Mushroom Wild Rice Pilaf is a simple, yet elegant side dish that’s perfect for holiday entertaining, potluck, or family dinner. Dried cranberries add a wonderful, natural sweetness that complements the other savory ingredients. Delicious hot, room temperature, or even cold!
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It’s no secret that I love carbs, and I have no plans to ever give them up. I could never go on a carb-restricted diet, because I would be miserable and totally depriving myself, and probably fall off within the week. I do, however, try to maintain balance with carbs. My One Pot Taco Spaghetti and Spicy Garlic Shrimp Pasta both use quinoa spaghetti pasta. When I want something heartier I make my Roasted Mushroom Green Bean Farro Salad or my Asian Quinoa Meatballs.
When it comes to rice, I am partial to white rice. Yes, I know its the least nutritious, but its delicious. I’ll order brown rice at Asian restaurants, but I can never get it to cook properly at home. I do really enjoy wild rice, and usually use Uncle Ben’s.
I’ve been trying to come up with heartier side dishes, partly because I’m bored with my standby recipes. I normally eat rice as a plain side dish, so this was a great opportunity to give it new life with Mushroom Wild Rice Pilaf
This Mushroom Wild Rice Pilaf is hearty, filling, delicious, and so easy to make. It is perfect for your holiday entertaining table, or a side dish any night of the week.
INGREDIENTS FOR MUSHROOM WILD RICE PILAF
- Wild Rice
- Yellow onion
- Vegetable broth
- Mushrooms (baby portobello or white button)
- Garlic – raw is good, roasted garlic takes the flavor and depth to new levels
- Dry white wine – make sure you use a wine you like to drink!
- Dried Cranberries
- Toasted Sliced Almonds
- Seasonings & garnish: salt, pepper, fresh parsley
WHAT WILD RICE TO USE FOR MUSHROOM WILD RICE PILAF
On my first attempt at Mushroom Wild Rice Pilaf I used Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice, and it was very good. But then again, it’s more long grain rice than wild. So I decided to kick it up a notch with a heartier wild rice. I found a blend at Sprouts Farmers Market that I really like. Any store that sells bulk dry food will have a selection of wild rices, and several store brands have hearty wild rice as well.
NOTE: the heartier are the blend, the longer it will take to cook. Uncle Ben’s takes about 30 minutes. Heartier blends will take 45-60 minutes.
EASY COOKING INSTRUCTIONS FOR MUSHROOM WILD RICE PILAF
- Melt butter, and saute onions until golden
- Add dry rice and stir for 1 minute. Rice will toast slightly, which is what you want
- Add broth, bring to low boil, and reduce to simmer. I use my Homemade Vegetable Broth; if you use boxed broth, look for unsalted or low sodium
- Stir in dried cranberries with about 10 minutes left
The first time I made Mushroom Wild Rice Pilaf I didn’t use cranberries at all. The second time, I thought about it after I finished eating. Third time I put the cranberries on the counter first thing in the morning so I wouldn’t forget. Dried cranberries add a wonderful natural sweetness, which you need to counter the other very savory ingredients.
The mushrooms only take about 7 minutes to cook, so I cook them separately in a skillet
- Melt butter, add mushrooms, salt & pepper, and saute for 5 minutes
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Deglaze skillet with dry white wine and reduce for 1 minute. REMINDER: use wine you like to drink! The mushrooms absorb the flavor, so if you don’t like the wine, you won’t like the mushrooms
- Add mushrooms to rice, fold together, and garnish with fresh minced parsley and toasted almonds
SERVING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MUSHROOM WILD RICE PILAF
Mushroom Wild Rice Pilaf is a wonderful side dish for your Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, but don’t limit yourself to just special occasions
- Serve immediately, and hot, for a weekday family dinner
- Make a big batch for a party, and serve at room temperature
- Pack those leftovers in the fridge, and eat it cold! Yes, you read right. Mushroom Wild Rice Pilaf is so delicious cold
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoons yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
- 2 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, smashed
- 2 Tablespoons dry white wine
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- toasted almonds, for garnish
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/2 Tablespoon butter. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until golden. Add wild rice, stir well to coat. Stir occasionally for 1 minute, to lightly toast rice
- Add vegetable broth, bring to low boil, and reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 20-35 minutes.
- COOKING TIME VARIES BASED ON THE RICE YOU USE! The more long grain rice the blend has, the faster it will cook. A hearty wild rice blend will take 45-50 minutes total
- When the liquid has absorbed to the point that you can just see the grains of rice, add the cranberries and stir well. Cover, and cook for another 7-10 minutes
- START THE MUSHROOMS WHEN YOU ADD THE CRANBERRIES TO THE RICE
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 Tablespoon butter. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper, and saute for 5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic, and stir for 1 minute. Add wine and cook for 1 minute
- Transfer mushrooms to rice mixture, and fold together
- Garnish with fresh parsley and toasted almonds