plain wild rice alone, you might be surprised at the high water to rice ratio that’s needed. Here’s how to cook plain wild rice alone (not wild rice blend):
- 1 cup wild rice
- 4 cups water or broth of your choice
- Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer. Drain very well.
- Add rice and water (or broth) to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Immediately lower to a simmer and cover tightly. Simmer for 45 minutes, occasionally giving it a stir. Once rice is tender and cooked through, drain the excess liquid and serve, or use in any recipe that calls for cooked wild rice.
Pro Tips for perfect wild rice pilaf
- Use a wild rice blend that includes several varieties of rice. This allows the dish to have a texture balance of fluffiness, tenderness, and slight chewiness.
- Since there are different brands of wild rice blends, be sure to cook according to your package instructions, veering towards the tender side. If the rice seems a bit too firm after cooking, mix in just enough extra broth to moisten all the rice, and cover/simmer 10 more minutes or until tender but not overly cooked.
- This recipe uses only half the amount of butter that most rice pilaf recipes call for; it doesn’t need more than 1/4 cup of real butter.
- Use regular strength chicken (or vegetable) broth instead of water for cooking the rice. Same liquid to rice ratio.
- Instead of peeling and slicing large carrots, use baby carrots that only need to be thinly sliced.
- Freshly shaved brussels sprouts are simply fabulous in this rice pilaf recipe; you can use a bag of pre-shaved fresh brussels sprouts, if your grocery store carries it. If not, it’s super simple to thinly slice your own.
Wild Rice Pilaf Ingredient Substitutions
Even though this wild rice pilaf is quite perfect (humbly speaking,) feel free to play with the add-ins. Especially if you’ve made it several times and feel like switching things up according to what you’ve got in the fridge.
Options: freshly sliced sweet bell peppers, broccoli florets, cut green beans, or any variety of mushrooms would be delicious in this dish. You can even make it a meal in one to satisfy meat-lovers by adding cooked/cubed chicken, turkey, or ham.
Make Wild Rice Pilaf ahead of time
Whether your schedule is tight or you want to get some cooking done ahead of time, this wild rice pilaf has you covered. You can easily make this entire dish several hours ahead of time and reheat when ready to serve. You can even make it the night before, cover/chill, and reheat the next day
Tip: if reheating after a night in the fridge, sprinkle with a bit of broth evenly over the top just prior to reheating, which ensures that rice stays moist.
Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe
Commonly Asked Questions
Wild rice is a special type of grain that’s toothsome and robust in flavor.
It’s higher in protein than regular rice and contains several important nutrients and an impressive amount of antioxidants, as well as a healthy dose of fiber.
The most common types of wild rice include cultivated vs. wild grown. Cultivated wild rice is farmed rice, whereas wild grown is harvested by hand, near the waters of Minnesota and Canada.
Wild rice generally takes a bit longer to cook than regular rice. Once it’s cooked down to a chewy yet tender texture, it is done.
This wild rice recipe is perfect for making in advance. You can have it completely prepared several hours in advance. If you need to reheat your wild rice pilaf, sprinkle some broth over it just to re-moisten it a bit, and microwave covered until it’s hot.
Serve your rice pilaf with one of these main dishes
- Beef Tenderloin Roast – this beautiful (and easy!) tenderloin with garlic wine sauce is worth mentioning and eating time and again.
- Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken – a favorite meal for weeknights and serving guests. Super tender, moist, and flavorful.
- Saucy Maple Apple Pork Chops are tender, succulent, and so easy to make.
Try these easy, tasty roasted vegetables:
Wild Rice Pilaf
- 2 cups wild rice blend
- Regular strength chicken or vegetable broth, enough to use instead of water, for cooking rice according to package instructions
- ¼ cup salted butter, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced baby carrots
- 2 cups freshly shaved brussels sprouts
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dry Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Optional Garnishes: roasted slivered almonds, chopped cashews, or chopped pecans
- Cook rice according to package instructions, using the broth instead of water. When cook time is up, do not open lid; turn heat off and keep lid tightly covered for 10 minutes to allow continued steaming. If rice is still a bit too firm, mix in just enough extra broth to moisten all rice, cover, and simmer another 10 minutes.
- While rice is cooking, add butter to a large/deep skillet over medium high heat. Once butter is melted and starting to bubble, add onion and carrots. Stir to combine. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add brussels sprouts, garlic, Italian seasoning, and black pepper, stirring another 2 minutes until softened.
- Check rice for doneness. Fluff with fork and add to skillet with vegetable mixture, stirring to incorporate. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Did you make this?
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