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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.

wild rice pilaf recipe, easy ricer pilaf
Tender, delicious wild rice pilaf is the perfect addition to your table

The wild rice pilaf recipe you’ll get requests for

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.

wild rice pilaf recipe
Use a wild rice blend that incorporates several varieties of 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 recipe
Add protein for a complete or heartier dish, if you’d like

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 it 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.)

Serve your rice pilaf with one of these main dishes

Try these easy, tasty roasted vegetables:

wild rice pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf

4.74 from 45 ratings
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.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Servings: 15


  • 2 cups wild rice blend, such as Lundgren's
  • 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


  • 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. 


I cook my wild rice blend for 55 minutes, keeping covered for another 10 minutes off heat afterwards. 
Wild rice pilaf can be made several hours ahead of time and reheated just before serving. If reheating leftovers the next day, sprinkle with a bit of broth to re-moisten prior to reheating.
Vegetable alternatives include: chopped bell peppers, broccoli florets, cut green beans, and mushrooms. Make it a meal-in-one by adding cooked/cubed chicken, turkey, or ham. 
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating 🙂 


Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3.4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8.8mg | Sodium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1.5g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop

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Recipe Rating


    • Heather Harris
    • 5 stars

    This is Amazing! I would give 10 stars if could! I love wild rice and this is the first recipe I’ve tried that gives Justice to making yourself vs a quick box LOL. I am actually new to liking brussel sprouts but honestly don’t think I have tried since I was a kid but I definitely think that is what puts your recipe over the top. I do add celery… my preference but that is the only thing I changed. Thinking as you suggested to try adding even more veggies. 🙂 I recently made at a family gathering & was a Huge Hit which is saying a lot because my aunts are great cooks & entertain a lot so thanks so much for recipe & being able to impress my family! Quick question, is it freezable?

    • Hickory
    • 5 stars

    My whole family loved it. Would advise to add more broth when cooking the rice. Mine burned at the bottom but I scooped what wasn’t burned and it still turned out delicious.

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