If you’re in for a luscious Thanksgiving side dish, you’ll be twitterpated with this Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf recipe. Brown and black rice is lightly toasted with savory aromatics, then simmered to a softened perfection. Paired with sauteed vegetables and dried cranberries, to create a magical experience for your mouth.
Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf
I am slightly giddy over this festive recipe. Once you make it, you’ll completely understand my slight obsession. When I stock up on my favorite whole grains is often when I toss this lustrous dish together. There’s no learning curve to learning how to cook wild rice. Super easy and delicious.
Just like my Brown Rice Porcini Mushroom Risotto and Warm Farro Panzanella Salad, this cranberry rice pilaf with vegetables is pure perfection as a dinner or a side dish. Seriously, the best of both worlds and the tastiest leftovers. Can you even fathom that it’s a one-pot meal too?!
You can also enjoy this dish cold, warm, or straight out of the pan when it’s piping hot. For me, this depends on the season. I tend to eat it hotter when it’s colder out and vice versa.
What is Wild Rice Pilaf?
In its most basic form, it’s a mixture of rice, spices, and herbs, sauteed in a dash of oil, then simmered to softness in broth. Some pilaf recipes, like this one, utilize vegetables and dried fruits to further the flavor of the dish.
Wild rice is commonly a mixture of brown basmati grains and long black rice. However, this will depend on the brand and type you buy as each mixture has some of its own additions. I love making my own mixture just so I know exactly what’s in there.
How to Cook Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf
- Saute – Saute the onions before adding in the carrots, herbs, and spices. Add in the rice.
- Simmer – Add in the stock, bell pepper, and some of the cranberries. Simmer. Remove from heat and leave to sit for a bit and continue cooking in its own steam.
- Serve – Fluff the dish, garnish, serve, and enjoy!
- Wild Mushrooms
- Chopped Pecans
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Brussels Sprouts
- Toasted Pine Nuts
- Roasted Grapes
- Dried Cherries or Apricots.
- Is rice pilaf gluten-free? This dish is definitely gluten-free. Not all recipes are made the same as mine though. So, it’s always a good idea to check all ingredients in a recipe to ensure no gluten ingredients are used.
- Is pilaf healthy? This particular recipe is packed with nutrients. However, if you’re looking for something that is low carb, grains aren’t the way to go. In other words, this probably isn’t the dish for you.
- What is the difference between wild rice and pilaf? The only difference is the cooking method. Wild rice is often boiled without seasoning. Rice pilaf has the rice toasted in a little oil with spices or herbs before simmering slowly until softened.
- Can I make my own wild rice mix? To make your own mix, combine equal parts brown basmati grains and long black rice. Easy peasy!
- Is there a substitute for the white wine? Of course! Just simply swap out some lemon juice or veggie stock in its place.
- Which cranberries should i use? This recipe calls for dried sweet cranberries, the fresh ones simply would not hold up to the cooking time here. Save those for your Thanksgiving Orange Cranberry Sauce and the best ever Cranberry Bread.
More Rice Recipes:
- Coconut Spinach Rice Pilaf
- Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice
- Wild Rice Mushroom Soup
- Lemon Artichoke Risotto.
Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf
- 1.5 cup wild rice mix ( brown & black rice)
- 1.2 yellow onion - diced
- 1 bell pepper - diced
- 1 carrot - grated
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries ( i love the orange flavored)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries - for garnish
- 1/3 cup vegan white wine
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig sage
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 3 sprigs oregano
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch sea salt - to your taste
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs - chopped
- Heat up a large deep skillet or pot over medium low flame. Add the olive oil ( or a splash of water ) and the chopped onion. Sautee with a pinch of sea salt until translucent.
- Stir in the grated carrot, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Add the wild rice mix and mix well to combine. Allow it to toast together with the aromatics for a couple of minute.
- Add in the chopped bell pepper and 1 cup of the cranberries. Pour in the vegetable stock or water, stir and taste for seasonings. Add more sea salt to your taste.
- Bring the pilaf to a simmer, cover with a tight lid and cook on low flame for 50 minutes.
- Turn off the flame but do not remove the lid. Allow the rice to sit covered for 10 to 15 minutes and continue cooking in its own steam.
- Discard the bay leaves and the woody sprigs from the herbs. Use a fork and gently fluff up the rice.
- Serve warm or cold garnished with the remaining cranberries and fresh herbs.
- What is the difference between wild rice and rice pilaf? The only difference is the cooking method. Wild rice is often boiled without seasoning. Rice pilaf has the rice sauteed in spices or herbs and oil, before simmering slowly until softened.
- Can I make my own wild rice mix? To make your own mix, simply combine equal parts brown basmati grains and long black rice.
- Is there a substitute for the white wine? Yes, simply swap out some lemon juice or veggie stock in its place.