This rice pilaf recipe is made with a wild rice blend, apples, dried cranberries, pecans and fresh herbs. It’s a colorful and hearty addition to any meal and is perfect for the holidays.
When it comes to the holidays, I am all about the side dish recipes. Some of our favorites include cornbread casserole, sausage stuffing, Southern mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and honey roasted carrots. This wild rice pilaf is also on my must-make list, it’s perfectly sweet and savory and is so festive.
There’s nothing like a good rice pilaf, and this version happens to be my favorite. It’s loaded with sweet and savory ingredients and is full of different flavors and textures. I could make a whole meal out of this rice! It’s a great option for the holidays, and pairs especially well with bacon wrapped pork loin, spatchcock turkey, slow roasted prime rib and dry brined turkey.
Table of Contents
Rice Pilaf Ingredients
To make this recipe, you will need wild rice blend, chicken broth, butter, onion, Granny Smith apples, dried cranberries, pecans, rosemary, parsley, salt and black pepper.
How Do You Make Rice Pilaf?
Place the wild rice and chicken broth in a large pot, then simmer the rice according to package directions until it is soft and all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork. Melt the butter in a pan or large skillet, and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft, then add the apples and cook for a few more minutes. Pour the cooked rice into the pan with the onions and apples, and stir. Add the cranberries, pecans, rosemary and parsley to the pan, then mix everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve and enjoy.
Tips For The Perfect Dish
- This recipe calls for a wild rice blend, which is a mix of different types of rice. It includes black wild rice, red rice and brown rice.
- You can make this rice pilaf up to a day in advance. Cover it and store in the fridge in an airtight container, then reheat in a pan over low heat. You may need to add a little more butter when you reheat the rice if the mixture seems dry from being in the fridge.
- Wild rice can take a while to become tender, so plan accordingly with your time!
Looking for a vegetarian dish? Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also swap out the butter for olive oil to have a vegan meal.
The most basic definition of rice pilaf is rice cooked in a seasoned broth. Rice pilaf often contains other ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, fruits and nuts. This is a fall version of rice pilaf which is why I’ve included ingredients like cranberries and apples.
I’ve used a wild rice blend here, which is a combination of brown rice, wild rice, red rice and black rice all in one bag. You can also use regular brown rice if you prefer.
This dish is great as-is, but you can easily add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Grains: Try a different type of grain such as quinoa, orzo pasta, white rice, farro, barley or even couscous.
- Fruit: Use dried cherries, raisins, dried apricots or Bosc pears.
- Nuts: No pecans on hand? Walnuts, almonds, pine nuts or pistachios will also work.
- Flavorings: Amp up the flavor by adding green olives, a dash of cinnamon garlic, bacon, celery or even cooked sausage.
This wild rice dish has it all, and it’s sure to get rave reviews from family and friends. It’s so full of color that it’s almost too pretty to eat!
Rice Pilaf Video
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Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans
- 1 cup wild rice blend
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 2 Granny Smith apples finely diced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the wild rice blend and chicken broth in a pot. Cook the rice according to package directions.
- While the rice is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the apples and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until softened.
- Pour the cooked rice into the pan with the onions and apples, then stir to combine.
- Add the dried cranberries, pecans, rosemary and parsley to the pan. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve.
- You can make this rice pilaf up to a day in advance. Cover it and store in the fridge, then reheat in a pan over low heat. You may need to add a little more butter when you reheat the rice if the mixture seems dry from being in the fridge.
- Serving vegetarians? Simply swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.