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Upgrade your holiday menu with this Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf with Cranberries! A seasonal, vegan dish that looks beautiful on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
A Midwestern Dish!
Last winter, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the book “In Winter’s Kitchen” by a Minneapolis food writer named Beth Dooley. After reading just a few pages, I knew it would become one of my favorite books about food. Dooley highlights a different local food in each chapter, and weaves in stories about the food’s history and her personal experience with it. She also incorporates tidbits from her interviews with local farmers and others in the food scene.
Both wild rice and cranberries, two of the main ingredients in this wild rice and mushroom pilaf, are highlighted in Dooley’s book. After learning about their intensive growing and harvesting processes, I appreciate these Midwestern staples in a new way.
Learning about these two crops, and imagining their journey to my table, makes me feel a little more connected to this dish and the history of Midwestern foods. I hope you will feel the same when you make it!
From a nutrition perspective, I also learned a lot more about wild rice while making this recipe. Did you know that wild rice has more protein than most other whole grains? Just one cup of wild rice has a whopping 24 grams! On the other hand, cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and plant compounds that may promote heart health.
If you’re looking for some other vegetarian holiday dishes, check out:
- Healthier Green Bean Casserole (made with maple roasted almonds!)
- Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble
- Roasted Beet and Cabbage Slaw
Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf with Cranberries
- 1 cup wild rice - dry
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil - extra virgin
- 1 onion - diced
- 2 pounds mushrooms - sliced
- 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 to 3 heaping tbsp fresh sage - chopped
- Sea salt - to taste
- Ground black pepper - to taste
- In a small saucepan, bring three cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Add wild rice, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Drain excess liquid.
- While the rice is cooking, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook down for ~10 minutes. You may want to add a splash of vegetable stock for more flavor. Finally, add cranberries and sage. Cook for another 5 minutes or until cranberries begin to "pop."
- Add rice and mushroom/cranberry mixture to a serving dish and mix until combined. Serve warm with more fresh sage, salt, and pepper to taste.
Pin this Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf now to make later!