Wild Rice Pilaf with Apples & Cranberries
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Wild Rice Pilaf is a flavorful and simple side dish! This recipe includes apples, cranberries, almonds and all the flavors of Thanksgiving stuffing, making it the perfect side for Thanksgiving dinner! It’s also easy to make in one pot, making it a wonderful side dish for a weeknight meal!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vons. All opinions are 100% mine.
When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, you have your traditional mashed potato, green bean and gravy recipes. But have you ever thought about serving rice stuffing at the Thanksgiving dinner table? If you haven’t, I’m here to tell you that you should!
This wild rice pilaf contains all of the delicious flavors of stuffing, including rosemary, sage and thyme. It’s finished off with fresh diced apples, dried cranberries and slivered almonds. These ingredients add flavor and texture to the rice stuffing.
The best part about this rice pilaf recipe is that it’s easy to make in just one pot and it’s the perfect side dish to include on a menu with dietary restrictions. It’s naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, and easy to make vegan!
I grabbed everything I needed to make this recipe at my local Vons. Their wide selection of O Organics®️ products make it easy to shop organically for Thanksgiving and throughout the year.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Lucerne®️ Unsalted Butter – the butter can be replaced with olive oil to make this recipe vegan.
- O Organics Garlic Cloves
- O Organics Wild Rice Mix
- Signature SELECT™️ Black Pepper
- O Organics Vegetable Broth – feel free to use chicken or turkey broth also, but be sure to use vegetable broth when making this recipe vegetarian!
- Sage – I prefer fresh herbs in this recipe, but dried herbs can also be used. Check out “Whit’s Tips & Tricks” below for substituting dried herbs for fresh.
- Granny Smith Apple
- O Organics Dried Cranberries
- Open Nature® Slivered Almonds
How To Make Wild Rice Pilaf Stuffing
- Saute onion, celery and garlic. Melt butter in a large skillet, add diced onions, chopped celery and minced garlic, saute over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Toast the wild rice mix. Add the wild rice mix to the skillet with the veggies and toast for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the broth and cook the rice. Season the rice with salt and pepper, then pour the broth over the rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat on the stovetop to low. Allow the rice to cook for 1 hour.
- Add the fresh herbs and apples. After one hour, remove the skillet from the heat on the stovetop. Remove the lid and stir in the fresh sage, rosemary, thyme and diced apples. Place the lid back on the rice and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and almonds. Remove the lid again and stir in the dried cranberries and slivered almonds. Serve immediately.
Whit’s Tips & Tricks
- To make this recipe vegan, substitute olive oil for the butter. With this one simple substitution, the recipe is vegan!
- If you’re a cranberry lover like me, I recommend doubling down on the dried cranberries. Their sweet, tart flavor is so delicious in this dish, I usually add an entire cup!
- If using dried herbs instead of fresh, add the herbs towards the beginning of the recipe with the salt and pepper. Because fresh herbs have a more subtle taste, we add them towards the end of the cooking process. Dried herbs have a stronger taste, so they can hold up to longer cooking times of 45 minutes or more. You’ll also want to cut the amount of dried herbs in half, so 1 teaspoon dried sage and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and rosemary.
- Did you know that wild rice isn’t actually rice? That’s right wild rice is actually a species of grass. In most cases, it’s mixed with another rice, such as brown rice to create a mixture of textures and flavors. There’s your fun fact for the day!
- This recipe is gluten-free, using the ingredients shown in this blog post.
You’ll find everything you need to make this recipe, and complete your holiday shopping list, at any of the Albertsons Companies family of stores. This includes Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market and Tom Thumb.
In addition to incredible products at an affordable price, Vons also offers Grocery Delivery and DriveUp & Go™ services, which I use every week! Either have your groceries delivered right to your doorstop or drive to your local Vons and have them delivered right to the trunk of your car.
I love both of these options for saving time and staying healthy this holiday season!
Looking for more easy Thanksgiving side dish ideas? Check out these popular recipes!
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Maple Apple Brussels Sprouts
- Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Crock Pot Creamed Corn
- Stuffing Biscuits
- Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Wild Rice Pilaf with Apples & Cranberries
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups wild rice mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth, or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 granny smith apple, small dice
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- When the butter is melted, add the onion, celery and garlic, cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the wild rice and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper.
- Pour the vegetable broth over the rice.
- Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 60 minutes on the stove.
- Remove from the heat, remove the lid and stir in the fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and diced apples.
- Replace the lid on the skillet and allow to rest off the heat, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid again and stir in the dried cranberries and almonds, and serve.
- Apple Substitutions: gala or honeycrisp apples can also be used in place of the granny smith apples.
- Vegan Substitutions: to make this recipe vegan, replace the butter with olive oil.
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
- Replacing fresh herbs with dried herbs: if replacing the fresh sage, rosemary and thyme with dried herbs, you will want to cut the amounts in half. You’ll also want to add the dried herbs at the same time as the salt and pepper early in the cooking process, instead of towards the end.
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