Best Ever Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes

Ingredients

Rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice blend (or just wild rice)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Aromatics and Vegetables:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (cremini or white button)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Flavor Enhancers and Garnishes:

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Cook the Wild Rice:

  • Rinse the wild rice thoroughly.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the wild rice, broth, bay leaf, and salt to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (about 45-50 minutes).
  • Discard the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork.

2. Prep the Ingredients:

  • While the rice cooks, dice the bacon, chop the onion and celery, and slice the mushrooms.

3. Cook Bacon and Vegetables:

  • In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add the butter to the bacon drippings in the skillet. Sauté the onion and celery until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook until mushrooms release their liquid and start to brown, another 5 minutes or so.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.

4. Combine Stuffing:

  • Transfer the cooked wild rice to the skillet with the vegetables.
  • Add the cranberries, pecans (or walnuts), cooked bacon, and parsley.
  • Stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Bake (optional):

  • For a slightly crispier top, transfer the stuffing to a greased baking dish.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

6. Serve:

  • Garnish with additional chopped parsley or other fresh herbs, if desired.
  • Serve warm as a festive side dish with turkey, chicken, or other main courses.

Tips:

  • Customization: Use any type of dried fruit (cherries, apricots) or nuts you prefer.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute vegan bacon, vegetable oil, or olive oil for a meatless version.
  • Added Flavor: A splash of white wine or sherry complements the savory wild rice. Add while sauteing the vegetables.
  • Make-ahead: Prepare the stuffing ahead of time, then store it covered in the refrigerator. Bake before serving.

Enjoy your delicious wild rice stuffing!

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