Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries, Apples and Pecans

Wild Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays and easy enough for everyday!  

This Wild Rice Pilaf is an easy and scrumptious make ahead side dish all made in one pot!

Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays. Everyone always asks for this recipe!

WILD RICE PILAF

Back in my 3rd month of blogging I had the giddy idea to simmer rice in apple juice for my Cheesy Apple Juice and Dijon Chicken Broccoli and Rice Skillet.  It might sound way out there – but it is positively delicious! So as I was preparing to make this Wild Rice Pilaf, I remembered my beloved apple juice simmered rice and knew just what to do.  Thankfully, as I explained in my past post, I always have apple juice on hand thanks to Pass Out Park” when Kiwi and Patrick saved my life.

Apple juice is just one of the ingredients that help make this Wild Rice Pilaf so magical.  It is one of the most intoxicatingly delicious rice dishes I have ever consumed.  And consume I did.  I was shooting two recipes the day I photographed this Wild Rice Pilaf – the rice and my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake.  I shot the wild rice first and the cake second, so every trip back to the kitchen, I would pause and eat more rice – I could barely tear myself away.  And each time I did, I just made another excuse to head back to the kitchen for more rice.   Shooting that cake took twice as long as it should have.

Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays. Everyone always asks for this recipe!

What is the difference between wild rice and rice pilaf?

Pilaf refers to both the name of the dish and the method of which the rice is prepared rather than the type of rice used.  So you can use wild rice in pilaf to make Wild Rice Pilaf.

I chose to use a wild rice mix in this Wild Rice Pilaf instead of basmati or other white rices because of its inherent chewy, nutty texture that is hard to overcook.  Wild Rice Pilaf remains wonderfully al dente so it not only reheats beautifully but pairs with other add-ins from nuts to dried fruit extremely well.

What is Wild Rice?

Wild Rice looks like long-grain rice with a brownish-blackish color but it is not actually rice at all but a highly nutritious grain.  It boasts a toasty, nutty, earthy flavor and is deliciously filling.

Wild Rice comes from long-grain marsh grass that grows in the shallow waters of lakes, rivers, and bays.  Today, the vast majority of the wild rice sold in the United States is cultivated in controlled fields similar to rice paddies.

Wild rice is covered in a hard, inedible husk which has to be removed before selling, making it an incredibly labor intensive product.  After wild rice is harvested, the grains are left in moist piles to mature.  The Wild Rice is then toasted over a fire to dry out and make the husk easier to remove.

This time consuming process and the fact that wild rice must grow in a controlled wet environment is why it remains relatively more expensive than rice and why it is often found in “wild rice blends” like we are using in this Wild Rice Pilaf recipe.

Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays. Everyone always asks for this recipe!

What is Wild Rice Blend?

This Wild Rice Pilaf recipe calls for a wild rice blend.   Wild Rice Blends are an exciting blend of rices, which give you complementary firm, fluffy cooked textures and robust, nutty, earthy vibrant flavors.  I use Lundberg Wild Blend Rice which is made of long grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, wild rice, whole grain wehani rice, whole grain black japonica rice.

You can find wild rice blends pre-packaged in a bag, box, or in the bulk bins at Sprouts.  If your wild rice package comes with a seasoning packet, you can discard that for our purposes.

HOW TO MAKE WILD RICE PILAF

This Cranberry, Apple, Pecan Wild Rice is perfect for the holidays, company, or just to exceed your everyday deliciousness quota and even more perfect because its cooked in one pot and there is hardly any “hands on” time.

It starts by bringing the apple juice, chicken broth, Dijon, butter, parsley, oregano and bay leaf to a boil then adding your wild rice.  After you dump and run for about 50 minutes, you strain your rice, then to the same pot, you saute your onion, apple and garlic, then stir in some apple cider vinegar, dried cranberries, and pecans – that’s it for this deceptively sophisticated yet super simple recipe.

The apple juice, Dijon, butter infused Wild Rice Pilfa is sweet and tangy, savory and buttery but not overpowering – just addicting.  So overpowering in a different way – will overpowering – with one bite you won’t be able to stop!

Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays. Everyone always asks for this recipe!

What Should I Add to Wild Rice Pilaf?

For this holiday version of Wild Rice Pilaf, I’ve chosen to add dried cranberries, apples and pecans.  The dried cranberries add pockets of sweetness while the apples balances with a subtle tart and the toasted pecans add a hearty, salty crunch for the most satisfying mouthful of rice you will ever eat.  Mouthful after mouthful, after mouthful…

You can choose to substitute the pecans with thinly sliced almonds, pistachios or pepitas.  You can substitute the craisins for dried cherries or raisins but I do recommend some sort of dried fruit to add the needed sweetness.   You could also add feta but be aware it will introduce more of a tangy element.

Can you Make Wild Rice Pilaf Ahead of Time?

Yes!   Wild Rice Pilaf reheats exceptionally well and is ideal for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.   If making in advance, then follow cooking instructions except hold the cranberries and pecans and add them in when you reheat the rice.

Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays. Everyone always asks for this recipe!

You might want to volunteer to bring the side to Thanksgiving this year but please don’t wait that long to make this Cranberry, Apple, Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf.  You deserve its deliciousness sooner.   Like today.

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Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays. Everyone always asks for this recipe!

Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays. Everyone always asks for this recipe!
Servings: 6 servings
Total Time: 1 hr 8 mins
Prep Time: 8 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 tsp EACH salt, dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup wild rice blend, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 Fuji or honeycrisp apple, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Garnish (optional)

  • fresh thyme
  • fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Bring broth, apple juice Dijon, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, pepper, dried thyme, oregano, parsley and bay leaf to a boil in a large nonstick skillet.
  • Add rice, cover and reduce heat to low (dial should be just above lowest LOW setting). Simmer 45-60 minutes, or until rice is tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally and replacing lid. Add additional water if needed if rice has absorbed all the liquid and is still not done cooking. Check for doneness at 45 minutes. Once cooked, drain rice and leave in fine hole strainer.
  • To the now empty pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Increase heat to medium high and add onions and apples; saute for 5-7 minutes, or until onions and apples are tender. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds.
  • Return rice to skillet along with cranberries and pecans. Add apple cider vinegar a little at a time to taste if desired for more tang (I use 2 teaspoons). Toss to evenly combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish as desired.

Notes

* I use the wild rice blend located in the bulk bins at Sprouts. That blend is wild rice, long grain brown rice, short grain brown rice, and red rice. I am sure anything similar will work great. Enjoy!
**I have cooked this rice a few different ways.  When I cooked it in my enamel cast iron skillet (as shown in the video), I cooked it on the lowest possible setting (as cast iron gets very hot) and it absorbed all the liquid within 30 minutes and I had to add quite a bit of additional water.  When I cooked it in my nonstick skillet as instructed in the recipe, the liquid in the recipe was perfect.  Either pan will work, but just be aware so you can improvise as needed.

Make Ahead

This recipe reheats exceptionally well due to the hearty wild rice blend. 
  • To make ahead: follow the cooking instructions except hold the cranberries and pecans and add them in when you reheat the rice.
  • To reheat on the stove:  reheat gently, adding a splash of water if the rice seems dry and/or drizzle in some melted butter to finish. 
  • To reheat in the oven: transfer to casserole dish, toss with 2 tablespoons extra water, cover and heat at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until warmed through. Drizzle in some butter to finish if the rice seems dry. 

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111 Comments

  1. Amy | Club Narwhal says

    OMG, this looks amazing–such a perfect fall salad. And simmering rice in apple juice = GENIUS 😉

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Amy! I love Fall flavors – and I love combining them all :)!

      • Patty Brown says

        Jen, I’m not sure what “wild rice blend” is. Do you mean Uncle Ben’s wild & white rice, with seasoning packet? Or wild and white rice blend without the seasoning packet. Could you give me a brand name for what I’m looking for? Thank you so much. I really want to try this recipe. Patty

        • Jen says

          Hi Patty! I use the wild rice blend in the bulk bins at Sprouts – no seasoning packet. That blend is wild rice, long grain brown rice, short grain brown rice, and red rice. I am sure anything similar will work great. Enjoy!

  2. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! I always have wild rice in my pantry and this combo of ingredients is wonderful! Another addition to my Thanksgiving menu. Thank you! 🙂

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Dorothy! And I love that you already have wild rice- sounds like this needs a little Thanksgiving preview 🙂 enjoy!!

  3. [email protected] says

    This definitely caught my eye!! It DOES sound “way out there” but I can just imagine how good it tastes, seriously, this is really clever! I use apple juice for Korean cooking but I have NEVER used it for rice. Seriously, I’m going to change that this looks SO GOOD.

    I wouldn’t be able to stop eating it either. At least you only paused to have mouthfuls between trips to the kitchen. I bet I’d be eating it WHILE shooting. There would be lot os “action shots” if I was shooting this i.e. spoon with mound of rice enroute to my mouth 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thanks Nagi! You definitely need to try simmering rice with apple juice, Its AMAZING! I’ve also simmered rice in pomegranate juice, also so good – the possibilities are endless! I am strongly tempted to shoot more actions shots now in my next post – I am always eating my food as I’m shooting! Its so hard to have to wait for lunch – I know you understand Maybe we each post a photo with spoon to mouth in our next post?! I think you are on to something! xoxo

  4. Laura says

    I made this last night and my family and I loved it!! Reheated the leftovers tonight, and it was even better! Thinking about adding chicken or sausage to make it a main dish and put it in my fall rotation. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome, I am so happy you loved it so much! And the addition of chicken or sausage sounds wonderful! You could even cook the chicken using the same method/spices as my Apple Dijon Chicken and Rice (linked in the post) and keep it a one pot meal! Thanks for your letting me know how much you enjoyed it! Have a great week!

  5. Keiko Pack says

    Oh, Jen! I knew this would be good. I was wrong, it wasn’t just good, it was divine! Delicious!!! I should have double the recipe because my 15 month old baby kept asking more and more. I didn’t have pecans, but walnut worked great. I will definitely make it again and again! Thank you so much!

    • Jen says

      YAY Keiko, that makes me so happy, thank you! and I love that your 15 month your old loved it too – that’s awesome! I love your comments – they always brighten my day! I hope you and your family are doing well! xoxoxo!

  6. Susan Cosby says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it is fantastic. So many flavors going on that all work beautifully together! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen says

      YAY! SO happy you enjoyed it Susan, thank you so much!

  7. Amanda says

    Just made the cranberry apple wild rice…. LOVE IT!!!!!

    • Jen says

      YAY! That makes me so happy Amanda, thank you for letting me know! I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Kelly @ Love Well says

    This looks so amazing, I’m going to do something I’ve never done: I’m going to make it for Thanksgiving without even trying ti first! My big question is: would you serve this room temperature? If I cooked the rice and maybe even the fruit part ahead of time (say, the day before Thanksgiving) and then had them ready to combine just before serving, would that work? Would it have to be heated up again? Any recommendations are appreciated.

    • Jen says

      Hi Kelly, I am flattered you are going to make this for Thanksgiving – I don’t think you will be disappointed :)! I have actually been told this is even better the second day so I think your plan to make the rice and fruit the day before works great but I don’t think you even need to keep them separated – just combine to make it even easier! The pilaf can definitely be served at room temperature, but would be better heated up – even just a little in the microwave. Hope this helps! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Lori Gardner says

    I’ve got all the ingredients to go for Christmas dinner and am excited to make this beautiful dish, but am a bit curious however. The wild rice I purchased is black & I noticed your picture looks as though you may have used a blend or another type of grain as well. Can you enlighten me? It could be that I’m just not seeing it right.

    • Jen says

      Hi Lori, I am sorry I am just now getting back to you as I was on “computer vacation” for Christmas 🙂 Yes, it should be a blend – usually it comes blended with long grain white rice or you can just use about 1/2 cup each. Sorry for my delayed response, I hope it turned out!

      • Lynn says

        I am interested in trying this recipe on Valentine’s Day for a dinner party of 12. If I made this in advance, what are your recommendations for reheating? Should I cook it slightly less, reserving liquid, and warm it covered in the oven? Has anyone done this with good results, so the rice I s not dry or stick together? Please advise.

        • Jen says

          Hi Lynn, sorry I am so behind and am just now seeing this! I would recommend reserving some of the liquid so it is not mushy and then reheating on the stove. You might want to try a small batch trial run just to be sure – I want your rice to be perfect 🙂 I hope you have a lovely party!

        • Raina says

          Did you end up making this in advance? If so, how did it turn out? Thanks!

  10. Michelle says

    Just made this today for a large crowd (your recipe x10!) and it turned out great. I actually cut down on the liquid, and put it in a covered casserole type pan in the oven – just enough for the rice to absorb without having to drain it later. I was also a little short on apple juice, so made up the difference with cranberry juice. The only other change I made was to use toasted almond slivers instead of pecans. Received many compliments….will definitely be making this again!

    • Jen says

      Hi Michelle, what an amazing undertaking of baking for such a large crowd – you are a rockstar!!! I am thrilled the recipe turned out so well and brilliant for you to cook it in the oven to serve that many people! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, you made my day!

  11. Alyssa says

    Hi, can this pilaf be made in the rice cooker?

    • Jen says

      Hi Alyssa, I have personally never made it in the rice cooker but I am sure it can be done- just not sure how you would need to adjust the cooking time. Please let me know how it goes!

  12. JoEllen says

    What is “wild rice blend”? Thanks.

    • Jen says

      Hi JoEllen! Wild rice blend is typically a combination of good quality brown rice (short grain, medium grain or long grain) along with wild rice. You can typically find it in the bulk section of any grocery store (I get mine at Sprouts), or in the rice section. Hope that helps!

  13. Jennifer says

    Found this recipe last night and made today since I had all the ingredients except one…it was fantastic. I had to cook way longer since the low setting was not hot enough…I think I had to cook almost 2 hours to get the grains soft enough, and I did not want to burn it. I also put a little more broth in. However, even with these changes, I did not mind. I was cooking for dinner since we just had a simple soup lunch today. I ate some once it was done and planning on sharing a little with the family for dinner. 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Jennifer, I am so happy you loved this recipe but so sorry about the cooking time! I guess everyone’s stove cooks differently so hopefully with increased heat next time it will cook much faster. Thanks for your kind comment in spite of that! xo

  14. Holly says

    How come in the ingredient section it’s says the rice should be “rinsed and drained”? Are you supposed to rinse and drain the uncooked rice before putting it in the pot? Also, what kind of apples do you use? The ingredients say honey crisp or Fuji but your post says to use Granny Smith? Just want to make sure I do this right! Thanks!!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Holly, yes you are supposed to rinse and drain the uncooked rice to rinse of excess starch. As far as the type of apples, the recipe itself is written correctly, and I have updated the post – sorry about that! I hope you love it!

  15. Jessica says

    What would this be like cold/room temperature??

    • Jen says

      Yes! it would be delicious either way!

  16. Bette says

    This is very similar to the way I make my stuffing for Thanksgiving. I use day old bread cubes instead of the rice and while I’ve never tried it with Dijon mustard but I think I will this year. I also add 1 cup chopped celery. The combination of flavors makes amazing stuffing and I can’t wait to try the wild rice recipe.

    This is my first visit to your blog but it won’t be the last. You have imagination girl and I love that in cooking.

    • Jen says

      Hi Bette, welcome so much to Carlsbad Cravings! Your stuffing sounds a lot like mine I’m about to share next week as well – we must be foodie kindred spirits 🙂 I hope have fun exploring and trying my recipes!!!

  17. Rachel says

    May I make up my own combination of rice blend, using short grained brown rice and wild rice?

    • Jen says

      Hi Rachel, I don’t see why not! Please let me know how it goes!

  18. Kelli Young says

    Could i sub the chicken broth with veggie broth? Thanks!

  19. Sharon Hansen says

    Happy to stumble across your site as one food lover to another. Was looking for something yummy and different to take to the in-laws Thanksgiving dinner that I can eat. We have a number of things in common. I used to live in San Diego. I lost a sister to CF 40 years ago! I am on a restricted diet for health reasons and am now nearly as skinny as my sister was! Wild rice is the only “starch” that I am permitted so this caught my eye! I also love cranberries, pecans and apples! So happy for you that you have been able to tackle this monster of CF! My sister was 23 when we lost her. One of my cousins lost a granddaughter at 18 from CF. We were very fortunate that out of 9 brothers and sisters, one had a daughter and one a granddaughter with CF. It could have been a lot worse. My Mom and Dad had 5 children with only one afflicted. I bookmarked your site so I can return! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Jen says

      Hi Sharon, welcome to my blog, I am so happy you stumbled across it! I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and that this was a hit! We really do have SO many things in common! I am sorry you lost your sister to CF those many years ago – it is such a devastating disease but I am so grateful they have made so much progress over the years. And that really is amazing that only one daughter and one granddaughter out of so many had CF – definitely something to be grateful for! I hope you are able to find some new favorites here that meet your diet restrictions and I will be praying for your health! God bless!

  20. Shsron says

    I was planning on making this for our family thanksgiving. Making it on Wednesday, chilling it and the putting in crockpot and reheating for dinner on thanksgiving. Any advice to make sure it is as good as it sounds? We have 50+ people. No time to try it before so I am just jumping in. Sounds so delicious

    • Jen says

      Hi there! Your method sounds great except I would hold the cranberries, pecans and vinegar until ready to serve. Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Gina Hawkins says

    Can this be done in a crockpot? Anyone tried it?

    • Angela says

      I was wondering the same thing myself. Did you try it in a crockpot yet?

    • Amanda says

      I made in an instant pot. It was wonderful but more like a rice stuffing than a pilaf. Everyone loved it around the holidays and were asking for the recipe.

  22. Holly says

    Made this for the second time and I am in love. I ate it for both lunch and dinner today and my stomach is growling for more. So yummy!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Holly, I am thrilled you are in love with it! Thank you, thank you!

  23. Hil says

    This is my go-to potluck dish in the winter! Easy to make, comforting, and feels festive this time of year. Thank you!!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Hilary! Its always so nice to find a great go-to potluck dish – so happy to hear this is it! Thank you so much and Happy Holidays!

  24. Rose says

    We loved this recipe, it will be my go to wild rice recipe from now on. I used a mixture of 1/3 brown and 2/3 wild rice, in place of the wild rice boxed mix.

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you love this recipe so much Rose, thank you! And thanks for your tip on the brown rice/wild rice mix – I am sure others will find that helpful too!

  25. Malissa says

    I have a couple of vegetarians coming this year for Thanksgiving and think I’ve got everything easily adjusted (except for the turkey!). Could I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! Happy early Thanksgiving!

  26. Star says

    Hi,

    Is it OK to make this with a precooked wild rice blend or would I be missing the great flavors as the rice absorbs the juices? Anyone tried it?

    Thanks!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Star, you are correct in that you will miss out on the flavors as the rice cooks and absorbs the liquid – especially the apple juice. Would probably still be good but not the same.

      • Star says

        Thank you for your response. I found the uncooked rice blend so all is well. I’m really looking ward to making this dish this weekend! Thanks so much!!

        • Jen says

          oh good, I’m so happy you found it! I hope you love the recipe!

  27. the salty pot says

    Ma’am/Sir,

    Good day!

    I am writing to request permission to use your image under the blog post https://carlsbadcravings.com/cranberry-apple-pecan-wild-rice-pilaf-recipe/

    The said image will be used in a roundup article posted in http://www.thesaltypot.com. In return, I will include the link back to your blog post for everyone to see and browse.

    Hoping for your kind consideration regarding this matter! Your response is very much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Best regards,
    The Salty Pot

    • Jen says

      You are welcome to use an image with a link back to my post for the full recipe. Thanks!

  28. Erica says

    What type of dried cranberries are in the recipe? Are they truly just dried or are they the sweetened, craisin-type?

  29. Martha says

    This sounds so amazing!!! I’m making it for Thanksgiving and converting it to vegan. Is this dish meant to be served hot?

    • Jen says

      Hi Martha, I am excited for you to make this for Thanksgiving! Yes, it is meant to be served hot but very forgiving as far as temperature goes.

  30. elizabeth says

    I cannot wait to make this on Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing your recipe and tips! Blessings to you.

    • Jen says

      What a kind comment, thank you so much Elizabeth! I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving as well and blessings to you and yours!

  31. Ambrea says

    Have you tried this recipe in an instant pot? Any tips? Also maybe I missed it but how many does this serve?

    Looks so yummy! Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Ambrea! I’m sorry I don’t have an instant pot so I can’t help you there. As far as servings, it serves about 6. Enjoy, Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. Esther says

    Hi! Can you substitute with orzo rice? Recipe sounds yummy!

    • Jen says

      Hi Esther, I am sure that would be delicious but I am not sure how the liquid ratio would need to be changed without some recipe testing. You will definitely need to cook it for less time and just keep an eye on it.

  33. Dena says

    Has anyone made ahead of time in a crockpot? Wondering if the rice will get too mushy and will recipe need more liquid? Thanks.

  34. Marisa says

    HI Jen, could I use fresh cranberries instead? making this for Thanksgiving tomorrow . Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Marisa, I wouldn’t recommend fresh cranberries as they are much more tart.

  35. Holly Goldfeder says

    I have made this recipe more times than I can count. After initially messing up the whole thing with a wrong measurement of apple cider vinegar (my fault not yours) I thought I’d never make it again. I’m SO glad I did in fact give the recipe another try because it is an absolute favorite. It’s so yummy and unlike anything I’ve ever made before. I highly recommend this.

    • Jen says

      Hi Holly, I’m so glad you gave this recipe another try and that it is a favorite (with the right amount of cider vinegar :))! Thank you for your kind comment! I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  36. Theresa says

    This recipe was over-the-moon fantastic! I made it for a big holiday dinner, and it was the hit of the night! Since I’m from Oregon, I love to use our local hazelnuts —we call them filberts— and they were a great addition. I used 1/4 wild rice, 1/4 red rice, 1/4 black rice, and 1/4 brown rice ( all from the bulk bins in our local store), and it was great. As others have mentioned, this is maybe even better the next day, so I’m thinking of making it ahead of time for my next big dinner!

    • Jen says

      wahoo! I am thrilled you loved this rice so much Theresa and your addition of hazelnuts sounds fantastic! Thank you also for your breakdown of rice – I am sure that will be super helpful to many readers!

  37. Samantha says

    This looks so amazing and I can’t wait to try it!! Do you have any main-dish recommendations to go with it? I think chicken would be great but I don’t think any of my go-to recipes would mesh well flavor wise

    • Jen says

      What a fabulous idea for this recipe! I am going to have to try that next time!

  38. Jasmine says

    What are your thoughts on cooking the rice in advance (in the morning) and then finishing the cooking just prior to serving afternoon lunch?

    • Jen says

      This rice reheats AMAZING, so yes, you can definitely do that!

  39. Ashley says

    How would you recommend reheating this if made ahead of time.

    • Jen says

      Hi Ashley, I would leave out the pecans and cranberries initially. Reheat it gently on the stove, adding a little water if needed for moisture then stir in pecans and cranberries. Enjoy!

  40. Toni says

    I have been looking for a mention of making ahead but starving chilled or room temperature.
    Any thoughts on that? Thank you so much. I have made it one time awhile back and knew I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving.

    • Jen says

      Hi Toni, you can make ahead and serve at room temperature but I don’t recommend serving it chilled. Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. Lynn says

    WOW! What a wonderful fall side dish! The flavours are divine and the apples and pecans add a very nice crunch! This is a keeper for sure that will grace my Thanksgiving and Christmas table. This recipe is especially wonderful for vegetarians! Thanks, Jen! Your recipes have solidified my reputation as a cook!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Lynn! I’m so pleased you are loving my recipes and that this wild rice pilaf was another hit! I’m honored it will grace your Thanksgiving and Christmas table – the ultimate compliment!

  42. Lindi says

    This recipe looks wonderful! This might be a silly question, but if made a head of time, will the apples turn brown? Looking forward to trying this recipe!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lindi, not a silly question! The apples won’t turn brown due to the apple juice so you’re good to go!

  43. Tina says

    Sounds delicious! If made ahead of time and chilled. How would you recommend heating it up?
    Thanks!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Tina, I would heat the rice pilaf on the stove over medium-low stirring often. Enjoy!

  44. Kathy says

    Made this today for the first time. It is absolutely delicious! Will definitely be making it again & for the holidays! One question tho…could the liquid be reduced so that it wouldn’t require draining at the end? I assume theres a reason for doing it this way, but just wondered.

    • Jen says

      I’m so happy you loved this wild rice pilaf Kathy! Cooking wild rice in liquid and then draining is the most common and fool proof method.

  45. Stephanie Spinella says

    How do you think it would work to cook the wild rice (first part of the recipe) in a rice cooker? Also, wondering how it might reheat using sous vide? I’m taking my sides to TG and retherming them that way… keeps them at serving temperature without overcooking. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Stephanie, I don’t recommend cooking wild rice in a rice cooker – sorry! I’ve never tried reheating sous vide but I imagine it would work fine although because this is wild rice and not traditional white rice it is hard to overcook so you are also fine to just reheat it from the fridge to the stove. Happy Thanksgiving!

  46. Kristine says

    Delicious! I used all wild rice because that’s what I had. I cooked the rice I. A rice cooker a day ahead of time and then finished it off the next day. It worked great! Another great recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Kristine, I’m so pleased it was a winner! Happy Thanksgiving!

  47. Sue B says

    What if I used apple cider in place of apple juice and do I really need apple cider vinegar in the wildrice pilaf.

    Thanks,
    Sue B

    • Jen says

      I think apple cider will be great! No you don’t absolutely need the vinegar – it just awakens the flavors a bit – comes down to personal preference. enjoy!

  48. Melanie says

    Wow! Made this tonight. Cut it down to a third and shared it with my daughter. Amazing! Finishing it with the ACV really brings it over the top! I will definitely make again for the holidays! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Melanie and thanks for the awesome review!

  49. Kate Caswell says

    Could the rice be cooked the day before to reduce prep time on Thanksgiving? Also, I will make half the recipe with wild rice, and half with riced cauliflower for for family and friends who must count carbs.

    • Jen says

      Yes, you can absolutely make this the day ahead of time. The texture wild rice is especially forgiving/great for reheating.

  50. Kimberly says

    Hello! I stumbled upon your recipe last year and was going to make it for our family, but because of Covid restrictions it was just my husband and I for dinner and we kept it simple. This year we’ll all be together and I am so very eager to try it. Thank you for sharing it.

    I promise I did read/skim through the comments to try and get an answer before I posted this but I either missed it or it wasn’t there. I saw how you recommended the reheat on the stove if made the day before and to omit the pecans and cranberries until the reheat. Do you think, since stove burners will be in short supply with other dishes, that I could put it in a casserole dish to reheat?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Jen says

      Hi Kimberly, I would add to a casserole dish and toss with 2 tablespoons water, cover and reheat for 20 minutes at 300 or until warmed through. If it seems dry, toss in some melted butter. Hope this helps, Happy Thanksgiving!

  51. Lulu says

    This is delicious!! Easy to make but layers of flavor make it taste like you worked really hard. I am making it for the third time since Thanksgiving! Thanks for a keeper!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Lulu, I love hearing this recipe is a repeat favorite! Happy holidays!

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