overhead view of wild rice pilaf in a bowl with a spoon on a countertop next to a side dish of bread

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Why I love this wild rice pilaf recipe

As we move into the holiday season – I can’t believe Thanksgiving is already over – I’m on the hunt for more simple side dishes. Ones with lots of flavor that can pair with a hearty chuck roast or even a quick chicken recipe. Since the weather is colder, my usual cucumber salad and baked beans just don’t work.

This wild rice pilaf recipe is quick cooking on the stove and full of traditional flavors thanks to a basic mirepoix, but you can easily mix it up by adding a variety of herbs, or even dried cranberries or chopped nuts, for change of pace. It’s a great basic side dish, and I am loving this time of year.

side view close up of wild rice pilaf

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Can’t find wild rice? You can order some online – we used this wild rice blend – or you can substitute brown rice (not the quick cooking kind). Just make sure you adjust the cooking time as needed. You can find it on the rice package.

overhead view of wild rice pilaf in a skillet on a countertop next to a small bowl of garnish

How to make wile rice pilaf

Sauté the veggies. Heat your skillet to medium-high and add olive oil. Let the oil get nice and warm, and then add your veggies. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until they’re nice and soft and the onions are translucent.

Toast the rice. Add your rice to the pan and stir to combine it with the veggies and coat the rice with oil. Let it toast for a few minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the oil.

Simmer the pilaf. Next, stir in the broth, cover the pot, and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer for about 45 – 50 minutes. The remove the pot from heat and allow it to rest for an extra 5 – 10 minutes.

Garnish and serve. Fluff the rice with fork and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

overhead view of wild rice pilaf in a bowl on a countertop

FAQS and tips for making wild rice

What does wild rice taste like?

Wild rice is nuttier and more herbal tasting than white rice. It has a heartier texture than white rice and maintains a chewy texture after cooking.

Does wild rice need to be soaked?

Technically no, but you will need to cook it for a longer amount of time than white rice. It will also hold its texture and bite even after a long time cooking.

How long does wild rice take to cook?

45 minutes.

This recipe would be great with

More side recipes you’ll love:

close up of wild rice pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf

This easy, wild rice pilaf is full of flavorful vegetables. This homemade vegan recipe makes a great, hearty side dish for any meal. Add dried cranberry or chopped pecans for a festive Thanksgiving twist.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice blend
  • 2 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 12 tablespoons fresh parsley


  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and add olive oil. Allow it heat and add celery, onion and carrot the the pan. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add rice and stir to combine. Allow the rice to toast until the oil is absorbed.
  3. Pour in the broth and cover the pot. Bring the rice to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to low. All the rice to simmer for 45 – 50 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the rice to set for 5 – 10 minutes to allow the rice to absorb any remaining liquid.
  5. Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with fresh herbs before serving.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 249
  • Sugar: 3.8 g
  • Sodium: 276.1 mg
  • Fat: 2.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.3 g
  • Fiber: 4.5 g
  • Protein: 9.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.4 mg

Keywords: dairy free, vegan, gluten free option, egg free, rice, side dish, Thanksgiving

Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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  1. Great recipe. I just have a couple of options. If you stick with true Wild Rice, it is technically a Grass and therefore people who don’t eat Grains can usually eat this. Also I would actually toast the Wild Rice in the Dry frying pan first actually bring out the nuttiness.

    1. You can rinse the rice if you want before cooking. Rinsing rice can help remove some of the starches, which can help prevent the rice from having a gummy texture.

  2. Any suggestions on the type of herbs to use? Not good in the kitchen, will get something that ruins the taste. Thanks

  3. Would the rice have more flavor by using chicken stock instead of vegetable? I have both, just curious if anyone has done chicken instead! Also, not concerned here about making it vegetarian. Thank you!

  4. This was amazing! I added mushroom, asparagus, green onion, toasted pecans, lots of herbs and a drizzle of vegetable umami Yondu. I cooked the veggies and rice separately and then tossed together. My family loved it!