A modern and healthy stuffing recipe that’s bound for your Thanksgiving dinner! This wild rice side dish is packed with textures and flavors from hearty fresh herbs, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and more!

The beautiful thing about this recipe—which is similar to a wild rice pilaf—is that everything’s done on the stove top. No oven space or baking dish required for this rice dish!

wild rice stuffing in a white oval baking dish set on a wood board on a gray table

What you’ll need for this wild rice stuffing: 

overhead image of ingredients for wild rice stuffing set on a gray table

How to make wild rice stuffing 

  1. First things first, you’ve got to get the wild rice cooking. This step takes the longest, so before you start prepping anything else, get the rice going. While the wild rice cooks you can prep the rest of the ingredients. 
  2. Cook mushrooms in a large sauté pan until deep golden brown. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cook celery and shallot until starting to soften. 
  4. Add pecans to pan with celery and shallot and cook until pecans are toasted, and vegetables are softened and lightly browned. 
  5. Stir in sage and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  6. Add cooked wild rice, cooked mushrooms, cranberries and vinegar and cook just until heated through. 
  7. Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining butter and parsley. 
  8. Don’t forget—give the dish a quick taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar to taste before serving!
step-by-step grid of images showing how to make wild rice stuffing

Can this wild rice side dish be made ahead?

Sure! If you want to get a head start on this wild rice stuffing, aka wild rice dressing, you can do a few things. 

Cooking the wild rice takes the most time, so if you want to cut down in cook time, cook the rice ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Wild rice can be cooked up to 3 days in advance.

You can go a step further and cook the mushrooms ahead of time since they take about 15 minutes to cook. Store cooked mushrooms in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

The rest of the ingredients can be prepped and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator until ready to cook. 

And finally, if you want to make the whole dish ahead of time and reheat right before serving you definitely can! If you choose this route, I recommend waiting to add the vinegar, last tablespoon of butter, and fresh parsley until the day of. 

When ready to serve, reheat the stuffing in a large sauté pan over medium heat until completely warmed through. Off heat, add the vinegar, tablespoon of butter, and parsley. 

wild rice stuffing in a white oval baking dish set on a wood board on a gray table

What to serve with this wild rice stuffing

Basically a wild rice pilaf, you can serve this dish with any roasted meat or fish. Plus, it makes a great addition to any Thanksgiving or holiday menu!

More wild rice recipes you may like…

Variations on this wild rice stuffing 

  • Add more variation in texture by using a combination of cooked wild rice and brown rice. 
  • Add more fall flavors with diced apple instead of, or in addition to, the dried cranberries
  • Make it vegan by using vegan butter (or olive oil) and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Herb it up by adding fresh thyme and rosemary. 
wild rice stuffing in a white oval baking dish set on a wood board on a gray table

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Don’t forget, if you make this Wild Rice Stuffing recipe, leave a comment and rating below!

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Wild Rice Stuffing

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 7 cups (10 servings)
Category Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant


A modern and healthy stuffing recipe that’s bound for your Thanksgiving dinner! This wild rice side dish is packed with textures and flavors from hearty fresh herbs, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and more!


  • 1 ½ cups dry wild rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth or water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as cremini and shiitake, trimmed and sliced
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups diced celery
  • ¾ cup sliced shallots
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, or 1 diced apple
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup chopped parsley


  • Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, rinse and drain rice in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear.
  • Add rice to saucepan with broth, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until rice is tender and bloomed, 40–50 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork and let any excess liquid evaporate out. 
  • Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until foaming has subsided. Add mushrooms, toss with butter, and cook, without moving, until golden brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir mushrooms, and continue to cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes more; stirring twice. Season with salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and return pan to heat.
  • Add oil to pan and heat over medium just until shimmering. Add celery and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until shallot is starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in pecans and continue to cook until pecans begin to toast, 5 minutes. Stir in sage and garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Add cooked wild rice, cooked mushrooms, cranberries, and vinegar; cook just to heat through. 
  • Off heat stir in remaining tablespoon of butter and parsley; season with salt, pepper and additional vinegar to taste.


You’ll see that the prep time for this recipe is only 5 minutes. The reason for this is because you can use the time while the wild rice is cooking to prep the rest of the ingredients and cook the rest of the ingredients. The prep and cook time of the rest of the recipe can be done all within the cooking time of the wild rice.
MAKE THIS VEGAN: use vegetable broth (or water) instead of chicken broth, and use vegan butter or olive oil in place of the butter. 


Calories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 214mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 2g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
wild rice stuffing in a white oval baking dish set on a wood board on a gray table

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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