Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 14, 2012 08:05 PM

How can I make wild rice less boring?

I am trying to think of a side dish to bring to a potluck tomorrow. (The main course will be pork chops.)

Most of the recipes I'm seeing have wild rice, mushrooms and onion. Maybe some herbs. And that just isn't sounding all that exciting.

Does anyone have any other thoughts?

I have a good amount of wild rices in the pantry.

Also, maybe some non-potluck ideas for me, since I do have a good amount of it and would like to put it to some good uses.

(Oh - have to contend with a food allergy to bell peppers, so leave those out of the equation. Know that makes it harder.)


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like this:
    Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pecan Dressing

    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2 large celery ribs, finely chopped
    2 cups wild rice, well rinsed
    5 cups homemade turkey broth or canned chicken broth
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    ½ teaspoon savory
    1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

    Put water and sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat to simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and cook just until all the cranberries are popped, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook; you want the cranberries to stay relatively whole. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a medium-size bowl, leaving the cranberry syrup in the saucepan. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add wild rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock, salt, thyme and pepper. Heat to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is tender but pleasantly chewy, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain the wild rice of excess cooking liquid, if necessary. Add the wild rice mixture and the toasted pecans to the cranberries. Toss to mix well. To bake separately, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place in a buttered 13x9 inch baking dish. Bake, covered, until heated through, 30 to 40 minutes.

    I also like just plain wild rice cooked with stock, and throwing in smoe good-quality feta in while it's still nice and hot. Serve immediately (or allow to reheat a bit) so that the cheese is still soft and a little melty.

    9 Replies
    1. re: IndyGirl

      indy grl, i was thinking cranberries, too -- and your recipe looks fabulous!

      1. re: IndyGirl

        IndyGirl -- Thanks for this recipe. I'm making it now.

        Quick question. Do I use the cranberry syrup in this recipe?

        Or just save it for another use?


        1. re: karykat

          I am sorry I didn't see this earlier. Honestly ,it's been a couple of years since I made this but I don't think I used the syrup. Please let me know how it turns out!! I love it as a vegetarian side dish for Thanksgiving especially.

          1. re: IndyGirl

            Your recipe turned out great. I have a little left over which I'm looking forward to for lunch.

            I didn't use the syrup. I think it would be good over ice cream or yogurt.

            I think that cooking the rice in chicken stock made all the difference. Really added to the flavor.

        2. re: IndyGirl

          There's a cranberry wild rice salad they make at a market near my inlaws' place that is delicious. Sounds a lot like the one above except it also has some fresh mango pieces in it...the dressing also tastes a bit tropical/citrus-y (though it may just be the mango juices), and I'm not sure that the herb they use is thyme. But the salad is super delicious and I pig out on it every time I'm at my inlaws.

          1. re: yanz

            years ago i had a smoked turkey and wild rice salad with cranberries from whole foods' deli section. it was fantastic; i wish that i had that recipe.

            1. re: yanz

              Coincidentally, I ran across this wild rice and smoked chicken recipe on Epicurious about a week ago. It calls for mango chutney and coriander. I passed over it because I was looking for something to do with regular roasted chicken...


              I see it calls for golden raisins. It might be interesting to sub cranberries and see what you get.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                dairy queen, i'm going to try that. thanks.

                the creamy dressing is what i recall. the recipe reminds me of the "chicken salad fit for a queen" chicken salad recipe with the curry powder, soy, mayo, grapes, almonds and served with pineapple: fruity, savory, creamy, spice-complex.

          2. Cook the wild rice in chicken or beef stock. In a separate pan, brown a mirepoix. Toss with the rice and add a few T of sherry. Easy and good.

            1. I would take this wild rice and coat cheese stuffing ( and use it as a base for what I would do. Since it was devised to go with turkey, adding some roasted chicken or turkey seems like a reasonable variation.

              1. I don't like wild rice much but had a delicious version recently (made by a caterer, no less!) that included white rice and barley, plus slivered almonds. Really worthy and I think you could wing it on the proportions.

                1. I got this from a magazine a couple of years ago, and it is really yum -- I've brought it to picnics, so I know it keeps well. Not predominantly wild rice, and you'll need 3 pots if you do it according to the recipe, but tasty!

                  1 cup short-grain brown rice
                  3/4 cup wild rice
                  1/4 cup olive oil
                  2 Tbsp. orange juice
                  2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
                  1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
                  1/2 cup raisins
                  Freshly ground pepper
                  1/4 cup sliced green onions
                  2 Tbsp. chopped dill
                  1 Tbsp. choped mint
                  2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
                  2 naval oranges, peeled and with pith removed, cut into segments then 1/2" pieces

                  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
                  2. Spread rice on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 mins. or until fragrant.
                  3. Bring 2 pots of salted water to a boil and add brown rice to one, wild to the other. Boil until tender but not exploded (brown rice about 25 mins, wild can vary greatly so start checking after 20). Drain both and spread out on the baking sheet to cool.
                  4. Combine oil, orange juice, wine vinegar, garlic, and raisins in a small pot. Bring just to a boil then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Season with S&P to taste, and drizzle dressing over rice on baking sheet. Add onions, herbs, and oranges, and toss gently to combine. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve at room temperature, checking seasoning right before serving.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: megjp

                    that sounds good too!

                    i love wild rice pilafs. the fruit component is a great complementary flavor.